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Why you don't need a task killer


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  1. amlothi

    amlothi Well-Known Member



    And.... you still just don't get it. Many people have told you repeatedly in this thread, and posted screen shots as proof. Just because apps are "running" or cached or whatever you decide you want to call it (I'll let you pick the word, because you don't really understand the meaning of it anyway) there is no CPU usage.

    If there is no CPU being used, how is performance being degraded "because we only have 1 CPU in the phone"???
  2. ajgates92

    ajgates92 Well-Known Member

    I am new to Android OS, and actually smartphones all together. After carefully reading this thread..Which seemed to become more of a debate haha, I do believe that I do not need a task killer. I fully understand how Android has the cached apps, and it may say the apps are running but in all reality they are not. I really appreciate all the help and information given on this thread.

    BTW: I don't know how many people have the Amazon Appstore, but today Watchdog is free. I noticed someone (lunatic maybe?) Mentioned downloading it. Well you can get the full version for free today (6/16/11) if no one knew.

    Thanks again for the help.
    daffyducknj likes this.
  3. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum Moderator


    Yes, i did recommend Watchdog if you are concerned about apps running rogue. You can also see which resources your specific sets of apps is using. It really isn't a must-have app but more of a diagnostic tool.
  4. Knewz

    Knewz Well-Known Member


    With that said, is there a way to increase(or allocate more) cache memory?
  5. HankAtrix

    HankAtrix Well-Known Member

    With regard to the apps in 20-30 apps that I close, ATK does not show which is in cache and which ones are not (you would have to check Task Manager for that info). I can easily look at Task Manager to see which apps are in cache and which are running, but that would defeat one of my primary reasons for using the task killer: efficiency. By combining the auto-kill every hour, I can hit the ATK button when necessary (it is set up as a widget). In addition to the very noticeable improvement in performance, my battery life is extended in a few ways: less time on the phone managing apps (saves screen time managing apps and closing some battery hogging apps.)
    With regard to my ignore list, ATK makes a recommended list of processes and I added calendar, JuiceDefender, mail, calendar, and Lookout. This is an extremely simply process to set up the ignore list.

    With regard to ATK, the app has been downloaded over 280,000 times on the Android Market. It has a nearly perfect review score (just shy of 5 out of 5) on the Android Market and one of the most downloaded apps and one of the highest rated apps. That means the ATK is considered excellent by almost every person who uses it (and I would submit that the ones who don’t like it are people that either didn’t know how to set it up properly.

    With regard to task killers in general, my phone (Motorola Atrix) has a task killer included. It is part of the Task Manager function (another evidence point that Task Killers aren’t completely bad for the Android phones). I decided to download ATK because of the ease of use and widget.

    I hope this is helpful
  6. _mw_

    _mw_ Well-Known Member

    That car sure is pretty, they ranked it really high, 5 out of 5 stars. It must be the most efficient car ever built, and have gas mileage beyond that of any other make or model.

    My gosh, over 30 people have rented that apartment in the last 2 years, it must be one of the sweetest places to live ever. I'll bet it comes furnished and with a maid that does all your dishes for you.

    I mean, by your logic. :)
  7. HankAtrix

    HankAtrix Well-Known Member

    My logic is that I do research first (which I did and it brought me to using ATK). I check other people experience (Android Market, forums, etc). Check it out myself (with great success in this case); check things like benchmarks and work associates to make sure my assumptions are right.

    In this case the number of reviews on Android Market was 3,500 reviews and 288,000 downloads as excellent external backing.
  8. ardchoille

    ardchoille Well-Known Member

    So you're killing 20-30 apps at a time and you have no idea whether or not they're actually running or cached? Do you not understand what you're doing, or do you enjoy making your system work harder?

    Efficiency? If you kill running apps the system will have to reload them from scratch, they were running because the system needed them. When the system is done with them the system will move them from a running state to a cached state. Apps don't run indefinitely once they are launched unless they're part of a needed service. If you kill cached apps the system will just cache more apps to replace the ones you killed.

    Improvement on performance and battery life? You're under the spell of power of suggestion.. some developers have a silver tongue and can get people to install and run almost anything.. it's called Social Engineering.

    ATK has been downloaded 280,000 times? I'm sure there were more people than that who once believed the earth was flat. Not one of those people actually proved the earth was flat. Why did so many people follow that erroneous belief? Never underestimate the power of ignorance.

    No, your phone does not have a task killer installed by default, your phone has a task manager installed by default, there's a huge difference. Third-party task killers are bad for android.

    The point is you, the user, have no idea what the app that you're killing is doing. If an app is running, it's running for a reason and killing it will force the system to restart it - this is why people think they have a rogue app installed. If the app is cached, killing it will force the system to cache another app in its place.

