Tag Archives: Laptop

iPod/iPhone running slow? Here’s how to fix it!

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Is your iOS device going slow?
Is your iOS device going slow?

OK so I’ve noticed I’ve been getting a lot of hits on a post I wrote months ago that mentioned speeding up iPhone (except that particular post was really only focused on speeding up an extremely slow upgrade to iOS version 4.0). So, to be more helpful — and because I know it has been super helpful to me since I learned this trick — I’d share how to speed up your iPhone or iPod when it’s running really slow!

First of all, I’d like to get to the root of the problem, and that is memory. People get confused about this, but it’s really quite simple once you get the hang of it. Just like on your desktop/laptop/netbook computer your iPod/iPhone has two different types of memory*. One is called RAM (Random Access Memory) and the other we’ll call Storage. Here is an example: I have an iPhone 3G and it is the 8GB model. The 8GB stands for the Storage capacity of the device, meaning it has the capacity to store 8 gigabytes of data — well it’s actually more like 6 and 3/4 GB as the iOS software takes up a bunch of space and the whole rounding/approximation thing, but moving on… The amount of RAM my iPhone has is standard for all iPhone 3G models and is 128 MB (megabytes). *note: I said two types, but there is also ROM, but no need to talk about that here…

I’ve heard it described like this (skimming AM stations, I heard this from a woman hosting a tech-help program answering a call from a woman wanting to know how to impress her husband with computer knowledge):
RAM is like a man’s memory… He’s pretty good at remembering things for a short time, but he can only handle so many things at once. Once his memory is full he’s gotta let stuff go to make room for new stuff…
Storage is like a woman’s memory… She never forgets anything. Her and her husband have an argument and he thinks he’s got the upper-hand until she reminds him about that one time — 10 years ago — when he forgot the anniversary of the first time they kissed…

Or you could think of it like this: you’re taking a math exam (no, you’re not really, calm down) and you use RAM — in the form of scrap paper and a pencil — to work out the problems until you’re comfortable with your solution, and you record that in the Storage — in this case the actual exam you will be submitting.

So to recap real quick: RAM = short term, Storage = long term.

Why does this matter? Because if you iPhone/iPod (or computer or whatever) is running much slower than it would normally operate, chances are that your RAM is at max capacity and the device is out of room to process data. When you have programs running on your device, they use RAM during their operation, when the programs are closed, they no longer use RAM — or at least they shouldn’t. And there is the solution to our problem!

You can blame poor programming! Why? Well it’s easier that way… that and you’re memory is probably being eaten up by a poorly coded program that has memory leaks (that just means they didn’t properly clean-up the memory they used before the program closed). Although if you are using a device that allows multitasking (3rd generation devices and newer), you may want to make sure you don’t have a bunch of apps running in the background…

Enough about memory, how do I fix it already?! OK, fine, I’ll get to the point: you need to free up the memory! But how you ask? Well there are a few ways… one is to turn the phone off and back on again. This will free up all the memory as the device powers down and leave the regular available memory once it’s finished booting. OR you can get an app that will free up the memory for you!

I’ve had an app for some time called “Memory Sweep” which I cannot seem to find in the App Store anymore, but I did find one similar called “Free Memory for iPhone and iPod Touch”… I didn’t buy it since the old app works just fine for me, but I would assume this one works based on the reviews and such…

Basically all you do is run the app, it tells you how much memory is being used, and try to free some up. It works like a charm for me!

Anything else I need to know? Yes… Keep in mind the amount of RAM you can free-up depends on the device (see chart below) and also know that some of that (a good amount actually) is being used up by the operating system — iOS.

iOS Device Specs Chart
iOS Device Specs Chart

But what about… removing apps, deleting old text messages / emails / voicemails, removing music/videos that aren’t needed, etc.? Won’t that help speed things up?! Those things all have to do with Storage memory and not RAM (well not directly). Freeing up storage memory will not really fix your RAM usage problem, but it will help speed up an update/upgrade of the device operating system (keep in mind as 4.3 is supposed to be released this Friday) since the less storage space being used by the device means the less time it takes to back it all up on the computer before the upgrade…
I hope this was helpful. Please leave a comment if you have any questions. Thanks!

**Disclaimer: I am not responsible for any harm or damage done to your device by any app you use, including ones I mentioned above. You are a human being capable of thinking and making decisions for yourself, so use your best judgment. If something happens to go wrong — which it shouldn’t — you need to contact the app developer and/or Apple.**

 

 

New year – clean start?

I think it’s about time for a fresh start for my laptop.

I have had Windows XP (used about 10% of the time), Windows Vista (used only one time, literally), and Ubuntu 9.10 (upgraded gradually from 7.04) for several years now.

Vista is just wasting 50GB of disk space, Windows is becoming bogged down (as windows does over time), and I think I am ready to change from 32 bit Ubuntu to 64 bit.

I am not sure when I will have time for all of this, but hopefully in a few weeks. I’ll keep you all posted.

Perhaps this will be motivation for a new tutorial on dual-boot installation of Ubuntu and Windows.