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question about task killers

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by lolbug, Jul 25, 2010.

  1. lolbug

    Thread Starter

    Jun 6, 2010
    i understand the concept behind not needing to use them when it comes to ram usage; if a program isn't active its ram can be released so it can be used by other applications.

    however, how does the android OS deal with cpu use by applications not active? this is the only reason i would think apps should be killed; there's nothing preventing them from using up cpu cycles while in the background

    do they need to make special api calls to use cycles if not active?


  2. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon

    Jun 10, 2010
    New Mexico, USA
    See if this link sheds some light on this for you - if it's too geeky, please ask again:

    The apps themselves don't consume CPU resources when shuffled into the background - they're under system control.

    This is a form of pre-emptive multitasking - the OS is in charge; as opposed to a cooperative multitasking scheme where the apps have a say.

    That's precisely what lets Android unload the unused stuff.

    That - or root, and you remove them.

    BUT - don't let the big list of apps fool you into thinking you MUST task kill.

    Android System Info by ElectricSheep - free in the Market - will let you see your tasks sorted by CPU usage and will even let you see a nice (confusing if you're new to it) system log of what's going on. I'd recommend using that or SystemPanel Lite (also free/Market) and take your time to really look things over before deciding that overriding Android and killing any tasks is really right for you. In fact - now that I think of it - start with the second one - SystemPanel Lite (and move up to paid when you're ready).

    The Snapdragon processor - like so many in today's super phones - scales its frequency to match the load. It doesn't burn up excess power when it doesn't have much to do - it runs slower. And that's very cool, because everything seems to run the same, all the time - very advanced.

    But - when your CPU frequency and memory usage are constantly high, it's due to rogue crap.

    Otherwise, task killers are just a placebo effect for many users.

    Your mileage may vary, hope this helps a little.
  3. nahpungnome

    nahpungnome Well-Known Member

    Jun 10, 2010
    Software Developer
    Los Angeles, CA
    This will always be a topic of debate. In my own experience, keeping the memory footprint low keeps the phone working smoothly. The more that the phone's RAM is used up, simple tasks like sliding between home screens becomes noticably chunky.

    That said, you shouldn't just go using a task killer to kill everything, you have to be aware of what you're doing. Just because an app or service is sitting in memory not using CPU cycles doesn't mean there's no impact on performance, but some of those apps/services need to stay there.

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