Today's smartphones are light years ahead of their predecessors in terms of sheer speed and overall performance. Still, they can always use a boost.
One of the most speed-sucking features of any Android device (or nearly any computing device, for that matter) is animations- those nifty effects that occur when you open and close apps, or swipe back and forth between workspaces. They look nice, but if you value performance over eye-candy, tweaking your animation speed can have a significant effect on the speed of your device.
Luckily, this particular setting is pretty easy to tweak. Just head into your settings and tap Software Information > More > Build Number (specifics may vary by device). You'll have to tap "Build Number" seven times- after five or so, you'll be notified that you're close to "being a developer." When you get to seven taps, back out to the main settings page, and you'll notice a new "Developer options" setting.
Go into developer options, scroll all the way down, and tap "Advanced." Towards the bottom of the screen, you'll see "Windows animation scale," "Transition animation scale," and "Animator duration scale." By default, all three options have a value of 1. Change each to .5 (or, if you want to turn animations completely off, you can do so). Settings should take effect immediately for most transitions, but you may want to restart your phone or tablet just to be sure.
That's it. You should notice a considerable speed increase throughout every nook and cranny of your device.
This tip was taken from an excellent Ars Technica article on The State of Smartphones, which contains many other tips, including decreasing animation times for iOS.