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Old January 7th, 2010, 04:59 AM   #51 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Tisnatch View Post
I have to agree with kronium. I read this article and I was like "wow... now I understand." So I stopped using my task killer. And I started experiencing more laggy behavior from the interface. For example, I'll be in the Phone app (which you would think would extra special super priority over other apps) and experience lag tapping the keys. Or I'll be flipping through the People app looking for contact information and experience major lag when changing which information tab under a contact displays. If I kill the extraneous tasks when this happens (e.g. Browser, The Weather Channel, Facebook) then everything is bright and snappy again. I can't disagree with the original post, which was excellent, BTW. But my perceived experience on the Sprint Hero suggests that the task killer can be useful.

As romeosidvicious says, your issues will be due to some dodgy apps running in the background or too many apps sets to auto-update. I don't experience any of the problems you describe.

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Old January 7th, 2010, 11:07 AM   #52 (permalink)
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Thanks for the post romeosidvicious. So, I'm willing to do some troubleshooting. Which apps do you recommend to help with the troubleshooting process? I have a Sprint Hero that isn't rooted.
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Old January 7th, 2010, 11:19 AM   #53 (permalink)
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Tisnatch download spare parts from market and check out the battery information tool to discover cpu usage and wake issue culprits.
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Old January 7th, 2010, 11:35 AM   #54 (permalink)
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Do CPU usage and wake issues directly translate to RAM/memory leak problems?
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Old January 7th, 2010, 11:40 AM   #55 (permalink)
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No but if it prevents sleep it is problematic. anyqay.
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Old January 7th, 2010, 11:52 AM   #56 (permalink)
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Thanks for the post romeosidvicious. So, I'm willing to do some troubleshooting. Which apps do you recommend to help with the troubleshooting process? I have a Sprint Hero that isn't rooted.
Tell you what I'll write up something today and hopefully post it this evening about how to troubleshoot this stuff on a phone. But TF1984 is right: Spare Parts is a good place to start. MOST of the badly behaving apps I've seen stay awake along with leaking memory so it's a good start.

Another common issue IS an HTC issue but not an Android issue having to do with HTC's location service (which is removed in the latest fresh ROM for this reason).

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Location services are causing multiple "heartbeats" on the phone all on top of each other. One guy counted as many as 253 in 5 seconds. This consumes the CPU.
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So there's a starting point and I'll get something typed up on how to troubleshoot slowness issues and posted this evening.

I do want to add that I don't doubt people are seeing slowness and I never have. I just believe it's usually not memory related. I failed, and need to edit the OP to reflect this, to note that badly coded apps can eat the CPU up without using much RAM at all and cause slowness. I could probably write an app to do just that as proof of concept. Anyway back to work...
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Old January 7th, 2010, 05:16 PM   #57 (permalink)
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I may tack this on to the OP and for now it's a work in progress:

Troubleshooting phone slowness.

Based on the OP I can assure you that memory is the least likely cause of slowness for your phone. The huge letters reminding you that you are not running a Windows Mobile device should say enough. The OP goes through some of the technical details of Linux, and therefore Android, memory management but it doesn't talk about the things that can cause your phone to slow down. Maybe I was a little myopic in the OP so here is an addendum which I may add to the OP later that talks about why your may have slowness on your Hero and how to troubleshoot the issue. I have tried to aim this towards the non-rooted phone but the same steps apply to rooted phones as well.

Things to remember:

1. The phone is always slow when booted because it's processing every single thing in startup. You can't edit this so you have to wait until everything has started, updated via the intertubes and so on. You can mitigate this by having fewer widgets that access the intertubes for information because when you boot all of them want updates.

2. The number of apps you have showing up in your task manager doesn't matter one single bit. You may think it does but it doesn't. Get this out of your head before you start troubleshooting.

Troubleshooting slowness on your phone:

First we have to understand why the phone could be slow. Since we aren't in the Windows world then memory is not the first place we look. It could be memory but chances are good that it is not so we won't even look at a task manager during troubleshooting.

I assume you have had your Hero for a bit and installed a bunch of cool crap from the Marketplace mainly because that's what I did and everyone I know did. If you are reading this before you have installed anything then you are in luck because I can give you the best advice in the world. Don't install more than one thing at a time! If you already have a ton of apps and can bring yourself to do it then factory restore your phone. Most of you won't like this idea so we'll work through troubleshooting without it. But if you fall into the category of not having apps coming out of your ears already jsut install one thing at a time, let that one thing run for a bit, and see how it affects your phone. If your phone was fine and last night you installed Panty Raid for Android (a funny name for a fake app) then this morning your phone is slow don't go get a task manager! Just uninstall Panty Raid and reboot your phone and the problem SHOULD be gone. If you install all of your apps like this you will end up with a core set of apps you know don't screw with your phone. Do updates the same way and you should never have to troubleshoot much of anything.

So what actually makes an Android phone slow? I have found two major culprits, well actually one but it makes sense to address them as two, and those are CPU and Data. If an application is hogging the CPU then no other process can get to the CPU and they all sit there in the queue waiting to be processed and making the phone slow. Imagine a line for a roller coaster, a one seat roller coaster, and on the coaster is a bully who won't let anyone else on until he feels sick then one or two people can slip on but as soon as he feels better he's right back on the coaster. The line would move slower than molasses in January! That's pretty much how the system processes things. Normally apps are nice (inside joke for the geeks) and there aren't any issues because they all share processor time back and forth. But if an app gets out of control then it's eating CPU cycles and not leaving any for anyone else.

