Tablets and smartphones with their features are slowly taking the place of their older “colleagues”, desktop PCs, and as we are definitely entering a Post PC era customers are becoming aware that their tablets can be used for a big amount of tasks which were familiar only to desktop and laptop PCs. The hardware and software superiority of tablets and smartphones now, compared to those only 1-2 years ago, has open the door to a big jump in their functionality and general use. However, with the growth of options there are also some side effects.
Nobody likes the mentioned side effects, and it is often recommended to act preventive to protect yourself and neutralize the side effects on time so that your tablet can continue providing efficient solutions to your everyday needs. There is also a need to maintain the tablet operating system, and just as it is usual on a Windows PC to have some “utility” applications (tools which in different ways optimize, clean, accelerate processing time and generally enhance device work), it became pretty common to have the same habits on your Android tablet or smartphone.
Besides that, data security in this platform is very important, especially nowadays when the media attention is pointed towards different security oversights (Exynos 4 processors, for example). The list that follows includes some of the most popular and totally or partially free solutions, or to be more exact, packages with lots of tools which will help you to make sure your Android device stays in top form all the time.
Norton Security & Antivirus
Symantec is very well known, even more for older PC users which remember the times when their AV solutions and many other tools were some of the rare complete solutions on the market. Times changed, but Norton still managed to keep its reputation and move its popularity to the mobile platform. The fact that more than 5 million people downloaded their Mobile Security package as this text is being written shows how popular it is.
Norton Mobile Security Lite doesn’t offer the full set of options as the premium version does, but it is free, and it will still provide the basic protection of all Android tablets and smartphones. On the main screen of the application there are 5 shortcuts to the general categories, but only 2 of them are available in the Lite version.
The first is Anti-Malware-Secure which provides classic data scanning on the internal storage and memory card. This option is not always active, it is only a scanner which executes on user request or in predefined intervals (daily, weekly, monthly).
The second option is called Anti-Theft, and the name explains what is it about. To use this option you have to register on Norton’s service after which you get the ability to remotely control your device. This includes locking your device through SMS and locating your device on a map.
Norton Mobile Security Lite is a free application with a famous and proven name which provides the elementary protection and security for your tablet or smartphone.
Norton Mobile Utilities Lite
Security is only one aspect of an optimal operating system maintenance. The next thing is installing some utility tools which will help you do the rest of your maintenance job. Of course, Symantec is a veteran in this field, too, and their collection of tools, Norton Utilities and Task Killer, is one of the most popular on the Android platform and that is for a reason, because even on the free version you get a lot.
The first option is the Battery Saver which takes care about battery life and requirements needed to enhance it. In the first tab (Current Settings) you can find all relevant settings and it is possible, depending on the battery level, to define a profile with necessary actions. Unfortunately, creating a profile with detailed actions is available only in the premium version, so that the options available come down to shortcuts for WiFi, Auto-sync, Mobile Data, Bluetooth, vibrate, etc. The second tab, Apps Monitor, gives detailed information on which application or hardware used how much battery.
The next tool is related to the performance enhancement of your tablet and is called Speed Booster. Here you will be able to monitor all running applications and processes, their impact on memory, the processor and the internet protocol. You can select or deselect an app and than “kill” all of the selected apps or processes and free up necessary memory or processor resources. You can also kill all processes at once.
Plan Tracker will help you to constantly have a glimpse on the amount of used Megabytes, minutes or SMS messages, as well as to warn you when you enter the predefined critical point. You simply enter the monthly limit for all three parameters and the percentage at which the warning should appear and you can forget about checking and worrying, because you will informed on time about every change. Controlling the cost in roaming is available only in the premium version.
The last tools in this package enables you to manage your installed applications, and apart the standard options, there is also the option to move an app to the memory card as well as to delete multiple apps at once.
When you sum up all of the above, it is not difficult to conclude that you get a nice collection of useful tools, and even though there are limitations, the Lite version is more than functional.
GO Task Manager EX
This is a complete solution full of tools which will make it easy to manage all applications, services and device resources. The best things is that the free version is very functional.
Besides some standard options or tools which enable viewing all running processes and killing them which leads to a better performance, GO Task Manager EX has also the ability to scan the entire device for high risk applications, used installation packages, cache and unnecessary invalid and log files.
