When should I reboot?
If you notice any of the following, it is probably time for a reboot:
- It takes a long time for an app to launch
- A system service keep crashing
- It takes a long time to switch in between activities (i.e. pressing the back button)
- It takes a long time for the lock screen to appear after pressing the power button
A lot of people almost never reboot their phones (once a couple of months) and they function perfectly. Most of those people are not serious android users though, they pretty much just use it as a phone (calling/texting) and thats about it. If you are a more serious user that plays a lot of games or likes to use a ton of apps then you will need to reboot more often, perhaps once every week or every couple of days.
If you have a newer device you also don't need to reboot it as much because it probably has a faster processor and more RAM so it can handle a larger load for longer. Older devices need to be rebooted a lot more than newer devices.
Why does my device slow down?
Your device slows down because the processor is busy doing work it doesn't need to do. After a while, processes running in the background (services) start to pile up. Android is pretty efficient about knowing when to keep services and activities alive. in the older builds of Android, the system is a little bit more lenient about what it keeps running. In theory it isn't really bad to have a ton of Apps running at once because Android pauses all of the Apps that are in the background. Now, what stinker developers do is they have their app start up a bunch of services when their app starts up. This is really bad because the services will keep running even after the app is no longer visible.
Android is pretty picky about it's memory. Android wants to have it's memory as close to full as possible. Android is pretty efficient at cleaning up memory leaks created by processes, so you really don't need to be worrying about your memory usage especially on newer devices. Most people think that when their memory is full, it's a bad thing. That is totally wrong and I will show you why.
If you know a little bit about electronics, you should know that RAM is basically just a massive array of bytes. The processor needs to run an instruction to load a byte into a section of the array. When the processor runs instruction, it takes power (in this case battery power). When the RAM is almost full it doesn't really hurt the battery; you want it to be almost full because the system doesn't want to keep pushing bytes into the register, it wants to work with what it has. When you destroy all of your apps that were just running, Android automatically clears the memory that those applications were hogging. Then the Android system goes "oh, where did my Sync Service just go? Better start it up again!" Then your device has to reload all of the RAM that you just cleared. This takes a lot of power and drains your battery. So you might kill a couple of services that were CPU hoggers but you are killing a lot of services that Android was actually managing efficiently.
Myths about 'Memory Boosters'
Ha! Take that system apps that were running in the background, thank you App Killer for freeing up all of that memory for me!
When I hear this I go just about nuts, and so does every else on this site. Do not constantly use an App Killer to kill all of your idle processes! What you should really be saying is this:
Ha! Take that battery! Have fun loading all of those services up again from scratch!
Now, there is a way to use "App Killers" effectively. You should only use them to kill background services that have gone rouge (eating up massive amounts of CPU). This happens more often on older devices.
Unless you have a reason why you don't want to reboot your phone when it is being slow, I would reboot it instead of running an App Killer. Rebooting does eat up a little bit of battery as well, but it will most defiantly kill any service that could have been hogging your CPU.
Friends don't let friends use App Killers.
My device is still slow after reboot, help?
If your device is still slow after reboot, then you should go through your apps and delete the ones you don't need. A lot of those apps are probably starting background services and slowing your device down.
If anything needs to be added, or if anything here is inaccurate feel free to edit. Constructive editing is welcome.