Data is sort of the same way. The pathway across which the system transfers data is not very big. I won't go into technical details here because they are boring but transferring data involves system calls across a small pathway and having the CPU process the bits. Normally this isn't a big deal since apps don't deal with large data chunks on a phone however apps that manage things like mp3 libraries, hi-res wallpaper and things like that can cause slowness. This is especially true if they scan the SD Card for changes which, at that point, is utilizing two different data pathways and the CPU. Toss in networking with this app and you have an app that can make your phone a sloth. You add in the networking stack, regardless of whether or not it's REV1, REV0, or WiFi and your just adding more CPU time and other pathways into the mix. So even with a well coded app anytime you are moving around data, regardless of the source of the data (SD, WiFi, and so on) your phone will slow down noticeably but this should be a temporary slow down. Notably if you get a lot of email and check your email every 15 minutes and have 3 accounts you could almost cripple your phone.

So with those explanations out of the way, if you are still with me, let's start troubleshooting phone slowness.

Tools:

Go download spare parts from the Market. Spare parts is your friend. It won't help you right away as you need to let it gather data but it will help find bad apps. If you are the patient type install spare parts, reboot your phone, and come back in a couple of hours.

Troubleshooting:
  1. - Check your awake time: Main screen -> Menu -> Settings -> About Phone -> Status: If your awake time is high then you likely have an app that's not behaving properly. Now let's figure out what app that is.
  2. - Load up spare parts and see if any apps are keeping your phone awake. (If you aren't the patient type skip to step two). Check the following:
    • - Battery History -> CPU Usage: If you see an app you aren't "using" a lot with high CPU usage you may have found your culprit.
    • - Battery History -> Partial Wake Usage: Nothing should be high here at all. Partial wake is like when the weather app updates and then goes back to sleep. If you have high partial wake from an app it's doing a lot while you are not using it.
  3. - Widgets: Turn off any widgets you don't need. Widgets update and keep caches. If you have a dozen widgets that all update on a regular basis then you will see slowness if more than a couple of them try to update at once. See the explanation above on data being the cause of a slowdown. Uninstall any widgets you have downloaded and are not using.
  4. - Applications: If none of the above has led you to a conclusion and your phone is still slow then it's time to start looking at apps. The only real way to do this is one at a time. Don't update your apps before you start this because you may introduce new issues. This is a painful but easy process. Every app you installed needs to come off your phone one at a time. Uninstall the app, reboot the phone, let it run for a while and if the slowness comes back move on to the next app. Do not re-install apps between these tests. When you get to a point that your phone isn't slowing down anymore then you can start adding apps back in. Do this one at a time and give it enough time to actually show problems before installing the next application or you will never find the problem you are looking for. This is a tedious process but your patience will pay off.
  5. - Task Manager: As a last resort you can grab a task manager and kill processes to see what's slowing up your phone. Don't kill everything or you'll not find the source of the problem. Don't pay attention to the amount of free RAM because it's truly not relevant. Kill your running apps one at a time and see if your phone gets faster. You may notice some pop back into the list. Don't kill them again but do give them a few a seconds to actually load up and not be using the resources it takes to start an app (see the reason above regarding your phone being slow on startup).

Without root that's about all the steps I can think of to track down slowness issues. Remember in your own troubleshooting that RAM isn't slowing down your phone or affecting your battery. It costs the same amount of battery to write to a memory space with data already in it as it does to one that's empty. In fact erasing stuff from memory takes battery power so it would drain your battery more to "empty" memory space when it's not necessary. What you are looking for is what is hogging your CPU, Network, GPS and so on. Ignore the free memory number altogether because it doesn't have the meaning that it does on Windows systems.

Please feel free to ask me questions. I want to tweak this before I add it to the OP. So hit me up. I can't promise a fast response but I will respond! And thanks to Tisnatch for asking. it made me realize how much tunnel vision I had in writing the initial diatribe.
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Old January 7th, 2010, 05:35 PM   #58 (permalink)
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Brilliant post! All Android users should be forced to read the OP and this post before being given access to the phone lol
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Old January 8th, 2010, 03:20 PM   #59 (permalink)
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Question CPU App?

Awesome thread.
I get it now with the whole Memory vs CPU utilization.

As for active monitoring of cpu utilization what it the best app for that?

I've got a Samsung Moment. There does not appear to be the same menu option in settings>applications.. there is nothing to show apps running.

One reason i'm concerned is that I was running an instrument tuner app and it had a pop-up that mentioned another app hogging the cpu.

Thanks for your help.

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Old January 10th, 2010, 07:02 PM   #60 (permalink)
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IIt costs the same amount of battery to write to a memory space with data already in it as it does to one that's empty. In fact erasing stuff from memory takes battery power so it would drain your battery more to "empty" memory space when it's not necessary.
With dynamic ram, aren't you using your battery more when it's filled up? Capacitors have to keep refreshing right?

Also, if available ram isn't a good benchmark, why does my phone always slow down when it reaches the 20meg available mark? Granted it's obvious that the more apps running in the background, the more taxed your cpu becomes.

