Androidology (& Android OS Memory Management [task killers])

This is a discussion on Androidology (& Android OS Memory Management [task killers]) within the Droid X Apps forums, part of the Droid X Extras category; 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 ...


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    Exclamation Androidology (& Android OS Memory Management [task killers])

    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
    BlackBerry Pearl > BlackBerry Storm > Motorola Droid > Motorola Droid X

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    Stickied for now.

    In response to the vast amount of questions regarding Task Killers, I find this to be a valuable 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!!!


    Developer cvpcs over at Droid Forums put together some great information on his wiki page.
    http://howto.ccroms.net/ongoing/android_myths

    http://android.nextapp.com/site/systempanel/doc (smalltowngirl13 posted below, 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."
    Last edited by Martin030908; 08-05-2010 at 02:52 PM.
    dcpenguin, javamann, ajp and 3 others like this.

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    Also, for some preliminary results (although please consider this is from one user, one phone, "YMMV") that sort of show the gist of what the videos above state please look at this thread/post:

    Quote Originally Posted by RolandDeschain View Post
    Rooted running 2.1 with LauncherPro Plus and a couple of scrollable widgets.

    Linpack: 8.341
    Neocore: 43.4 FPS
    Quadrant Standard: 1293
    NenaMark1: 24.9 FPS

    By the way, everyone should run their benchmarks on a fresh reboot of the phone, after having given the phone two minutes to sit and finish loading everything in the background; and preferably without killing any tasks. (or at least specify if you have or not)



    Now here is what I get running it again after ending all possible apps and services, including a number of Motorola ones. (many of which got automatically restarted right away, but oh well)

    Linpack: 8.367
    Neocore: 43.8 FPS
    Quadrant Standard: 1279
    Neocore: 24.9 FPS

    At first glance, it would appear that having all the normal/usual/default crap running doesn't really hurt your performance. VERY similar results between those. Now, I'm rebooting the phone again to make sure everything's running and I'm opening up the default browser to m.google.com, Dolphin Browser HD to m.google.com, CNN, Fox News and NY Times. Also opening Astro Player Beta, SystemPanel Lite, Calculator, Car Dock, Dialer, Email, Gallery, Gmail, Market, Messaging, Music, My Verizon, Root Explorer and Weather Bug. I also turned on GPS, Bluetooth and Wi-fi, but did not connect to any networks or have anything actively using the GPS. I verified everything was still running with SystemPanel Lite (some apps close when you hit the Home button) and ran through the benchmarks, and here are the results:

    Linpack: 8.315
    Neocore: 42.3 FPS
    Quadrant Standard: 1269
    NenaMark1: 24.4 FPS

    Very little loss of performance on the benchmarks with a ton of crap running in the background. Guess it doesn't really matter what we leave running, excluding the obvious like a game. (this isn't to say task killer apps aren't useful, some games don't close properly and they're still useful for closing apps that use a lot of bandwidth or whatever, so they can be useful if used PROPERLY in regards to battery life; I'm just saying direct system performance seems nearly unaffected)
    BlackBerry Pearl > BlackBerry Storm > Motorola Droid > Motorola Droid X

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    Quote Originally Posted by Renthor View Post
    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

    Great info! thanks for sharing.

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    Additonal info on the subject thru the eyes of a dev who designed SystemPanel...

    SystemPanel Documentation | android.nextapp.com
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    A lot of people have been asking questions about task killers and memory management. I made this post as a easy-to-point-to reference so new and experienced users alike can get as much information on the topic as they can.

    From there they can make their own (informed) decisions. Point is to put as much info out there in an easy to reference manner.

    Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk
    BlackBerry Pearl > BlackBerry Storm > Motorola Droid > Motorola Droid X

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    This is really helpful. Thanks. Is there a downside to having a task killer installed? I get that there isn't much upside, but does this kind of app cause problems?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    This is really helpful. Thanks. Is there a downside to having a task killer installed? I get that there isn't much upside, but does this kind of app cause problems?
    You can have it installed. But by all means do not set the 'auto-kill' or concern yourself with "what's running".

    Only use it to 'kill' unresponsive or malfunctioning apps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    This is really helpful. Thanks. Is there a downside to having a task killer installed? I get that there isn't much upside, but does this kind of app cause problems?
    To me...there was a downside. My phone was slower than a turtle on downers AFTER I installed ATK. Text messages took the better part of an afternoon to load and things just were not right. Uninstalled it, did a factory reset and now all is well in CTA-land. So call me ATK paranoid, but I will NOT be reinstalling it anytime soon.
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    Very useful information, thanks!

    I uninstalled all my task killers and only left one thats by far, the most useful to me. Its called "Android System Information"
    This app not only can kill processes, it can uninstall them, go to the market page and manage it. Also comes with a nice dashboard providing information and/or status about the; Battery, Internal Memory, SDCard, RAM, Uptime and Network Type with the IP address.

    I highly recommend this app for everyone and every day use!
    orbitor likes this.

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