Advanced Task Killer

Discussion in 'Android Applications' started by unholy2012, Jun 10, 2010.

  1. unholy2012
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    unholy2012 New Member

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    First time to post here, so please forgive whatever mistakes I may make.

    About a month or so ago I got a Motorola Droid at the same time as my step father. He asked around a lot about what to with it, and one of the first responses he got was to use Advanced Task Killer. I went ahead and got it too, figuring it couldn't hurt. I've looked online a lot about the Droid since them, and it seems most people don't like Task Killers, saying the Droid can handle memory by it self. My biggest concern is the battery and being notified on time. With the task killer my phone is usually around 20-45% battery, going from the time I wake up until the time I go to bed without charging at all. I don't run a lot of apps, around 10 or 11 total downloaded from the market. About half are just useful (wheres my droid, droidlight, etc...) and the other half are entertaining stuff (paper toss, airhorn, 4 in a row, etc...). I don't use autokill, but whenever I put my phone back in my pocket always open Advanced Task Killer and kill every single app so nothing is running when I put it into sleep mode. Whenever I get a text or email though, it still seems to alert me on time and the app begins running itself, and about 30 seconds after going into sleep mode random apps such a Google Voice begin to to turn themselves on, some within a minute others taking over 2 hours to turn on.

    One of the apps I have downloaded is Pandora Radio. I understand that it is a huge battery waster, and even though I don't use it very often (maybe 1.5-2 hours a week) I'm afraid that if I run it, listen to a couple songs, hit the pause song button, go to my home, then put it into sleep mode it will keep using battery.

    What I'd like to know is, with any given app, if when I'm done with it will it stop using my battery, or should I continue to use Advanced Task Killer?

    (Yes, I searched the forums and most of the stuff I found lasted about 5 posts of everyone saying not to use, then some posts sayings its great, then a massive arguement. I'd just like to know if opening an app, then hitting home (after pausing the song in Pandora, or turning off the LED in droidlight, etc) will have any adverse effects on my battery.
  2. JoeJxn
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    JoeJxn New Member

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    In my thread about battery problems in the Moto Droid forum, someone said to stop killing tasks because it'll just waste more battery to keep killing them and opening them than it would to just keep them running in the background. So I'm trying that.
  3. unholy2012
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    unholy2012 New Member

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    I just had another idea. If I were to keep Advanced Task Killer installed, turn my droid off and then back on so all "neccesary" apps were running, choose to exclude them so I want ever kill them when I hit the kill apps button, then continue to use ATK the way I have beem, so it just kills apps from the market that aren't needed unless im using them, would that have any adverse effects or would I just being doing good to my phone?
  4. Phreaker47
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    Phreaker47 Member

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    I'll just say that I used ATK for the first month I had the phone, and implemented the "auto kill on sleep" feature when that was added. Recently I uninstalled the app just to see if there was a noticeable difference in battery life, performance, etc... and you know what? Didn't notice a thing. So I'm leaving it off.
  5. takeshi
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    takeshi New Member

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    Task Killers aren't going to help battery life except in unusual situations where problem apps are running and eating up your battery. Even so, you're Band-Aiding the issue rather than addressing it.

    Remove it and try running without it for a while.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2010
  6. New2u
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    New2u DF Super Moderator

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    If that app is the browser, you can't really band-aid it. I have ATK installed but only for when i need it, most of the time everything runs just fine, i don't have it auto-kill anything, and i don't keep the ATK running. Everything has worked fine, and i've never had a problem. There are times where a program will just more or less freeze, and instead of restarting my phone i just kill it. Though as time has progressed since I installed it, i have found that the programs written are much better and i've not needed it really that much.
  7. jsh1120
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    jsh1120 New Member

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    The discussion of task killers will apparently never ever ever end. I suspect that's in part because so many new users are told by sales folk at Verizon to install the d**n things.

    So let me suggest an alternative. Rather than ATK or its many brethren, install "SystemPanel" from the Market and allow it to monitor your phone for awhile.

    SystemPanel can function as a task killer. Whenever you want to kill a particular task you can. But that's not its major value. Rather it provides a very good "window" into the way your phone is functioning.