I feel that using a task killer is so much easier than going through the steps of curing a bogging phone. Not to mention being able to kill everything on bootup. A necessity for a speedy phone right off the bat. With no ill effects to date, and a constantly zippy phone, I just don't get your argument. I understand what Linux is trying to do in the background, but who's to say it's the right way? Especially when a battery comes into the equation...
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Old January 10th, 2010, 07:41 PM   #61 (permalink)
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With dynamic ram, aren't you using your battery more when it's filled up? Capacitors have to keep refreshing right?
RAM behaves in exactly the same way whether it's filled or not. It doesn't affect your battery life empty or full.

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Also, if available ram isn't a good benchmark, why does my phone always slow down when it reaches the 20meg available mark? Granted it's obvious that the more apps running in the background, the more taxed your cpu becomes.
Well you answer your own question. On your phone, whatever you are running, starts taxing the CPU when you see about that much RAM in use. It is likely a single app causing the problem but as you point out in the next paragraph you don't want to bother figuring it out. My phone runs, without a task killer, for days. It runs until I forget to charge it.

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I feel that using a task killer is so much easier than going through the steps of curing a bogging phone. Not to mention being able to kill everything on bootup. A necessity for a speedy phone right off the bat. With no ill effects to date, and a constantly zippy phone, I just don't get your argument. I understand what Linux is trying to do in the background, but who's to say it's the right way? Especially when a battery comes into the equation...
Well you are affecting your battery whether you realize it or not. When you kill some of those apps they start back up automatically which uses CPU time to get them to their sleep point and CPU does affect your battery. If you don't think the Linux way of handling memory is right then switch to a WinMo phone where a task manager is a necessity. Your post essentially says you are too lazy to track down what's causing your phone to slow down so you use a task killer. Good for you. That's not the way your phone was designed to work which is why the task managers are third party. I have a zippy phone all the time and I don't have to worry about the task killer side of things. You can do things your way or the way the phone was designed to be used. One way is definitely right and the other is you way. Both will work but I know which one will work better long term.

As to my argument. I present no argument at all. I simply state the facts on how your phone is supposed to work. They aren't debatable points. The only debate is whether or not you want to find out what app is not acting like its supposed to act. You can use a task killer all you like but it's not the way your phone is supposed to perform and that's just the fact of the matter at hand. Developers are great most but all of us make mistakes and when we do things don't work like they are supposed to work. Your answer is to kill running processes, some of which will start back up and eat your CPU and thereby use battery life. My answer is to figure out which developer made a mistake and remove the mistake. I think it's obvious which is a better path.
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Old January 10th, 2010, 08:12 PM   #62 (permalink)
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Yes, I am lazy. As probably 95% of Android users are when it comes to uninstalling apps one by one, waiting, and then reinstalling them one by one. How many people not on this board would actually do that? Also, what happens if you really need that "dodgy" app on your phone? Would you recommend a task killer then?
're already taxing your cpu and battery without even running any additional programs.

And what about killing startup apps? That's crazy that the OS even loads all this stuff on boot. By your reasoning, you're already taxing your cpu and battery without even running any additional programs.

Most killed processes will not start back up on my Hero, so that's not an issue for me. I understand your right way of doing things argument, but I download a lot of apps. I just don't have the time to constantly find out what app is causing a problem, and then live without that program. For me at least, the "right" way is not the better way.
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Old January 11th, 2010, 12:17 PM   #63 (permalink)
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Yes, I am lazy. As probably 95% of Android users are when it comes to uninstalling apps one by one, waiting, and then reinstalling them one by one. How many people not on this board would actually do that? Also, what happens if you really need that "dodgy" app on your phone? Would you recommend a task killer then?
I already do in my posts here. I recommend just that. I even say I have one installed. Although since I consolidated all my Google accounts under one and it's not the one I was using for market I didn't go with the paid version. But I have a task killer installed and freely admit to using it to kill badly behaving apps.

But the thing you admit to, at the first of this paragraph, "I am lazy" and then apply to 95% of users I believe not to be true. However my point still holds even if you are correct. I believe people are ignorant of the way Linux works and have been trained to use specific things, like task killers, by years of bad programming and bad OSs. So I am trying to educate people and nothing more. The average user doesn't know that, in general, a task killer isn't needed and only truly needed when you get a bad app. The average user also doesn't know that killing every running process will have negative affects on your phone. You kill off time and you might miss alarms. You kill messages you may miss incoming text messages. You kill Sense you get a pop up you might not understand. This is proved by the plethora of threads where the solution was "stopping kill X with your task manager". So why argue against giving knowledge, correcting misconceptions, and argue for improper use and laziness? It honestly makes no sense.

Quote:
And what about killing startup apps? That's crazy that the OS even loads all this stuff on boot. By your reasoning, you're already taxing your cpu and battery without even running any additional programs.
The boot slowness is a very brief slowness that leads to increased performance. Whatever is resident in RAM and whatever apps are sleeping in the background after boot is accessed much faster and increases performance. You can't kill the startup apps fast enough to gain an increase in battery that a human would notice so all you gain is initial speed coupled with an overall decrease in performance and no noticeable gain in battery life. If this trade off is what you want then by all means do what you are already doing.

