How to optimize and minimalize?

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  1. Daniel T

    Daniel T New Member

    Greetings all,

    I have a Moto Droid 3 with Verizon Wireless.
    I have the latest release with root using Motofail.
    I love the device in general, aside from a few things that could be better for me, personally.

    I have two specific goals:
    1. I want to optimize the device to the maximum extent possible with the applications and features that I need in order to do what I need with the phone. I don't play games on the phone, I don't do very much in the way of social media. However, I still find it extremely sluggish at times. Other times, it is more than tolerable; I'd say "acceptable."
    But I'm never 'wowed' by its performance, despite it was my understanding when I bought it that its hardware and software were designed to perform extremely well.
    Aside from having rooted, I'm not running much customization. In fact, the only thing added to the device's shell is Go Launcher Ex. I find that despite any latency with this interface, it is still far more responsive than the stock UI.

    I'm running a few other add-ons such as AdFree, Permissions Denied, and ES Task Manager.

    Still, I find the device extremely slow to respond at times.

    I'd like to remove absolutely everything that I do not need and is safe to remove. I'm not sure how to do this to the extent I want.
    I removed things that were included such as NFL, Blockbuster, and other similar apps. There are a lot of things that I don't know if it is safe to remove, though.
    ...which brings me to the second goal: I want to get rid of any and all data collection insofar as this is possible. I know full well that data mining and recording is part of the entire Android model. However, as long as removing something won't actually inhibit the functionality of my phone's basic operations, I want it gone. But I've been told that certain things you just cannot remove.

    I don't expect a lengthy instruction manual, but if there are any links to 'safe-to-remove-and-how-to' documents, I'd appreciate that.
    I ran through some removals with the help of one such list I found online, but I haven't found anything that can help me remove some of the more integral guts of the data collecting and monitoring that's built into Android.

    Lastly, if the frank answer is that I would need to switch away from Android, I am fully willing and able to do so. I would like to explore all my options, though, before I do that.

    I understand that this data tracking trend is only going to get more and more invasive as the merchants and developers realize they can get away with it, because the majority of users just don't have any objection to it. I think this is foolish, but that's just my opinion. Of course there may come a day when there is no option that does not mine my data... in such a circumstance my course of action would be to just keep only fictitious identity information on my phone so that I am not giving anything real.

    I appreciate any advice anyone can offer.

  2. Crashdamage

    Crashdamage Well-Known Member

    1. Since you're rooted, look for the lightest, most minimal ROM available for your phone. Anything not based on vanilla Android is a no-go. No Sense, Touchwiz, Motoblur, etc. If you use a vanilla ROM there's not really extra fat you need to remove.

    2. Get rid of GoLauncher. It's a friggin' bloated mess. Try lighter launchers like Nova or Zeam.

    3. If you really want true security and privacy, don't make phone calls, send texts, emails or use the internet. Otherwise it's pretty much impossible to do.
  3. Daniel T

    Daniel T New Member

    Thank you for your very useful advice, Crash. I do appreciate it, and I will look into some low profile ROMs. I'll also look into those other launchers, if I find wanting for them once I do a ROM.

    Much appreciated :)
  4. damewolf13

    damewolf13 live~laugh~love VIP Member

    Hey, Daniel.
    I have moved this thread into the Droid 3 'all things root' section of the forums for further discussion so that others there can comment in this thread.:)
  5. doogald

    doogald Guides Guide

    It's actually quite simple, and I will give you two different solutions. You can try both.

    1. Pete Souza wrote a script for an older release (5.6.890) that I find works fine with 5.7.906. It may give an error message, but it really does remove much of the bloatware, including the social apps, NFL, Blockbuster, etc.

    You can find it here, along with instructions:

    Basic instructions are to install an app from the market called ScriptManager - there is a link in that thread, but it's also here: ScriptManager. Also download the 5.6.890 script and unzip the file, and copy that file to the phone (either interna storage or an SD card.) Start the SManager app, find the file and load it. Make sure that the "SU" control on the top is turned on, and then run the script. It will ask a series of questions about what you want to keep, then restart the phone with the things that you didn't want to keep turned off.

