Task Killers! Must read for new Android Users


Force close apps/services?

  1. Yes, I force close apps/services with ____

    101 vote(s)
    44.9%
  2. No.

    69 vote(s)
    30.7%
  3. Sometimes...

    55 vote(s)
    24.4%
  1. Essex

    Essex Well-Known Member

    Bump. Go to the Market and search "SystemPanel App." Before I bought this app, I was firmly in the Task Killers are required crowd. But once SystemPanel App showed me what the Android OS is actually doing, I realized that Task Killers should be used VERY judiciously (e.g. poorly coded 3rd party apps). Just because an app is "running" doesn't mean that it is using memory.

    I'm starting to think that the "low-tech" components of the EVO (the radios) are the primary culprit of battery drain. Not the OS...
  2. SirSlayer

    SirSlayer Well-Known Member

    Nice! You will be happy about the stress left behind when you realize that killing tasks is just not needed. I know I am.:D
  3. DeathbySnuggles

    DeathbySnuggles New Member

    I know there are a bunch of threads about task killers, pro and con. However, this is my real world with and without comparison and observation.

    First, let me just admit that I am new to Android. Been an iPhoner since gen 1, with At&t for 6 years. I love the EVO. I love Android. I love not feeling like a leper just because I want to use a different SMS program versus the stock one. Was it a transition, you betcha. But I'm not looking back.

    Okay, to the point. I've been lurking on this and other android forums since getting the phone launch weekend. I've read a lot of threads about task killers paying special attention to those talking about how the OS is built to handle applications and by using a task killer, you're doing more harm than good. I have been using ATK. I set all the important stuff on the ignore list, I have the security setting set to low so I able to add all the com.xxxx.xxx goodies to the ignore list. I have kill frequency set to on screen black.

    After reading another thread which linked to a blog about how the OS handles apps, I decided to turn off ATK and run completely stock. For the record, I'm running the latest update, no root, with Earth Rot live wallpaper. I'm not a gamer. Web browse, google voice, phone, text, weather. I restarted the phone with ATK disabled last night around 8pm EDT. By 3pm this afternoon, my phone would lag really bad when turning the screen back on and trying to perform any task. I'm talking like 5 - 7 seconds from clicking a contact in the favorites widgets until it actually made the call. I looked in the running services area and it said my free memory was only 15MB. To be honest, I'm not completely sure what the rest of the information at the bottom means, "xxMB in 0 Other: xxMB in 4". I have since turned ATK back on, rebooted and the device is running as expected and as evident in the past, will continue to do so.

    So my question is, if task killers are indeed bad, and the OS is designed to handle apps on it's own, why did my phone's performance go down the toilet so quickly WITHOUT the task killer? I didn't do anything crazy like leave 4 different games running. When I close my browsers (Dolphin and xscope) I always hit menu, and exit, not just hit the home button. What are other people's real world experiences?
    damewolf13 likes this.
  4. damewolf13

    damewolf13 live~laugh~love VIP Member

    Thanks for speaking up. I was not brave enough to post this, but I have had the same experiences as you when removing my ATK. My phone bogs down with very little available memory until I re-install ATK.
  5. Biggest Fro

    Biggest Fro Well-Known Member

    You may have a bad app running in the background.

    I haven't had a task killer since I had my old Hero. And I have never had a problem with lag.

    One thing I do know is that Live Wallpapers adds a generous amount of lag.

    Try the same test, but without live wallpapers, and see if it turns out better.

    Another thing, the reason why most people say to not use ATK or another task killer is because most people don't set permissions for ATK to not kill certain process's, like Message, Phone, Clock.

    Killing those process's can make a SMS message come in hours late, and can make your alarms never go off.

    Some people have different results with different methods. Just use what works best with you, that's the wonders of Android. You now have a choice!

    Welcome to the community, and I'm glad you like Android of Iphone.

    -Evan
  6. IPvFletch

    IPvFletch Well-Known Member

    I never let ATK run except when I use it to kill a process and then I also kill ATK so it isn't running. I never have had the issues you (the OP) listed. I think some other apps is causing this, sorry.
  7. sikclown

    sikclown Well-Known Member

    You should never be afraid to speak up about your experiences. Personally I don't use ATK's because of bad past experiences with them on my Hero. But just like with anything.. Perception and mileage may vary.
    damewolf13 likes this.
  8. marctronixx

    marctronixx Moderator Moderator

    i installed ATK before i read up on how the OS handles programs.. during my own daily use and unofficial testing, i agree with how the OS manages things and have come to my personal conclusion that it is not needed for the EVO i use.

