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Old April 10th, 2012, 10:41 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Applications that start themselves.

I had the original droid for a while, someone once showed me how to set it so that apps weren't starting themselves (most of them at least). I now have a droid 4, and have forgotten how to do that. Does anyone know of a way to keep apps from starting themselves so that I'm not having to continuously force close them?

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Old April 10th, 2012, 10:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Don't FC anything, you'll do more good than harm. Let them be.

The original droid needed that, new Android doesn't and manages memory and resources by itself. Its a rather lengthy discussion, but simple fact is, FC-ing apps in the newer version of Android drains batteries faster and causes more memory issues than leaving them alone.
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Old April 10th, 2012, 10:55 AM   #3 (permalink)
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If you're rooted use Gemini. You can use it to disable triggers that auto-start apps. It's a much better solution than force closing them.
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Old April 10th, 2012, 10:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
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So, I shouldn't need the advanced task killer app like I had on my first phone?
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Old April 10th, 2012, 10:59 AM   #5 (permalink)
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If you are rooted you can use an app called Autostarts to control when apps will be automatically started. Many apps do automatically start in response to a number of triggers. Of course there are good reasons for this in many cases, so disabling this may affect the function of the application - use with care. But there are other cases where I see no reason for the app to start, in which case it's a little tidier.
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Old April 10th, 2012, 11:07 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm a bit of a newbie to this type of thing, what does "rooted" mean?
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Old April 10th, 2012, 11:08 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I currently have the Droid 1 and do not know how to do this. yesterday I FCed all apps while at work, didnt do anything except facebook on it. When I left work my phone was almost dead because FB, maps, several games, etc were all running. It is quite annoying. Why does the new android not need FCed? kinda confusing.
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Old April 10th, 2012, 11:20 AM   #8 (permalink)
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DO NOT use a task killer or try force closing apps that auto-start. You'll just waste effort, battery power and make things worse.

Android does a fine job of automatically handling processes and memory for you. Let Android do its job, relax and enjoy your phone.
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Old April 10th, 2012, 11:29 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm a bit of a newbie to this type of thing, what does "rooted" mean?
If you don't know you shouldn't worry about it until you learn much more about Android. If you really want to learn more about rooting, check the rooting section of this forum, the XDA Developer forum or just start Googling and reading.
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Old April 10th, 2012, 11:41 AM   #10 (permalink)
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So, I shouldn't need the advanced task killer app like I had on my first phone?
You shouldn't use a task killer on any phone running 2.2 or higher.

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I currently have the Droid 1 and do not know how to do this. yesterday I FCed all apps while at work, didnt do anything except facebook on it. When I left work my phone was almost dead because FB, maps, several games, etc were all running. It is quite annoying. Why does the new android not need FCed? kinda confusing.
Android phones do not actually need apps to be force closed in general. None of the phones running 2.2 or higher do.

First, apps that you view as running aren't really doing anything. They are just sitting in the background waiting to be launched. Apps in this state aren't actually using any battery until they are launched. When you force close an app that is sitting idle, it actually uses battery to restart so that it can simply sit in the background again.

Unless you have a poorly written app on your phone (these should probably be uninstalled) then you leave the phone alone to operate as it is intended to. This is the way to get the best performance and battery life out of your phone.
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Old April 10th, 2012, 12:17 PM   #11 (permalink)
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...Unless you have a poorly written app on your phone (these should probably be uninstalled)...
This is the reason I use Gemini to disable several apps triggers. Like it or not there's prob more poorly written apps out there then we'd like to admit. It's easy to say in the 'perfect' world we wouldn't need this and Android would manage everything for us. However, in the real world, this isn't always the case.

Also, when you run across an app who's triggers make no sense try contacting the dev about the issue. I've found most devs want feedback like this and many times fix the problem.

EDIT: I agree task killers aren't a good idea. The best approach is to stop the apps from starting in the first place.
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Old April 10th, 2012, 12:57 PM   #12 (permalink)
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This is the reason I use Gemini to disable several apps triggers...I agree task killers aren't a good idea. The best approach is to stop the apps from starting in the first place.
Well, yeah, but that's not workable advice for the vast majority of users who are not interested in rooting.