    Another idea is to install the custom ROM Minimoto 1.45. It is here: Minimoto on

    In this case, I would suggest the following:

    - install Hashcode's Safestrap, which will allow you to keep your stock system safe while you install the custom ROM. There are two versions, but at this time, I suggest sticking with the 2.10 version. It's here: Safestrap

    Again, get the 2.10 version and copy to the phone.

    You will also need to get the file, from the link above, and copy to the phone.

    Use File Manager on the phone to find the safestrap.apk file that you downloaded and tap it - that should prompt to install it as an app. After installing it, run the Safestrap app and tap the button "Install Recovery". When you restart the phone, before the boot animation you will see a new Safestrap menu that stays for 10 seconds - press the menu button to start the Safestrap menu.

    After it starts, use the volume keys to scroll the menu to the Backup and Restore menu, using the power button to select the menu option, and backup your phone as it is (just in case). Go back to the main menu when this is complete.

    Go to the Safe Boot menu and toggle safe mode. This stores your current system files and data files away in a safe place and will allow you to install a custom ROM (toggling the safe mode off will restore the existing system back, so you can bring your phone back exactly as it was when you toggled safe mode on the first time).

    After safe mode toggles on, go back to the main menu. Choose "Wipe data/factory reset". When that completes, choose "Install zip from sd card", navigate to where you stored the file and select it. When that completes, restart the phone with "Reboot system now"

    The Safestrap menu will start again. You can press the Search button to get past the 10 second wait, and Minimoto will start. You will have to set the phone up again fron scratch.

    I've been running Minimoto for the last few weeks. It's faster, and for me, it uses less battery.
    Unicorn512 likes this.
  6. Unicorn512

    Unicorn512 Well-Known Member

    After reading this thread, I decided to try minimoto since my D3 seems to be getting slower and slower with age... (I had only rooted it and used TI to freeze unwanted apps)

    I followed the instructions (almost) and now have a strange situation.

    First, I installed SS3 (not SS2) and made a backup as instructed. I do not know if that makes any difference, since SS3 seems to be working pretty well. That went very smoothly, except I failed to remove the previous bootstrap recovery before I installed SS3 (I should not start these projects late at night...) I suspect this is the root of my problem.

    I installed minimoto and I like it and plan to make it my primary system. As promised, it is faster and generally more responsive.

    However; when I tried to activate my "unsafe" original system, I only get a blank screen. I tried to restore it from my backup, but that did not improve the situation.

    So now I am wondering what to do with the original system. Should I try to install something? Maybe a different ROM? Maybe take it back to stock?

    What happens if I backup my minimoto system and restore it as the primary "unsafe" system? Will that work?

    Is this even the right place to ask these questions?

    I am functioning fine right now, bu I am unsure of the best way to go.

    Any advice will be appreciated.
  7. bryan847

    bryan847 Well-Known Member

    well i am not sure why your problem is occurring, but you cannot transfer backups safely between non-safe and safe system. I would recommend either deal with it for now and use minimoto, or sbf.
  8. doogald

    doogald Guides Guide

    I'm actually not sure if it's possible to transfer the backup for a slot to the stock system. I haven't tried, and I'm really quite reluctant to.

    Have you tried this:

    - activate stock from Safestrap
    - restart and let it hang
    - pull the battery
    - replace the battery, slide open the keyboard, and start the phone while holding the "X" key.
    - when you see the triangle with the exclamation point, close the keyboard and press both volume buttons at the same time
    - this will show a blue text menu. Use volume down to go to "Wipe data/factory reset" and press the power button to select it
    - when that is done, reboot the phone

    Does that work?
  9. Unicorn512

    Unicorn512 Well-Known Member

    I tried the method you outlined, but got exactly the same results.

