Wednesday, May 27, 2015

How to overcome low memory problems in Android one (Micromax Canvas A1) Phones

Micromax Canvas A1 is a beautiful Android one phone, compact, snappy and delightful. Having come from Samsung Galaxy S3, which I used for 2 years, this phone to my surprise surpassed S3 in performances, almost never hangs, never makes you wait for display to come up, responds almost instantaneously, display doesn't blackout, good battery performance, and good GPRS, GPS performance too.

My only gripe with the phone was low user memory (about 2.6GB) for installing apps. Soon after starting to use the phone, you start getting message "low memory warning: can't install any more apps", while trying to install new apps! Here's how I overcome it, and it's sure to work on any android phone, with suitable modifications. You need to root the phone, which is involved with it's own risks and voids warranty)

Step 1: root your phone.
Rooting involves risks of permanently damaging the phone (bricking) and also voids the warranty. So, unless you have prior experience (of damaging the devices and bearing the stress of unsuccessful attempts) don't try it.

  1. To root, first install ADB and fastboot in your desktop. a quick guide is here. In linux, it's as easy as just as easy as issuing two commands: 
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:phablet-team/tools && sudo apt-get update 
    sudo apt-get install android-tools-adb android-tools-fastboot
  2. Follow this rooting guide. the steps are: 
  • Enable USB debugging from: settings->developer options
  • Download SuperSU and Phils touch recovery
  • Connect to PC. If a popup appears, click 'always allow'
  • Now, in a terminal type:
    adb reboot bootloader
  • when it reboots into bootloader mode type:
    fastboot oem unlock  and 
    fastboot format userdata  
    (you will lose your data in the phone, so backup)
  • now go to the foder you downloaded recovery and type:
    fastboot flash recovery recovery.img
    then :
    fastboot reboot
  • phone reboots. Now copy the superSu Zip to your phone. and reboot into recovery by:
  • switch off the phone
  • restart simultaneously pressing volume up and power button, then select option recovery and select. 
  • Now select install zip, select the superSu zip file. 
  • Restart. 
Step 2: For some reason, I had to install cyanogenmod ROM. the link2sd app didnt work from stock ROM.
Download cm12.1, GAPPS reboot into recovery, wipe phone, install , first ROM then GAPPS.

Now, reboot into the new ROM.

step 3: partition sdcard
You can do it using desktop. but as i didnt have microSD adaptor, i did it in phone itself! using AParted app.
I had a 16GB SD card, which I partitioned as a 12+GB FAT32 first partition (which is recognised by phone to be used as normal SD card) and a 3+GB ext2 (dont make it ext3 or 4. they dont work with link2sd.) which is to be used exclusively by link2sd and not used by phone ROM at all.

step 4:install link2sd and link all apps.
install Link2SD app. As you open it, it lists apps in your phone, filter those on internal. from menu,  select multi select, select all using menu button, then from menu select Link to SD card.
Now go to settings, select Auto link. and in auto link settings, select all except internal data.

Done! Now apps are actually stored in the second partition of SD card, the phone is made to think, it's in the internal memory itself by placing a simlink in the internal memory. so instead of 2.6GB memory for Apps, Now I have 2.6+3=5.6GB, and low memory warnings are gone for ever!

from Link2SD storage info. 
from settings->storage.