Blog / Keep your Smartphone Clean

Of course, I downloaded the APP onto my phone; we are in the technology business after all. During the installation process, the APP asked for permission to connect into other services on my phone; real-time location (via GPS), contact information, and other application-specific requirements.  If you want the APP to operate correctly, you have to enable these connections. So, like most people I allowed the APP to connect to these services.

Well, the conference is almost over, and so I don’t need the APP any longer.  Most people just forget about it – and may never use the APP again.  It sits on their phone on the back pages of the APP screens.  Glancing at several phone screens shows that most phones are littered with these unused and forgotten APPs.

Except they are not forgotten by your phone – or the APP designers.  Most of these custom APPs are built on platforms that already have a lot of the program code written – so-called program libraries.  The APP developer simply adds some customization for the specific (conference) requirements and in short order they have the APP ready to use by conference delegates.

These program libraries have a lot of hidden functionality and sophisticated routines to insure they gather all of the correct information about the delegates who install the APPs.The information gathering process can be continue long after the conference is over.

During the conference, I don’t mind this information being gathered and collated about me.  But, when the conference is over, I want to make sure the APP is completely removed from my phone.  I’m not sure the other delegates are as diligent, but they should be. The ongoing information-gathering concerns me – AND the APP is taking up unnecessary space and resources on my phone.

Removing an APP is not always easy.  I use an Android-based phone and here are the steps I had to take:

  1. Navigate to the System Settings
  2. Find the APPs folder
  3. Find the specific APP that I want to remove
  4. Select the APP and choose Uninstall

In this case, the APP was taking up about 65MB of storage space and was linked to several permissions in the phone’s system. At the same time, I took a quick scan of the other APPs installed on my phone.  The rest of it looked clean.  Then, I restarted the phone.

The last step – the restart – is often overlooked, but it’s important as portions of APP code can remain in memory even after the APP is removed.  Restarting the phone insures it’s completely removed. After all, your phone is a computer and we all know the first rule about computer glitches – have you rebooted it lately?

Now, if the APP could only help me with the 4-plus hour drive back to our offices, I might have kept it installed …

Dave White