In using Android from the very beginning, I think I've had just one app I had to uninstall due to failure to deactivate or exit memory properly. It's actually a rare problem. Most users never will need to give it a thought.
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Old April 10th, 2012, 02:25 PM   #13 (permalink)
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You shouldn't use a task killer on any phone running 2.2 or higher.



Android phones do not actually need apps to be force closed in general. None of the phones running 2.2 or higher do.

First, apps that you view as running aren't really doing anything. They are just sitting in the background waiting to be launched. Apps in this state aren't actually using any battery until they are launched. When you force close an app that is sitting idle, it actually uses battery to restart so that it can simply sit in the background again.

Unless you have a poorly written app on your phone (these should probably be uninstalled) then you leave the phone alone to operate as it is intended to. This is the way to get the best performance and battery life out of your phone.
ok it just always seems that if I look at my "running" apps and there is facebook, gmail, live holdem pro (texas holdem poker game), maps, chase, gallery, shazam, and youtube all on there my battery dies faster than when I FC them. I have the original Droid 1 with slide out keyboard with version 2.2.3 on it.
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Old April 10th, 2012, 05:27 PM   #14 (permalink)
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That applies to system apps. How about carrier bloat that starts and uses data when you don't want it to?

The current unlocked Nexus S usually 99% turns off stuff when you exit. The unlocked but original carrier branded SGS4G would not always end apps at exit. I'd find something like Pocket Money still running after exit. It wasn't using data, just running.
Since it had a password, it should have quit at exit.

So it could be some stuff is left wide open to make the carrier some extra money. TMO customers have had fits with Facebook and Doubletwist.
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Old April 10th, 2012, 07:06 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Alright, so taking your word for it, I just uninstalled the task killer that I had downloaded.
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Old April 11th, 2012, 09:32 PM   #16 (permalink)
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@bturrell: here's a brief writeup on how apps being open aren't bad, but runaway ones are as they tax your CPU.

Watchdog Task Manager 3.6.5.1 Review | Android Arcade and Action App | PCWorld
 
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Old April 11th, 2012, 09:55 PM   #17 (permalink)
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While I agree auto task killers shouldn't be used I don't see a problem with kill tasks on your own.
People like to say the apps aren't really running, but that's not true.

If you have root, busybox, and a terminal emulator you can run the top command and you will see that the apps are indeed running, they are using memory but very little, if any CPU.

There have been plenty of times I have seen apps running that I very rarely use. Autostarts can stop many of them from starting but not all.
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Old April 11th, 2012, 11:06 PM   #18 (permalink)
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While I agree auto task killers shouldn't be used I don't see a problem with kill tasks on your own.
People like to say the apps aren't really running, but that's not true.

If you have root, busybox, and a terminal emulator you can run the top command and you will see that the apps are indeed running, they are using memory but very little, if any CPU.

There have been plenty of times I have seen apps running that I very rarely use. Autostarts can stop many of them from starting but not all.
If you kill a task on your own Android is just going to launch it again in the background later. The only times apps use CPU (battery) is when they are being initially launched, or actively being used.

NO CPU(battery!) IS BEING USED BY KEEPING APPS IN MEMORY(RAM)

However, if you kill the app Android just relaunches the app later, thus consuming more battery.

Linux ram handling is much different than Windows.
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Old April 12th, 2012, 07:18 AM   #19 (permalink)
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If you kill a task on your own Android is just going to launch it again in the background later. The only times apps use CPU (battery) is when they are being initially launched, or actively being used.

NO CPU(battery!) IS BEING USED BY KEEPING APPS IN MEMORY(RAM)

However, if you kill the app Android just relaunches the app later, thus consuming more battery.

Linux ram handling is much different than Windows.
Do you feel better now?

If you actually read my post, I already stated that the apps are using memory but very little if any CPU.

