Task Manager Developer: Rythm Software Download: Download for Google Market for Free by typing "Task Manager" in the search Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Developers email asking for any problems or defects with the application Android OS comes with many advanced options and is known for it's customization. There are endless numbers of forums filled with threads arguing every little feature of Android and how each should be used. This brings many questions and as an Android phone owner you have to ask yourself how is the best way to use your device to best fit your needs. One hardware feature that every user has to come to terms with is battery life. For most users we are forced with finding ways to maximize our batteries to get us through the day. One of the "Killer" features of Android is multitasking. You may have seen this advertised everywhere especially in the now famous Droid commercials and this feature and the way Android accomplishes it sets it apart from the many competing OS' out there. Android does a great job at killing tasks automatically once the system needs the memory, but many find it useful to be able to control this feature so that their phone is always running at full speed. Because of this one of the most downloaded applications in the market are "Task Managers and Killers." Many argue if these are even necessary and I have found myself downloading and using many different popular task managers in a quest to find the best. My favorite has to be Rhythm Software's Task Manager. Task Manager Widget Task Manager includes many features like a widget, ignore feature, auto task killer, search and sort task manager, and notifications. I'll start with one of my favorite features the widget. This is used by first downloading the application on the marketplace and then hard pressing for two seconds on any of your phones dedicated home screens. This will bring up a menu, from here select "Widgets" and then scroll down until you find the Android mascot holding a small red circle with an "X" in it. After clicking this it will add a small 1x1 icon of a green Android holding a sign with how many "MB's" your phone has free. You can add this little icon to any or all of your home screens allowing easy access to quick application management. By clicking on this icon the user is met with two options, "Kill All Tasks", or to "Launch the Task Manager". This is a fast and easy way to keep your phone running at full speed and maximizing precious battery life. By default this widget is set up to auto refresh every 10 seconds, but to save battery you can change this to multiple intervals of: -5 seconds -10 seconds -20 seconds -30 seconds -60 seconds -5 mintutes -Never (Will only update once application is launched) Task Manager Application: The widget is great, but for those that want more control you can click on the "Task Manager" application icon to bring up an overview of all running tasks. On the top of the screen the user is met with a grey title bar showing how much "Avail Mem" in mega bytes (MB). This is a great way to know how much memory your phone has at any time. Under this is a dedicated search bar that really sets this application apart from the dozens of task manager applications that live in the Android Market. This feature is very useful and I use it multiple times a day. Here the user can simply search for any application and once found you can click the "Kill Select" button to the right of the search field to quickly end the task. This is great for those times when the user only has the desire to kill a single running application. Below the search field is a list of each task that is currently running on the phone followed by a checkbox auto filled with a green check mark. Here you are able to kill all apps or simple click the boxes of the applications running to quickly kill multiple running applications. If you simply hard press on one of the running applications in the list it will bring up a quick list of options to choose from. -Kill: This option allows the user to simply kill the single application that was chosen from the list -Switch To: This is a great feature that allows the user to jump into the selected application. I found this to be great at times when I had an unfinished quick task that I needed to finish before killing the application and it is built into the Task Manager. -Ignore: This will automatically put this application into the ignore list -Enable Auto Kill: This allows the user to enable this application to be auto killed by the widget -Uninstall This was another feature that I found extremely useful and was surprised to find this built into Task Manager. It allows the user to uninstall the selected application from within the application. Ignore Task: You might want to hide certain tasks from this task manager list or from the widgets auto kill feature. This allows the user to ignore an application once and not have to worry about it again while still being able to quickly end all running tasks on the phone. To accomplish this the user only has to launch the app and hit the "Menu" button and you are met with a few options. Among these options there is an "Ignore Select" button. You can simply choose the desired applications and then hit this button and they will no longer show up. This is a great way to keep applications like the alarm clock or Android 2.1's "Live Wallpapers" ignored while killing all the remaining applications. Task Manager Preferences: In order to have a great Android application you have to offer many preferences so people are able to fine tune their settings to get their desired effect. This is the beauty of Android and it is great to see that the developers of this application have built in many options for it's users. To jump into Task Manager's preferences simply launch the application and then hit the phones "Menu" button followed by "Preferences." This brings up many options to fine tune this amazing application. Among the option you will see a list. -Show System Tasks: By default Task Manager hides system tasks needed by Android for the phone to run smoothly. By clicking the check mark it will show these tasks in a Cyan color so the user can differentiate between these and other tasks. -Show Notification Icon: This will show an icon in the Notifications Bar. -Enable Auto Kill: This is a great feature that can be clicked to enable Task Manager to auto kill all selected applications every time that the phone is turned off -Auto-Kill Notification: Will show notification message after each auto kill -Auto-Kill Ignored Task: Will auto-kill tasks which are also included in the ignore list -Widget Click Action: The user can select two options when the widget is clicked. "Kill All Running Tasks" or "Launch Task Manager" -Widget Refresh Interval: Will allow the user to select the refresh rate of the widget -Task Click Action: User can choose to "Kill Task", "Popup Menu", "Select/Unselect", or "Switch To" when item is clicked in the task list overview -Task Long Click Action: Same as Task Click Action, but when long pressed -Automatic Startup: Shows notification icon and start auto-kill feature if enabled after reboot Conclusion: Overall I found this to be the best task killer available in the Android Market and because of the many features it doubles as a great task manager. In my opinion an application like this should have been built into the Android Operating System. It includes ways to uninstall applications, memory availability, ignore/auto-kill lists, notifications, and even a search box built directly within the application. These features set this application apart from its competitors and it has found its place on one of my valuable home pages in both the form of the application icon and dedicated widget. It has all the features wanted in an advanced task killer and best of all it is free. There were only a few problems or features that I wished were there. One is that it would be nice if it included additional widgets that would show the running applications on the screen. This is not necessarily missed, but is available on competitors applications and would be welcomed in an update. This is just a small gripe and doesn't keep me from enjoying this well built application on a daily basis. The other is that I found that if I hit the wrong option I couldn't just hit the "back" button to return to the last screen and sometimes I noticed that by hitting the wrong button that I had killed all the running applications. After a couple days this problem was non existent rendering this downside moot. I have noticed dramatically better battery life on my Nexus One since using it and I am easily noticing an extra half hour to a full hour of more use out of my phone than I was prior to using this application. Who doesn't like additional battery on our beloved Android smartphones? I give this application 4 out 5 Androids and would suggest this Task Manager to anyone willing to listen. It is rare that you come across such a welcomed and useful application that not only brings many options but also allows better battery life in such an easy way.