Quote:
Most killed processes will not start back up on my Hero, so that's not an issue for me. I understand your right way of doing things argument, but I download a lot of apps. I just don't have the time to constantly find out what app is causing a problem, and then live without that program. For me at least, the "right" way is not the better way.
A lot of killed processes start back up. Look around for Sprint Navigator and you'll see people asking over and over why it started back up. Even if most don't on your phone the ones that do are using more battery than all of them if they were sleeping. You are decreasing your performance by not having apps sleeping in he background that aren't using CPU time but have chunks resident in memory and decreasing your battery life by having the CPU taken up as apps restart. Even if it's simply apps like the clock, which will restart, it uses less CPU to leave it running.

I understand you think that troubleshooting and using the phone the way the developers intended it to function isn't the best way for you. In my opinion you are sacrificing long term performance and stability for short term convenience and arguing that others should do the same. Why argue against someone sharing time and knowledge that will help others? It seems like you want validation for doing things the way you do them. I can't provide that for you. You present no technical reason whatsoever for the way you do things. Your reasons are that you are lazy and can't be bothered and neither of those are considered to be virtuous qualities. You don't have to follow my suggestions. No-one is holding a gun on you making you take the advice offered here. You can continue to do things the way you see fit. But why try to argue against valid technical point with what amounts to: "I don't want to"? I understand you will keep doing things your way and no-one can convince you otherwise but what I don't get is why argue against doing things the right way? If you have technical knowledge you wish to share then by all means please do but if you want to validate "I am lazy" then please don't hijack this thread any further with a non-technical debate.
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Old January 11th, 2010, 01:11 PM   #64 (permalink)
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Romeosidvicious, I respect your grasp of the Linux os. All I'm saying is that my phone works better with a task killer. If you properly set up your ignore list, you will have no problems. You will have a faster phone and great battery life. Unintalling apps and being forced to live without them, is simply not an option for some people. Using a task killer on a regular basis is a viable alternative that works great for a lot of people.
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Old January 11th, 2010, 01:28 PM   #65 (permalink)
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Romeosidvicious, I respect your grasp of the Linux os. All I'm saying is that my phone works better with a task killer. If you properly set up your ignore list, you will have no problems. You will have a faster phone and great battery life. Unintalling apps and being forced to live without them, is simply not an option for some people. Using a task killer on a regular basis is a viable alternative that works great for a lot of people.
I never said that it wasn't. I have said, and it's accurate, that it was not the way the phone was intended to run or be managed. But by your own accusation 95% of phone owners are lazy. Setting up your ignore list properly is something else they will need to learn which was my point. Most people won't bother to even learn that honestly. The people on this forum are different from the average user. The original point of the post was to show that, out of the box, a task killer isn't a necessary piece of software and I think I did that. A lot of people treated their phone just like it was a WinMo device out of the box and had no clue why their phones didn't work right so I wrote this up. Check the threads and you'll see there a ton of people who report better performance after ceasing to use a task killer. The OP explains why. I was asked how to troubleshoot slowness so I wrote up the information. I didn't intend to have a troubleshooting section but it seemed like a logical next step.

There are people around who want the best performance out of their phone and to get that you need to troubleshoot apps and not just kill all non-essential processes and those are the people who will bother reading the whole of the OP. Those concerned with expediency won't make it through the whole post most of the time. If expediency is what you want then by all means do it your way. I am not trying to convince you otherwise to be perfectly honest. If there is an app that's badly coded that you can't live without then by all means keep it. I am not trying to change your mind about it. The information here is for those who want it.

I honestly don't consider using a task manager to be a viable alternative to actually troubleshooting the phone. It's not the way things were meant to work. It's not the way the phone was designed. It's not the way get the maximum performance out of your phone. It's not the right way. Right and wrong are not subjective values. Your way may work for you and good on ya' for that but there is a right way. Your way seems, to me, like saying you set Windows to kill that virus when it tries to run rather than actually cleaning the virus. Or like saying you are fine with rebooting your workstation because something has a memory leak and you don't want to bother troubleshooting the issue. Your way may be good enough for you but it's the not the way things were meant to work. Doing things the right way will save you headaches in the long run. Sure your way works now but what about when you get seven or eight misbehaving apps and two of them restart automatically? At that point you have no idea which apps are causing you problems, you are auto-killing once an hour or more, and your battery life sucks. If you had done things the way that the designers intended to begin with you wouldn't be in that situation.

By all means keep doing things your way. I don't care one way or another. But I will not admit it's a technically viable alternative to actually troubleshooting your phone's issues. It's your phone and you can use it how you want to use it. Just don't present personal preference as a viable alternative to the technically correct way of doing things. I can write a diatribe on why the method you use will not work long term if you really want to see it. I can show exponentially decreasing performance, memory leaks that don't mark RAM as safe to use without a reboot (task killers won't fix that) and probably even come up with some math on battery life if I needed to. You have your personal preference and I am not trying to change that. I am merely presenting the correct manner in which to get the most performance out of your phone and really not understanding why you want to argue about it.
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Old January 15th, 2010, 02:55 PM   #66 (permalink)
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I was using a taskiller to kill every app after i was done but after not using it the last few days i don't think it was actually saving me any battery life. Now i use it for those pesky apps that don't close right, like a few i've had leave the GPS on and active after exiting killing my battery. Comes in handy for those.
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 12:29 PM   #67 (permalink)
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Major props, Romeo! I am exactly the type of user you wanted to educate. And you did! I came from a WinMo phone and even BEFORE I got my Hero I read a online review where the reviewer said the first app I should download is a task manager/killer as Android didn't come with one. I thought it was strange that the OS didn't just come with one (again WinMo background), but the argument sounded somewhat sane, so I downloaded TaskPanel. (Wish I had read this first.) And yes, I was watching the memory usage and task list daily horrified as to why I was having to kill all these processes several times a day. I wasn't even experiencing any slowness as I didn't have the phone long enough to know if it was slow or not.

