Major confusion regarding task killers...

Discussion in 'Android Applications' started by Fenway72, Jun 1, 2010.

  1. Fenway72
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    Fenway72 New Member

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    Okay, hopefully I can explain this correctly.

    I have tried several task killers with hopes of squeezing out a little more battery life.

    The problem is: it seems that NONE of them actually work. I'll explain.

    I use Home++ and it has a task kill list built in. I have installed Advanced Task Killer and set to auto kill on screen off. So I load up a crap-ton of apps, then allow the screen to sleep. I then check running apps and see in the running task list that NONE of the apps were killed. I even tested this by activating the DroidLight app (this turns the camera flash on for use as a flashlight) and allowing the phone to sleep. But the DroidLight app remains active and does not turn off. One would assume that if this app is in the list to be auto-killed, it would turn off the moment the phone sleeps. But it doesn't- along with each and every other app that is in the list to auto-kill.

    Now- when I check the running apps page under settings, only the default stuff is running (The stuff the phone needs to run) and nothing else. But when I look in the Home++ list, EVERYTHING is still running. And when I check the list in Advanced Task Killer only some are still there including DroidLight. This is after the phone woke up. This is all also true regarding Advanced Task Cleaner. Neither seem to actually kill all the apps that they are supposed to.

    So to sum up:

    Two different Task Killers --- --- ATC and ATK,
    four ways to view running tasks/apps --- --- Settings>Applications, Home++, ATC, and ATK
    three different variences --- --- Some apps killed: ATK, All apps killed: Settings>Applications, and no apps killed: ATC.

    Both work when used as widget, but I want the auto kill feature to work. (I'm kinda' the 'fire and forget' type of guy.)


    I really like the functions of ATC, because you are supposed to be able to set the frequency of each app to be auto-killed, but it seems that it doesn't work. (That or my apps are VERY persistent)

    I assume that either these apps don't actually do what they are supposed to do, or there is something I don't understand here. I'll also assume it's the latter.


    Anyone around here have a good understanding of how these apps work so I can get the most out of them?

    And by the way: This is my first post here ever. I've cruised this forum since day one of my Droid blissfulness... I never posted becuse you are all so damned helpful there has been an answer ready for every question I've had. Never needed to post. (I'm not the "Hi, my name is...") kind of person. :)

    Thanks in advance for any help offered!!!
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2010
  2. tcrews
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    tcrews Premium Member Premium Member Developer

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    Don't use task killers. Your phone doesn't need it. Will have better battery life if you just ignore the phone (constantly checking it for running service, etc..) and not use task killers.
  3. mikes
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    mikes New Member

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    BINGO!

    Task killers will only address the symptoms of poorly behaved apps. Otherwise, they actually cause more problems. Better to just avoid bad apps.
  4. kmarmet
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    kmarmet New Member

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    i use advanced task killer and i have tried the same experiment. you have to set you atk autokill level to "crazy". of course, set all the apps you need to be constantly running to "ignore" then you should be good. then also, set the autokill to kill all apps "when the screen is off". works for me



    Sent from my Droid using Tapatalk
  5. hookbill
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    hookbill Premium Member Premium Member

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    And that in turn will make your Droid run slow and sluggish because you're not allowing the Droid to manage it's own memory. Worst thing you can do is use autokill.
  6. kmarmet
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    kmarmet New Member

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    well u must have a terrible phone because my phone is super fast, and its not overclocked, rooted or none of that crap. i wouldnt give advice if my phone was "slow, or sluggish". then again i dont have ten thousand apps. i have what i need and a couple for entertainment. if you have a million and one apps your phone is goina run slow no matter what you do.



    Sent from my Droid using Tapatalk
  7. Fenway72
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    Fenway72 New Member

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    Is there anyone out the who has hard facts on any of this? Seems so far all I see anywhere is just speculation. For every person that says to not use them, there is someone else saying that task killers are the Droids' Savior.

    I can see how they would be a positive addition as no one can argue that one app running that doing nothing but shut off all other apps would be worse on phone performance than just letting all apps just run indefinately.

    I just want to know the most efficient way to use them or a reason Backed by facts not to.
  8. dmo580
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    dmo580 New Member

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    Evidence that it will be worse? I understand that NIX has its own kind of memory management and the DROID should be able to handle its own. But would it really be worse?

