Editors' note: This review was updated February 11, 2014, to cover features added in the latest version of the app.
Advanced Mobile Care is a free Android system utility from IObit, makers of the popular Advanced SystemCare program for Windows. Similar to its desktop sibling, this app offers up an arsenal of tools for cleaning up and speeding up your computing experience.
What we like best about Advanced Mobile Care for Android is its clean and simple interface, which revolves around its one-tap scanning process. Open up the app and you'll see what I'm talking about: A giant Scan button sits front and center, with a slim menu bar of additional tools at the bottom. Hit the Scan button, and in a few seconds you'll be treated to a detailed, yet simple readout of system issues that potentially compromise your mobile device's performance. The readout shows you a running count of any malware it detects, open tasks, cached items, and junk files. With another click, you can quickly banish these. In one of our tests, the application detected more than 3,000 junk files on our devices and was able to clear out quite a bit of storage space. Keeping the app installed will provide ongoing protection and a notification if any malware makes its way onto your system.
But more than just a scan-and-repair app for Android, Advanced Mobile Care comes with a handful of additional tools that are surprisingly useful.
New to version 4.0 of Advanced Mobile Care, is an antispyware tool called Anti-Surveillance, which scans your apps and tells you if any of them are trying to record or monitor your phone calls. It will also point out surveillance vulnerabilities on your phone by showing you which services are not secure. For example, after we performed a scan, the app told us that the Bluetooth and screen lock features were secure, but that GPS and NFC were not. We are not completely sure why the app said this, but our hunch is that it's because GPS and NFC can be used to track the phone's location and get data from the phone. The only way to make the phone secure, according to Advanced Mobile Care, is to turn these services off. Turning off NFC isn't a big deal for me, but disabling location services is not ideal because we rely on GPS when we need directions or want to find a restaurant nearby.
Another useful tool is called Anti-Theft, which could come in handy if you lose your phone or it gets stolen. When enabled, you can use a friend's phone (with Advanced Mobile Care installed) to find your lost phone. It's simple and it works.
The Battery Saver offers up a detailed report of what's currently consuming your battery power and gives you an estimate of the time you have left until you'll have to plug in. In addition, it offers a few tools to help you stave off complete depletion. For instance, there are three levels of power-saver options that optimize your settings (Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Brightness, AutoSync) to save you some juice. If you're a savvy Android user, you can even use this tool to manipulate each of your battery-draining settings manually. There's also a built-in task killer.
The App Manager offers a convenient interface for clearing storage space on your device. It lets you sort your apps by name, size, or even frequency of use, and in a few taps either move them to your SD card or uninstall them. We found this neat tabbed interface to be significantly easier to use (and faster) than Android's built-in application manager. However, we still think it needs a true batch uninstaller. As it is now, the batch uninstall feature asks you for a confirmation between each individual uninstallation, regrettably, which nullifies its convenience altogether. What a shame.
The Game Speeder is a unique feature that lets you launch games directly from Advanced Mobile Care's interface. Whenever you use it, it's supposed to optimize your mobile device's settings specifically for gameplay. In our tests, we didn't notice any remarkable improvements in our games' performance, but the tool definitely didn't do any harm.
There's also Cloud Backup and Privacy Advisor. The former conveniently keeps call logs and contacts safe in the cloud, while the latter takes inventory of the apps that use your privacy information. From Privacy Advisor's list of apps, you can easily uninstall any title that you believe to be overreaching.
Not every tool that comes with Advanced Mobile Care works as expected. One feature recommends other apps for you to download and is more or less useless.
Interestingly, the app also includes a Privacy Locker feature that, while useful, doesn't seem to fit with the app's other utilities. Nevertheless, it works well, and is a handy tool for anyone who needs to secretly store files. Similar to NQ Mobile's Vault app, this Privacy Locker lets you keep videos, pictures, and other files locked up and out of the reach of anyone without your secret passcode.
With all of its nifty features, our biggest knock on Advanced Mobile Care is that it doesn't come with any support materials to help you understand exactly what it's doing behind the scenes (case in point: Game Speeder). Sure, the app is easy enough to use, but for someone seeking a little more background information on its scanning and repairing processes and optimization settings, it is completely underwhelming. A Help section would be a welcome addition.
Still, Advanced Mobile Care is a beautifully simple app that quickly scans your Android system for any potentially harmful issues and repairs them in only a few taps. That alone makes it worth the download. But on top of that, it comes with a handful of optimization tools that should make your Android computing experience just a little bit zippier.