    The good news is that I no longer care very much if the "unsafe" stock (rooted) system works.

    I have installed minimoto twice. Once as version 1.5 (rom-slot-1) and again as version 1.6 (rom-slot-2) and I can switch between them easily.

    I much prefer the responsiveness of minimoto over the stock system.

    So for the time being, I am more than happy to continue as is. I might even try another ROM if one seems attractive.

    If it all turns bad, I expect I will have to SBF and start over from scratch.

  10. doogald

    doogald Guides Guide

    What may be interesting to try is for me to wipe data and back up my stock system, send it to you, and see if you can restore it. I actually have access to two D3s, so I may try that out...

    I am using Minimoto as well at the moment, with ADW EX as the launcher rather than Holo. (I didn't like Holo.) I do really like it. I'll just switch to stock if I ever travel and need to be able to control data roaming (Minimoto removes the data control stuff in Blur, and roaming is on by default. That's fine for me here in the US, but I definitely want to have better control of that if I travel outside the US.)
  11. Unicorn512

    Unicorn512 Well-Known Member

    No need to send me anything (thanks for the offer) since we also have two D3s. That original BOGO deal was too good to pass up! Anyway, my wife is less demanding of her smartphone and I kept hers completely stock and unrooted as a reference platform.

    If I have to, I can root it and do what you suggested.

    I am glad to know that minimoto plays well with a different launcher. So far, Holo is OK for me, but considering the way Safestrap works I might try restoring the latest minimoto to a different slot and trying different launchers.

    I am still getting things settled down, and I am searching for a way to set different notification sounds per application. I used to have different ones for my calendar and email notifications but so far I have only found one place (the system) to set notification sounds. The calendar is Business Calender and the email is K9. It's probably still there, but I haven't found it yet.
  12. doogald

    doogald Guides Guide

    Business Calendar has a spot where you can set notification sounds. Menu->more->settings. Scroll down to "General settings", tap "Edit Reminder Settings". You can set the ringtone there. You'll also want to go into the regular calendar app and turn off notifications there (so they don't double.)

    Of course, Minimoto has a very small number of ringtones. But you can copy your own from stock. Using something like root explorer, look in /system/media/audio. If there are any in there that you like, copy them to a /notifications or /ringtones folder (depending on which you want) on your SD card, and they will be available to all ROMs (though double-listed on the stock ROM.)

    I don't use K9 at the moment, but the notifications are set in the settings of that app somewhere. You'll have to look through the settings.
  13. Unicorn512

    Unicorn512 Well-Known Member

    Since finding out about Safestrap and minimoto last month, I have installed both and I am more than satisfied, and the coming update to Safestrap (SS) promises to make it even better.

    Minimoto (mm) is an enormous improvement over the stock DROID 3 ROM. The battery life is awesome, and the operation is smooth.

    If you are rooted (or want to be) this is what I would recommend to any DROID 3 user.

    With SS the transition from mm vers 1.5 to 1.7 was very easy.
    Step one - make backups of settings and desktop in Holo launcher
    Step two - take a full Titanium backup of apps
    Step three - allocate a new ROM slot with SS and install new mm there
    Step four - boot new mm and after usual Google sign-on, etc, download TI BKUP from store.
    Step five - restore all your apps from the TI BKUP (I always do Lookout last and separately so Lookout does not rescan each app again as TI puts it back. This speeds things up a little, although it works either way.)
    Step six - restore your Holo backups
    Step seven - redo widgets and some system settings like the lock screen, and sounds for specific apps (ringtone, notifications, etc.) You will also have to pair your D3 to any BT devices again.

    Total time from start to finish is under 45 minutes.

    I have been alternating between ROM slot 1 and 2 on each new mm version so I can always boot the previous version if something is missing or if I need to look at what I had before.

    The coming version of SS is supposed to have the ability to copy a "safe" system into the "non-safe" slot which is supposed to make everything run a little faster.

    This just gets better and better....

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