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Roku buyer’s guide: Which Roku streaming device is right for you?


Roku buyer's guide - Roku Premiere

If you’ve done any video streaming in the past decade, odds are you’ve at least heard of Roku. The company’s set-top boxes rose to popularity alongside streaming giant Netflix, and at one point the two companies were actually connected.

Today Roku still offers set-top boxes, now with 4K streaming support, HDR, surround sound, and more. It also competes with Google’s Chromecast and Amazon’s Fire TV with its smaller streaming sticks. Roku even has deals with multiple TV manufacturers around the globe to release smart TVs under its Roku TV brand.

This means that for newcomers to Roku, it can be confusing knowing which device to buy. To help, we have put together this comprehensive Roku buyer’s guide, with information on each of the company’s offerings, as well as some background on the company and platform.


What is Roku?

what is roku

Roku is a line of set-top boxes, streaming sticks, and smart TVs that enable media streaming from a variety of online platforms. The set-top boxes paved the way for the small, inexpensive streaming sticks that millions of consumers around the world now use to watch Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, and others.

The first Roku device, released in 2008, was developed in collaboration with Netflix, which started its online streaming business a year earlier in 2007. Rather than release it under the Netflix brand, it was spun-off into a separate company to avoid any potential licensing issues.

Roku devices were ahead of the curve in 2010, offering HD streaming with the Roku HD-XR, at a time few streaming services supported it. In 2015, the Roku 4 was released: the first device to support UHD (4K) streaming.

Related: Does Amazon Prime Video support 4K resolution?

Since then, Roku has expanded its offerings to include a range of devices at varying price points. One of the main things that separates them from competitors is support for nearly all streaming platforms and an included remote control.

Why is it called Roku? What does Roku mean?

The origin of the brand name comes from the company’s founder Anthony Wood. The word Roku means six in Japanese, and it was the sixth company he started. Wood still remains the CEO and Chairman of Roku, inc. in 2020.

How do Roku devices work?

Roku Streaming Stick Plus 2019Using a Roku device is simple. All you need to do is plug it in, log into your Roku account (or create one for free), and select the content you want to stream. Roku separates content into channels, which can be a TV network, a website, an application, or a streaming service like Netflix.

Depending on where you live in the world, you will have access to a few Roku channels for free. There is no subscription fee involved, and as long as you own a working Roku device, you can stream these channels free of charge. One of them is the Roku Channel, which has a small selection of movies and shows and is permanently free.

Once you boot up your Roku stick, you can use the remote to select which channel to watch, add or subscribe to channels on your account, or search for content to watch. One great feature of Roku devices is that once you set up your channels, you can search for content across all of them at once, instead of browsing each individual library separately.

If the content you want to watch isn’t on one of your channels, Roku will even show you the cheapest way to watch it.

Best Roku channels

There are literally thousands of channels on Roku, with a huge selection of both free and premium channels for kids and adults alike. Below we’ve listed some of the best Roku channels to give you an idea of what’s available on the platform.

  • Apple TV Plus — Apple’s platform is filled with exclusive TV shows and movies, available for a small subscription fee.
  • Crackle — This free ad-supported platform has a solid list of popular movies that rotates frequently.
  • CuriosityStream — A subscription streaming service filled with great documentaries and other non-fiction content.
  • Disney Plus — Disney’s subscription service includes all of its animated classics, as well as the Pixar, Marvel, Nat Geo, and Star Wars catalogs.
  • HBO — HBO’s impressive library of original TV shows and movies is available for a monthly fee, but the expanded HBO Max catalog is not supported.
  • Hulu — A great selection of TV shows and some movies, with both ad-supported and ad-free plans available.
  • MLB.tv — One of many subscription sports channels on Roku, enabling streaming of all Major League Baseball games.
  • Netflix — The largest subscription streaming service in the world. Streaming quality depends on which subscription plan you choose.
  • PBS Kids — Free access to classic kids programming like Sesame Street, Arthur, and The Electric Company, with no ads or interruptions.
  • Prime Video — Amazon’s service includes a library of content behind a subscription fee, as well as the ability to buy and rent individual titles.
  • The Roku Channel — Free, ad-supported access to a rotating list of movies and TV shows.
  • Twitch — The most popular video game streaming platform available free of charge. Streamers may run ads, and in-app subscriptions are available.
  • YouTube — The largest video platform functions largely the same as the phone app or website, allowing you to stream well over a billion hours of content free of charge.

