Memory and task managementSupport


Last Updated: 2014-02-20 19:47:26
  1. Emblazon

    Emblazon Well-Known Member

    So, my question is, where is this mythical 1GB of RAM that's supposed to be in this phone?

    In Quick Settings from the Notification Bar, it reads "Total Memory: 803MB", with over half of that memory being used permanently, with no way of freeing it up.

    Then, if you go Settings>Applications>Running Services, it shows, at most around 750MB or RAM either being used or available.

    I know the OS and HTC skin use a good amount, but I'd really like to be able to see where all my RAM is going off to, and why I'm nearly running out when I don't even have much, if anything going right from the start? Give me my "1024MB of RAM" and then show me all the processes and how to free it up.

    I've cleared the cache, and it did squat for freeing up RAM.

    Do I need to pick up a third party app just so I can properly monitor the RAM usage?

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  2. wake69

    wake69 Well-Known Member

    umm... is this your first android pgone? my evo 4g had 512 ram and it never showed over 400 mb. so you will prob never see a fill 1gb
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  3. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon Moderator

    No. You do not need to install more apps to find your missing ram. It's not mythical, it's there.

    Some of it is simply being used for mapped I/O ports and graphics in a way that application-level tools cannot report. In the same way - and for the same reason - that you can't see a lot of details about your radio firmware.

    This situation is by no means unique to this phone, it's quite common. YOU are using that ram yourself by just using the phone.

    And I'm guessing you're fairly new to Android.

    You don't need to manage your apps yourself in attempts to free ram - let Android do that for you. Constant task killing ideas and ram freeing techniques are snake oil and like a drug for Android - the more you do that, the more you need to do that.

    Unlike an iPhone, BB, or Winphone - Android is already designed to do quite well what you think you're looking to do - and it's significantly improved in Gingerbread.

    When you exit an app, but it still shows in your task list, it's sleeping - Android has swapped most all of it out already. Left alone, when resources are required, Android will terminate the remnants.

    Apps in Android are small and compact because they don't carry their own redundant baggage around - they rely on underlying services that you cannot access with task managers. Constantly fiddling with task management yourself means you're simply chewing up memory and processing resources because user task management tends to go in and munch on the running control process in a bad way.

    Use the built in application manager when you find you have an app that's misbehaving. (Sometimes that's a fluke, usually it's a bad app and ought be removed until fixed.)

    Maybe you'll also want to see, from the linked item on the top sticky - http://androidforums.com/htc-evo-3d/346198-htc-evo-3d-dummies-2.html#post2776843 -- and then the discussion that expands on your question and this answer in the posts that follow.

    PS - How much ram do you have left when you say you're running out of it?
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  4. Emblazon

    Emblazon Well-Known Member

    I'm not really out of it, but just after using the browser, maps, and Music Beta, the phone (via Notifications Bar) has me down to 91MB of free RAM. Just seems really low when not much is going on with the phone.

    I remember when I had my Treo, I would have to be constantly restarting the phone just to free up RAM. I understand OSs have come a long way since then, but it is still a little disconcerting.
  5. wake69

    wake69 Well-Known Member

    is your phone rinning slow? is it freezing? if not, you are golden
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  6. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon Moderator

    As you hit the low water marks (there are several on the way down in free ram) Android gets more aggressive in memory clean-up.

    And fwiw - there seems to be little going on from your point of view, but under the hood, Android has already pre-loaded stuff based on the stuff you're using so that when you want those services they'll appear to be instantly available.

    That all said - do keep an eye on the Music Beta and keep an eye out for updates. It's not the most stable app and needs improvement in how it manages its resources. Like all things Google, I'm expecting them to make rapid improvements there. That's the one I'd be keeping an eye on based on comments from mods and friends who have been profiling it.

    Android seems new, but it's really just Linux + the Dalvik Virtual Machine (VM) + Java apps that run within the Dalvik engine. So - all of the maturity of Linux and Java are there - leaving the heavy lifting of Dalvik up to Google and the apps themselves to their own devs.