So when I started missing text messages and voice mails, I regretfully thought the phone was going to have to go back. This is the first posting I've read where anyone has actually EXPLAINED how the phone and OS are supposed to work and the proper use of a task manager as opposed to the "just get one and kill" approach.

And your explanation makes perfect sense to me. So I removed TaskPanel (I still have Astro which allows me to kill if I need to) but I haven't needed this feature and the phone works amazingly well and fast like it should.

So I just wanted to say thanks again for taking the time to post this information and that your efforts are really appreciated by Android Neophytes like myself.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 12:46 AM   #68 (permalink)
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romeosidvicious,

Thanks for this thread and your follow-up post. REALLY educational to people like myself who are simply ignorant of Linux OS and are new to Android. Hell I didn't even know Android was Linux-based. Very interesting indeed. Coming from a Windows mindset (never had Windows Mobile, but have used Windows OS all my life... just recently purchased a Mac also and am LOVING it) it is hard to think of any other ways to deal with memory issues. Pretty much only Apps I kill now are Apps I open manually (stupid shit like Magic 8-ball, any games, Movies, etc.) and the Browser when I don't want my last visited page to show up upon next launch.

I do have a question regarding Spare Parts though. You wrote the following:
  • - Battery History -> CPU Usage: If you see an app you aren't "using" a lot with high CPU usage you may have found your culprit.
  • - Battery History -> Partial Wake Usage: Nothing should be high here at all. Partial wake is like when the weather app updates and then goes back to sleep. If you have high partial wake from an app it's doing a lot while you are not using it."
When I check the aforementioned (both CPU Usage and Partial Wake Usage) using Spare Parts what I see has the most usage is "Android system". That said, it's not even A LOT of usage judging from blue color bar which I assume means % of usage (it is about one-fifth full). Any other programs listed are just 'standard' programs such as Mail and Browser and they have NO color bar detailing usage at all. Just want to know if that's normal or what?
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Old January 26th, 2010, 09:05 AM   #69 (permalink)
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Hi Romeosidvicious...

After following your how to I came up with the following:



The partial wake usage of "Android System" looks high to me, do you agree?

If it was just a normal market app then i'd install it but what can I do about it if its part of the os?

Thanks
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Old January 26th, 2010, 12:08 PM   #70 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gk141054 View Post
Hi Romeosidvicious...

After following your how to I came up with the following:

The partial wake usage of "Android System" looks high to me, do you agree?

If it was just a normal market app then i'd install it but what can I do about it if its part of the os?

Thanks
I don't think it's too bad. I'd say it would all depend on your usage. I mean, I'm at 43% awake over 18 hours of up time, but my Android system partial wake usage appears much lower. The only reason it's awake that much is because I used it quite a bit yesterday, and the only time I let it sleep was while I was sleeping.

I think your partial wake usage appears high because no matter what you're doing, the android system is running. I don't think I'd worry too much about your uptime and partial wake usage, unless you're getting terrible battery life.
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Old January 29th, 2010, 10:03 AM   #71 (permalink)
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Well, here's proof that Android automatically manages memory by killing unused background applications. And how you can adjust these settings yourself using nothing more than already documented settings in the kernel!

How to configure Android's *internal* taskkiller - xda-developers

Keeping these settings after a reboot seems to require a custom ROM, though.
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Old January 29th, 2010, 12:35 PM   #72 (permalink)
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That is the nice thing about the Peak Memory Usage program. It shows you the running processes and the importance. This is really useful information, you can see what processes are considered for cleanup. That was a great write up but I dont have my phone rooted so I use the Peak Memory Usage app to see and kill processes
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Old February 21st, 2010, 06:19 AM   #73 (permalink)
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thanks for this very useful info, just got my hero a week ago and have been messing with task managers, guess i will give up looking for the best since in the long run its pointless.

Thanks again
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Old February 23rd, 2010, 01:00 PM   #74 (permalink)
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I appreciate your description of Android memory management, but what you describe does not match my experience. My Hero (Android 1.5) routinely suffers from lag: 1 second or more to switch between desktop screens, non-responsive scrolling, etc. This is with only stock apps installed, minimal widgets, long after boot-up.

But if I kill a big process - say, the browser - everything is fast again. I can duplicate this experience several times a day, so I don't believe it's just a coincidence.

I'm hoping the Android 2.1 update will resolve this issue, because as it is, I find this phone to be incredibly frustrating.
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Old March 1st, 2010, 12:08 AM   #75 (permalink)
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Ok so I'm on a HTC Eris and need help with advanced task manager. When i go into preferences and click applications, all of the auto end options are dimmed and thus, I cannot turn it on....what do i do to fix this? I want to use the auto end service!
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Old March 8th, 2010, 02:42 AM   #76 (permalink)
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Hey there, need some clarifications from you.

