Some users swear by it, some call it a glorified snake oil that does more harm than good. That can be said about any snake oil, but what specific brand of snake oil can boast almost a billion downloads around the world?
- Junk cleaner can delete cache files on demand or on a schedule.
- Comes with a built-in antivirus.
- Can prevent applications from running in the background to save battery life.
- Applock and App manager can password protect applications or back them up.
- Game booster marginally reduces game loading times.
- Combines multiple functions in one application.
- Can automate deletion of piling up cache files.
- Individually, every function of this app falls short in quality to dedicated competitors.
- Includes an excessive amount of advertisement.
- Its promotions and offers for other applications by the same publisher can easily have it classified as nag-ware altogether.
- The core feature of the application – freeing RAM – accomplishes nothing towards improving performance.
I’ve known about clean master since possibly before it was even created and never cared to try it out until I decided to review it. Yes, I said before it was created, because to me it’s just a more commercially successful rendition of the same app that has existed since before even Android did. The app promises to increase the performance of your phone, and in the past mainly explained it by “freeing up your ram”. Of course, freeing up RAM on a Linux based operating system doesn’t accomplish anything, since the Linux Kernel makes a special use of RAM not being actively used by storing cached processes in it, for quicker access later. It appears this common criticism has led Cheetah Mobile, the company behind Clean Master, to revise their marketing of the app and list the “Boost Mobile” feature as second-last in the app’s page on the Play Store. With the once core feature of the app now pushed to the back, are the new features worth downloading the app for? I personally would say otherwise. The Junk Cleaner can easily be replaced by emptying your phone’s cache in the settings, ironically, saving you the resources Clean Master would otherwise be taking up. The app also comes with an Anti-Virus, which is possibly the app’s only redeeming feature. Although as an antivirus, this part of the app isn’t bad per se, it isn’t the best either. It falls behind better antivirus software for the Android OS, some paid like BitDefender, some free like Norton and Avast, all of which offer more features Clean Master as an antivirus lacks, such as call blocking, parental controls, secure VPN, etc. Yes, this isn’t a security application, but if I’m going to install one, it won’t be Clean Master for these reasons. The other majorly advertised feature of the app is the battery saver. They claim it works is through hibernating background apps, limiting their activity. The problem with this is that Android already does this for apps. Remember the cached processes I said Android fills the unused RAM with? Yeah, that’s basically hibernating inactive apps, in a more efficient way that doesn’t mess with notifications or cause crashes, which CM does cause. Of course, if Android’s native power saving functions don’t satisfy your needs, Greenify accomplishes what Clean Master claims to without the intrusive apps and the extra bloat. This highly critical review isn’t saying the app is entirely useless, however. The things it says it does, aside from “saving ram” it actually does, even if it isn’t the best at doing them. Additionally, it has features for backing up applications, adds the ability to exclude certain apps from cache wipes, allows you to add a quick access widget for cache clearing and comes with an app and picture locker for privacy.