How to use Android application preferences

Android application preferences

It’s Android’s 14th year of development. Since 2008 Android came a long way, from lagging behind iOS to leading the market by a comprehensive margin. This is happening on two fronts: hardware and software. Although Google did not focus much on the hardware front, it did some amazing things on the Android software front. App development took off with the introduction of the official Google marketplace. The apps on the Google Play Store are developed by thousands of developers across the globe. All these apps have different functionalities and importance in the end user’s life. Apps require the resources and data storage capabilities of smartphones. All the apps have a set of values known as preferences. These application preferences in android might have different meanings for developers and end-users. All the preferences are defined for the application and its usage. Different functions of a smartphone controlled by the end-user can invoke preferences that can be customized according to the usage.

Preferences in Android

Preferences work at two levels in the Android domain. First preferences are defined at the developer level and secondly changed by the users according to the utility. These are data types in the form of strings, Boolean, integers, etc. These are presented in the form of a pair. This pair contains the key and the value of the key.

An example of this key-value pair can be the password and its value. All these values and application preferences in android can be set with the help of the editor class. Classes are objects with the same level of attributes.

Resetting the app preferences

Android is full of applications that serve various purposes depending on the user’s goal. All these applications have a set of functions for which there are plenty of similar applications in the Google marketplace. All the default apps can be replaced with the better-updated version of apps from the play store. The biggest example is internet browsing on the phone. There is a default browser in every Android phone used to open hyperlinks and internet browsing. But users can choose to set the preference for opening links with a different browser, like Chrome or Opera. These apps have sub-features that make them unique while performing the same task. The additional or sub-features help users perform daily tasks with ease.

With the fixed set of preferences, the OS knows when to initialize an app upon requirement. This can be done for the inbuilt apps or the downloaded apps. These data sets help the smartphone understand the storage and execution requirements of every app and its function. With third-party apps, one disadvantage is data usage and resources required for execution. This might slow down the processing speed of the hardware due to multiple requests and overloading of the storage. To tackle this situation, Android has settings for the end-users to reset the app preferences without resetting the phone.

Setting Android application preferences assign the default app for data and processing instructions on the phone. There are plenty of resources like phones, GPS, storage, and access to the contact list. All these preferences are set through the manual action of the user. These preferences are set after the installation of any application. These are critical for the app to perform optimally without any errors. For example, social media apps require permission to show notifications and access the phone camera for photos. If disabled, the system won't allow these apps to show notifications or take pictures. All the preferences are stored according to the user. Resetting these preferences might also lead to permissions denial, for which a new notification will appear whenever a function in an app is triggered.

Resetting is the best way to revoke app permissions and let the system know about the new preferences set by the user. It can also help in making the smartphone faster in executing, as it prefers the basic applications that are inbuilt into the basic version of the OS. There are many versions of the Android phone market, but in general, these can be changed or modified according to the user's needs. This can be done by opening the settings page of the phone and taping the apps option.

General apps are categorized into default and installed apps. If reset, the app preference will reset all the settings of all the apps, irrespective of their origin. This will impact app access to resources and storage. But there is no direct impact on the data storage, as all the user-generated data will be secure. Preference reset only impacts the ability of the app to access various resources, hardware, or software.

Advantages of resetting Android preferences in the application

Android phones are constantly using system RAM and storage to run various apps. Most apps like social media are pre-installed on phones. At least the most popular ones do. All these apps have pre-defined preferences that are established once the user starts using them for the first time. These preferences may include storage permission or access to various hardware and software resources. As the phones are becoming faster by the day and new versions of Android are available in the market. The number of pre-installed apps is increasing as well. This can directly impact the performance of the phone while doing the important tasks.

Resetting the app preferences allows the phones to work faster by consuming less RAM and processing power. Although, it might become tedious to set new preferences again and again when the apps get opened after the reset for the first time. All these apps will ask for permission once the reset is done. For some functions default, apps will take over as the default preference without any prior permission. One such example can be the android browser. If the app preferences are reset, the Android browser will automatically open the hyperlinks when tapped. Irrespective of the previous preferred browser, lie Chrome or Opera default browser will open all the links. Users can always go back to their favorite apps without any problem.

Disadvantages of resetting app preferences

Android is so easy to use that when a new phone is purchased, apps start to work directly at the activity level; at least the newly developed ones do that. This happens after the user indulges in using the phone progressively. Apps on their own keep asking for permissions and settings one activity at a time. There is no bigger picture here for the whole OS, but individual apps in general. Apps require permission to access the phone camera, GPS, and contacts to work seamlessly.

All these permissions accumulate with time. These permissions are the reflection of the user preferences of each function and corresponding apps. Resetting these app preferences is like losing all the information associated with the apps and functions. This is the biggest and only disadvantage of resetting the app preferences.

Shared preferences

Android apps work at different levels. They perform activities and these activities can have further divisions. All these activities work individually and sometimes have common preferences with the other activities. These preferences that are common to all the activities are called shared preferences. These are key-value data strings that are defined for applications that are common for different activities.


From the display settings to the activity layer, app preferences are a way to define the apps for the OS. These preferences have different meanings for the developers and the users. Users can reset these app preferences anytime by changing the settings. This is both advantageous and disadvantageous in the long term. All the info like background process permissions, storage, and resource allocation for particular tasks get impacted. Developers can use the editor class to set and establish these preferences for various application levels and their activity levels. These data strings are vital.

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