Also, if you kill a task, that task is not necessarily the one that gets restarted. For instance, if I go thru my list of apps running and force close the ones I rarely use, those apps usually don't restart again ever unless I start them myself. I don't mind if the ones I use regularly are running, it's the ones I don't use very often that bother me.

...and please don't attempt to explain Unix to me.
I've worked with Unix for years on svr4, HP-UX, Solaris, AIX, and Linux, and it has nothing to do with this.
None of my Unix servers restart apps unless they are set to respawn in inittab.
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Old April 12th, 2012, 07:44 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Do you feel better now?

If you actually read my post, I already stated that the apps are using memory but very little if any CPU.

Also, if you kill a task, that task is not necessarily the one that gets restarted. For instance, if I go thru my list of apps running and force close the ones I rarely use, those apps usually don't restart again ever unless I start them myself. I don't mind if the ones I use regularly are running, it's the ones I don't use very often that bother me.

...and please don't attempt to explain Unix to me.
I've worked with Unix for years on svr4, HP-UX, Solaris, AIX, and Linux, and it has nothing to do with this.
None of my Unix servers restart apps unless they are set to respawn in inittab.
Android =/= To UNIX.

Android is a Virtual Machine that runs on top of Linux, and has all the benefits of the Linux kernel (RAM Management etc), but still has its own set of rules. Keeping apps cache'd is one of those rules.

I'm sorry if my explanation somehow offended you. Also, keep in mind it's impossible for people to know your educational and personal experience background with OS's and such.
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Old April 12th, 2012, 07:52 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Android =/= To UNIX.

Android is a Virtual Machine that runs on top of Linux, and has all the benefits of the Linux kernel (RAM Management etc), but still has its own set of rules. Keeping apps cache'd is one of those rules.

I'm sorry if my explanation somehow offended you. Also, keep in mind it's impossible for people to know your educational and personal experience background with OS's and such.
That's why I said Linux has nothing to do with this. How Android behaves, in no way means it's how Unix behaves. I've seen so many people here try to compare the two entities. Hell I even had one person tell me "It's not Unix it's Linux" because they didn't know that Linux was a flavor of Unix.

I know that no one will know another person's background without that person expressing it openly.
But I took your comment of "Linux ram handling is much different than Windows" to be a presumption that I must not know anything about Unix.
No harm done.
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Old April 12th, 2012, 08:01 AM   #22 (permalink)
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There are a few issues that need to be taken into account where task killing is concerned.

First, apps tend to use underlying Linux services and when you kill an app, you may leave wasted resources and those services running without any way to control them.

Second, Android has the intent mechanism - the triggers mentioned throughout this thread. Some apps are set at startup, but some apps will set an intent for another app. This is a great feature that allows things like a dialer to ensure that contacts are running. It's also the darling of abuse by bloatware and other rogue apps. Killing that sort of nonsense is like filling a bucket with a hole in the bottom - it can't be done. The apps keep getting restarted off of the intent set and task killing becomes a vicious cycle. When this happens, only rooting and removing the unwanted bloatware can really save you.

Third, properly configured, the Android system first hibernates apps (pretty much a unix sleep), then will park the app - leaving just a small amount of memory used to allow fast restart of the app where it left off, then finally, when that's not been used and resources are needed, will swap even that out of memory. That all happens thanks to the Android scheduler. When you task kill separately and apart from that, you confuse the data for the scheduler and it then tends to go into overtime, again, losing you what you've gained.

If you have a rogue app, such as most bloatware, and you can't root, you may find some benefit to task killing, but it's nowhere near what you'd find rooting and removing it.

Hope this all helps!
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Old April 12th, 2012, 09:20 AM   #23 (permalink)
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While I agree auto task killers shouldn't be used I don't see a problem with kill tasks on your own.
People like to say the apps aren't really running, but that's not true.

If you have root, busybox, and a terminal emulator you can run the top command and you will see that the apps are indeed running, they are using memory but very little, if any CPU.

