11 Android apps to boost speed, battery life and more

Want your Android device to work faster and more efficiently? These apps can help.

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Memory Booster

Imoblife

Price: Free (basic version), $2.99 (Full version)

Memory Booster

Memory Booster

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Memory Booster kills any running apps that aren't necessary. Like Android Assistant, it features a Quick Boost button that automatically chooses the apps to kill; you can also manually select which processes or apps you want to get rid of. However, Memory Booster has an extra added attraction: it lets you add user and system apps to a white list so they won't be accidentally killed.

The full version of Memory Booster ($2.99) adds the ability to schedule the killing of apps. You can choose the interval at which to kill them, set the memory threshold if you only want it to kill them when memory is running low, and set it to kill them every time you lock your device. The full version also adds another, more aggressive level that can help free up even more memory by killing more apps.

Memory Booster was easy to use, but I wish it also had the ability to edit startup apps/processes -- if you're worried about memory, it's better to prevent unnecessary apps from starting in the first place.

Move2SD Enabler

Roberto Leinardi

Price: Free

Move2SD Enabler

Move2SD Enabler

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Apps can take up a lot of space on your phone, and while some protected/system Android apps can't be moved to your SD card, others aren't movable just because the developer didn't do the extra work to make them movable.

Move2SD Enabler, which requires a rooted Android, changes this -- it enables most apps that aren't movable to the SD card by default to be movable. Even better, it can change the default install location of apps from internal storage to your SD card.

When you open Move2SD Enabler, it prompts you to make sure you have USB debugging enabled and offers a shortcut to the Android Application settings screen. Once enabled, Move2SD Enabler is easy to use and requires only one setting change in the Move2SD app: selecting External for the default app location. Keep in mind that it enables only existing apps to be movable; you will have to manually move them via Android's Manage Applications screen.

SD Speed Increase

Diego Stamigni

Price: Free

SD Speed Increase

SD Speed Increase

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SD Speed Increase, which requires a rooted Android device, tries to speed up your SD card's file-transfer rates and general read-write functions by increasing the default cache size of the SD card.

All you have to do is open the app, set it to a higher cache size and hit a button. Since the cache size isn't kept after reboots, SD Speed Increase has an option to automatically reset it every time you start up your device.

As the developer advises, this app may not work on all Android devices. You may not see any noticeable differences in the SD card speeds -- I didn't -- but it's worth a try.

Volume Boost

Kobohely

Price: $2.12 after 7-day trial

Volume Boost

Volume Boost

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Is your audio too low when you're using headphones or ear buds? Well, this app can boost the volume; a great feature if you're working out or are in a noisy environment.

You can manually activate the volume boost or set it to automatically start when booting your Android device. It also offers a widget that you can add to your home screens to quickly turn it on and off with a single button click.

When I tried it, I did notice a slight audio increase when using this app. It boosts the volume just enough so you can better hear Pandora, MP3s or whatever you're listening to. It includes a 7-day free trial and then you must purchase it for $2.12 to continue using it.

Since I go on regular bike rides and have a hard time hearing audio with my ear buds, it's certainly worth the two bucks and change.

Eric Geier is a freelance tech writer who become a Twitter follower to keep up with his writings. He's also the founder of NoWiresSecurity, a Wi-Fi network security firm.

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Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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