    I'm a developer for android and other platforms, I spend a lot of my time trying to overcome myths like third-party task killer benefits. I'm not trying to get you to buy or install anything.. I'm just amazed that you would ignore how the system really works.

    Denial.. it ain't just a river in Egypt.

    Good day :)
    blahsaysmeu2u likes this.
  9. amlothi

    amlothi Well-Known Member



    First you say you can easily do it, then you say it takes too much time. We are asking you to check this ONCE and tell us. We are curious which apps you have cached, which are running, and which of those you are killing. Just do this thing that you can "easily" do once and post back.

    If that is your argument, I have a better solution for you. DO NOTHING. I spend zero screen time closing apps. According to your logic, my battery life must be incredible!

    Is that more or less than Talking Tom the cat? I'm just curious, as I'd like to use your method to determine which app is more useful for me.


    As was noted, you have a Task Manager, not a Task Killer. The manager lets you choose a single app that might be misbehaving and kill it. It isn't designed to kill off a lot of apps at the same time, as you noted. Did you ever stop to think about WHY it isn't designed to do that?
  10. ardchoille

    ardchoille Well-Known Member

    1. Are you aware that there are sites that a developer can go to pay someone to download their app and give it a perfect review? Download count and reviews in the android market don't really carry much weight anymore.

    2. Of those 280,000 downloads, how many of those are still using the app? How many of those have realized that ATK is detrimental to android and have uninstalled the app?

    3. Of those 280,000 downloads, how many of those are from the developer asking/paying friends/family/other to download the app and give it a high review after seeing people like me say their app isn't worth using?

    Of the 20-30 apps you kill regularly, how many of those apps are using activites in another app you're killing? It could very well be that you have 1 app using activites from 10 other apps and killing the 10 apps kills the tasks that the 1 app was trying to complete.

    Example: I have a bus app that uses the maps activity of google maps, the email activity in an email app, the alarm activity in the alarm app and the file management activity in a file manager app. If I kill the alarm, maps, email and file management apps, the bus app can't do its job so the system needs to reload those killed apps from scratch. Some users might then think they have 4 rogue apps that restart when the user hasn't launched them without realizing the system re-launched them so the bus app can function. Can you imagine how big the bus app would be if it contained all of the code to be able to perform all of these functions by itself? People already complain about how big Google Maps app is.

    I don't think you fully understand how apps and activities interact in android.
  11. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum Moderator

    I find it necessary once again to comment, not because of the content of the posts -- anyone who has read through this thread knows my position on the subject of using task killers -- but because of the tactical use of fallacious logic. We have seen many arguments set forth that are exemplary of false logic, and here are several more.

    The above is an example of a red herring. The question was asked which processes were running and which were cached. The answer was "I could tell you but I won't because of this reason." The reason then becomes the topic of comment without regard to the original question. We are supposed to be redirected to the argument that the use of a task killer is efficient. The evidence of efficiency less manual time to perform necessary tasks. However, that itself is an example of the logical fallacy "begging the question." It only is a valid argument if we assume that the task is necessary. In the process of diverting the topic of comment the original question remains unanswered.

    Here we have a perfect example of argumentum ad verecundiam or appeal to authority. The question was how to know which processes to kill. Here we must accept that the program knows the best programs to kill since it is created by developers who are intelligent enough to create the program. The list of apps that are excluded from the kill list is an example of an argument to the contrary. Just because we know those apps shouldn't be killed we should assume the rest are okay to kill.

    This is a prime example of the bandwagon fallacy. Just because many people believe or practice something does not mean that it has merit.

    This is actually a combination of two common fallacies. The use-mention error is confusing a task manager that has, as one of it's features, the ability to stop processes manually with a task killer whose sole purpose is to stop processes. The second is the non sequitur that since Motorola provided the ability to kill tasks that it is beneficial and we should be expected to do it.

    The entire argument by the proponents of task killers presented in this thread is an example of observational selection. Task killers are beneficial because they have these positive effects without ever considering the negative consequences. It is similar to a gambler who brags about winning big without ever discussing previous losses and whether the win offset the loss.

    Finally, please do not find yourself swayed by "the fallacy fallacy" or a false dichotomy. The first means that just because the logic in these examples is faulty does not mean that the logic in the counter arguments is sound. The second meas that if a thing is not bad, it doesn't necessarily mean it's good.