    It's not a perfect OS, but it is pretty darned good.
    marctronixx, BenChase7 and Emblazon like this.
  7. Emblazon

    Emblazon Well-Known Member

    From a fresh boot, I'm listed at 453MB of the 803MB used. Doesn't that seem a little high? I would assume the other 200MB that isn't listed is the OS memory, yes?

    I'm honestly not complaining, simply curious...
  8. Emblazon

    Emblazon Well-Known Member

    Kind of OT, but where do you check for updates? With most of Google's products, updates come automatically. Is there a spot on the phone that will show you all apps that have updates available? Thanks for the continued info.
  9. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon Moderator

    Not really OS memory per se, but a combination of a part of the OS memory and hardware device management. If you've ever used a PC whose BIOS is partially mapped to ram for faster performance or whose graphics card is sharing ram - it's essentially those things. In the phone's case, you have the whole set of phone chips instead of BIOS, but it's the same principle - memory locations are used to map some of the hardware I/O functions and memory sharing.

    The actual memory being used by Android is on the small side - HTC Sense 3.0, on the other hand, is a huge resource user. Not surprising given the sophistication of the eye candy.

    (Courtesy of Pyrospoker) Check out the instructions over here for how to ensure you've got automatic updating turned on for apps you've added (including added for you, like Maps) - HTC Mobile Phone Support - HTC EVO? 3D (Sprint) - Help

    I tend to visit the Market often - a least a few times a week - to ensure that everything's connected and that updates are really being considered. Just opening the Market and then hitting the Home button is sufficient for that.

    PS - Don't sweat complaining - users helping users is way ok here (including complaints). ;) I liked that you re-raised this question so much that I've added this thread to the forum guide.
    marctronixx and PyroSporker like this.
  10. houndstooth

    houndstooth Active Member

    Basic android question: If I decide to run LauncherPro, does android know that HTC sense should not be given any RAM?
  11. nykbob

    nykbob Well-Known Member

    I agree with this BUT...
    On my EVO 4G I uninstalled all app killers etc and got much better battery life, so I agree.
    BUT, then why does the EVO 3d come with a "Task Manager"? Why would killing tasks even be an option if we did not need it for some reason.
    Now I'm conflicted again.
  12. spridell

    spridell Well-Known Member

    As long as the phone is running fine you will be ok.

    I have like maybe 5 apps of my own installed and my memory gets down into the 100's too. But the phone is still snappy as hell.
    EarlyMon likes this.
  13. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon Moderator

    The old Sense on Eclair let you pre-select your launcher and you could be sure that everything was shut down. I'm not 100% sure that this newer one will ensure no memory is used.

    Sense includes the launcher and all of the Sense apps that interconnect and launch each other.

    SFAIK (and I hope others with LP will chime in and correct anything I'm about to maybe get wrong) - with just LP, the only process that ought not be running is Rosie. (I think.)

    Lots of people do not like Sense - and have found the best option there is simply root(*) and install a non-Sense rom. That way, you've freed up rom as well as ended any doubt about your ram usage. In general, Sense is a heavyweight solution, so alternatives often tend to run more quickly.

    At least one dev, flipz, already has a 3vo rom ready to release as soon as root is available. This is likely to be a well-supported phone by independent rom developers.

    (*Note - I say simply root, but we're still waiting on root methods for this phone.)

    That task manager (you can also get to it by displaying memory from the notifications pull-down, Quick Settings tab) is just HTC's idea of a safety net.

    I would never use it.

    If you're at the point of having things so hosed that you want to kill everything and start over, just do a long-press on the power button and select Restart - much as you would if your laptop got really wonky for some reason.
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  14. ardchoille

    ardchoille Well-Known Member

    I know this is kind of long, but it will explain why you don't want to kill tasks:

    I develop Android apps so I though I'd explain why a task killer isn't needed on an Android system.

    Activities
    Android apps use activites to preform tasks. For example, if you use a file manager to send a picture via email, the file manager calls the send activity within an email app, passes the file name to it and the email app sends the picture.. not the file manager. This will result in seeing the email app as "running" even though the user didn't actually launch that email app.