What about DVR?

Roku DVR options YouTube TV

Roku devices are fairly low-cost streaming options, and as such don’t have DVR capabilities built-in. Most have very little onboard storage. Only the more expensive models like the Roku Ultra offer SD card memory expansion.

However, in today’s age of streaming ubiquity, there is another way to get DVR on your Roku device — cloud DVR. Many services, like YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, and fuboTV, allow you to save live content on the cloud and stream it whenever you want.

Don’t miss: Here are the best live streaming TV services

This is great because it eliminates the need for on-device storage, and allows you to stream in other rooms of the house (or other houses entirely). However, it also means that you won’t be able to stream them offline, which is one of the major draws of DVR in the first place.

Best Roku devices

Roku offers a line of streaming devices at different price points, including set-top boxes, streaming sticks, and even other types of products like smart speakers. Odds are if you’ve found your way to this Roku buyer’s guide you’re looking for a streaming device, so let’s start with those.

Learn more: The best Roku streaming players: What are your options?

Below we’ve listed our picks for the best Roku streaming devices you can currently buy. The latest were released in late 2019, and there’s no word yet on updated models for 2020. A bit further down we’ve also included details about other Roku products like the soundbar and Roku TVs.

Roku Express

Roku Express Streaming Player

The cheapest device in the 2019 Roku lineup is the Express. It is a small and simple HDMI device that provides everything you need to start streaming on any modern TV. It connects to the internet via Wi-Fi and comes with a basic remote to navigate menus and control playback.

Streaming is limited to 1080p HD quality and the remote doesn’t have any special features like a headphone jack or voice controls. Nevertheless, it’s the best Roku device for casual watchers. It runs at just $ 30, making it a great entry point into the Roku ecosystem.

If you can afford to spend a bit more, you should check out the Walmart-exclusive Roku Express Plus. It adds voice commands and the ability to control normal TV functions with the remote, eliminating the need to juggle two remotes. It only costs $ 10 more, bringing the total cost to $ 40.

Roku Premiere

Roku Premiere Streaming Player

4K TVs have become more and more affordable over the years, and if you want a Roku streaming device that supports this resolution, you’ll want to look at the Roku Premiere. It’s the cheapest model to offer UHD 4K streaming with HDR.

Read also: The best 4K monitors you can get on a budget

Apart from that, it’s virtually identical to the Roku Express. You get the same basic remote with no voice controls, and it connects via single-band Wi-Fi. The good news is that it only costs $ 10 more, so you can get your 4K streaming fix for just $ 40.

Roku Streaming Stick Plus

Roku Streaming Stick Plus Headphone Edition

If there’s one Roku device that’d we’d have to pick for most users, it would be the Roku Streaming Stick Plus. It has a smaller, USB stick-like appearance that plugs into your TV’s HDMI port so it won’t clutter up your entertainment system. It can also be plugged in directly into your TV’s USB port for power (although you should make sure your TV supports this first).

Despite its small size, Roku Streaming Stick Plus packs a lot of features: UHD 4K, HDR, and a premium remote with voice controls. That’s a lot of convenience for a device that costs just $ 60.

But before you go out and buy it, you should check out the Best Buy-exclusive Roku Streaming Stick Plus HE (pictured above). It has all the same features, but the remote also has a headphone jack. Audio is streamed directly from your Roku device, so you don’t have to mess with your existing home audio setup. There’s even a set of headphones included in the box!

To make matters even better, this enhanced model carries the exact same price tag. That makes the Streaming Stick Plus HE the real best value Roku device, provided you have access to a Best Buy location near you.

Roku Ultra

Roku Ultra Streaming Player

The Roku Ultra is the most premium device Roku currently offers. It has all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a high-end model: 4K UHD, HDR, a premium remote, and even an ethernet port for a more consistent connection while streaming.

There are several things that make the Roku Ultra remote better than other models. First, it has a headphone jack for private listening. You’ll find a nice set of JBL earbuds to get started in the box. The voice-enabled remote also has customizable buttons that you can program to navigate to your favorite Roku channels instantly.

Read also: Best Headphones under $ 50

If you’re someone who constantly loses remotes into the couch cushion abyss, there’s even a “Find My Remote” button on the streaming device itself. All of this comes at a cost, however, with this model running at roughly $ 100.