    I am not at this point making a case pro or con for the use of task killers. As I've stated before, there is plenty of information here for an intelligent person to read and digest and even try experiment using their device if they wish and draw their own conclusion. My purpose in this rather academic expos
  12. KingOfGreen

    KingOfGreen Well-Known Member

    i just read EVERY post in this thread and came to one conclusion. HANKATRIX is acting and speaking out of ignorance and cant be helped. you completely REFUSE to listen to anything being said about task killers not being good. just for shits and giggles i searched "android task killers" on google and 7 out of the first 10 were article explaining WHY YOU DONT NEED THEM and 2 of them were links to task killers. so by Hanks logic 70% say ATKs are bad and you shouldnt use them.

    and hank, how many custom ROM developers include ATKs in the custom ROMs whos sole purpose is efficiency over the way the phone was out of the box? how many ROM developers encourage the use of ATKs? ill be the first to admit im no android master but i DO understand most of the basic concepts and what else i know is that the folks who have the knowledge and skill to build from scratch or rebuild ROMs and kernels all know that its best to let android do what it was built to do.

    now you find me a few REPUTABLE ROM devs on here or XDA to explain why and how ATKs are necessary or just find some posts by them and hook it up with a few links then ill retract everything im saying and shove toothpicks up my finger nails. because i could find a dozen who will agree with pretty much everyone else here.

    and now for my personal experience - i have an LG Ally, a mid range phone. i have over 100 downloaded apps (the dalvik cache alone would fill the data partition on my phone ) that's twice what i could have hoped to fit on my phone without dalvik2cache. i dont have any sort of task killer and NEVER have any cause to manually end any process/app while i usually have about 40-50mb of free RAM, i have an assload of widgets and services updating all day long and still dont notice my phone lagging or actin crazy and unless im on the web all day my battery will last from morning to night, and when it had in the past i could run System Panel for a week and find the troublesome app and remove it. now with all that said, im in no way saying my phone is as fast as hanks, but with all of my apps it moves from one thing to the other NO SLOWER THAN STOCK AND DAMN NEAR BARE.

    now if my ally can do this, rooted or not im sure an Atrix would NEVER break a sweat. are you f'ing kidding me!!! you have an ATRIX and you think you NEED a task killer. youre crazy bro!

    Hanks Atrix- Dual Core Tegra 2 100mhz, 1024mb RAM, 16gb Internal Memory and a 1930 mah battery

    My Ally- Single core 600mhz (OC'd to 748mhz), 256mb RAM, 102mb Internal memory and a 1500 mah battery
    (that internal memory would be /data as i said earlier dalvik2cache gives me more than double that)

    now hank could you PLEASE enlighten me as to how on earth my phone can run perfectly fine given its sorry specs and the amount of apps and everything going on if you are soooo right about the ATKs????

    well enough of that, this was WAYYY to good now to get a little taste, and to ANYBODY who reads this and thinks hank might know what he is talking about, well IM SORRY!!!
    daffyducknj and blahsaysmeu2u like this.
  13. ambientdroid

    ambientdroid Well-Known Member

    I think what we've seen here is what's sometimes known as the 'Backfire Effect' (The Backfire Effect You Are Not So Smart).

    Extremely common in internet....er....discussions.

    Stuntman likes this.
  14. HankAtrix

    HankAtrix Well-Known Member

    Name a better benchmark or measure and I willl try it. The result will be exactly the same - fewer apps leads to faster performance. I am not talking about a few apps running (any Android app can handle that) - just having many run.
  15. ardchoille

    ardchoille Well-Known Member

    I ran a little test twice today on my phone. You should try the same test on y our phone with the task killer turned off. I have a question at the end of this exercise.

    Phone: htc Evo 4G
    ROM: FreshEvo 4.1.1.0
    Manufacturer skin: Sense 2
    Custom kernel: No
    Overclocked: No
    Memory management app: Android managed
    Task manager app: Android managed

    Steps I took:
    1. Rebooted to work with a fresh system
    2. Opened the following apps and tapped the Home button after each app was fully loaded:
    Root Explorer
    GPS Test Plus
    Android Market
    Quick Settings
    Quick Boot
    Screenshot
    Android Settings
    Terminal Emulator
    Titanium Backup
    Blogger
    Dolphin HD
    Facebook
    Gmail
    IM+ Pro
    Default Web Browser
    Messages
    Gtalk
    Twitter
    Calculator
    Calendar
    Checkbook
    Clock
    Docs
    MapQuest
    Google Maps
    OneBusAway
    People
    Text Edit
    WeatherBug
    Amazon Kindle
    Camera
    Youtube
    GReader

    That's more than 30 apps with some with some of them being power hungry. At no time did I notice any lag while starting any of those apps.

    3. Checked my lists:
    Running:
    Android Settings
    Terminal Emulator
    Messaging
    IM+ Pro
    Blogger
    Calendar
    Google Maps
    Android Market

    So, 8 of the thirty apps I Manually launched were still running after taking the screenshots.

