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Task Killers... The Answer from Google & Developers

This is a discussion on Task Killers... The Answer from Google & Developers within the Motorola Xoom Apps forums, part of the Motorola Xoom Forum category; In response to the vast amount of questions regarding Task Killers, I find this to be a valuable article/video in making a determination in whether ...

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Thread: Task Killers... The Answer from Google & Developers

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    Lightbulb Task Killers... The Answer from Google & Developers

    In response to the vast amount of questions regarding Task Killers, I find this to be a valuable article/video in making a determination in whether or not to use a task killer on 'auto-kill' or manually killing apps just because they're open. A task killer is meant to shut down unresponsive apps, not EVERYTHING open.

    Good explanation of how the Android OS is designed to handle applications.

    Make your decision from there
    PLEASE READ THIS!!!

    *quick cut & paste from the link*
    from the developer who designed System Panel.


    Please read this section FIRST. There are a great many misconceptions about how Android works with regard to
    starting and stopping applications.

    How to Use a Task Manager
    Android was designed from the ground up as an operating system (OS) for mobile devices. Its built-in application and memory-management systems were engineered with battery life as one of the most critical concerns.
    The Android OS does not work like a desktop operating system. On a desktop OS, like Windows, Mac OS X, or Ubuntu Linux, the user is responsible for closing programs in order to keep a reasonable amount of memory available. On Android, this is not the case. The OS itself automatically removes programs from memory as memory is needed. The OS may also preload applications into memory which it thinks might soon be needed.
    Having lots of available empty memory is not a good thing. It takes the same amount of power to hold "nothing" in memory as it does to hold actual data. So, like every other operating system in use today, Android does its best to keep as much important/likely-to-be-used information in memory as possible.
    As such, using the task manager feature of SystemPanel to constantly clear memory by killing all apps is strongly NOT RECOMMENDED. This also applies to any other task killer / management program. Generally speaking, you should only "End" applications if you see one which is not working correctly. The "End All" feature can be used if your phone/device is performing poorly and you are uncertain of the cause.

    Process Types
    The SystemPanel process listing groups applications into three categories: "Active", "Inactive", and "Internal":

    • Active applications are actually running at the present time on the device. An active application may be running in the background and not have any information currently displayed on the screen.
    • Inactive applications have been preloaded into memory, but are not actually using up any system resources. Such applications will not consume any battery power whatsoever. The memory used by these applications can be immediately reclaimed should other applications require it. As such, there is no need to manually remove these applications, as you will see no tangible benefit from doing so.
    • Internal applications are those which are part of the Android operating system itself. Some of these applications may be terminated manually, but they will be immediately restarted afterward by the OS."


    Now the video from Google.
    * Originally posted by Renthor @ DxF *

    I highly recommend people, especially those new to Android, watch the Androidology series of videos put out by Google themselves. In particular, part 2 does a great job of explaining how Android (and really Linux) is different then most people's OS experience.

    Here's the link to part 2, "Application Lifecycle"




    Bear in mind these videos are aimed at developers, but the gist of it is still applicable to everyone.

    After watching the whole Androidology series, I decided to let the OS do its thing with killing/running apps and processes. I have a task killer installed only to kill unresponsive apps that the OS can't kill for whatever reason (which by the way, is a fault generally of the app's developer(s). Not the phone or OS). And the Android OS actually comes with it's own "Task Killer" for this purpose, I just prefer to have easy "one-tap" (or close to it) access to such things.

    Here's the rest if you're interested (highly recommended. Especially if you're a dev) Videos | Android Developers



    Originally posted by Martin030908 on Droid Forums
    mninio, DarienA and kayote like this.

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    So, let's say I have an app minimized (sitting in the multitasking tray) and it is "inactive". Although it is not "active" it still displays RAM usage. Is this an error inside of the OS or is it actually using RAM? Say a game or something similar. I'm not talking about widgets or email or apps that normally actually task the system in the background.
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    From the explanation provided, it would seem that the idle application will be 'HELD' or 'CACHED' in RAM until:

    a) the user starts using the application
    b) another application requests memory and the OS using it's memory management unloads the idle app from RAM
    c) the application and its memory space are force closed and freed up

    RAM, whether in use or not has to 'remember' its state, so whether there is data present in RAM or not isn't always relevant. Available RAM, according to the OP, is used to prefetch or cache commonly used apps or components until one or more of the above occurs (a-c).

    Disclaimer: AFAIK.
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    I don't care what anyone says. I simply don't want apps running that don't need to be running, whether they use battery life or not. And of course Google and developers are going to tell me it's OK to leave THEIR apps running in the background on my device. Sorry, I don't trust you. ... It's simple: If it doesn't need to be running, then it's getting stopped. Even if I have to do it 30 times a day.
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    So put a shortcut to "running services" on your desktop. tap + (top right corner next to apps), more, select settings, choose running services. When you open it, if you tap the right side of the graph at the bottom you can see the cached apps. If you open everything on your Xoom you will see the OS manage available memory. You can also stop apps and services yourself

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cmmsh View Post
    I don't care what anyone says. I simply don't want apps running that don't need to be running, whether they use battery life or not. And of course Google and developers are going to tell me it's OK to leave THEIR apps running in the background on my device. Sorry, I don't trust you. ... It's simple: If it doesn't need to be running, then it's getting stopped. Even if I have to do it 30 times a day.
    This is why they will always sell Task Killers on the Market. I have never used or will use one myself.
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    Thanks for the article. I don't have a Auto-Task Killer loaded on my Xoom, but I do on my phone. On my phone I use Adao task manager w/ a 10min post screen off to kill everything not in my Ignore list. My Ignore list includes almost everything I run on a frequent basis or is part of the OS. Basically, I have had a few rogue programs that would sit there and work consuming my power while it is in theory off. Especially some Geocaching apps using the GPS when I've got the screen off. I had a different task manager which blinded killed all tasks after the timeout, including the OS tasks which actually consumed more power do to constant relaunching then killing of tasks.

    I think if they're used correctly, they can be a decent insurance policy that a rogue process doesn't consume your battery. But when used improperly can be just as bad. On my Xoom, I've yet to find a process that's gone roque on me, maybe Honeycomb 3.2 does a better job of inactivating the active processes when the screen is off.

    EDIT: Ok, I say this and then the next day my phone (T-mobile G2) gets update from Froyo to Gingerbread (went to 2.3.4 - said it was 2.3.3 when installing but reports as 2.3.4) anyway it's supposed to have better power management and killing of lingering tasks that are staying active for extended periods of time post turning the screen off. I think I'll turn Adao Task Killer off for a couple days and see how it rolls.
    Last edited by TAZ427; 08-02-2011 at 11:37 AM.

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    haha i just had someone get mad at me.i was trying to explain to them why task killers are worthless.
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    Yep task killers are bad. If u use it it will consume more battery and can has hangups with apps.

    Sent from my Xoom using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cmmsh View Post
    I don't care what anyone says. I simply don't want apps running that don't need to be running, whether they use battery life or not. And of course Google and developers are going to tell me it's OK to leave THEIR apps running in the background on my device. Sorry, I don't trust you. ... It's simple: If it doesn't need to be running, then it's getting stopped. Even if I have to do it 30 times a day.
    I absolutely agree with Cmmsh. Inactive apps should not be running in the background whether it uses battery life or not. Once closed must be closed. That's really what making Apple iOS strong operating system; one application at a time.

    I think developers shall develop a tweak to completely kill the app when it is closed by the users.


 
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