You can save some money by buying the Walmart-exclusive Roku Ultra LT, which swaps the fancy JBL earbuds for a normal set and removes the new customizable buttons on the remote. Apart from that, you still get the same great streaming experience. It costs $ 80, so you can put those extra $ 20 towards more streaming subscriptions!

Other Roku devices

roku smart soundbar

Although streaming devices are by far Roku’s most popular products, the company offers several other gadgets as well. These range from premium streaming speakers to full-on smart TVs with a Roku-based operating system. Some of these are manufactured by Roku itself, but the TVs are always made in partnership with established brands like HiSense or TCL.

Perhaps the most attractive is the Roku Smart Soundbar. It solves two problems with a single device. Not only does it enhance your existing TV’s speakers, but it also has built-in 4K streaming support, and comes with a remote. It costs $ 180, with an additional Roku subwoofer and Roku speakers available. These extra speakers are also able to connect to Roku TVs, eliminating the need for any other streaming devices.

Related: How to get Spotify on Roku TVs, sticks and boxes

There is a variety of Roku Smart TVs on the market too, and some of them start as low as $ 130. They are a solid alternative to streaming devices for people who have outdated TVs and want an upgrade.

Roku alternatives

Roku was one of the first companies to blaze a trail into the unknown wilderness of streaming media a decade ago. Nowadays, there are many more options available. Some of these are coming from the biggest companies in the world like Google, Apple, and Amazon.

Read also: The best media streaming devices you can buy

If you’re not entirely convinced by any of the Roku devices above, we’ve broken down a few of the best alternatives below. Not included are Smart TVs, which often have many of the same capabilities but are far too numerous to list here.

Google Chromecast

Google Chromecast Ultra

Google launched its first Chromecast streaming dongle in 2013 and has since expanded the line to include two models. The cheapest, called simply Chromecast, costs $ 35 and allows up to HD quality. The Chromecast Ultra, costing $ 69, allows 4K streaming and has an ethernet port for a more consistent connection.

Read also: 16 things you didn’t know you could do with Google Home and Chromecast

Price-wise, this makes Chromecast devices comparable to Roku’s streaming sticks, but in practice, they work completely differently. First, there is no operating system or channel store. In order to stream to your TV via Chromecast, you need to “cast” media from a smartphone or a computer. Most streaming apps support casting, so compatibility isn’t much of an issue.

An even bigger difference is the lack of a remote. Just like you need another device (usually your phone) to start streaming via Chromecast, you also need it to control playback. There are some ways to use your TV remote with a Chromecast, but they aren’t ideal. There are rumors of an upcoming Chromecast with a remote included, but for now, your phone or PC will have to do.

Apple TV

Apple TV

Way back in 2007, before Roku had even entered the streaming game, Apple had already released a streaming set-top box called Apple TV. Today, there are two Apple TV devices currently available: the Apple TV HD and the Apple TV 4K.

Apple TV devices work very similarly to Roku devices, with a built-in OS and an app store to navigate streaming services. They both come with a physical remote, but you can also use a normal remote control or a remote app on your smartphone.

As expected from Apple-brand devices, they start at a much higher price point than those of most competitors. The HD model costs $ 149, while the 4K model has two versions with 32GB of storage ($ 179) and 64GB of storage ($ 199). However, all new purchases come with a free year of Apple TV Plus, which would normally cost $ 60.

Amazon Fire TV

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K press render

Amazon, not to be outdone by other tech giants, currently offers three streaming devices under the Fire TV brand. They run on the Android-based Fire OS, which has channel support similar to Roku OS. However, Fire TV doesn’t support nearly as many channels.

Read also: What is Amazon Prime? Costs, features, and more

There are two streaming sticks on offer: the HD-only Amazon Fire TV Stick at $ 40, and the Fire TV Stick 4K at $ 50. There’s also a set-top box called the Fire TV Cube, which adds integration with Amazon Echo smart speakers and costs $ 120.

All three come with Alexa voice-enabled remotes, making them a great alternative to Roku streaming devices. They’re best for people who have already bought into the Amazon home ecosystem, or for people who just love using voice commands to control everything in their homes.

Nvidia Shield TV

NVIDA Shield TV 2019 modle and controller upright

There are countless Android TV devices available on the market, but the Nvidia Shield TV is easily the best. It takes a unique approach by including a Tegra X1+ processor, which is more powerful than the processor found in Nintendo Switch consoles. It allows you to play a variety of games and, more importantly, upscale 720p content all the way to 4K with help from Nvidia’s AI neural network.

