Better or worse performance with a task killer?


Does your phone perform better or worse without a task killer?

  1. Better

    21 vote(s)
    51.2%
  2. Worse

    20 vote(s)
    48.8%

Last Updated:

  1. uzee

    uzee Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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  2. Szadzik

    Szadzik Well-Known Member

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    I get a bit better battery life (does not really matter since I use the phone as a night clock), but I am having problems with lack of RAM memory and system killing my widgets because of that. I have a few widgets now that do not update after I stopped using a task killer.

    So one has to answer the question: is battery life more important to me or working widgets. For me widgets are more important, for some battery will be more important.
     
  3. uzee

    uzee Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Yeah the RAM memory is an issue with me. As ram is nearly full i feel my x10 is a little sluggish.

    Remember to vote before u reply.
     
  4. Szadzik

    Szadzik Well-Known Member

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    None of the options listed suit my reply. If you add something in between, then I will vote.
     
  5. ZDroid1

    ZDroid1 Well-Known Member

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    What widgets are you running?
     
  6. Szadzik

    Szadzik Well-Known Member

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    Jorte, Weather Widget yr.no, people widget, chache mate, mini info.

    Weather widget used to update itself but doe not anymore since I stopped using a task manager.

    You should be aware of the fact that I am using a Moto Milestone which only has 256MB RAM and it runs on 30 MB most of the time if I do not kill any unnecessary tasks.
     
  7. Rapdaddy

    Rapdaddy Member

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    I used to use one, then stopped. With or without I noticed no difference in using a task killer. That reminds me, I have to uninstall that app.

    I'd vote, but none of the options fit me.
     
  8. Demache

    Demache Well-Known Member

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    I don't use a traditional task killer. Since I'm rooted I use Autokiller which tweaks Android's internal task killing system. Works way better, and is far more automatic.
     
    topshelf95 likes this.
  9. Stealthman

    Stealthman Well-Known Member

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    I got double the battery life on my X using ATK and my phone runs smoother. I have it set to auto but not for every program. I've read all the articles about why you don't need them but the proof is in the real world results I am getting.
     
  10. topshelf95

    topshelf95 Well-Known Member

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    I have to concur, after reading the articles, I could understand the reasoning for not needing one, so I deleted them to try it for myself, while also trying to be cognizant of the placebo effect. I'm fairly certain my performance was less. Had several instances of needing to multi-task and found things noticeably lagging a few times. I'm currently trying the autokiller that Demache mentioned and although I've only been using it for a few hours which is not enough time to make a real determination, it seems like a really solid app. So.... I've been pro task killer, switched to no task killer and am going back to pro task killer (autokiller) for now. Task killer = better performance as far as I can tell.


    EDIT: I installed android system info from the market which tells you how much ram you have available. With no task killer, I had (give or take) 40mo of ram available and ran through several apps, multitasking, etc. My phone became sluggish. Period. Apps started lagging as I opened them, noticeable pauses. After installing autokiller and setting it to aggressive, then trying the same multitasking, I could not bog down the system using the same apps, if not more to be doubly sure, and after opening Android System Info again and refreshing the results, the lowest I could bog the ram down to was 135mo available. IMHO these results clearly speak for themselves.
     
  11. Soulforger

    Soulforger Active Member

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    I may not be a heavy user..But i do use for some browsing and as a night clock with some music..
    After removing task killer It feels like having better battery life..after 1 day and 16 hours the battery level was around 68%..It might be bit better then before..also i have free memory of around 100m available most of the time..by the way its very difficult to quit the habit of killing tasks :)..I did use that system app to kill few inactive task occationally..
     
  12. Demache

    Demache Well-Known Member

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    135 MB free? What the fuuu-
     
  13. topshelf95

    topshelf95 Well-Known Member

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    135 mo, not mb. I have to admit, I don't know what "mo" is, but it does say "free memory, 135mo" and also shows a staus bar displaying far less memory being used. That was after purposely trying to bog the system down. With normal use it usually reads around 152ish mo free.
     
  14. Slated

    Slated Active Member

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    There are a number of pretty severe problems with that article.

