Managing Apps on Android

The Android Operating System (OS) allows the owner to easily manage the applications (apps) installed on his/her device. This article is intended to guide the new user in the use of this facility.

To begin, click Menu/Settings/Applications/Manage applications/ and then click on the app that you want to manage. Different versions of Android may present slightly different menu options but on 2.2 you are presented with a screen that offers the following options:Manage Apps Screen

  • Force Stop – If the app is running and you want to manually make it stop (to save memory, etc). It is also best (necessary?) to stop an app before you try to uninstall it.
  • Uninstall – Removes the app from your device, clearing memory and storage space. Important: Applications that were preinstalled on your device (by carrier or manufacturer) may not allow themselves to be uninstalled.
  • Clear Data – If the app has stored a password or other info to use in future sessions, this will clear that data from the device.
  • Move to SD card – If this is allowed, it will save STORAGE space on your device by moving the program to the SD card. However, the app will still require/use the same amount of MEMORY when it is running.
  • Clear cache – The cache is a temporary storage that may hold graphics or other items which have been retrieved and may be needed again. The cache generally provides quicker access than retrieving the item from the Internet, etc.
  • Clear defaults – A default is the automatic choice made by the device when presented with known options. And example would be which browser to use if you have two different browsers installed. This button will clear the previous choice. The next time you click on the “Web” button, Android will present you with a dialog to chose which browser you wish to use.

Note: Some of these options may not be lighted up. That means that they are not available to you for this application or for your version of the OS.

There is even more good information available on this screen.

  • Storage – The total size of the application (this is NOT the same as the MEMORY used). The amount of storage used by the app and the data that the app stores. All of this can be valuable if you want to move some of the larger apps to the SD card to save on storage space.
  • Cache – The amount of space that the present app is using for caching frequently used data.
  • Permissions – The list of permissions that this app has been granted. This can help you decide whether the use of this app warrants the use of resources or the the possible loss of privacy due to the app sending data over the Internet.

As always, your comments, suggestions, and corrections are invited. The COMMENTS section follows below.

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