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Old March 1st, 2010, 08:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default SystemPanel: a task killer for people who hate task killers.

(scroll down for screenshots)

Hello all,

I've written a new task manager / system information app called "SystemPanel". It displays a list of running applications, and allows you to view information about them, e.g., memory consumption, when they were started, how much CPU time they've used since start, and so on. It of course provides "task killing" capabilities; it can end individual apps, all apps, or groups of apps such as "inactive" or "background" apps.

It also provides meters to show you current CPU consumption, network use, memory use, and SD card use. A "system info" function is available from the menu that provides all the gory details about your phone, everything from your Wi-Fi router's mac address to your Android build number.

A word of warning....SystemPanel does NOT offer a capability to automatically kill tasks in order to "save battery life". I disagree with the idea that such a thing would offer an improvement. The Android OS does a fine job of this all by itself, and such a capability would only be helpful if an app were suffering from a bug (or poorly written), such that is consumed battery unnecssarily in a semi-dormant state. And in that case, killing it every few minutes isn't going to solve the problem...one needs to uninstall it or contact the developer. If you happen to know a technically sound reason why such a task killing strategy is beneficial with well written apps, please let me know, and I'll be happy to rethink this. If you do want such functionality, there are tons of other task killers that supposedly have this feature.

Please feel free to post bugs / suggest features. At the time of this writing, 1.0b1 has just hit the market. It's been tested on Droid, Nexus One, G1, and a few emulators. It supports 1.5-2.1+, QVGA, HVGA, and WVGA.

Search for either "SystemPanel" or "NextApp" on the market.

Best
--Tod

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Old March 1st, 2010, 08:24 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Main screen:


Viewing details about a process:


"System Info" screen, available from menu:


"Monitor" screen, available from menu, or by tapping on graphs at top of main screen:


"Installer Package Details" screen, showing an installed package that has been archived to the SD card.
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Old March 1st, 2010, 08:31 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Wow. Very nice!
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Old March 1st, 2010, 09:28 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tliebeck View Post
... snip ... it can end individual apps, all apps, or groups of apps such as "inactive" or "background" apps.
Great app, great interface, easy to understand and use. VERY WELL DONE; thanks!

I can't figure out how to end groups of apps though. What am I missing?

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Old March 1st, 2010, 09:34 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I like it. Thanks
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Old March 1st, 2010, 11:03 AM   #6 (permalink)
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This is a very nicely designed and useful app! Thanks!

Let me get this straight: the main screen shows the amount of CPU time that each app has used since startup.

So would it make sense that the app I'm running that's used more CPU time than any other one is "Battery Left." That's showing almost 10 minutes, versus the #2 app with less than 5 minutes, "Messaging."

Is that what that means?
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 03:25 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks all for the positive comments!

Quote:
Originally Posted by (G) View Post
This is a very nicely designed and useful app! Thanks!

Let me get this straight: the main screen shows the amount of CPU time that each app has used since startup.

So would it make sense that the app I'm running that's used more CPU time than any other one is "Battery Left." That's showing almost 10 minutes, versus the #2 app with less than 5 minutes, "Messaging."

Is that what that means?
Yep, CPU time indicates how much time an app has spent using the equivalent of 100% of the CPU. So for example if an app ran for 4 minutes at 50% CPU, it would accumulate 2 minutes of "CPU time". We're also showing the time the app was started (both as actual time and as a difference from the current time). The "average consumption" value is simply CPU time / time since start.

How long has BatteryLeft been running? I actually happened to see the following thread while paging through the list to find this one:

problems with battery widget

If BatteryLeft has only been running for a short time (e.g., < 24 hours), I'd recommend disabling it and/or contacting the developer until the problem can be resolved.
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 06:58 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Like the look of this, will try it...Thanks
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 07:34 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I have it installed since a few days now and I really like it.
thanks!
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 07:43 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Nice!

The small % figures on the CPU Activity screen could do with being a very small amount bigger on my Tattoo, but overall fantastic work!!
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 07:44 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Any plans to add an ignore list? Also, I wish the task list were in a smaller font to be able to see more tasks per page. Regardless, thanks for this app!
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 07:53 AM   #12 (permalink)
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if it gets an ignore list, im in.
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 09:54 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tliebeck View Post
Thanks all for the positive comments!
Yep, CPU time indicates how much time an app has spent using the equivalent of 100% of the CPU.
Thanks! BatteryLeft just had an update, so I rebooted the phone and now everything will get a chance to start from scratch.