    1. 'The designers intentionally left out a task killer and ways to close apps.'

    Actually, no they didn't. The operating system is Linux, with a Dalvik virtual machine (like Java) running on top of it. Linux most certainly does have the means of killing tasks (signal and interrupt handlers, and the userspace "kill" command), and indeed this is something highly fundamental to the OS. There isn't a "convenient" GUI provided by Google for the "kill" command, but IMHO that was a mistake, based on their rather over-optimistic faith in (the present version of) Android's resource management.

    2. 'Google did not want to burden the mobile user with having to close applications when they are "done" with them. They decided to do this on the basis that a mobile user will repeatedly and briefly interact with a wide variety of applications throughout the day.'

    That's quite an assumption, not necessarily consistent with user habits, and not any sort of justification for hogging system resources unnecessarily - even if it is.

    3. 'I know that this stands true for me, as it will 99.9%'

    That's a highly arbitrary and speculative statistic.

    My usage habits are very different. I typically use the Groundhog newsreader once a day, then close it. I use "Guardian Anywhere" first thing in the morning, then close it. I leave K-9 Email running all the time, because I like to be notified as soon as I receive a message. I use things like the camera only very occasionally. I have precisely two games (Asphalt 5 and Assassin's Creed) which I hardly ever play at all. I have some music and videos on the phone, but I don't use them every day. Mostly I just use my Android as a phone, for Email, and as a GPS.

    In total I have about 30 third-party applications installed. Something tells me the ~330MB of available memory on the phone would quickly be exhausted if I attempted to leave all that running, even with Android's inbuilt resource management.

    4. 'just because a process exists, does not mean it may be actually; doing anything'

    It's just as imprudent to assume a task is not doing anything, and indeed it may switch from being idle given some change in its condition (schedule). In addition to being a resource hog, unnecessary tasks present a security risk (an attack vector that would not otherwise be available). There are also certain tasks that might be prudent to disable, depending upon location (e.g. GPS tracking), perhaps for reasons of privacy.

    5. 'running in the background (true multitasking)'

    Running in the background is called forking, and although dependant on multitasking, is not synonymous with it. The term "true multitasking" was coined years ago to differentiate between cooperative and pre-emptive methods, however both methods allowed services to "run in the background". The first uses interrupts to suspend tasks, and the second uses scheduling to assign quantum slices, but this is non sequitur to the process of forking.

    6. 'Storing a footprint of an application in memory uses exactly the same amount of battery as it would if that section of memory is free.'

    This is another non sequitur argument, because memory utilisation is not the point. The point is potential CPU utilisation by tasks which may or may not be idle. This is where the previous point is important, since a task is not necessarily idle simply because it has been forked ("running in the background"). Higher CPU utilisation most certainly will drain the battery faster.

    7. 'Android is smart enough to recognise when it is running low on available memory, and will start to close those apps that it deems are low priority.'

    This is true, although the default algorithm Android uses to determine when to close applications is not particularly effective, often resulting in slow performance due to a near exhausted resource condition. This can be changed with third-party applications like "Autokiller" and "MinFreeManager", however it would simply make more sense for the user to close applications after using them, given that they may not be using them again soon, and that launch times for most applications are typically only one or two seconds anyway.

    8. 'When android does close apps itself to free up memory, it does this in a very clever way in that the next time a closed app is reopened, it will restore it as if it had never been closed in the first place (this is similar to what iOS actually calls it';s main multitasking, laughable I know).'

    Not defending the iPhone, however this "laughable" method is what I referred to before, a form of cooperative multitasking where tasks are temporarily suspended. And yes it is inferior to pre-emptive multitasking, however this appears to be the method Android uses to avoid memory exhaustion. The only real advantage to this compared to killing the application fully, is that it'll be restored to its previous state when re-launched, but there are very few applications which require this (document editors come to mind). Personally, I'd rather just save the document and close the application.

    9. '"Task killers make my phone run faster" - FALSE'

    Not true.

