YouTube - Automatic Task Killer [Android Review] Many of us early adopters of Android are stuck on contracts with older, lower-end phones like the CLIQ, the G1, myTouch, Hero, etc. And you probably already have some sort of task manager app installed to free up precious memory every once-in-a-while. But is that really doing the job? Doesn't it annoy you that you have to open up your task killer every few minutes to kill apps that really have no business running in the first place, as in apps you never opened? Enter Automatic Task Killer. The app runs quietly behind-the-scenes, feasting on those apps you really wish you could uninstall, but can't. And it's so easy to set up. Basically you set which apps you want to be killed when you turn your screen off and you never have to worry about it again. I've noticed alot of apps like to open themselves up randomly in the background (like TeleNav, MySpace, Audio Postcard... why is there even an app for audio postcards?!) and this is a good way to keep them at bay. The main screen consists of a list of installed apps. Pretty straight-forward. The main screen. Apps with a green star are 'marked for death.' Muahaha. You'll notice the apps on the top of the stack are marked with a green star, or as I like to put it, 'marked for death.' These are the apps I never use that are killed once my screen goes black. To mark an app, just tap it, and it will be hunted. Am I being a little sadistic? Now there's a few settings that you can tweak about the behavior of the app. The first of which is a status report that basically shows you that the app did its job via a pop-up or notification. 6.5MB freed! Woohoo! Poor RAM-eating apps never stood a chance. The pop-up only shows up after you unlock your screen, and it can disappear by then since it's only up for a certain amount of time. Kinda weird. But it performs the same function as the notification so you're not missing out on anything. Settings. Oooh. Now you can also set it to ignore what you're currently doing if it happens to be something you have marked for death, which is a really nice feature to have. For example, I have QuickOffice marked because I don't need it running in the background, but if I happen to be using it to read a PDF and I idle for a bit, I don't want what I'm reading to be gone. Also along those lines is the delay killing option, where you can choose to delay the killing of your apps after the screen is turned off by a certain time that you set. Since I don't use anything that I have marked, I have them all killed right away. There's also a widget which was just added to the app recently that I think is a nice addition, though I find no use for it. It's just as you'd expect, displaying total available memory and a manual kill all button. It's pretty neat, but I have Taskiller installed to do my manual killing. The way I have my phone set up has Automatic Task Killer taking care of background apps I never use, and Taskiller is there to kill everything when I need a fresh start after having listened to music, looked up an address in Google Maps, and checked my Facebook. It's a pretty nice setup that keeps my weak little CLIQ running pretty smoothly. My phone is this sexy because of Automatic Task Killer. No lie. Now let's get to the facts: Pros -It keeps lower-end phones running in tip-top shape. -It's great when used together with a task manager such as Taskiller. -It recieves fairly frequent updates from the developer. -It's got a small footprint so it won't eat up RAM itself. -You can pretty much "Set-it-and-Forget-it." So-so -Interface can be a little wonky at times, but it's forgivable. You're probably not going to open up the app very often anyway after you set it up the first time. Cons -Alot of the Help docs and, well, any words in general in Engrish. But it's not totally unreadable, and it doesn't affect the function of the app at all. I'm just being picky. The Bottom Line While those with enough RAM to run Crysis on their phones won't find a need for this app, it's nice to have on lower-end phones to keep annoying apps that open up without your permission at bay.