Read also: 2019 Nvidia Shield TV review: The best Android TV box, again

The two latest models available are from 2019. The first is the standard Shield TV with 8GB of storage and 2GB of RAM, which costs $ 150. The more powerful Shield TV Pro costs $ 200, with 16GB of storage and 3GB of RAM. Both models come with a comfortable remote control. Older models used to come with a gamepad, but Nvidia has dropped it on the Shield TV and Shield TV Pro.

Capable of running demanding Android games and AAA titles via the GeForce Now streaming service, Nvidia Shield TV devices are a great option for those who want to stream media and game from time to time. The streaming device doesn’t hold a candle to the next-gen PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles, but it’s still one of the best Android TV boxes out there.

Other FAQ

Q: Does Roku have Disney Plus?
A: Yes, there is a channel for Disney Plus. Read more about it here.

Q: Does Roku have YouTube? 
A: Yes, there is a free channel for YouTube.

Q: What about YouTube TV?
A: Yes, there is another channel for YouTube TV.

Q: Does Roku have HBO Max?
A: No, HBO Max is not available on Roku devices. You can access the HBO app but it doesn’t include the extra content of HBO Max. Learn more about HBO Max here.

Q: Which Roku is the best?
A: For most users, the Roku Streaming Stick Plus HE is the best option. It offers UHD 4K streaming and a remote with a headphone jack for just $ 60. Its only downside is that it can only be purchased at Best Buy.

Q: Are Roku channels free?
A: Some Roku channels, like Pluto TV, PBS Kids, Crackle, the Roku Channel, YouTube, and others are available for free. Many subscription channels like Crunchyroll and Cartoon Network have limited ad-supported libraries, too.

Q: Does Roku have a web browser?
A: No, there are no browsers available on the Channel Store. There have been web browsers in the past, but they have since been removed.

Q: Is Roku free to use?
A: Yes! There are no additional subscription fees after buying your device, which you can do for as little as $ 30. Certain channels may pull support for older models, but this isn’t something you should worry about with new devices.


Android Authority

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Duet Display for Android lets you turn an old device into a second screen


You simply cannot have too much screen real estate, that’s a fact. Coming to Android today, Duet Display promises to let you turn that old Android tablet you have lying around into a second screen for your PC or Mac.

Duet has been quite successful on iOS, and over the past months the team behind it worked to make the jump to Android. The app lets your devices act as secondary displays for your laptop or desktop. The beauty of it is the broad compatibility – as of today, Duet Display works on Android, iOS, Chrome OS, Mac, and Windows devices. Whatever combination of platforms you favor, there’s a solid chance you’ll be able to run Duet (except Linux, sorry Linux users, I love Linux).

Duet for Android works on phones or tablets running Android 7.1 or higher. That covers most Android tablets released in the past three years. If you have a Chrome OS device that supports Android apps, it can join in the fun as well.

On the other end, the computer needs to run Mac OS 10.14 or later or Windows 10 and the Duet desktop app. You can connect your Android device either using a USB-C cable (microUSB is sadly not supported) or wirelessly.

Editor’s Pick

Once set up, your Android or Chrome device will work just like a regular secondary monitor. The Duet team promises “stellar performance” with zero lag, regardless of the platforms you use. That said, to ensure lag-free functionality you’ll probably want to use the wired connection.

Duet has long been available on iOS only, and it’s good to see this genuinely helpful app make the jump to our platform of choice. Duet Display normally costs $ 19.99, but for the first week of Android availability you’ll be able to get it for 50% off or $ 9.99.

Other Android apps, like iDisplay, have purported to offer the same functionality as Duet. However, a brief look at iDisplay’s recent user reviews suggests the app is suffering from performance and compatibility issues.

Will you try out this app?

Android Authority

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Forget battery life, get Ambient Display notifications on any device – Android customization


Tasker Ambient Display Notification

We’re taking a little break from our Android Wear projects on our Android customization series, we were going to return to root tips, tools and tricks this week, but our project will work on most any phone or tablet. We’d like to take a look at a feature that is found on only a few devices today, and make it work on any Android phone or tablet.

The idea is simple, many new devices with AMOLED displays come equipped with a feature called Ambient Display, simply turning the display on for a few seconds to show you new notifications. This is a handy feature, one that is predominantly reserved for devices with AMOLED displays simply for battery preservation purposes.