Yeah, sorry for it. I want to clear all my doubts. I have read the article already, just that I need more clarifications about it.

Regarding the multi-tasking issue, I was wondering, lets say I have opened this application (maps or whatever it is) and I need to switch to reply a sms and then go back to the application (maps or whatever it is). If the ram wasn't enough, and it booted out that application (mpas or whatever it is), there is no multi-tasking here already. You get what I mean?

Thanks.
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Old March 11th, 2010, 11:57 AM   #77 (permalink)
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Holy cow, romeosidvicious! The information you have supplied us is amazing. I dare say, I have taken (and paid for!!) computer classes that don't disseminate as much great info!

Thank you so much for taking the time. I have only had my Hero for 2 days... I am REALLY glad I read your posts!
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Old March 18th, 2010, 12:33 PM   #78 (permalink)
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Default Thanks!

Romeo:
Thanks for all the work you put into this....

I'm new to Android and just got a Hero a couple weeks ago so I'm searching all the forums (and other Android sites) for useful tips. After reading your post I feel better informed about Linux, Android and my new phone ... thanks!

So far, I'm impressed with the Android OS and the Hero ... I even like HTC's Sense UI, didn't think I would because I didn't like a previous HTC WinMo UI. There are some apps included with the phone that I'm not interested in (ex: Sprint TV, Nascar, HTC Widgets, etc.) and would like to uninstall but based on what I've been reading the only way to do that is to "root" my phone ... is that correct? And if I root my Hero, wouldn't I lose access to the Sense UI components that I wanted to keep?
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Old March 18th, 2010, 04:17 PM   #79 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dizzy View Post
Romeo:
Thanks for all the work you put into this....

I'm new to Android and just got a Hero a couple weeks ago so I'm searching all the forums (and other Android sites) for useful tips. After reading your post I feel better informed about Linux, Android and my new phone ... thanks!

So far, I'm impressed with the Android OS and the Hero ... I even like HTC's Sense UI, didn't think I would because I didn't like a previous HTC WinMo UI. There are some apps included with the phone that I'm not interested in (ex: Sprint TV, Nascar, HTC Widgets, etc.) and would like to uninstall but based on what I've been reading the only way to do that is to "root" my phone ... is that correct? And if I root my Hero, wouldn't I lose access to the Sense UI components that I wanted to keep?

I have mine rooted and still have full use of Sense UI. so to answer your questions, no, nothing effects it.
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Old March 19th, 2010, 03:07 PM   #80 (permalink)
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Default please clarify

ejpyle:
Please clarify your response ... am not sure I understood it or perhaps my confusion lies with the info I've gotten in the posts I'm reading.

1) Have I misunderstood the posts I read that people who'd tried to uninstall certain "bundled" apps (Sprint TV, Nascar, Peep, etc.) weren't able to get rid of those apps?

2) Doesn't the rooting process would erase/over-write the HTC-customized version with the "plain vanilla" Android OS?
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 10:11 AM   #81 (permalink)
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I prefer Advanced Task Kill by Apollo Software than rechild, it do save a lot battery.
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Old March 28th, 2010, 06:47 PM   #82 (permalink)
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Wink RE: Task Managers and your Hero - Reformed Killer

So....... After stumbling upon, & reading through this thread in it's entirety, I decided to take RomeoSidVicious' advice & STOP using TaskManager, just to see if it would fix some issues w/ my Hero. I was having issues w/ HTC Sense rebooting, sluggish performance, very slow boot ups, poor battery life, etc. It's been 3 days now & I can honestly say W O W!!!! What a difference, battery life is 2-3 times what it was, NO reboots, phone is "zippy".

I have no, read NO experience with anything Linux based, & was operating under the "kill 'em all" mindset from my MS Windows PC upbringing. Everything I read prior to getting my Hero said to make sure you get & use a task manager, so I did, I tried 3, & all had similar issues. I have since uninstalled all but the Task Manager included with Astro File Manager, & have not killed a single task in 3 days! I am now a Reformed Killer, & vow to let Android do it's job as an OS. Thank you so much Romeo, you are the Linux GOD!!!! +2 for the "grok"
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Old April 10th, 2010, 05:21 PM   #83 (permalink)
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Default Think of number 6....

Ever realized when you long press the home screen, it shows you the last 6 apps, right? Those are the ones in memory for faster reloading. Once the app moves to spot 7 it goes idle, closes, or sticks in the background (what Romeo calls bad apps) depending on its properties.

