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

Discussion in 'Android Applications' started by Martin030908, Aug 1, 2010.

  1. Martin030908
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    Martin030908 DF Super Moderator

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    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 [​IMG]
    PLEASE READ THIS!!!

    SystemPanel Documentation | android.nextapp.com (smalltowngirl13 posted @ DxF, but I wanted to put it here as well)

    *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

    UPDATE:

    Adding information from the developer cvpcs (Sapphire).

    ...and the corresponding thread here at DF :)
    http://www.droidforums.net/forum/cvpcs/67001-common-android-myths-explanations.html
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2010
  2. DanDroidX
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    DanDroidX Member

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    What about an app that adjust the settings for the systems native task killer like minfree or autokiller by andrs? Are these ok?


    Sent from my Droid using an internal neurocellular processing unit
     
  3. Martin030908
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    Martin030908 DF Super Moderator

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    Anything that's 'auto-killing' is working against the OS's design.

    Task killers are a nice one touch solution for killing unresponsive or malfunctioning apps. (if you don't want to go through menu > applications > manage applications > filter > all to kill an app). Remember, you can 'kill' tasks without an additional app.
     
  4. Martin030908
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    Martin030908 DF Super Moderator

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    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.
     
  5. cgaliffi
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    cgaliffi Member

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    Thanks for the info.
     
  6. Cathbad
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    Cathbad Member

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    What else can I do???

    I understand your discussion of the OS. But there is a problem. If I want to play Backgammon or Solitaire, it is impossible without using a task killer. If I don't, the game stops after a while. I have found no other methodology.
    Do you think that my phone is a dud? A number of people who had the problem have gotten new phones which do not have this problem.
    My current intention is to wait until we get 2.2 and hope it fixes the problem.
     
  7. Backnblack
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    Backnblack Premium Member Premium Member

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    Then I would find a better written app.
     
  8. Martin030908
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    Martin030908 DF Super Moderator

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    I have Solitaire (by Ken Magic) and can run it endlessly without any issues.
    I do not have Backgammon installed.

    I would say it's the app that's the issue, not your device.
     
  9. joeybarclay
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    joeybarclay Member

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    it seems like my android home application or process or whatever forcecloses a lot. when i try to go back to the home screen it has to completely reload everything im missing apps and widgets and the screen becomes unresponsive. this was before i was rooted and i am still having this problem on custom roms
     
  10. Cathbad
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    Cathbad Member

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    You are right.

    I tried the solitaire that you mentioned and it had no problems. The one I was using was the same one I used on the Blackberry and the same is true of the Backgammon game I got for the Droid X.
    So I will have to find ones that were written for this OS.
    I don't actually like either of the solitaires that work OK. My eyesight doesn't like them.
    But I'm glad that I understand the situation.
     
  11. BayouFlyFisher
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    BayouFlyFisher Rescue Squad Rescue Squad

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    I use Solitaire by Ken Magic. It has an option for large cards!! You might give it a try.
     
  12. Cathbad
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    Cathbad Member

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    Large Cards

    Thanks. I didn't notice that, and without it I would have to strain. I'll try it again.
     
  13. Martin030908
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    Martin030908 DF Super Moderator

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    I'm not sure why this is. Might be a widget you have on your home screen?
    I'd love to here other people's thoughts as I'm not sure why this would be.
     
  14. DanDroidX
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    DanDroidX Member

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    I use autokiller, which doesn't kill apps but adjusts the way that Android kills them. It makes my phone faster and only kills the app if it is the background. I agree that taskiller apps aren't good, but minfree and autokiller are useful for rooted users.

    Sent from my Droid using an internal neurocellular processing unit
     
  15. cereal killer
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    cereal killer DF Administrator Staff Member

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    This is a great thread.....

    I should link it in my original thread I made a while ago about this.
     
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