CCleaner for Android: too little, too late?

CCleaner for Android is out and available for download. It’s taken years of begging and pleading, and finally, it’s arrived. Now the only question is, is it worth installing?

Look at this phrase closely: CCleaner for Android. Doesn’t it sound natural? For many users, Android is the Windows of the mobile world: a popular system that’s often full of holes, especially in older versions like Gingerbread. It’s pretty natural, then, that an optimizing tool like CCleaner seems like an absolute necessity.

During all the years of conspicuous absence, CCleaner for Android’s throne has been filled by some excellent cleaning and optimization apps, like Clean Master, an app with a malware scanner that lies at the top of the store charts. CCleaner’s competition is fierce.

So, in a bid to find a good alternative, I decided to try CCleaner for Android beta. This is what I found.

Austere looks for a cleaning classic

Analysis is still the starting point for any optimization. With one tap, CCleaner searches for junk files: the cache, clipboard, and browsing and calling history. If you want to see specific details, just tap the item in question.

CCleaner for Android

Unfortunately, this is where we found the first problem – you can’t uncheck apps that will be cleaned. There are no blacklists, or more details about the files that are going to be erased. What you can see, however, is the space that each app’s junk files take up.

Cache cleaning with CCleaner

Not so hot on features or essential options

If you tap the CCleaner icon, you’ll open a side panel where, as well as the junk file cleaner, you’ll see an application manager and a system information panel. The latter shows you the phone’s use of CPU, memory, and storage in real time.

CCleaner's system usage info

CCleaner for Android’s App manager does exactly what Android’s default manager does, with one addition – you can uninstall multiple apps in one go, thanks to a batch select function. System apps can’t be removed – you can only reset the factory settings.

CCleaner's app manager

CCleaner for Android beta lacks features that we find in other Android cleaners, like secure delete, memory optimization, or the option to remove system apps via root access. We don’t know if these are issues that will be remedied in future versions of the app.

Too little, too late

Four years ago, in the era of Froyo and Gingerbread, we would have welcomed CCleaner for Android with open arms. But things have changed. Low-end Android phones now have much more space, so the need for a simple file cleaner has shrunk. These days, cleaners can’t “just” be cleaners, they need to innovate.

Unfortunately, the version of CCleaner for Android that we tried, 1.00.9, neither innovates nor surprises. It’s an app that’s ok, but nothing special. The only thing we can really praise is its speed and simple design, which is really welcome when you’ve seen how cheesy its competitors are. Otherwise, CCleaner for Android is completely devoid of interest.

In the face of fierce competition, and mobiles that need the services of traditional cleaners less and less, the only card that CCleaner might have to play is privacy protection. Unfortunately, going on what we’ve seen in the beta, there’s still a long way to go.

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