    for example, if i dont go to a certain sense screen after some time, then i do swipe over to said screen, it takes a few seconds to load the program (the friend stream app for example). then if i go back to home and then , say in a few minutes access the same sense screen, in this example friend stream, the program shows up immediately and refreshes at the same time..

    even apps that are not on the today screen... i mean on the sense screen... but are in the apps list, some of those that i have not accessed in a while take a few seconds to initialize... those that i use semi frequently, take less time to load than the ones i rarely use.

    also if i back out of a program if it has no "X" or "close" command in it, this does seem to unload the program from memory rather than just pressing the home screen or "tap and hold" to bring up other programs... doing the latter would keep the program in memory.

    this is my experience. i do not use any task killers.

    my phone is stock all the way with the latest htc update

    i have all radios on 24/7 and have the nexus live wallpaper in the background.

    i have Gtalk running 24/7 youtube app, a twitter program, fring and some other apps that are on sense.. the evo i use shows no lag.

    of course YMMV but this is indeed my experience.
  9. flyjbaker

    flyjbaker Well-Known Member

    With all due respect to the OP, your phone is heavily modified(arguably). While this thread has provided great discussion for inquiring minds, I do think your opinion on this matter carries less weight due to this. It is kind of like saying your truck gets 5mpg better than everyone else's and then we find out you have a different ECU, airbox, etc. and that you use a different fuel blend not readily available to others.


    Anyway, I think the Android operating system is a great example of "chaos theory". A very short explanation is the first few sentences from Wikipedia:

    Chaos theory is a field of study in mathematics, physics, economics and philosophy studying the behavior of dynamical systems that are highly sensitive to initial conditions. This sensitivity is popularly referred to as the butterfly effect. Small differences in initial conditions (such as those due to rounding errors in numerical computation) yield widely diverging outcomes for chaotic systems, rendering long-term prediction impossible in general.[1] This happens even though these systems are deterministic, meaning that their future behaviour is fully determined by their initial conditions, with no random elements involved.[2]

    IOW, the "builders" of the android OS have no clue how developers will develop apps and therefore cannot determine the final outcomes as to how the app will affect the OS. It is those last words..."random elements" that throws a wrench in the spokes. There are lots of "random elements" running around inside our phones once we download everything we can get our hands on.

    So, in theory, your initial posts and subsequent follow up posts are true(modified phone notwithstanding). In reality, I will use ATK due to the unpredictable potential chaotic nature of how apps interact with each other and the OS.
  10. SirSlayer

    SirSlayer Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your post, while yes right now I am rooted and running a custom rom so that I can remove apps that I just don't use the OS still performs the same. My wife also has an EVO that does not contain a task killer and she gets well over a days use out of her phone with moderate use. This is not my first android phone either. I have been on Android since January, my first was the Eris. At first I used to kill apps right and left and I am not saying that it will not gain you more battery life, it did, but the long term affect on the phone and its applications was much worse in the long run. Talked with a Linux engineer here that has a mytouch and he explained to me that Android didn't need a task killer. So I did the research and decided to run without one and wow what a difference. Not only did I stop stressing about what was running but I had a lot less force closes from apps and everything just worked like it should. I never rooted my eris nor my hero and life with Android couldn't be better. In my opinion if you don't want all the crap running in the back ground then don't install the app. If you don't want sprint crap running in the back ground then root so you can remove them. Its pretty simple really. If you want to run with a task killer then be my guest, I really don't care. The idea of this post is to give the new users to Android the information to decide if it will be right for them. If they want to kill apps all day long and stress about it then that's the choice of the user. I can't tell you how many times I have seen posts on here about problems someone is having just to find out they have been killing tasks that caused the issue. They reset to factory defaults, run without and everything is working again. So in closing, yes I did root my phone with the intention of removing apps I don't and won't ever use which frees up memory for the apps that I do use. Android will still manage them just fine.
  11. heavychevy

    heavychevy Well-Known Member

    I just want to install it back to put Google Talk on autokill.
  12. SirSlayer

    SirSlayer Well-Known Member

    Why not just disable the auto login?
  13. Leafgreen

    Leafgreen Active Member

    I do thank SirSlayer for all his work. But after reading most of the posts in this thread, and most of the posts on the geekfor.me link that SirSlayer put on his first post, I concluded the opposite of the recommendation.

    Why?
    * Post #44 "I think the point that a lot of these kind of articles miss is that not all apps behave in an ideal manner..." and a lot of other similar thoughts.
    * adseguy: For 95% of the time you don't want to use a task killer. Exactly. I'm worried about the 5% of the time!
    * Repeated posts that swear by improved battery life
    * the assumption that the only point of task killers is memory management and not cpu/battery mgmt.

