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Questions from an Android newcomer - apps

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by wildetudor, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. wildetudor

    wildetudor Well-Known Member
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    As a follow-up to my previous post, I have some more questions, those below just relate to apps:

    - I find it very strange that there is no apparent way in which you can actually close (not hide) a program, with the exception of the very few apps that have a Quit option. Aside from using Task Manager|Exit, the only solution seems to be to repeatedly press the Back key beneath the screen, until the app exits. However, many apps will go to the previous page/state when that key is pressed, meaning that you have to first go through all previous pages/states that the app has been through before being able to actually close it. I seem to recall that touchscreen phones did Exit upon long-pressing the Back key, however doing that does nothing for any of the apps I've tried :-(

    - The only option I've seen to allow (or not) an app to automatically update is on that particular app's Market page. I didn't find any command to manually update all installed apps, an option that would be very useful to use when you're on WiFi - did anyone else?

    - I often see in the upper part of the screen the up/down arrows lighting up that indicate a data transfer via the GSM network, even though at the time there's no application open that would require any data transfers. These small (but random and unsolicited) data transfers are probably the reason why my S2 has a wretched battery life. Does anyone know how to stop this from happening?
    I assume this happens due to the "Background data" option (under "Accounts and Sync") being on, which I would gladly turn off, however with this option disabled, the Android Market app refuses to start!

    - Android seems really bad at displaying what the running apps. For instance, if I start Google Maps, then press the Home key to return to the desktop, and then go to Task Manager, Google Maps does *not* appear in the list of Active Applications! It seems therefore that there is really no control over whether Google Maps (or other apps) really is running, or, after you've apparently exited it, whether it really exited or whether it's just uselessly taking up resources in the background.
    Is there any way to make Android be less "secretive" about running apps (at least the higher-level ones, that you initiate, not the lower-level processes), and thus save battery life and data costs?

    - I also get apps that start by themselves, such as Yahoo Messenger. A few minutes after rebooting the phone, I would get notifications that I received a message on YM, although I never started this app since the reboot, and although I never asked for it to auto-start. Is there a way to control which apps autostart, and which are allowed to lurk in the background?

    Many thanks in advance for any help!
     

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  2. sitlet

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    Don't worry, that's how android works. Anything not in the foreground isn't running anymore, only cached. Read up on task killers and the difference between Windows and Linus as far as memory consumption goes. Android, unlike Windows, likes to keep its memory full, because having empty memory is useless. Again, everything is just cached, not actually running.

    To manually update an app, just go to that app's page in the Market, or go to menu-my apps in the market.

    As with all smartphones, data connectivity is the key to being useful. There are many apps that update themselves, as well as the android system itself. Go to setting-accounts and sync, and see what's syncing. For example, by default, news and stocks are synced every three hours. If you never use those, turn them off. You can also get 3g Watchdog Pro from the Market to see what apps are using what data.

    Again, apps not in the foreground go into a cached state. This is how android works.

    Each app has it's own settings to control that.
     
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  3. Stuntman

    Stuntman Android Expert
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    Although Sitlet already answered your question, I just would like to repeat that Android manages resources (memory, CPU, etc.) in a way that does not require you to manually close processes. Just don't use the app after you are done with it. If Android needs resources like memory, it may remove those process from memory. If not, the next time you use the app again it will start up faster. There really is no advantage to closing the apps. Killing them using a task manager will confuse the Android memory manager and may cause your phone to perform more poorly. It's something that people new to Android find unusual as most people are used to having to manually close down apps when they are done with them.
     
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  4. wildetudor

    wildetudor Well-Known Member
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    Thanks guys, you are right that this way of managing memory applications seems uninuitive to someone who is new to Android, but it does make sense once it's explained to you - thanks again.
     

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