    Cached:
    People
    Messages
    Twitter
    Mail
    Clock
    OneBusAway
    Text Edit
    WeatherBug
    Amazon Kindle
    Camera
    Youtube
    GReader
    Screenshot
    Calendar

    So, 14 of the thirty apps I manually launched were still running after taking the screenshots. Cached apps do not use power or memory.

    What happened to the other 8+ apps that I launched? Android manages things rather well ;)

    Have a look at the RAM used and RAM free in the screenshots I took. I internationally kept movig the screen so the screenshot would include the scrollbar to give an idea of how many apps were in each list.

    Screenshot of running apps. Notice they are listed in RAM Used:

    [​IMG]


    Screenshot of cached apps. Notice they are listed in RAM Free:
    [​IMG]

    These are unedited screenshots. Does it appear from the scrollbars that I have more than 30 apps running or cached? Not to mention the apps and services that android launches itself.

    Why would I need a benchmark app? The system isn't lagging, plenty of memory free and I don't use any type of task killing method other than what Android does by itself. I'd be willing to bet your phone would run much better if you stopped killing tasks.

    In my opinion a benchmark app is just another app that wastes system resources. But, then again, I'm just a developer who has an understanding of how the system works.

    Android knows what its doing and, unless you've read and understood every line of code in android and all 3rd party apps, it knows more about what its doing than we do.
  16. BobPaul

    BobPaul Well-Known Member

    Somebody drinks the google Kool-Aid and becomes convinced that computer science fundamentals have changed.

    Yeah, right.
    daffyducknj and crossmr like this.
  17. hansschmucker

    hansschmucker Well-Known Member

    Just a few observations:
    When an application is closed, certain events still make it start/"wake up" (if suspended, but not closed by Android). Starting an application is more costly than waking up, so if the application is supposed to respond to events (from applications or services) closing it will actually waste system resources. So a task killer will make your system slower in these cases as applications will restart more often than they have to.

    Applications that are not commonly woken up by anything but a user-launch on the other hand fall into two categories: Well-behaving and blocking. Well-behaving applications will go into a "background-mode" and will consume no CPU-resources during that time. Memory is generally not an issue, since the system can send applications from RAM to flash when they are in this state. Blocking applications are more tricky: They keep running in the background consuming a lot of resources. Sometimes because they just keep running without giving the system any opportunity to send them into hibernation, other times because they consume too many events, making them wake up over and over again. Closing these applications may really make the system faster, since Android itself is a bit reluctant to do it and will keep them running for some time until it decides that enough is enough. A perfect task manager would be able to make this decision more quickly.

    So in theory, a perfectly tuned task killer really could make the system faster... the problem is that there's really no way to tune it so perfectly, right?
  18. ambientdroid

    ambientdroid Well-Known Member

    Which 'computer science fundamentals' are those?

    Kinda like a diesel engine in a truck, better to leave the thing running when you make a short stop than to turn it off and start it up again.
  19. HankAtrix

    HankAtrix Well-Known Member

    FYI from the perspective of knowledge and credibility, I am VP of a database company. I have a minor in computer science and the company that I worked for 10 years was a company that primarily builds Unix systems.

    It looks like I need to repeat a couple of themes from this post (from me). I have never said Android needs a task killer to run or that it is a cure-all (panacea) for Android. But it does do a better job of killing apps than doing it yourself.
  20. elemteacher2be

    elemteacher2be Well-Known Member

    This has been the most entertainment I've gotten in a while. I uninstalled my task killer soon after getting it because of all that I read against it.

    Here's my question - and I'm not very tech savvy as far as knowing CPU and this and that - but I know that on a computer I should have so much free space/storage/ram so that my computer runs efficiently, etc.

    I imagine it's the same for the phone? How much free ram/storage space should I keep on my phone?

    I hope this isn't too stupid of a question! lol
  21. Usta

    Usta Well-Known Member

    Don't worry about the RAM, but keep at least 25MB free space in the phone.
  22. elemteacher2be

    elemteacher2be Well-Known Member

    Do you mean internal storage?
  23. Usta

    Usta Well-Known Member

  24. rbasusparky

    rbasusparky Well-Known Member

    Around 30% free according to this article:

    Speed up your Android: free up internal phone storage

    If your phone has a Task Manager (not a Task killer, which I don't recommend either :)), check out the total amount of internal storage and maintain 30% free (do not go below 10% if possible). Another way to check your internal storage is to download an app called DiskUsage (Ivan Volusyuk) which I use and is very useful in providing me memory usage information on my Internal Storage and SD card.
    elemteacher2be likes this.
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