Thanks again for the app!
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 11:44 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Great app. Very clean.
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 12:35 PM   #15 (permalink)
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When it says memory used it is referring to RAM or internal system memory?
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 04:06 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shawn1224 View Post
When it says memory used it is referring to RAM or internal system memory?
Memory used is current system memory (RAM), i.e., when an app is killed, that memory will be reclaimed for use by others. These values actually get a little bit fuzzy, due the fact that applications share common memory with one another (all modern OSes do this, but it obviously can cause a minor annoyance when you want to know how much RAM just *one* process is using).

Bear in mind though that Android works much differently than a desktop OS (Windows/OS X/Linux) in that "inactive" apps are *effectively* not using any memory at all...in the event that the system needs it, the memory of apps shown as "inactive" apps will be automatically reclaimed.
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 04:10 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckyweet View Post
Any plans to add an ignore list? Also, I wish the task list were in a smaller font to be able to see more tasks per page. Regardless, thanks for this app!
Ignore list will very likely be added.

Some people love the big buttons, other people don't seem to care for them as much. I'm thinking I'm going to add a half-size set of icons and provide an option to choose. Will be adding option to reduce process sizes as well.

There's quite a bit of work to be done on this app yet feature-wise, so please bear with me if these options don't show up immediately.
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 02:13 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Nice app. Optional button sizes will be good.
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 03:33 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Looks like a pretty slick app - have installed and am trying it out. Thanks
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Old March 4th, 2010, 02:45 AM   #20 (permalink)
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as soon as it gets an ignore list im in.
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Old March 6th, 2010, 04:48 PM   #21 (permalink)
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For everyone wanting an ignore-list/autokill feature, I'd like to know more about your habits when using a task killer.

Specifically, what apps are you adding to the ignore list (and why), and how are you using your current task killer...are you manually invoking end all when things get slow on the phone?

Do you intentionally run apps that you *know* cause battery drain / performance issues / slowdowns, but you otherwise like them enough / *need* them to the point where you're willing to tolerate it and rely on your task killer to clean up their mess?

My current plan is to add an exclude capability, and then have most options in the "End All" menu not end those apps. The exception will be a *new* option for that menu that simply ends everything.

As far as autokilling goes, my plan is to try and help the user solve the problem of figuring out which apps are causing a problem, such that they may be uninstalled/otherwise avoided, rather than using the traditional task-killer "carpet-bombing" strategy.
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Old March 7th, 2010, 01:16 AM   #22 (permalink)
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i have to have an igore feature for certain apps, especially widgets that cannot be killed or will not function properly, and for apps that i have continuously updating itself.
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Old March 7th, 2010, 03:10 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Look cool will download tomorrow. Just wanted to say that I like your task killing approach and I have been using the aggressive task killing method... Maybe I will stop =D
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Old March 8th, 2010, 01:43 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Just got this last night, nice lay out and lots of info.
thanks
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Old March 18th, 2010, 08:25 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Hi all!

The second beta release is out. This is a fairly significant overhaul of the app, and adds a major new component, the "Installer". Task killer exclusion has also been added, along with a better "end all" menu.

The Installer is an application manager which allows you to archive/install (non-copy-protected) apps to your SD card. With this feature, you can archive multiple versions of an app to your SD card. This is helpful if you want to keep seldom-used apps out of your precious and limited application memory. It additionally enables you to avoid the heartbreak of updating an app and finding out the new version is broken...just make sure you archive a version/versions which have worked well for you *before* you update an app.

Installing requires that your device support installing non-market apps, and that you have this feature enabled.

The Installer is the first PAID feature. The app will have Lite/Pro versions, with the Lite version being free (and NOT having ads), and the Pro version being paid. During beta, all features are free. If you have no intent of ever buying the paid version and don't want to be annoyed by its features, there is an option in the settings which you can uncheck such the app will behave as the Lite version.

As *OFTEN* requested, the task killer now has an exclude feature. In retrospect, it was a bad call not to have this feature in beta1.

The "end all" feature has been changed a bit. Previously, you had to press-and-hold "end all" to see a context menu of options. The new behavior is that pressing end all brings up a dialog which allows selecting a "level" of apps to end, while press-holding it will end all non-excluded apps.

The small icons option is not present yet, but if you uncheck the "show menu button" option in the Settings you'll buy a bit more screen real estate.

