When I first got my Blackberry Storm, I loved it. I was upgrading from a boring flip phone (a KRZR), so maybe my standards were low. But the touch screen, the browser, and all the other bells and whistles just did it for me.
That was until it started to lag. Bad.
I’d heard other people complain about lag, but when I first got my Storm I didn’t understand what they were talking about. It unlocked and locked quickly, and the screen flipped from horizontal to vertical without much delay.
But one day, without any real notice, that all changed. When I took my phone off lock, it would take 5 to 10 seconds before I could do anything. Switching from horizontal to vertical orientation seemed to take forever. I was at a loss for a reason, but I knew that this lag was making my Storm next to useless…
What Causes This Lag?
I did some research, and I figured out (at least in my case) what causes this lag.
The Blackberry Storm has a certain amount of “Application Memory.” For practical purposes, this is like RAM or working memory in a computer. When there isn’t enough free memory, the device becomes sluggish.
When it’s running in optimal condition, your device probably has somewhere around 25 to 35 mb of free application memory. You can check this by going to “Options” and “Memory.” The amount of application memory available is listed at the bottom.
The problem is that certain applications are bad about freeing up the memory that they’ve used, even when the applications are no longer in use. Because of these memory leaks, that 25mb can slowly creep down to 20, 10, or 5 mb. At that point, your device will lag unbearably, and you’ll be ready to tear your hair out.
You need to do a hard reset of the device. Yet for some bizarre reason, the menu doesn’t let you really power down the device and start it up – as if you were rebooting your computer.
Instead, the “Power Off” options in the menu just put your device to sleep. Doing this preserves all the stuff in memory, so any used application memory will remain used when the device wakes up.
One (rather annoying) method to reset your device is to pull the battery out for a few minutes. When you re-insert the battery, the working memory will have been wiped and your Storm will start up as good as new.
Why Isn’t There a Menu Option for This?
Good question. The device certainly has the capability to completely reset itself and clear out the working memory.
When you install a new application, your device will likely prompt you to reset itself. I found that this type of reboot will clear out the working memory and free up any Application Memory that was lost by a broken application.
Thankfully, though, there’s a third party option that will do this for you on a regular basis. You want to download and install the free application Quickpull.
You can run this application any time you want to free up your Application Memory. Better yet, you can set the application to automatically reset the phone on a daily basis. I have mine set to reboot about an hour before I wake up, so my Blackberry is always ready to go when I get out of bed.
Bottom Line: To End the Lag, Clear Your Memory
It’s a shame that there isn’t a built-in option in the OS to completely reboot your phone. But the bottom line is that you will have to reboot your phone from time to time. You’ll either need to manually reset it by pulling out the battery, or you’ll need to use an application like Quickpull.
An added bonus to using Quickpull is that it warns you when your application memory starts to dip. This helps identify those problem applications. I’ve found that for me, the two biggest culprits are Google Maps and the Browser. Since I can’t eliminate either of those applications, I’ll just have to settle for rebooting my phone on the daily.