Be in Control at Start Up. Mostly.

Even if you’re using anti-virus and anti-malware (which you should be), programs you choose to install make choices for you about when they will run, often based on assumptions made by the application’s creator.

A lot of the time, you agree with this assessment; for example, you want instant access to your email, so the fact that it’s available at start time is a bonus. However, if you have other programs that are making the same choice to start at start time that you don’t use unless you specifically want to open them, they are using up real-estate in the notification area of your device (that they are on and active) and they are eating some memory/cpu usage to keep the thread of that app alive just in case you want to use it.

As I’ve been tinkering with Ingress, Voice Assistants, and investigating macros for my phone (long story to be revealed in another blog post, soon) and Lions and Tigers and Bears (oh my) I suddenly find I have a lot of stuff running on start up.

There are a few ways to handle this:

  1. Disable it on start up in the program itself
  2. Remove it from your device
  3. Use a program to manage your start up items.

#1 and #2 are somewhat related. Obviously you only want apps on your device you actually WANT on your device. However, if you don’t use an app very often, it’s worth your while to uninstall it and only install it when you need it.

However, as noted, you probably want that app; in this case, open the app and review the settings. Often there is an option to disable the app on start up.

Some apps, such as the voice assistant apps I reviewed before, are designed to run on start up as the designers of the program rather assumed you’d be using them all the time. If you want a faster boot time, or more resources such as cpu or memory for faster response on your phone, then you might not want those apps to open automatically, but instead to only function when you specifically select them. Most of these apps, and some just random apps, don’t have a method to easily disable them on start up, either because the creator didn’t expect you to want to disable on start up or because they just didn’t think about the fact the app would run every time you started up…for example, I have a tutorial on the game Bad Piggies which apparently starts up each time with my phone, just in case I have Bad Piggy issues at any time day or night.

I love puzzle games, but I get stuck a lot. So I don’t want to uninstall the tutorial, and there’s no setting to turn it off at start up. Which leads us to #3 above: apps for managing start up.

Now I’ve done some searching on Google and on the settings section of Grace, my Samsung Galaxy S3 running Jellybean 4.1, but I have not been able to find a system wide application by default on the device that will help me manage the apps that start up when the phone boots up. If you, dear readers, know of one, please share!

In the meantime, I’ve done a little digging in the Google Play store and came across these three programs:

Yes, if you’re noting it looks like I wrote the same thing twice, you are almost correct–one has a space in “Startup” and the other does not. They are two completely different programs.

Based on “does it actually make things not show up on start up” the winner is StartUp Manager (no space). Start Up Cleaner Pro had no appreciable difference on my machine. Start Up Manager (space) did cause some programs to stop starting up, but not all, and there was no rhyme or reason relating to why. The programs I was trying to shut off on start up for all three were Tasker, Robin and Sprint Zone.

StartUp Manager (no space) also had a lot of other nifty settings options, like showing boot time (which you could use before and after you use the program), enable silent boot (never have your phone announce itself loudly in a meeting again when you forgot to turn the sound down before you turned it on!) and Show Items that couldn’t be disabled…for you folks that might want to know the thing is doing it’s job, just some apps can’t be turned off on start up.

Both StartUp (no space) and Start Up (space) allow you to specify items you DO want to open when your system starts up (in case those apps don’t automagically offer the option).

Note, my review is for the free version of all of these apps. I am sufficiently pleased with StartUp Manager (no space) that I’m probably going to purchase the upgraded version, because I am not a huge fan of ads (which all three products use to supplement the free price).

So there you have it. Kinda boring, but also kinda cool; I love watching my boot time shrink with each tinker I make to my phone (and still having my phone work).

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Be in Control at Start Up. Mostly.

  1. Pingback: Be In Control At Start Up. Mostly |

  2. Pingback: Spring Cleaning | Screaming At Electric Sheep

  3. Pingback: Spring Cleaning Done Right By Lori Priebe | Android Dissected

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