    For example, when you first boot your phone, click on the SystemPanel icon in the notification menu. You'll notice (if you have a lot of apps) that at first many of them are "running." After a few minutes, many of those apps will be in the "inactive" category after running for a few seconds. They'll still be "in memory" but they won't affect either your phone's performance or its battery life.

    If you do absolutely nothing other than use your phone you'll find after awhile that most of those "inactive" apps disappear from memory. That's because they were swapped out automatically by the o/s as it needed more memory for other functions.

    And throughout this entire cycle you'll find that your "free memory" will vary somewhat. (On my phone the free memory goes from about 35 to 55 megs.) Nothing you do will affect that very much. (Well, that's not strictly true. If you fail to clear cache from your email and messaging apps and use them a lot you'll eventually hit a "low memory" situation.)

    I literally NEVER kill any apps. My battery life is unaffected. Nor is the performance of my phone. From time to time I fail to exit a particular application normally and notice that it's still running (i.e. still "active") when I check SystemPanel. Then I open it again and close it properly.

    As for apps that drain the battery, Pandora is not a battery killer. I've run it for hours at a time without significantly greater battery drain than not running it.

    What DOES drain your battery is looking at the screen (for any reason). If you have GPS turned on for navigation, ditto. And if you insist on checking for email, facebook updates, news and weather, etc. every few minutes, you will drain your battery, especially if your phone has trouble getting either a 3G or WiFi signal and you insist that it keep trying to do so.
  8. Darkseider
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    Darkseider New Member

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    THIS! For once I agree in full with the Curmudgeon. Although he is more like a scalpel when describing things. Me I am more the sledgehammer. I would have just said "Remove it! BURN IT WITH FIRE! Task Killers BAD!" Sometimes that works but having a reason why you need to BURN IT WITH FIRE!!! is needed. :) I couldn't agree more though. If you search the forums there have been endless posts with many of us repeating the mantra that task killers are not needed at all.
  9. Shadez
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    Shadez Super Mod/News Team Staff Member Premium Member

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    Been using ATK since I got my phone... and I dont care what other people say, it helps. At least for me, and Im not rooted.. so, I guess it all depends on your perspective..
  10. jsh1120
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    jsh1120 New Member

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    Thanks for the kind words, buddy. I think one of the main reasons that this topic never seems to die is that the Droid doesn't provide much if any view into the operation of the phone in a fashion that an average user can understand. And apps that do nothing but take a snapshot of processes "in memory" provide a highly misleading view of what is going on.

    That sort of gross characterization of the phone's functioning tends to fuel discussions of this sort. I've found that SystemPanel provides a wealth of information on an ongoing basis that can be a great resource for understanding how the android o/s works in a form almost anyone can understand even if they're not a hacker.
  11. Darkseider
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    Darkseider New Member

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    I am willing to bet the improvement is either perceived and not real OR you have some apps installed that aren't playing nice. I have tested damned near every one of them and every time performance was either the same as without as it was without it or worse.
  12. Shadez
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    Shadez Super Mod/News Team Staff Member Premium Member

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    Ya'd think that wouldnt ya.. but no, its not perceived, and I didnt do any test on it, just easy to tell. Yea, android closes apps when it needs space, but until then, you still have all this other crap running in the background.
  13. Ghostwheel
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    Ghostwheel Member

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    You ain't kiddin'. A friend of mine showed up to dinner out the other night with a shiny new Moto Droid - partly due to my recommendations.

