Whatever you do, don’t call this post Optimizing Android 2.3 for Games, Graphics and Multimedia. I’ll kick your… nevermind.
But of course the first thing I wanted after I installed Cyanogenmod 7.2–which is based on Android 2.3.7–on my Nook Color was to make it run smoother and faster. What else would I want? So here’s some stuff I did, since adding three CPU cores obviously isn’t an option.
From the home screen, tap the Launcher icon in the middle of the dock on the bottom that brings up all your applications. (Has anyone else noticed it looks suspiciously like the new tiled Windows logo?) Then tap Settings. We’ll be hanging out there for a while.
Under Cyanogenmod Settings, there’s an option called Performance. Tap OK to the warning. I unchecked Enable Surface Dithering and checked Use 16 bit transparency. Fast graphics are more important to me than pretty graphics when I only have 800 MHz to work with. I also checked Disable boot animation. Under CPU Settings, you can choose various performance profiles. It may be coincidence, but changing that from the default seemed to harm stability. Then again, supposedly Cyanogenmod is a little wonky anyway until it’s had a day or two to burn in. So I’ll revisit that in a couple of days.
Changing pretty much any of these settings requires a reboot, so answer later when prompted. There’s no need to reboot 14 times.
Go back a step and tap Display. There, you can disable Screen-on animation, Screen-off animation, and/or Rotation animation. I disabled all of them.
Go back two more steps and tap Display. Under the dropdown labeled Animation, I unchecked all of the options.
I also went back a step and changed the Screen timeout, because I found the default annoying. I guess that speeds the tablet up, but it certainly speeds me up not having to constantly unlock it.
Then there’s the Nook Tweaks app, which you can install from the Google Play store. (It’s free, don’t worry). Install that, then run it. Tap Display Settings, and de-select Enable 32-bit framebuffer. We’re after speed, not looks.
You can also use Nook Tweaks to overclock your CPU. I’m not a fan of overclocking; once the device has settled down I may try overclocking it 100-200 MHz to see if it helps much. I did drop the minimum speed down to 100 MHz so the CPU can idle while I’m reading stuff. After you change CPU settings in Nook Tweaks, you have to go back into Cyanogenmod Settings, then go to Performance, then CPU Settings, and adjust the CPU’s minimum and maximum frequencies to match what you set in Nook Tweaks.
Finally, go back to the Launcher and run Spare Parts. There, you’ll find options titled Window animations, Transition animations, and Fancy input animations. Mine were all disabled, but if yours aren’t, turning those off will help.
Those are the settings I found in my first few hours with Cyanogenmod 7.2 to help performance. It doesn’t turn my Nook Color into a Nexus 7, but it did make it more comfortable to use.
A higher-end tablet with more CPU cores and a faster GPU would handle these visual effects better, but then again, I turn off all of Windows 7’s visual effects even on my high-end desktop hardware because it makes it run faster.