Android's Memory management
Android was designed to be a multitasking, fire-breathing beast. It allows applications to keep their spot in device RAM, and stay ready to jump back into focus when the user needs them. The OS also is very good at sharing libraries between applications, so that app coders have a great set of functions already built to choose from. In a perfect world (perfect for developers anyway) we all would use the same applications for the same reasons and that would be the end of it.
But nothing's perfect

We all use different apps, at different times, in different ways. When you consider that nightmare for developers, it's surprising that Android (or any mobile operating system) handles the job as well as it does. Let's take a quick and hopefully easy to understand look at what goes on behind that screen.
An application starts, either because you started it or the developer sees a benefit in having it run behind the scenes. Some examples of the last bit -
  • When you add or remove an application, Google Voice starts (if it was not running). It scans the application to see if needs to use or share any functions with it. Install a new text-to-speech engine? Google Voice will use it.
  • Copy some pictures from your SD card to your computer? The gallery needs to start up when you remount your SD card to check for new pictures or videos so it can scan them and have them ready to show in the right spot.
This all sounds great. What we aren't considering above is that these apps will stay in the device memory until they are told to close. They won't use any other resources, just sit idle and be ready to re-draw themselves on your screen. In today's age of 1Ghz+ processors and high speed data transfer, we get impatient when we want to load a NEW application and it's not instant. We want our device to zoom between screens. We want our device to snap new applications into focus. We want our device to perform in ways it wasn't really designed to do. Using a task killer the correct way can get close to those goals.
A quick study here on just how Android manages memory - Each application has a number (from 1-6) assigned to it, depending of the type of app and it's state. Android assigns a level of minimum free RAM for each category and kills off what it thinks is no longer needed in each once that threshold is reached. This is a pretty technical discussion, and I'm just going to mention it here for those that are interested. If you would like to manipulate these numbers yourself, feel free to give me a holler and I'll point you in the right direction. But let's not clutter up this any more than necessary, as this is a pretty advanced discussion.
The task killer interface

Each application looks and acts a little different, and task killers are no exception. I'll be using Advanced Task Manager for my examples. I am not recommending this above any others. It suits my needs and was well worth the $0.99, so I stopped looking for alternatives. Your choice could look a bit different, but should have the same functionality. Just have a look through the settings and you'll find where to make the same changes and choices.
Below you're looking at a list of running application that the task killer has permission to kill once you give it the go-ahead. You're not seeing every running process, and reading a little further will explain why that's a good thing. We'll refer back to this image in a bit, but take a second and look over it for now.


Manually killing tasks

The best easiest least complicated way to use a task killer is to open it and manually kill off things you're sure you don't need whenever you feel things have slowed down. The trick is knowing what else won't work if you kill off an app. Things like games, web browsers, dictionaries or other stand alone apps are usually a safe bet to kill off if you find them running. In the example above Astro File Manager is running because I was looking for a file I had downloaded. I'm done with Astro, so there is no need for it to stay running. I could safely kill it off, and nothing else would be affected.
Note – It's a popular misconception that using the back button to exit an application will close it and remove it from memory. This is only true if the app was coded to work this way. Some will, some won't. This is not a universal standard in Android. It doesn't hurt anything, but it's a lot of work to close some apps this way. Entirely your call. I use the Home button because I'm just too lazy to hit back enough times to see my homescreen I'm mentioning it here because Astro is one of those apps that will eventually kill itself if you back up enough times.
You can't see it in my screenshot above, but the Market is also running. I haven't opened the Market in a while, but I'm not going to kill it off. Why? Because if I do, then notification of updates for my installed Market apps won't come in. There are many apps that need to stay alive to use all of their features. You'll have to do a bit of thinking before you decide if you can just kill off an app. Here's a general idea of what to think about:
  • Apps that remind you of something – I use Astrid to help me remember tasks and deadlines. Astrid can fire off a notification to remind me when events are coming up. If I kill it off, I won't get any reminders. Then I get lost in my computer and nothing ever gets done.
  • Apps that look for updates - In the previous example, I left the Market running so it can notify me of any application updates. Any apps that periodically look for outside data need to stay alive if you want them to find any of that data.
  • Apps that are still doing something – In my example Connectbot is running. I happen to have an active connection to a server in the garage that I'm updating. I can quickly switch over and see the progress as well as issue the commands right from my phone. If I kill it off, I'll have to reopen and connect again each time.
AutoKilling

Task managers usually come with a function to periodically kill off apps. This is where things get dangerous. Thankfully, most also come with some sort of whitelist of apps that do not get killed during this auto-killfest. While some common sense is still needed, some apps will always need to be on this list
  • Any application that has the manufacturer or carriers name in it should never be killed.
  • Any application that has the word android. (yes the period is there on purpose) should never be killed.
  • Any application that keeps time should never be killed.
  • Any application that has a widget that updates should never be killed.
  • Any application that is not installed on /data (this is where user apps go) should never be killed.
  • If you can't figure out exactly what an application is, it should never be killed.
  • Home replacements, whether from the Market or your manufacturer never should be killed. This also means Sense, Blur, and Touchwiz. They also have dependencies that should stay alive, refer to numbers 1, 5 and 6 above. Of course if you're a tinkerer, and know which parts of the system you don't need running on your particular installation, feel free to experiment. And share your results.
This narrows things down quite a bit. Mark all your games to be killed. Mark all your “stand alone apps” (things like Astro in the example above) to be killed. Mark the things you need occasionally, but do not want to run behind the scenes to be killed. Read through what's left, and see if it fits into any of the above categories. If it does, mark it to never be killed. Remember to consider things like ConnectBot in my example. I don't want it to run all the time, but while I'm using it I'd like it to stay alive in the background, so I will mark it to NOT be autokilled by the task manager. Of course, you'll have to set the task killer itself so it stays alive.
If your task killer has a setting to determine how often to kill off apps, set it to do so as often as possible. I don't see any sense in having the task killer running and not using it, as this the reason for using one in the first place.
Once that's done, hit the Home button and ignore everything for a while. Use the phone as you normally would, but pay attention if something starts not working as it used to. If things start to get out of whack, have a look at your whitelist and be sure the app in question isn't set to be killed off. I will say right off the bat – don't ever kill your clock if you want to use the alarm, last minute seats on a plane because you missed your flight are much more expensive than ones purchased through your ticket agent a week ahead of time.
One last thing to keep in mind – When/if you have issues with your device and are seeking help, be sure to mention that you're using a task killer and how you're using it. “Help with alarm on Cliq – using ATK but not killing clock” is a great example of this. You'll still get replies telling you to stop using task killers, but you also might get something useful. Letting people know that you're using a task killer but are aware of the “correct” use will weed out some of the negativity. Also, using nice descriptive thread titles will always help out our forum moderators and make things easy to search for the next person who has the same issues.