    I know everyone just likes to jump on going "STOP USING TASK KILLERS" and there's a handful of people who say it's useful too.

    This is just like camera UV filters. I'm a photog, and it's a highly debated topic. i hate seeing threads where people ask for help on UV filters, and someone just goes "Stop using UV filters. It degrades image quality." While that is true to an extent, and highly dependent of which filters you use, UV filters serve other purposes (protection, weather sealing, etc), and so it's really a case by case basis where its useful. And like every product, there are drawbacks.

    So in the case of task killers, I think the OP is referring to the fact that Apps start back up or they load back up. Why don't you try using a task killer, manually killing the task. Does it disappear? What about manually killing your droidlight app? Does it stop? Does more memory free up? This is the case when I use ATK. Now I do NOT use auto kill, so don't jump on me for that.

    What I found it useful is for some retarded apps that mess up and fail to close. Speedtest.net failed to acquire my location once, and it kept trying and trying to invoke the GPS. I have a Telus MIlestone and for those who haven't looked into it enough, the location server is set to a Telus server which is behind a firewall. As a result when using this on AT&T you can't get onto the server and so you never get location based on your data connection. Given I'm indoors, the GPS has a tough time. So guess what, Speedtest.net ran for like 30 minutes searching for a GPS signal and with no exit button it drained like 1/3 of my battery in 30 minutes. I had to use task killer to kill it in the end. It does work and IMO its necessary in this case.

    My opinion:

    - Using Task Killers to automate kills and to manage memory is not my thing. I haven't seen it hurt, nor have I seen it benefit. Granted, there are probably cases where this is useful. I just haven't seen it yet.

    - Using task killers to kill bad apps is useful. Not every app has an exit button, and everyone likes to tout how Android manages memory well. The browser has no exit button. What if you loaded some spam ad page that keeps autorefreshing every 2 seconds. What do you do then without an exit button? Hmmm? XScope has an exit button but not the stock browser. I treat ATK like a CTRL+ALT+DEL. How often should you have to end a program via CTRL+ALT+DEL? Never in theory. Does it happen? Yeah, once in a while, and with better quality apps it happens less. So there you go.


    Edit: I just tried the DroidLight thing. I guess an analogy is you have someone washing the dishes. They turn and turn off the faucet. So you turn it on, then you kill the app, or the person washing the dishes, but that's just like pulling them away from the sink. You're telling them STOP. You don't issue a stop the faucet command, so it keeps running. Just like with DroidLight. Nothing tells the light to turn off unless you tap your screen. If you forceclose the app, then it just unloads it from memory, but perhaps that switch for the light is still in the on position. Just a guess of course. I'm no software developer. Someone more qualified with Android programming should chime in here because I think a lot of us are just doing a lot of guesswork.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2010
  9. LtKen
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    LtKen New Member

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    I would say yes, and here's my reasoning: memory reclamation....

    Basically, if the memory is freed and the OS isnt the one responsible for it, then it takes a certain amount of time for the OS to realize that that memory is available again. In some cases, you may run into a leak where the OS never finds the available memory again. If the OS is the only agent killing apps, then it can immediately reclaim the space used by the app, rather than having to find and deal with memory that doesn't have any valid references associated with it.
  10. takeshi
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    takeshi New Member

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    Seems to me that your own experience indicates that task killers are not the way to address battery life issues. Have you read any of the battery life threads?

    In any troubleshooting you need to determine the actual cause(s) (or the major contributors to the problem) and address them rather than randomly apply fixes. Figure out what's eating your battery and deal with it.

    Task killers can be handy, but as pointed out above, they only address symptoms.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2010
  11. armeddroid
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    armeddroid New Member

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    I use Task Killers too but only to stop bad apps...
    so i am spring cleaning out apps and then hopefully will no longer require an ATK.
  12. Darkseider
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    Darkseider New Member

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    Well it seems that I am late to this party. Like everyone else has already stated, task killers are pointless, let the OS handle the memory and process management. The only thing a task killer does is mask the problems caused by a bad application therefore only treating the symptom. The best thing to do would be identify the app, uninstall it and then notify the developer of the app of the problems you have experienced.
  13. hookbill
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    hookbill Premium Member Premium Member

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    The evidence has been shown by all the people who stopped using task killer and had their issues resolved. I spend a great deal of time in this Forum and see it happen all to often. So my evidence is more or less one of an eye witness as opposed to a scientific one.
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