Please let me know what you think, greatly appreciate bug reports/feature requests/criticism. 1.0b2 has been tested on Droid, N1, G1, QVGA 1.6 emulator, and HVGA 1.5 emulator. It should support anything 1.5+.

<<< EDIT: Screenshots 1 and 5 have been updated at top of thread >>>

Best
--Tod
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Old March 18th, 2010, 08:40 AM   #26 (permalink)
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How much will you be charging for the Pro version?
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Old March 18th, 2010, 02:35 PM   #27 (permalink)
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How much will you be charging for the Pro version?
Not decided at the moment. More paid-specific functionality will be added before release. Price will be in the normal utility app range though.
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Old March 18th, 2010, 03:18 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Woooowww! Just did the update! It look so much nicer and professional.
A lot of great new feature! Will pay for that app anytime you're ready!

Very good job!
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Old March 18th, 2010, 07:05 PM   #29 (permalink)
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I actually quit killing apps and let android just run.
However I do have a task killer at hand in case an app acts up.
Your app is very nice and promising.
Tons of useful information and seems pretty quick.
I'm keeping SytemPanel installed.
I do have Advanced Task Manager installed also.
I keep that around too because it also shows useful information,
such as Services and System processes.
Good job though and keep up the good work.
*Anxious for future updates
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Old March 18th, 2010, 09:17 PM   #30 (permalink)
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I am curious about some of the features on the system panel from some of the users here. I have had it installed for the last few days and have only had my Eris for about 3 weeks, so I am really new to this.

I have pretty much the same stuff as everyone here as far as apps go. alot of the apps in the favorite apps thread, I have or have tried.

what I am wondering is what some of you would consider exclude list items and what would be ones you would use the install button for. I am totally confused by this...

Would things like the HTC stuff that always runs whether you kill it or not be stuff to exclude or not... An example would be HTC Sense and Messages. They have to run and will restart no matter what. Exclude them???

And something like the browser I am using currently.. Opera Mini 5. Would that be something to put in the Install part??

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 12:56 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eghill1125 View Post
I am curious about some of the features on the system panel from some of the users here. I have had it installed for the last few days and have only had my Eris for about 3 weeks, so I am really new to this.

I have pretty much the same stuff as everyone here as far as apps go. alot of the apps in the favorite apps thread, I have or have tried.

what I am wondering is what some of you would consider exclude list items and what would be ones you would use the install button for. I am totally confused by this...

Would things like the HTC stuff that always runs whether you kill it or not be stuff to exclude or not... An example would be HTC Sense and Messages. They have to run and will restart no matter what. Exclude them???

And something like the browser I am using currently.. Opera Mini 5. Would that be something to put in the Install part??

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
My opinion on killing apps, is "don't unless it's necessary". Android already does 99.9% of the work for you with regard to starting/stopping tasks. You do not need to open your task killer every few hours or before you're going to do something important and press "END ALL". Android is not Windows Mobile 6, it actually has a well-engineered system for loading and unloading apps as needed.

The Installer feature of SystemPanel simply lets you archive apps that you don't use very often to your SD card. When you need to use them, you can put them back. It's also nice as you can save different versions of the same app to the SD card, which comes in handy if a developer puts out a bad release, or a new release that just doesn't work well with your particular phone.
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 04:48 PM   #32 (permalink)
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I downloaded and it works very well... Love the interface... Passed it on to buddies at work...

Nice job... Let us know when then paid version is out... I will gladly pay for the final version.
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Old April 5th, 2010, 04:20 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Beta4 is out. It adds some very minor updates, including battery/CPU temperatures and current CPU frequency. Regrettably the Nexus One does not seem to provide CPU temperature data. The G1 and Droid do.

I never updated this thread for beta3. Beta3 grouped applications into categories, i.e., "Active" (actually running) apps, "Inactive" apps that have only been preloaded into memory and are not using ANY CPU/battery resources, and internal system applications. It additionally adds a very simple "End All" widget and the beginnings of in-app Help documentation. Be sure to read the "Help" item labeled "Task Management".

There are still a few "key" features to come. Again I'd like to stress that this application's approach to "task killing" is not / will not be to mindless kill all running processes at intervals. That strategy only works when you have battery-eating apps on your phone. There's an obvious, superior solution to this problem, and I'm working toward SystemPanel being able to provide you with all the information you need to solve it.
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Old April 5th, 2010, 06:13 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Excellent app. Possible to sort the listed apps by memory usage?
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Old April 5th, 2010, 07:16 PM   #35 (permalink)
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excellent app. Possible to sort the listed apps by memory usage?
+1
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Old April 5th, 2010, 09:24 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Awesome Application dev!