A special section here for the rooted/ROM'd/Mad Scientist types


There's a new breed of task killer out there in the wilds of the Market. These adjust the lowmemorykiller kernel parameters and let things run as usual rather than have the user (that's me and you) try to manage each and every application. It makes sense once you consider that the code for the lowmemorykiller and it's settings haven't been changed since Android 1.0 . If you're willing to take the time to adjust the settings according to your needs, these work great. It's also very easy to pass these settings to the system without an application by writing specific values to the system settings. If this interests you (and if you're a tweeker it should!) it would be a great subject for a thread in the hacking forums, and one that I'd love to participate in. Yeah that's a hint
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Old April 13th, 2010, 09:11 PM   #84 (permalink)
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Thumbs up Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank

A smart/educated user is a happy/satisfied user

Thus i say: MAJOR MAJOR MAJOR Props to Romeo!!!

And i would like to thank, and point out that, Kronium adds a lot to this thread - in the form of a rather nice counter-balance (of how people get into trouble - just my opinion here - so i thank him too for his point of view and the voice he freely submits).

As a Eng, and a long time cellular user, i expect to get proper use and operation from my tec-tools. If the tool runs sh!tty i'd rather just throw it away. Thus i have been researching apps for over a week now, without downloading anything... until today, when i got spare parts.

Within 10 mins spare parts told me MORE about how my phone is operating than a simple task manager would have, and prolly a lot more than the task-killers i hear-tell of.

A smart/educated user is a happy/satisfied user, imo.
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Old April 23rd, 2010, 10:25 PM   #85 (permalink)
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When is the best time to check up time versus awake time?
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Old April 26th, 2010, 10:34 AM   #86 (permalink)
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Default Well, I gave in

After reading all the posts about Task Killers, I finally gave in and stopped using mine. Coming from a Windows mentality this was really hard for me to do. I had been killing aps several times a day. I turned off the ATK 3 days ago, and much to my suprise, my phone is running PERFECT. Very little to no lag, and my battery life has almost doubled. At 12:00 last night I was still at 50%. After rebooting the phone, and after the OS settles down the apps not being used, the phone basically had no lag at all. I want to tell you this thread should be manitory reading for all Hero users. I want to thank you for the time and effort you have put into it. I did keep the ATK installed incase I have a app that is not operating properly I can kill it. But for the last 3 days I have been letting the phone take care of itself and it is awesome. Personally, If we get 2.1 that would be great, but I am 100% satisfied with my phone the way it is right now. By the way I wanted to ad that my awake time is less than 12%.
Thanks again...
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Old May 6th, 2010, 03:57 AM   #87 (permalink)
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This thread makes for very interesting reading, like many others one of the first things I downloaded was ATK and went through it obessively every time I'd done anything on my phone and killed stuff. Since reading through here I've disabled auto-kill and auto-start, used ATK to kill itself, and will leave it off to see what happens.
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Old May 14th, 2010, 10:38 PM   #88 (permalink)
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I do have one serious issue with this thread's concept: the People app. Now this is a stock app on the Hero. If I miss a call and check that missed call alert, it opens People to show the missed numbers list. At this point, until I use Task Manager to kill People, my phone lags hard.

I do not have a lot of apps installed on my Hero. Under normal circumstances, my phone shows just HTC Sense, Phone, and Task Manager itself in the running tasks list. Now if I get a call and check the alert, then exit out, both People and a second Phone task (with a different icon) appear. At this point, my phone will lag badly until I kill People; killing people takes the extra Phone task with it and my phone goes back to being itself.

The other problem stock app is the Browser. If I leave it on a complicated page, the phone just crawls until I kill it, and you can't back out of it without backing through every single page you looked at in that session. Fortunately, I found a workaround: I added a bookmark to about:blank, and I browse to that bookmark before I go back to the home screen. (I also use about:blank as my home page so the browser starts faster.) When I remember to do that, the impact on performance is minimal. But if I accidentally go to the home screen while I'm on something like Facebook, the task manager must intervene.

Other non-stock apps have these sorts of effects, obviously (Camera-using apps seem to be the worst offenders), but I had to take issue with the idea that if you just use the stock default apps then everything gets recycled without lag on the Hero.

--Chris
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The Sprint HTC Hero was announced on September 3rd, 2009, making Sprint the 2nd American mobile carrier to offer a phone based on Google's Android operating system. While HTC had already launched the Hero, making it available on European carrie... Read More



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