There are dozens of clean-up and tune-up tools for Android and if you do not have one installed on your phone or tablet, you should consider adding one of these two. But which one is best?

There is so much choice that it is difficult to decide which Android clean-up and tune-up app to go for. Several have been looked at here at RAW Apps, including Z Speed+ and Clean Master Lite. Some tools are multifunction, such as 360 Security Lite, which combines security with memory and storage boosting tools.

Some phones have clean-up tools bundled with them and the Samsung Galaxy S6 is one of them. If your phone does not have built in optimisation tools, then on test here are three free Android apps that aim to keep your phone’s storage and memory clear of junk and to free up space. This will help them to run more smoothly.

 

Systweak Android Cleaner

This app has a nice interface that looks good and when it starts up it displays the storage used and the amount that is free. This is useful and you can keep an eye on the ever dwindling storage as you add more apps, music, photos and videos.

There is a simple Phone Boost button that optimises the device and it performs several useful actions. It stops background services running and it clears their caches.

In the lower part of the screen are four buttons and Junk Files scans the system for unnecessary files and these include temporary files, unused folders, application caches and others. Each of these can be opened to view the items that are selected for deletion and you have the opportunity to deselect any you want to keep.

There is an option to display the 10 largest files on the device, but I didn’t find this helpful. It isn’t automatically selected and it can be ignored.

Android Cleaner  Systweak Android Cleaner

Storage Manager shows how much storage space is being used by pictures, music, videos, documents, big files and downloaded files. You can open each of these categories to view the individual files and select them and delete them. It looks good and works well, but most of the files are there for a reason and you probably won’t want to delete them, such as music or pictures.

App manager displays a list of all the installed apps and you can see their sizes. There is an uninstall button to remove them and also an archive button. Archiving saves a backup of the app’s installation files. I’m not sure what function that serves because apps can always be reinstalled from the Google Play Store anyway.

There is a Battery Saver function that sets various system settings to reduce power consumption, such as Bluetooth, background services, auto-sync, screen brightness and timeout.

Systweak Android Cleaner has some good features and it is useful being able to see and select/deselect items for deletion when cleaning up. It is a bit conservative in its optimisation and the other tools find and clean more. However, it looks good and works OK.

TitleSystweak Android Cleaner
Price: Free
Developer: Systweak Software

 

Smart Booster

Smart Booster’s home screen has a large display of the total memory and the free memory available. The more memory that a device has, the more Android will use, and so it always looks like it is short of memory. It is just Android making use of what is available and letting memory go unused is a waste.

Tapping the indicator shows a list of apps and services, and you can see what is using the memory. This is useful and there are button to kill all of them or to boost the system. Apps and services can be whitelisted to prevent them from being stopped and you definitely need to do this because some are useful.

An Analyse link on the home screen scans for caches, downloaded files and orphan files. These can be selected and cleared, but before doing that, you can inspect the list of items found. Individual apps cannot be deselected and all caches are cleared or none is.

There is quite a useful display of the device’s storage and applications, music, photos, videos, cache, and others are displayed as a bar. The longer the bar, the more storage is used. Tapping category such as Others enables you to view the items it contains.

Smart Booster  Smart Booster for Android

Tapping Applications offers several useful options. Backup and uninstall enables unused apps to be archived and then deleted. Why save them? You could simply reinstall them from the Google Play Store.

The Hibernate feature is useful and apps can be stopped until you actually run them. This prevents them from running in the background and using processor and battery power when you are not using them. Some phones, such as the Samsung Galaxy S6 do this automatically, but Smart Booster provides this feature for apps that do not have this feature.

It is possible to disable system apps and remove them from the launcher so they are not run. Apps that automatically start when the phone or tablet is switched on can be prevented from running. This is a useful feature because lots of apps start automatically and use memory and battery power. This stops them.

A Privacy Advisor shows apps that are high risk and normal. High risk ones are those with permission to access too much, including your identity and other information. Facebook and Facebook messenger were listed as high risk, but what can you do? Deleting them is not an option for most people. It can still be useful to see high risk apps though.

Smart Booster has some good features and clean-up tools.

TitleSmart Booster
Price: Free
Developer: AntTek Mobile

 

The Verdict

These apps free up storage by deleting caches and this can free up quite a bit of space, although it depends on the apps you use. Caches are rebuilt the next time apps are run, so it is impossible to get rid of them. They are actually useful too, and they can speed up apps. Clearing them is a temporary fix for low space on your phone or tablet and it can be useful in some circumstances.

Memory can be cleared, which is another temporary fix because running apps will just fill the memory again. There may be some benefit on devices with limited memory though.

I liked Smart Booster better because it frees more storage and memory. In the settings it has four levels of boost from gentle to aggressive and this provides a greater degree of control. It also has features to hibernate apps, disable system apps, and prevent apps from auto starting. It can ignore recently used apps, which is useful if you are multitasking and switching from one app to another. The device can be automatically boosted when the screen is switched off.