Like I said, forget about battery life, we want the feature on our old-school Nexus tablet. For this we turn to our old friend, Tasker, and the plug-in Secure Settings.

Before we begin

You will require a fairly modern device to follow along today, we are having success with Marshmallow and Lollipop devices, but not as much luck on an older KitKat device. Go ahead and install Tasker and Secure Settings, Tasker is $ 2.99 in the Google Play Store and Secure Settings is free with in-app purchases to unlock extra functions.
Secure Settings – Google Play StoreTasker – Google Play Store

Ambient Display on your Android phone or tablet

Before we jump in, I just wanted to say again, Ambient Display is made for AMOLED displays because the display tech only turns on the pixels required to display the minimal message, using very little battery to do so. Our project today will need to completely turn on your display, this will eat a great deal of your battery throughout the day, especially if you configure exactly as I will be.

Related reading: Real time battery drain warnings

If battery life is not of concern, good, let’s get started.

Open up Tasker and start a new Task, let’s call it “AmbientNotification

Tap the “+” button to add your first action.

Tasker Ambient Display Notification

Select Plugin.

Select Secure Settings.

Tap the pencil Configuration button.

Expand Actions.

Select Wake Device.

Change the Duration to an amount of time that makes sense for you. Remember your battery life.

Tasker Ambient Display Notification

Click Save at the top.

Tap the system Back button a couple times, we’re done with the Task, let’s now create the associated Profile.

Head over to the Profiles tab and start a new Profile.

Tasker Ambient Display Notification

Select Event.

Select UI.

Select Notification.

Tap on the spaceship icon to the right of Owner Application.

Tap the All button in the bottom right, or choose your desired apps to have turn on the display.

Tap the system Back button twice again to save and exit to the next step.

Select your Ambient Notification Task from the list.

Enjoy.

Tasker Ambient Display Notification

Wait, the whole point of Ambient Display is to show you your latest incoming notification, good thing we already handled this in a previous project:

Create your own popup notifications using Tasker

Finally, you’ll need to turn off your display for this to work, obviously. But before it does, please consider the extra security settings that you’ll need to grant to Tasker and Secure Settings.

Tasker Android Wear

I might have told you this in the first place, sorry, head into your main system settings, go to Security -> Device administrators and grant Tasker and Secure Settings admin access. When that’s done, head over to the Sound & notification settings to grant Notification access for Tasker. If you follow along after the break, you’ll want to also go into App notifications and make Tasker a Priority.

Tasker Android Wear

What’s next

Just for the fun of it I decided to pop up a Tasker notification along with this ambient display project. it serves no point except proof of concept. You could, however, work with our Android Wear project from last week. You can handle yours so that it provides an actionable card on your smartwatch. Like, maybe a button to dismiss this ambient display so it does not eat so much battery.

Tasker Popup notification Project

Now that, hopefully, your creative juices are flowing, remember that we took the fairly obvious notifications as our trigger to turn on the display. You could dive deep and consider many other things to pop on the display, remember that you can use Tasker and Secure Settings to bypass the lock, then display a Tasker Scene to show off any info you’d like.

Here’s a cool project I just thought up, but won’t be building for myself, pair your phone and your tablet (or WiFi camera and tablet) so that with each shot you take the photo pops up for a few seconds on the tablet. This will rely on network traffic and probably a combination of services like Dropbox and IFTTT, but I believe in you.

Next week

I hope this little Ambient Display trick on your Android device was useful for you, next week on our Android customization series will be something fairly similar. Perhaps a different project, but we’ll continue with these tools next week, we are, after all, huge fans of Tasker.

Have you noticed any significant battery drain changes after created your own Ambient Display project on your non-AMOLED Android device?

More Android customization projects:

Android Authority

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New Samsung patent could be further proof of Project Valley, a rumored foldable device


samsung logo x x mwc 2015

A couple of weeks ago, we covered a story on Samsung’s rumored Project Valley, a purported foldable device rumored to be in development behind closed doors. As the rumor went, the project was not a sure-fire candidate for release, and may be scrapped at any time. Today, we have a new patent filing with the USPTO and the schematic looks surprisingly like what one might expect from such a device, apparently a Galaxy Note variant given other pictures’ inclusion of a stylus.

The device described in the patent has two screens and a body that folds in half, and comes across as a design not unlike that which Toshiba used for its final/most-recent Libretto, NEC used for its Medius W, and Sony experimented with for the Tablet P.