There have been plenty of times I have seen apps running that I very rarely use. Autostarts can stop many of them from starting but not all.
So what? They're not affecting battery or performance so why does any of that matter? What makes you think Android needs any help at all dealing with processes or memory?

I cannot agree with EarlyMon that there is anything to be gained by killing bloatware apps. Only true 'rogue' apps which refuse to terminate or exit memory properly.

Registered Linux user #266351 Android since v1.0
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Old April 12th, 2012, 09:44 AM   #24 (permalink)
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So what? They're not affecting battery or performance so why does any of that matter? What makes you think Android needs any help at all dealing with processes or memory?

I cannot agree with Early Mon that there is anything to be gained by killing bloatware apps. Only true 'rogue' apps which refuse to terminate or exit memory properly.

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You are correct. There are rare exceptions and I faced one firsthand.

Normally, the Amazon MP3 bloat will wake up, see that there's nothing to do and peacefully hibernate and then go away, minimal impact.

Three of us faced this case on the Evo - and I proved it with logs - it would wake up, and go into an endless loop attempting an Amazon login. It was able to eat a full charge in less than 3 hours, no other user apps running.

Factory data reset, clearing everything on the Amazon MP3 app, nothing helped. I can't prove this, but I suspect that it was multi-threaded with poor control and the three of us with the problem were fighting a race condition that others couldn't produce.

Using a task manager got me up to 6 hours of battery life. Rooting and just removing the damn thing solved the problem entirely.

In all non-exceptional cases, I agree with you.

But I singled out bloatware for a simple reason: user-installed rogue apps can be uninstalled, case closed. Carrier installed rogue apps are a pain in the neck because they can't be uninstalled until rooted.

And note well - there were 7 million Evos sold, and only three of us here reporting the issue with that one app with those symptoms.

I'm glad you objected so that I could clarify the point. Don't go using a task killer on bloatware just because - it'll do more harm than good.

But do seek community advice if you think you have an exceptional case, because you probably don't and we can all help.
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Old April 12th, 2012, 11:20 AM   #25 (permalink)
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So what? They're not affecting battery or performance so why does any of that matter? What makes you think Android needs any help at all dealing with processes or memory?

I cannot agree with EarlyMon that there is anything to be gained by killing bloatware apps. Only true 'rogue' apps which refuse to terminate or exit memory properly.

Registered Linux user #266351 Android since v1.0
It matters because I don't want an app I that I rarely use to run on its own taking up memory.
They can affect performance by using memory.

If you don't agree so be it, that's your right, I honestly don't care, but just because that's your opinion doesn't mean I have to agree.

I think it's incredibly amusing that so many of you advocate rooting and romming to have complete control of your devices, yet when someone wants to be able to control the app behavior you take issue with it.

I have cron and sar running on my Nexus, don't need it but it was fun to do.
You have fun by doing what you want on yours, that's what would be fun for me.

I would love to be able to control how and when my apps start by using RC scripts or inittab.
I'd love to be able to tune the memory, caching and paging space.
It may not be necessary but it would sure be fun for me.
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Old April 12th, 2012, 11:28 AM   #26 (permalink)
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It matters because I don't want an app I that I rarely use to run on its own taking up memory.
They can affect performance by using memory.

If you don't agree so be it, that's your right, I honestly don't care, but just because that's your opinion doesn't mean I have to agree.

I think it's incredibly amusing that so many of you advocate rooting and romming to have complete control of your devices, yet when someone wants to be able to control the app behavior you take issue with it.
After Android 2.2, it having an app cached into the memory will not affect the performance of your device negatively. As far as poorly coded apps, I prefer just to get rid of them altogether.

Because of the way Android is built, if you unload an app manually, Android will either just reload that same app, or find another one to take its place.
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Old April 12th, 2012, 11:29 AM   #27 (permalink)
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I think the key, with anything in Android, is knowing what you are looking at. If you observe an app that is killing your battery because it isn't functioning properly then somethings needs to be done by the user to handle that. Freezing or uninstalling the app in question is always going to be the best solution, but there are rare occasions that other methods need to be used.

