Super-lightweight android apps?
May 19, 2015 2:57 AM   Subscribe

I am about to try and put a jellybean rom on a 2010 cellphone presently running android 1.6. An updated version of android isn't going to change the hardware though, so I need the lightest apps available. Or perhaps it's even better to not upgrade and there are markets with old versions of software or new software for old OS verisons? Join me inside please.

So I bought an Xperia X10 Pro Mini. It's a beautiful little phone, but is about 5 years old. It's got a 1ghz processor and a half gig ram which isn't too bad even still I think? There's an active development community and it seems you can get jellybean on there, but would that not leave even less resources for software?

TLDR: should I upgrade to jellbean (or something else?) / either way, what are the most resource stingy apps in each of the main categories (media, browser, maps etc). How can my new phone be the very best, like noone ever was?
posted by Iteki to Technology (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I forget which it is right now (too early in the morning for my brain to recall such minutiae) but either JB or KK was touted by Google as being able to run on 512MB phones destined for developing markets. I want to say it was KitKat, actually, but don't quote me on that.

The 1GHz should be fine, and at least in the past, Nova Launcher was pretty easy on the memory. Just don't try to use the Facebook app. That thing sucks resources of all kinds like there's no tomorrow.
posted by wierdo at 5:22 AM on May 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

You should be able to go to any app's reviews in the play store and filter them so you can only see reviews written by people who have your phone. That would probably help you figure out which apps are safe to use.

It might also help to download apps one at a time so you can see how your phone handles them, rather than binge downloading and having to pinpoint which one is slowing you down.
posted by blackzinfandel at 6:09 AM on May 19, 2015 [2 favorites]

I would consider researching this question on the XDA forums..

I think you have to consider which apps are light so to speak, but that is only vis a vis themselves. You also need to look at apps in conjunction with other apps. You may have to prioritize a running order for your apps or actually go and close out, stop running, an app after you open it.
posted by AugustWest at 6:27 AM on May 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

Google is not supporting Webview for older versions of Android any more, and a lot of things are built on top of Webview. Firefox is not, but it's not a great browsing experience on Android yet. As time goes on, other vulnerabilities will be discovered and not patched, so I would recommend looking at something modern that can run Lollipop. I know the pain of losing a physical keyboard but running obsolete software on cell phones is becoming increasingly unsafe.
posted by Candleman at 7:25 AM on May 19, 2015

but either JB or KK was touted by Google as being able to run on 512MB phones destined for developing markets.

It was kitkat. Kitkat will make your phone run faster with the same apps, due to the lower overhead.

Just install new apps. The old ones will be glitchy or unsupported by the web services they tie in to, and all the big ones like Facebook and spotify target lower end phones, not like, the galaxy s6. Outside of high performance games or higher end photo editing type apps you should be fine.

And keep in mind Facebook runs like crap even on the latest snapdragon 8xx powered phones with six times as much ram. In a way, you're still getting the cutting edge experience!
posted by emptythought at 3:20 PM on May 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Ok, so running old apps on an old OS is a security no-no, so that's out.
Steer clear of FB app altogether, I guess I can use ifttt for notifications.

Kitkat sounds better than JB for me but as I say, this is a five year old phone, there isn't a kitkat ro,, i will have to make do. What I am not clear on though is if I will be able to get to the market/play store etc on older OSs. I was running gingerbread on an old phone here and couldn't get into the market to get any apps. Or perhaps I misunderstood?
posted by Iteki at 3:12 PM on May 20, 2015

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