    Smaller apps
    Using activites helps developers design smaller apps. A file manager app that contains every bit of code needed to do everything a file manager does would likely be so large that no one would want to install it. Developers know that an android phone more than likely has an email app so there is no need for the developer to include email code in his/her file manager to send a picture when he/she can call an activity in an existing email app to do the job. This results in a smaller file manager app since there is no need to include email code or any other code for an activity that can be done via an app that is already present on the phone. This also alleviates redundant code. When you install an app outside of the android market, also known as sideloading, the file manager app calls the package installer (already present in Android) to install the requested app.

    Running apps vs. cached apps
    The "Manage Applications" list included in many android devices lists running apps as well as cached apps. Cached apps don't use any CPU or battery, they're cached so they will load faster the next time you need them. Killing cached apps results in those apps requiring more time to load the next time they are launched.

    System management
    By default, every android application runs in its own Linux process. Android starts the process when any of the application
  15. Chadwick5000

    Chadwick5000 Member

    Hi everyone, I'm a new Android user. Lovely set of forums you have here, hope I can contribute positively someday.
    Anyways, I got the Evo 3D at launch morning, and my how things have changed in the three years I've had the original HTC Touch. Really digging the Android platform but i do have a new concern with task killing.

    I see you all say it's a bad thing and will stop. However, I have done it a fair amount in the 2 days I've had my phone. I kept reading about bloatware and other things on how to maximize performance so I thought it would be a good idea to kill tasks. My phone is still quite speedy, my concern is just that you said it is bad for the OS the more you task kill. I couldn't have done any damage or anything in just 2 days, have I? Everything still seems to run fine. Any recommendations on things I can do to check or should I not worry?

    Thanks for the help everyone. I just want to get the most out of my phone and learn about Android.

    Thanks everyone.
    EarlyMon likes this.
  16. hollawood24

    hollawood24 Well-Known Member

    First off, great breakdown Ardchoille. I think this will help a lot of people and should be added to the guide sticky.


    Welcome Chadwick, rest assure you have done no harm to your phone in these past two days. You say things are running fine and fast, so no worries. Just remember what you've read here and limit (or eliminate) your task killing, unless some of the aforementioned happens (mainly defective app). Other than that, play with it like it is the only toy you really wanted on Christmas;). Btw this forum is going to be your best friend:cool:.
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  17. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon Moderator

    Was already in guide sticky. ;)
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  18. hollawood24

    hollawood24 Well-Known Member

    Well then my work is done here, lol. Great job keeping up with these things Mon!:cool: If i didn't know any better i would think y'all are just as fast as my 3vo............... *shakes head* Nah
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  19. Chadwick5000

    Chadwick5000 Member

    Alright thanks guys. I figured it was all fine but your snake oil and drug example kind of made me worry a bit that I may have messed up.
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  20. outkast25

    outkast25 Well-Known Member

    Is it a bad idea to have a task killer from market along side the native task killer? I dont see any settings on the native task killer to kill tasks when I turn the screen off like there is on market task killers. Will they interfere with eachother?
  21. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon Moderator

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  22. JimKnuckles

    JimKnuckles Well-Known Member

    It says on HTC website that you shouldn't use any 3rd party task killers
  23. SirSlayer

    SirSlayer Well-Known Member

    Just read the thread about task killers in my sig.....
    EarlyMon likes this.
  24. jerofld

    jerofld Fixing stuff is not easy VIP Member

    It took me a little bit to stop looking at the available memory and freaking out because it is low. I was used to the Windows methodology of Available memory being a count down until programs crash. In Android, it's more of a measure of system efficiency. The less available, the more apps that are pre-loaded and ready to go when you need them. If Android needs space, it'll make space. Which is why the phone hitches every so often when you load an app you haven't ran in a while. It's clearing some of the old ones out.
  25. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon Moderator

    I'd not referenced this earlier because I didn't want to confuse new users to the 3vo as this is from the Evo forum - but it's just as valid today as when it was first posted:

    Task Killers! Must read for new Android Users

    Not sure how this ended up in accesories - moving...
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