Patently Mobile

It’s important to note that a patent filing doesn’t mean anything more than a desire to protect an idea or design that has been created. There is no guarantee this will end up in stores, of even behind the scenes. At the same time, given the rumor from last week, it would certainly seem possible that Samsung is working on a foldable tablet of sorts, at least behind the scenes, and this design more or less represents that.

Would you be interested in the prospects of such a device? Does it actually add anything unique that hasn’t been done before?

Android Authority

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Android customization – how to regain storage space by cleaning the cache on your Android device


Android internal Storage clear cache

Last week on our Android customization post, you got to play with image files and change up your wallpaper on your Android device. After messing with all those image files, you may be finding that your internal storage space is strangely low, so we should try to fix that.

There are many things you can do to clear up the internal storage of your Android device. Uninstalling apps, deleting files, moving apps and files to your microSD card, if you’ve got one, are all great places to start, and when things get really bad, you can always perform a full system reset.

Before you go so far as to wiping your entire device, there is something else you might try, clearing your system cache.

Before we get started

We do not require anything special today, clearing system cache can be done right from your Android operating system. As always, you’ll find that we are working on a vanilla Android device, your device may have slightly different steps, but it should offer the same functionality.

Why should you clear your system cache

Let us start with a basic understanding of what your system cache is exactly, and why you might not want to clear it. Cache files on an Android device are a collection of all of the images, videos, text files and more that are required to display things like web pages, advertisements and more.

You may have noticed that the very first time you load certain apps or web pages it takes much longer to do so than the next times you load them. This is where cache comes into play. That first time around, the images and other elements have to be downloaded from the internet, or extracted from compressed app files or even have to be manually generated on the fly, as with photo thumbnails. These files are then saved into your system cache, so the next time around your app or webpage can pull the file from a local store, which makes it load much faster.

For the apps and web pages that you frequent, cache is a wonderful tool. But what about all those images for those web pages that you will never visit again, social media posts that you’ve already read or files for apps that you’ve uninstalled? They take up valuable space on your device, and it’s probably a good idea to make them go away.

How to clear your system cache

Android clear system cache

Don’t fret, clearing system cache is easy. We’ll start out by heading into your main system Settings.

Choose Storage.

Choose Cached data.

In the popup confirmation box, choose OK.

That is all there is to it.

As you might imagine, this cleared all cache on your device, so the next time you start up your apps and websites they may take an extra little bit to reload the elements into cache again. This is OK, just remember to come back here again as frequently as needed to clear things up again.

Selectively clear cache per app

If clearing cache for everything on your device is too invasive for your needs, Android offers a method to clear cache on an app-by-app basis.

Android clear app cache

In your main system Settings, tap on Apps.

Tap on each app that you wish to clear cache.

Tap on the Clear Cache button.

It can be very time consuming to go through your entire list of apps, clearing cache for each as you go, but if it is worth the hassle for you, it is great that the option exists.

What’s next

You’ll find that many apps can handle their own cache settings. Myself, I have both Dolphin browser and ES File Explorer automatically clear their own cache each time I exit the app. If you’ve been following me for long, I am sure you can imagine that my image thumbnail cache for my screenshots folder gets pretty big in no time, having ES clear that cache automatically is a life saver.

However, there are certain system app cache that do not get cleared with the above steps. The absolute worst offender in my experience, your camera/photos cache.

To clear your camera/photos cache, which I try to do after every couple hundred pictures taken, or photos viewed in the Photos/Gallery app, you’ll need a file explorer installed that is capable of viewing hidden files. Of course, I turn to ES File Explorer, but you should be fine with your app of choice.

Android photo thumbnail cache

Head into your files, look for DCIM, then .thumbnails. I usually just go ahead and delete all of the files in here, but you may wish to transfer them to SD card or other as a backup, just in case. Either way, you can see that my Christmas day photos on the phone ran up a thumbnail cache almost 600MB. Since I have removed the photos from the phone for sharing and further processing, I don’t need these cache files at all. Delete!

Next week

With all this extra space now available on your Android device, we will use next week’s Android customization post to load you back up again. How would you feel about a little home-grown device security? I’d like to show you how to use Tasker to discreetly take and store a photo from the front camera of your device every time an intruder turns on your display.

Are there any other hidden cache or thumbnail stores on your device that you regularly delete?

Happy New Year!

Android Authority

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