Update: Before you try any of the following, make sure you have the latest ROM update (2.73.405.5) from HTC (UK version here). This makes a huge difference to speed and is highly recommended.
Original article follows:
I love my HTC Hero Android phone, but one of it’s biggest criticisms is its speed (or lack of it), and occasional lags. I too had noticed these lags more and more.
Don’t automatically blame HTC Sense though. There are some simple things you can do which may give you a noticeable speed increase. Follow these steps in order, until you get the improvement you are after:
Uninstall the crap
If you’re like me, one of the first things you did when you got your new phone was to get straight on the Market and install every free app that looked fun. You’ve probably not used most of these more than once or twice, if at all, and half of them probably don’t even work properly.
Most of these apps won’t be causing any problem, but there’s a chance that some of them use up resources even when you don’t know they are running. Whether they are or not, it’s worth uninstalling them – it will save space and make your “All Programs” easier to navigate!
Open up the Market, tap “My Downloads”. You will see a list of all the apps you’ve installed. From here you can select them and tap “Uninstall”. While you’re there why not update any apps for which it says “Update available” – newer versions may well be better behaved with resources.
I uninstalled a fart app, a bubble-wrap popper, and a few more.
Tweak some settings
Many apps run in the backgroud. Generally this is a good thing as it can give some great functionality (such as notifying you of new tweets, or monitoring network usage), but they all use precious system resources.
Work out what’s running (most will offer notifications or have options like “open at startup” which should give you a clue), and decide whether you use the functionality. For example, the Babbler Facebook app can run in the background and give you notifications. This is great, but I get emails (and therefore gmail notifications) anyway so it’s not something I need. I reduced the frequency of Peep (Twitter client) updates, as I really didn’t need to know waht people are up to every 20 mins. I also set the contacts Facebook sync to every 12 hours.
Don’t forget all this widgets on your homepages se resources, so get rid of any you don’t use. The full page ones are nice, but is it much harder to open the app than to switch to that page (and wait for it to refresh)?
I don’t know how much of this made any significant difference, but if you don’t need it running, its definitely worth a go.
Search for a culprit
After trying all of the above, my Hero was still a bit slower than I would have liked. I decided there must by something causing the problem, and I eventually traced t down to a widget/app I had downloaded called QuickCalendar. It’s a great app (I wanted a homescreen widget that would display more than one calendar entry, and only from selected calendars), but unfortunaly has some bugs, and also seemed to be the culprit for my slowdown. I noticed a significant speed increase once I uninstalled this app. I would like to add that I’m not sure this was causing the issue – see the response from Jim in the comments.
It may take some trial and error to find the culprit. Try uninstalling or disabling one thing at a time and see if it makes any difference. It may of course be that there is nothing causing a problem and you’re just being impatient!
There are of course other things you could try. You could try switching to the standard home screen instead of TouchFlo, although I’m unconvinced it makes a difference. I also noticed that when my phone lost the Facebook login details (not sure what caused this) it seems a little bit faster. I may have been imagining it. Maybe it’s because I have over 500 Google contacts, and quite a lot of Facebook friends, and it was just a lot of data being syncronised? Either way, if you don’t use this feature much it might be worth disabling.
So, my phone is now much faster, and as an added bonus the battery life seems significantly better. Let me know how you get on if you try this.