    :rolleyes:

    --------------------------------------------
    Join up in the gadget revolution at Gadget Nation.
  14. SirSlayer

    SirSlayer Well-Known Member

    What amazes me is the fact that people are not paying attention. There are other apps that are not "task killers" that can help you kill a Hung app if you need it. I have mentioned it several times and they surve usually other much more useful features then auto jacking up your phone. So, had you read the rest of the posts you would have seen me agree that killing a Hung task might be needed, just use apps like astro file manager. Shows processes running and let's you stop an app that might be Hung. As for the battery issue I will say it again for the 20th time. you might get better battery now but will be reseting to factory defaults when the task killer is done jacking up your phone.

    Quite frankly, I don't care if people use them myself. My goal here is to keep people informed, most of the responces we have had on this thread have been that the phone runs better without it.

    lol ok late night rant.... hope its been entertaining. I know I was entertained....lol :eek:
  15. itsme1

    itsme1 Member

    i got convinced after going through this thread to stop using my ATK. I want to ask though, do i used uninstall ATK and thats it? Or do i need to do a factory reset like some people are doing?
    how do i disable it?
  16. AHWagner

    AHWagner Well-Known Member

  17. SirSlayer

    SirSlayer Well-Known Member


    Launch GTalk,
    Hit menu/more/settings
    Un-check the automatically sign in. Then when you exit make sure to hit menu/more/sing out and you should be good.
  18. itsme1

    itsme1 Member

    ^thanks. so do i just uninstall ATK and thats it? no factory reset...
  19. SirSlayer

    SirSlayer Well-Known Member

    That's up to you. If after you uninstall every thing is running ok then I wouldn't do factory reset. But if you notice issues you might want to think about it.
  20. wldman

    wldman New Member

    After reading these threads, I started thinking, that my new moto devour w/droid Os. this is like a small,fast, and powerful computer, (in lamons terms).i dont turn the power off of my laptop before i close everything out PROPERLY. so why close something on my phone if it is doing something, maybe updating,checking for virus, don't really know! but what i have found out is when i had an ATK and started killing apps. the apps i was killing was eating up my battery.when i read this forum i uninstalled it and noticed i can have my phone set to performance, instead of battery saver and my OS is using the most of my battery@82%, which i think is great. instead of the apps i was killing was still coming back to finish whatever,and having to start all over to do it. if that makes any sense. so in my opinion,and my phone,no task killer. just PROPERLY back out of the app. and the super smart phone will take care of the rest. thank-you for this forum
  21. probinson

    probinson Well-Known Member

    I really do like this forum with pros and cons about all sorts of issues. As for task killers, I decided to try one - Automatic Task Killer. I like the way it operates - when the phone goes to sleep, it kills off any tasks that you've identified as candidates. To be honest, I've just started using it, but my first experience has been positive. When it went to sleep last night at 10pm at 100% battery, it woke up this morning at 5am with 98% battery. Maybe killers are good, maybe they aren't, but it doesn't hurt to try them out.
  22. mpike78

    mpike78 Well-Known Member

    when i had my N1 and called htc with issues they flat out told me android does not need a task killer it will kill programs on its own as it needs too. i also let them know that they needed better batterys before i would delete mine as it would run out in 2 hours or so.
  23. SirSlayer

    SirSlayer Well-Known Member

    I would say look at the apps you have installed. There may be a third party app sapping all the resources. I have found that Asto File Manager has some tools that let you see what processes are running and the CPU usage they are using. If they are all 0's then I don't know. Are you constantly playing with your phone? My phone can go 24 hours without a charge....unless I launch a game.....then I can burn through it quite fast lol.

    You could also look at the battery usage app under Menu/Settings/About Phone/Battery/Battery Use. This will tell you whats using the battery the most....then maybe you can go from there.
  24. takirb

    takirb Well-Known Member

    I tried the ATK myself for 2 days. For ME, it gave me issues with getting notifications and i got tired of having to kill the same processes over and over and over. I removed it, rebooted the phone, and haven't had a problem with processes or notifications since. I agree that it "can" be useful to a certain degree, but only if used wisely to kill certain apps that are written poorly. But a complete task killing, memory freeing, battery helping, make my EVO golden, all-in-one click solution, it was far far from that. And for anyone wanting to "test" their systems by running it vs disabling it, try a full uninstall instead of just disabling if you have problems. If it works for you keep it, if not, toss it. Just my $.02. Not everyone's EVO's are configured the same with the same apps, so mileage may indeed vary.
  25. Raw

    Raw Active Member

    I must admit that forums such as this need to be more publicly advertised I have been using android since the G1 and I have always used task killers and have constantly come across problems with task killer restarting apps I such as clock and weather as well as blanking out my screen for 2-3 seconds when using auto kill feature I have since unistalled ATK and can say I have had no problems since.

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