My only point of interest that could be negative may or may not have anything to do with the program. I noticed that it killed all tasks just like it was supposed to, but it also removed my live wallpaper. Is there anything I can do to remedy this?
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Old April 5th, 2010, 09:48 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Awesome Application dev!

My only point of interest that could be negative may or may not have anything to do with the program. I noticed that it killed all tasks just like it was supposed to, but it also removed my live wallpaper. Is there anything I can do to remedy this?
At the moment you'll have to manually exclude your Live wallpaper process. It should appear in the list of processes.
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Old April 6th, 2010, 10:33 AM   #38 (permalink)
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I'm not a fan of task killers and I don't use one, but I really like your app and the direction you are taking it. When people say that they just have to have a task killer on their phone, this is the one I recommend. Really nice work.

I would really like to see some battery use information per app in future updates, if possible.

Keep up the great work.
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Old April 6th, 2010, 06:56 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Very nice work.
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Old April 6th, 2010, 09:06 PM   #40 (permalink)
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n-thing the love for this app. The only suggestion I can think of at this point would be the ability to sort based on various parameters—total CPU time, memory use, and the like.

Thanks for your great work! I'll definitely be keeping an eye on this app and will probably buy the full version when the beta expires!
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Old April 6th, 2010, 11:36 PM   #41 (permalink)
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At the moment you'll have to manually exclude your Live wallpaper process. It should appear in the list of processes.
I thought of that. Even with the process excluded it still kills it every time.
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Old April 14th, 2010, 08:16 AM   #42 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone...more features are in the works, most importantly with regard to finding out what processes are over-consuming resources.

In the meantime, 1.0 beta 5 is now out now with the following:
  • Much faster installer performance. Icons are now lazy-loaded, and application names are cached, such that installer does not have to pre-examine all installed packages. The performance improvement may not be quite as noticeable the first time you visit the installer after upgrading, but will be on subsequent visits.
  • Installer now has an "archive all" feature. Available from the Menu on the "Package List" screen. Run this before updating apps, if desired.
  • Network bandwidth meters now show Kbps rather than Mbps unless at least 1.0Mbps is being used.
  • Dev Info screen has been reorganized into categories. Added a bit more data as well.
  • Fix for FC when viewing details of certain apps, e.g. Locale. If you see any force-closes, please report them ASAP. An FC error is *completely unacceptable* in any scenario.
  • New help/about screens.
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Old April 14th, 2010, 12:30 PM   #43 (permalink)
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I will be downloading this app and giving it a shot I've joined the anti task killer camp but this seems like it might be useful
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Old April 27th, 2010, 05:58 PM   #44 (permalink)
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I just downloaded The lastest update and now it sit's in my task bar at the top of the phone (Droid Eris)where advanced task killer USE to sit.
Nice job on this app, looks very nice and has a TON of info. Keep up the great work
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Old April 30th, 2010, 11:12 AM   #45 (permalink)
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Love your app, but how do I get rid of the system panel icon on my notification bar?
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Old April 30th, 2010, 04:24 PM   #46 (permalink)
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I like your approach..

I'll try it once I get my EVO 4g
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Old May 2nd, 2010, 06:05 AM   #47 (permalink)
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Love your app, but how do I get rid of the system panel icon on my notification bar?
You can turn it off in the settings, uncheck "Monitoring Enabled".

And apologies for having this on in the first place. I like it and recommend it, but it was supposed to be OFF by default. Beta7 was released a few hours later to correct this issue, but if you happened to ever install beta6 (for its brief existence), it would be turned on for you and you'll have to manually turn it off.

Additionally I'll mention that beta8 was released a few hours later to fix an FC issue. I realize 3 releases in a day is unpleasant, and every effort is made to avoid such things from happening...but if critical bugs are reported such as force-closes, a new release will be posted ASAP.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 01:07 PM   #48 (permalink)
 
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great app!

What does the date "Time" means at the Device Information?
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 01:33 PM   #49 (permalink)
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Was wondering since the last update my SystemPanel app doesn't show running when I turn my phone on in the morning. I have "start at boot" checked in the settings
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 02:24 PM   #50 (permalink)
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I love this program. It is one of the best task killers available. The GUI is awesome.
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