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SystemPanel: a task killer for people who hate task killers.

Discussion in 'Android Apps & Games' started by tliebeck, Mar 1, 2010.

  1. tliebeck

    tliebeck Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter
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    Dec 6, 2009
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    Android Software Development
    (scroll down for screenshots)

    Hello all,

    I've written a new task manager / system information app called "SystemPanel". It displays a list of running applications, and allows you to view information about them, e.g., memory consumption, when they were started, how much CPU time they've used since start, and so on. It of course provides "task killing" capabilities; it can end individual apps, all apps, or groups of apps such as "inactive" or "background" apps.

    It also provides meters to show you current CPU consumption, network use, memory use, and SD card use. A "system info" function is available from the menu that provides all the gory details about your phone, everything from your Wi-Fi router's mac address to your Android build number.

    A word of warning....SystemPanel does NOT offer a capability to automatically kill tasks in order to "save battery life". I disagree with the idea that such a thing would offer an improvement. The Android OS does a fine job of this all by itself, and such a capability would only be helpful if an app were suffering from a bug (or poorly written), such that is consumed battery unnecssarily in a semi-dormant state. And in that case, killing it every few minutes isn't going to solve the problem...one needs to uninstall it or contact the developer. If you happen to know a technically sound reason why such a task killing strategy is beneficial with well written apps, please let me know, and I'll be happy to rethink this. If you do want such functionality, there are tons of other task killers that supposedly have this feature.

    Please feel free to post bugs / suggest features. At the time of this writing, 1.0b1 has just hit the market. It's been tested on Droid, Nexus One, G1, and a few emulators. It supports 1.5-2.1+, QVGA, HVGA, and WVGA.

    Search for either "SystemPanel" or "NextApp" on the market.

    Best
    --Tod
     

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  2. tliebeck

    tliebeck Well-Known Member
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    Dec 6, 2009
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    Android Software Development
    Main screen:
    [​IMG]

    Viewing details about a process:
    [​IMG]

    "System Info" screen, available from menu:
    [​IMG]

    "Monitor" screen, available from menu, or by tapping on graphs at top of main screen:
    [​IMG]

    "Installer Package Details" screen, showing an installed package that has been archived to the SD card.
    [​IMG]
     
    TasteNomNomNom, Sev, gr8lats and 6 others like this.
  3. buckyweet

    buckyweet Active Member
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    Wow. Very nice!
     
  4. tvBilly

    tvBilly Member
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    Dec 16, 2009
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    Great app, great interface, easy to understand and use. VERY WELL DONE; thanks!

    I can't figure out how to end groups of apps though. What am I missing?

    Billy
     
  5. JustDriftin

    JustDriftin Well-Known Member
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    On the Road
    I like it. Thanks
     
  6. (G)

    (G) Well-Known Member
    68

    This is a very nicely designed and useful app! Thanks!

    Let me get this straight: the main screen shows the amount of CPU time that each app has used since startup.

    So would it make sense that the app I'm running that's used more CPU time than any other one is "Battery Left." That's showing almost 10 minutes, versus the #2 app with less than 5 minutes, "Messaging."

    Is that what that means?
     
  7. tliebeck

    tliebeck Well-Known Member
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    Android Software Development
    Thanks all for the positive comments!

    Yep, CPU time indicates how much time an app has spent using the equivalent of 100% of the CPU. So for example if an app ran for 4 minutes at 50% CPU, it would accumulate 2 minutes of "CPU time". We're also showing the time the app was started (both as actual time and as a difference from the current time). The "average consumption" value is simply CPU time / time since start.

    How long has BatteryLeft been running? I actually happened to see the following thread while paging through the list to find this one:

    http://androidforums.com/android-applications/49638-problems-battery-widget.html

    If BatteryLeft has only been running for a short time (e.g., < 24 hours), I'd recommend disabling it and/or contacting the developer until the problem can be resolved.
     
  8. Ziani

    Ziani Well-Known Member
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    Sep 20, 2009
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    Norfolk, UK
    Like the look of this, will try it...Thanks
     
  9. Jay-Eff

    Jay-Eff Well-Known Member
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    Magnus Software tech support
    Laval,Qc, Canada
    I have it installed since a few days now and I really like it.
    thanks!
     
  10. brandmarked

    brandmarked Well-Known Member
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    Dec 21, 2009
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    Nice!

    The small % figures on the CPU Activity screen could do with being a very small amount bigger on my Tattoo, but overall fantastic work!!
     
  11. buckyweet

    buckyweet Active Member
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    Any plans to add an ignore list? Also, I wish the task list were in a smaller font to be able to see more tasks per page. Regardless, thanks for this app!
     
  12. alphabets

    alphabets Active Member
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    Nov 23, 2009
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    if it gets an ignore list, im in.
     
  13. (G)

    (G) Well-Known Member
    68

    Thanks! BatteryLeft just had an update, so I rebooted the phone and now everything will get a chance to start from scratch.