Overall the use of a task killer or task manager on and Android device running Froyo and beyond will do far more harm than good. Killing processes or apps can start to cause issues in the general operation of the device, especially with custom UIs like Sense. Killing a rouge app may help short term and it is for that very reason that force closing is an option in settings, but it is not a long term solution. Long term you are looking at a possibly crippled device with this method.

The best course of action when you run into an app that just won't work well is to remove it. If it is a system app or bloat then removing updates and reinstalling may help. If it goes beyond that, then the next option is rooting and uninstalling or freezing. If that is not an option then a reset may work best. A task killer isn't going to keep things running smooth for very long and in cases dealing with battery life it is going to drain much more than it will conserve.

As many have said before, if it isn't broken don't fix it. Let the OS do its job and enjoy the device.
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Old April 12th, 2012, 11:47 AM   #28 (permalink)
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I advocate rooting and I don't take issue with taking control of app behavior.

I simply advocate making sure the goals are met with an engineered approach.
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Old April 12th, 2012, 11:50 AM   #29 (permalink)
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After Android 2.2, it having an app cached into the memory will not affect the performance of your device negatively. As far as poorly coded apps, I prefer just to get rid of them altogether.

Because of the way Android is built, if you unload an app manually, Android will either just reload that same app, or find another one to take its place.
As previously stated, I don't have a problem with it starting apps I use frequently or keeping them running, I would do that with scripting anyway, it's the ones I rarely use that keep starting that bothers me.
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Old April 12th, 2012, 11:53 AM   #30 (permalink)
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As previously stated, I don't have a problem with it starting apps I use frequently or keeping them running, I would do that with scripting anyway, it's the ones I rarely use that keep starting that bothers me.
Curious, why does it bother you? If you let Android do it's thing, it'll learn what you use(usually) and then keep that loaded.

(Again, minus the whole poorly written app deal.)
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Old April 12th, 2012, 11:57 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Knowing that I can tune memory, caching, IO, paging, etc on other platforms to make the system run optimally as I see it, is what makes me not have the high opinion that you all seem to have that Android is handling it efficiently.

For me the proof would be me having the option to tune it as I see fit, and see if I make it better or worse.
In other words, full control of my device instead of being at the mercy of Android's own tuning.

Everyone has their own opinion, mine just happens to be different than yours.
No big deal.
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Old April 12th, 2012, 12:01 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Curious, why does it bother you? If you let Android do it's thing, it'll learn what you use(usually) and then keep that loaded.

(Again, minus the whole poorly written app deal.)
I have had apps running that I rarely use running on a regular basis, seesmic is one example.
It doesn't matter when the last time I used it was. The exception being if I force closed an app. That app won't get started again unless I start it. Task killers apparently don't actually force close the apps, if anything they do a kill.
I can't tell you what the difference is between force closing and killing on Android, (maybe it's a kill -15 vs a kill -9) I just know it's different because if I use a task manager to kill it, it will eventually restart, if I force close it, it will not.
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Old April 12th, 2012, 01:43 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Knowing that I can tune memory, caching, IO, paging, etc on other platforms to make the system run optimally as I see it, is what makes me not have the high opinion that you all seem to have that Android is handling it efficiently.

For me the proof would be me having the option to tune it as I see fit, and see if I make it better or worse.
In other words, full control of my device instead of being at the mercy of Android's own tuning.

Everyone has their own opinion, mine just happens to be different than yours.
No big deal.
So, are you familiar with System Tuner?

If not, it may be just what you're looking for - personally, I recommend it.

It's absolutely not for everyone but at your level of experience, you ought to be ok.

Again - sorry, but it's my thing, you're not the only one reading this - disclaimer: never tinker with your system without a full nandroid backup first.

And don't even think of using System Tuner to tweak Android unless you're expert in unix and stack virtual machines, one, the other, or both. In my opinion.
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Old April 12th, 2012, 02:10 PM   #34 (permalink)
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So, are you familiar with System Tuner?

If not, it may be just what you're looking for - personally, I recommend it.