After any of the scan options available, it is possible to execute an automatic cleaning procedure which will enhance and increase the performance of the entire system. The migration of applications from internal storage to the memory card is another feature of this application.
The premium version brings additional features, but the Lite version is usually enough for everyday tablet maintenance.
GO Power Master
Go Power Master comes from the same “kitchen” as the previous tool, and brings lots of optimization tools for Android powered devices, too. Its main characteristics are a very clear and attractive interface which provides an intuitive handling of all options with a very high level of adjustments to your needs.
Battery life optimization is the main issue this tool handles with. Because of that you will find almost all options which can alter the state and generally influence the amount of used energy. There is a big number of segments of informative character which provide a detailed insight into what, for how long and when consumed the battery. It also provides a prediction on how long the device is going to be “awake” with the current usage tempo. There is an “Optimize” option which scans the system for relevant data, after the scan process completes, it shuts down unnecessary applications and gives suggestions about potential modules which can be turned off to increase battery life.
Another very useful option is to define your own profile or work module. You define parameters such as screen brightness, sound volume, WiFi, GSM, Bluetooth, etc. Every of the “Custom” can be renamed and than turned in a two step process whenever you need it.
The “Smart” section provides the ability to define conditions upon which the defined profiles will be activated. For example, if the battery level falls below a user defined value, a predefined profile will automatically be activated to increase battery life and to provide some extra amount of time which often can prove to be very important. Also, there is a task manager which keeps track of active applications and services and how much energy each of them eats up.
GO Power Master is a tool which will make your life easier and minimize the stress of having to charge your device when you desperately need it.
BitDefender Mobile Security & Antivirus
BitDefender is another very popular name from the Windows platform, which follows the trends and offers an Android powered application as well. To be more exact, it is a set of tools which take care of security aspects of your device and everything is free!
BitDefender Mobile Security consists of the Malware Scanner, Application Audit, Web Security, Anti-Theft and Event Viewer modules, which as a whole will make sure that your device is highly protected. Using the Malware scanner you can manually, at any moment, start a scan of all installed applications, even from your memory card. You will have to make sure to have an active internet connection because BitDefender compares the scan results with its own online database.
Another section of the app provides information about every installed application, and you can define filters based on parameters like, for example, is the application requiring web access or not.
Web Security protects you from accessing sites with potentially malicious content, but this works only if you are using the Android default browser. It appears that this option doesn’t work with other web browsers.
The Anti-Theft option will help you locate your lost device or lock it through the BitDefender online service. The Event viewer provides a list of all activities since the software was installed. This gives the user a chronological insight into when system scans were started together with detailed information about every activity.
BitDefender Power Tune-Up
This is another excellent and completely free package of useful tools which are related to battery life, cache and temp file cleaning and the entire data flow. It shares the visual identity of the BitDefender family which guarantees an easy and intuitive user interface.
All tools are separated into three categories, and at the first application start you will get a warning indicating that you should immediately start the optimization process which will scan the device system. Battery life management includes the ability to deactivate services, turn on/off certain modules (WiFi, Bluetooth, etc.) as well as some Economy options from the application itself which will boost battery life.
Clean-up consists of a scanner which looks fro unnecessary files on the internal and external storage and provides options for their removal.
Data Meter provides insights and the ability to track the data flow, and to enter a monthly maximum value and interval. These data is dynamically shown on a graph and a warning appears once you pass over the maximum threshold value.
When summing up the analyzed applications, it is apparent that there is a very big choice of tools which will protect your Android device from malicious software and make its everyday use easier, faster and more convenient. Many applications provide similar options while there are some which offer specific options, but are usually premium applications. In either case, a combination of a couple of utility tools is certainly recommended. There are even more tools which can do the job for you, but we didn’t mention them here. It is up to you to decide which fits your needs the best, we just tried to provide a couple of them so you can compare them and see what they’re usually meant for.
Guest article written by: Ensar Jusufovic is a 22 years old blogger and web developer. He mostly spends his time working on his best 7 inch tablet blog and striving to provide the best 7 inch tablet reviews, comparisons, tips and news. Interested in getting his advice on your blog? He’s always looking for the opportunity to share his knowledge with new communities! You can contact him by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
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