    Thanks again for the app!
     
  14. hattrick

    hattrick Well-Known Member
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    Jan 8, 2010
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    Great app. Very clean.
     
  15. shawn1224

    shawn1224 Ex CEO-DNPSEA foundation
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    When it says memory used it is referring to RAM or internal system memory?
     
  16. tliebeck

    tliebeck Well-Known Member
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    Memory used is current system memory (RAM), i.e., when an app is killed, that memory will be reclaimed for use by others. These values actually get a little bit fuzzy, due the fact that applications share common memory with one another (all modern OSes do this, but it obviously can cause a minor annoyance when you want to know how much RAM just *one* process is using).

    Bear in mind though that Android works much differently than a desktop OS (Windows/OS X/Linux) in that "inactive" apps are *effectively* not using any memory at all...in the event that the system needs it, the memory of apps shown as "inactive" apps will be automatically reclaimed.
     
  17. tliebeck

    tliebeck Well-Known Member
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    Ignore list will very likely be added.

    Some people love the big buttons, other people don't seem to care for them as much. I'm thinking I'm going to add a half-size set of icons and provide an option to choose. Will be adding option to reduce process sizes as well.

    There's quite a bit of work to be done on this app yet feature-wise, so please bear with me if these options don't show up immediately.
     
  18. TheBrit

    TheBrit Well-Known Member
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    Nice app. Optional button sizes will be good.
     
  19. pbenson

    pbenson New Member
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    Looks like a pretty slick app - have installed and am trying it out. Thanks
     
  20. alphabets

    alphabets Active Member
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    as soon as it gets an ignore list im in.
     
  21. tliebeck

    tliebeck Well-Known Member
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    For everyone wanting an ignore-list/autokill feature, I'd like to know more about your habits when using a task killer.

    Specifically, what apps are you adding to the ignore list (and why), and how are you using your current task killer...are you manually invoking end all when things get slow on the phone?

    Do you intentionally run apps that you *know* cause battery drain / performance issues / slowdowns, but you otherwise like them enough / *need* them to the point where you're willing to tolerate it and rely on your task killer to clean up their mess?

    My current plan is to add an exclude capability, and then have most options in the "End All" menu not end those apps. The exception will be a *new* option for that menu that simply ends everything.

    As far as autokilling goes, my plan is to try and help the user solve the problem of figuring out which apps are causing a problem, such that they may be uninstalled/otherwise avoided, rather than using the traditional task-killer "carpet-bombing" strategy.
     
  22. alphabets

    alphabets Active Member
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    i have to have an igore feature for certain apps, especially widgets that cannot be killed or will not function properly, and for apps that i have continuously updating itself.
     
  23. Alonski

    Alonski Active Member
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    Look cool will download tomorrow. Just wanted to say that I like your task killing approach and I have been using the aggressive task killing method... Maybe I will stop =D
     
  24. gm991

    gm991 Well-Known Member
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    Just got this last night, nice lay out and lots of info.
    thanks
     
  25. tliebeck

    tliebeck Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter
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    Dec 6, 2009
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    Android Software Development
    Hi all!

    The second beta release is out. This is a fairly significant overhaul of the app, and adds a major new component, the "Installer". Task killer exclusion has also been added, along with a better "end all" menu.

    The Installer is an application manager which allows you to archive/install (non-copy-protected) apps to your SD card. With this feature, you can archive multiple versions of an app to your SD card. This is helpful if you want to keep seldom-used apps out of your precious and limited application memory. It additionally enables you to avoid the heartbreak of updating an app and finding out the new version is broken...just make sure you archive a version/versions which have worked well for you *before* you update an app.

    Installing requires that your device support installing non-market apps, and that you have this feature enabled.

    The Installer is the first PAID feature. The app will have Lite/Pro versions, with the Lite version being free (and NOT having ads), and the Pro version being paid. During beta, all features are free. If you have no intent of ever buying the paid version and don't want to be annoyed by its features, there is an option in the settings which you can uncheck such the app will behave as the Lite version.

    As *OFTEN* requested, the task killer now has an exclude feature. In retrospect, it was a bad call not to have this feature in beta1.

    The "end all" feature has been changed a bit. Previously, you had to press-and-hold "end all" to see a context menu of options. The new behavior is that pressing end all brings up a dialog which allows selecting a "level" of apps to end, while press-holding it will end all non-excluded apps.

    The small icons option is not present yet, but if you uncheck the "show menu button" option in the Settings you'll buy a bit more screen real estate.

    Please let me know what you think, greatly appreciate bug reports/feature requests/criticism. 1.0b2 has been tested on Droid, N1, G1, QVGA 1.6 emulator, and HVGA 1.5 emulator. It should support anything 1.5+.

    <<< EDIT: Screenshots 1 and 5 have been updated at top of thread >>>

    Best
    --Tod
     

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