It's absolutely not for everyone but at your level of experience, you ought to be ok.

Again - sorry, but it's my thing, you're not the only one reading this - disclaimer: never tinker with your system without a full nandroid backup first.

And don't even think of using System Tuner to tweak Android unless you're expert in unix and stack virtual machines, one, the other, or both. In my opinion.
Nope, never heard of it. I'll take a look. Thanks.
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Old April 12th, 2012, 02:35 PM   #35 (permalink)
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I have had apps running that I rarely use running on a regular basis, seesmic is one example.
It doesn't matter when the last time I used it was. The exception being if I force closed an app. That app won't get started again unless I start it. Task killers apparently don't actually force close the apps, if anything they do a kill.
I can't tell you what the difference is between force closing and killing on Android, (maybe it's a kill -15 vs a kill -9) I just know it's different because if I use a task manager to kill it, it will eventually restart, if I force close it, it will not.
Have you considered ROM/kernel development? I can't think of a better way to fine tune your device by hand.
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Old April 12th, 2012, 03:07 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Have you considered ROM/kernel development? I can't think of a better way to fine tune your device by hand.
Set /system to read-write using EStrongs File Explorer and also edit post-boot init files to tune the system.

Some files may be hidden by the runtime ramdisk, so often, cooking your own rom can be as simple as taking your rom to an editable environment, modify whatever Linux parameters desired, and then re-packaging as a flashable rom. (Can't edit through the ramdisk, so that's the only way.)

That's how a great many rom devs get into it in the first place.

Just saying.
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Old April 12th, 2012, 03:08 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Have you considered ROM/kernel development? I can't think of a better way to fine tune your device by hand.
That requires programming skills which I don't have. I could probably teach myself over time (I taught myself Unix, hacmp, websphere, performance/tuning, NIM, etc), I honestly just don't have the desire to do programming.
I think it's due to the laziness.
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Old April 12th, 2012, 07:13 PM   #38 (permalink)
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I have had apps running that I rarely use running on a regular basis, seesmic is one example.
It doesn't matter when the last time I used it was. The exception being if I force closed an app. That app won't get started again unless I start it.
Seesmic is a type of app that syncs at a specific time interval. Its just a background process active that doesn't do anything because its not being used, just like a random program set up to run at boot. It won't die after you start it because its waiting for the time interval to sync. For example, if you are actually using it with notifications, if you kill it, it won't alert you of mentions or direct messages every 15min like its supposed to.
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Old April 12th, 2012, 08:43 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Seesmic is a type of app that syncs at a specific time interval. Its just a background process active that doesn't do anything because its not being used, just like a random program set up to run at boot. It won't die after you start it because its waiting for the time interval to sync. For example, if you are actually using it with notifications, if you kill it, it won't alert you of mentions or direct messages every 15min like its supposed to.
If I had actually logged in and had it set to sync I would agree with you, but since I didn't...
Not to mention, seesmic was just one example.
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Old April 14th, 2012, 08:57 PM   #40 (permalink)
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If I had actually logged in and had it set to sync I would agree with you, but since I didn't...
Not to mention, seesmic was just one example.
No. Its like one of those programs you install on your computer that has startup on boot privileges. Your phone starts seesmic up on boot, then it just sits in the background.
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Old April 14th, 2012, 09:07 PM   #41 (permalink)
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No. Its like one of those programs you install on your computer that has startup on boot privileges. Your phone starts seesmic up on boot, then it just sits in the background.
If I force close it, it doesn't start again until I start it, so that can't be the case.
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Old April 14th, 2012, 09:55 PM   #42 (permalink)
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If I force close it, it doesn't start again until I start it, so that can't be the case.
Uh, you aren't booting up again after force closing, so why should it start again? It has permission to startup at boot, not everytime after it closes. Android still probably recognizes it as an unused or rarely used app (I seem to remember you said so yourself) so I guess its normal.

Also, once you start it, it turns on the sync process which runs in background. It doesn't however turn it off after you logged out, it just sits in the background waiting to be turned on again if you needed it, not using resources.
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