    She barely knew how to use the Droid at that point, and hadn't even figured out how to use the Market or adjust the call volume yet. But somehow, she already had ATK on there, and asked me if I used it too. When I said no, she started launching into how great it is, and why it "helps" with "things" and that I should get it too. I tried to explain why it's not necessary, but she'd already apparently swallowed the kool aid that whatever VZW sales monkey had installed it for her had offered. I really wasn't up for a heated argument with someone who doesn't even know what they're talking about, especially a friend, so I changed the subject.
  14. Darkseider
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    Darkseider New Member

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    So then it is completely perceived as all you have is anecdotal evidence. You have done NO testing and cannot provide any empirical data at all. Many of us that say "Just say no to task killers" have tested this extensively, myself included, and know, without a doubt that they are not needed at all.
  15. Shadez
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    Shadez Super Mod/News Team Staff Member Premium Member

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    Yep, completely perceived, and on a side note, I'll use phonemypc just as an example, that sometimes when an app freezes, and you don't get a FC, it sits in limbo, I also use ATK for 'clean' that up..
  16. Ghostwheel
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    Ghostwheel Member

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    I've wondered if peoples' perceived need for a task killer comes from their experience with computer operating systems. Since some flavor of Windows constitutes that experience for the majority of folks, they're probably used to having to go in and manually kill a lot of useless programs that start themselves automatically on bootup.

    On the other hand, most people have never used linux before, so the concept that an operating system doesn't require that level of micromanagement to function optimally seems counterintuitive to them. And I think this practice flows over into their use of Android.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2010
  17. Darkseider
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    Darkseider New Member

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    Which is NO reason for ATK. What it does call for is removal of the app and a note to the author stating that it isn't working right. Again you are treating a symptom and not the cause. You can also go to you settings, manage application and kill it there as well. So again. Perceived.
  18. Shadez
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    Shadez Super Mod/News Team Staff Member Premium Member

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    Yea but hitting ATK is easier.. and you may be right, I'm not gonna argue about it because its just not that important to me, I was just offering 'my' opinion :)
  19. jsh1120
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    jsh1120 New Member

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    In fact, they're not "running in the background." If you check the information provided by SystemPanel, you'll see that they are almost all "inactive" in cache, not "running at all." And even most of those that are "active" in "background" are not running. They're simply sitting there.

    For example, at the moment I have the following apps "in memory."

    Active Apps

    Battery Left: No cpu cycles (i.e. not "running.")
    Calendar Widget 2: No cpu cycles
    Google Voice: No cpu cycles
    K-9 Mail: Momentary use of cpu then off
    Maps: No cpu cycles
    News and Weather: No cpu cycles
    Screebl Pro: No cpu cycles
    Screen Mode: No cpu cycles
    Swype: No cpu cycles
    SystemPanel: Running in Foreground (I'm looking at it to do this.)
    Y5 Battery Saver: no cpu cycles.

    Inactive (Cached) applications. None are using either cpu cycles or
    Alarm Clock
    Android Agenda Widget
    App Brain Market Sync
    Beautiful Widgets
    BlueTooth Share
    Corporate Calendar
    MP3 Store
    My Uploads
    Pandora
    Shop Savvy
    RememberTheMilk (appeared briefly in active apps and then moved to cache.)

    In addition, there are four Internal System Processes, each of which "turns on" every once in awhile.

    android.process.acore
    com.google.process.gapps
    Dialer
    System

    My free memory has varied between 35 and 47 megs while I've been typing this and in no case does the amount of free memory affect the performance of the phone.

    As this suggests, all of this "stuff" is not "running in the background." This "stuff" runs for a second or two every once in awhile if it's needs to do so. Once it has run, it either sits in memory consuming no cpu cycles and no battery in the "background" or it is moved to "cache" or ultimately out of memory altogether if the phone needs the space.

    If I "kill" any of these apps, it opens more free memory for a few moments but serves no real purpose to do so. If I just leave those apps alone, they are sent to "background," assigned to "cache," or swapped out of memory as the o/s needs additional memory.

    P.S. As I've been typing this, I noticed that MLB At Bat suddenly appeared in memory, then moved to cache then disappeared. This was the result of my setting that automatically updates results every once in awhile. The same pattern occurred for Facebook.
  20. unholy2012
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    unholy2012 New Member

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    Update for those interested: I've been running with any kind of Task Killer for about 15 hours now, with around half of those on the charger while i slept the other half off the charger. My phones battery still sais it's at 100% charge, which was rare with the task killer, and on top of that, I almost always have 3g now whereas before I only had it 30% of the time. Not sure if that can be related to the task killer, but so far I'm thinking uninstalling Advanced Task Killer was a great idea.
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