    Whilst killing a necessary task may cause it to be respawned, thus temporarily slowing the system down as it re-allocates resources, tasks left running for a long time may allocate far too much resources (cache, etc) and benefit from a "fresh start". This is about far more than just memory leaks. And that's before one even considers the reduced CPU utilisation attained by killing unnecessary tasks.

    While it is true that killing a task won't necessarily improve performance, it's equally true that it might, depending upon the circumstances, and in the long term (after resource reallocation) it certainly won't do any harm ... unless a process gets stuck in a loop tying (and failing) to respawn, at which point the parent task will also need to be killed (the "tree" of tasks is displayed using the command "ps auxf" with ADB or a third-party terminal program, and this will show which task is the "parent" of which "child").

    10. 'There is no exit button because android was designed to never have the need for a user to close apps. If an app needs closing, android will do this itself.'

    That is Android's intended goal. However, with version 2.1 (at least), it's a goal it largely fails to achieve with any great success, thus necessitating the use of third-party applications. Version 2.2 is likely to show a large improvement (my phone should get this soon), but that shouldn't mean users become complacent about leaving applications running, on this or any platform, for many reasons, of which resource management is only one.
     
  15. topshelf95

    topshelf95 Well-Known Member

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    We can't have a tie. Courtesy bump to the top to see if we can get another vote! :p
     
  16. lectraplayer

    lectraplayer Well-Known Member

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    A task manager can be a great thing if used wisely but a lot of people overthink this role. Just use the power button if things get out of hand.
     
  17. mauiblue

    mauiblue Well-Known Member

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    It's not hurting my performance from my point of view. Everything is running smoothly and I have practically all phone/app options on. The app I am using is "Advance Task Manager" and I've got it setup to automatically close apps that are running in the background. If they start up again, it's all good. If I did have any problems, I definitely would uninstall but after a month of use, I'll keep it on my Incredible.
     
  18. Naterz

    Naterz Member

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    Android has terrible application guidelines. If application developers wouldn't be allowed to have their non-service applications spawn in the background everytime the application is exited, and applications developers were forced to have an Exit option for 3rd party applications, this would be much less of an issue.

    Palm WebOS multi-tasks like a champ and the Palm Pre+ has 512 RAM, but the OS allows you to exit most applications by swiping them up (although I should check again to see if any of them continue to run in the background).

    The first terrible thing I noticed when I got my Android device is how many applications developers omitted to give you an Exit Option.

    Task Killers are only useful on OSes where applications don't respawn instantly after you kill them - like WM 6.5.x.

    I used ATK on my device for a while. There was no difference in battery life for me - none whatsoever. My phone never lagged, so I don't really care about its effects on that...

    I do not believe the stories of "it doubled my battery life" at all, unless you had multiple IM applications running in the background constantly polling a server (which probably isn't all that uncommon considering 80% of them don't give you an "Exit" menu option and people don't like having to relogin everytime they use those apps on their phone). Sorry.
     
  19. lekky

    lekky Lover VIP Member

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    erm.. When did I say the OS didn't close apps, I said they didn't give an easy way for users to close them. So yes, a convenient GUI is of course what I meant..

    Check out the google android blog, written by google. I make no assumption here, I basically lifted that paragraph straight from the horses mouth.

    So you're not a typical user... Doesn't disprove the point

    If you suspect an app of doing things like this, i highly recommend uninstalling, not killing it when you're finished..

    Thanks, fortunately the people my article was aimed towards would have no idea, nor care about what you just said. But thanks for the detailed explanation!

    Of course, thats why I suggest the use of SystemPanel to identify any apps that are using too much CPU/memory (further down the article), as there are sure to be better alternatives.

    As a non-novice to android, you are free to feel that way. Again I tinker a lot with my phone (like I assume you do to), but then again, this article was not created with you or me as the audience. This is an important note.

    So the statement is correct..

    I tend to disagree, they should be complacent about memory management. You're typical user does not want to be bogged down with having to worry about going into a task killer and closing some tasks.They should only care about using their phone.



    Thanks for spending so long on the reply btw, at least you read what I wrote I appreciate that, even if we do disagree on some of the points!
     

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