1. Are you ready for the Galaxy S20? Here is everything we know so far!
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Why you don't need a task killer

Discussion in 'Android Apps & Games' started by ardchoille, May 13, 2011.

  1. ardchoille

    ardchoille Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    From the OP:
    Android apps use activites to preform tasks. For example, if you use a file manager to send a picture via email, the file manager calls the send activity within an email app, passes the file name to it and the email app sends the picture.. not the file manager. This will result in seeing the email app as "running" even though the user didn't actually launch that email app.

    Example: App A is in the process of completing a task that the user asked of it. App A needs an activity from App B in order to complete that task so the system starts App B. The user now sees App B running when he/she didn't launch App B so the user kills App B. Now the system must restart App B in order to complete the task that App A was trying to complete. This is why users often kill an app and then see it immediately restart - the system is trying to do what was asked of it.

    Let's say you have the task of removing a screw from a machine. You can't do it with your finger (App A) so you grab a screwdriver (App B). Ok, you found a screwdriver and began removing the screw but someone takes the screwdriver away from you as soon as you began removing the screw. You're now stuck looking for a screwdriver so you can complete the task. Imagine someone taking the screwdriver away from you every time you grabbed a screwdriver, the task would never be completed. This is what is happening every time the system launches and app to complete a task, the user kills the app and the system relaunches it.
     



    1. Download the Forums for Android™ app!


      Download

       
  2. amlothi

    amlothi Android Expert


    Great post lunatic. Unfortunately, some people will refuse to believe the truth because the lies are so convenient. (See: Obama, birth certificate.)
     
  3. HankAtrix

    HankAtrix Well-Known Member

    I am not arguing that Android is not designed to do multitasking. FYI I am an executive in a software company and know a great deal about it. I use task killers to efficiently close applications.

    Yes, sometimes they need to be opened again (but given that I close 15-20 tasks per every 1 that I reopen) then that is a good trade-off.

    Yes, sometimes there are rogue apps that need to be closed but that is the exception in my case.

    Personally, I don't think Task Killers are the "panacea" or silver bullet for everyone's phone issues, but overall my performance on the running apps is much better and battery life is much better too since I started using a task killer.
     
  4. HankAtrix

    HankAtrix Well-Known Member

    It is actually the opposite that I think happens in this case: many people are conveniently believing that Task Killers are the problem aren't hearing the truth and are making statements against task managers based on generalizations.
     
  5. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
    Moderator

    Then please tell us the truth. Share your executive knowledge and experience beyond "overall my performance on the running apps is much better and battery life is much better too since I started using a task killer." That is what these forums are supposed to be about.

    I would prefer not to be argumentative, but I can't just drop this for the simple reason (as demonstrated by Stinky's post) that people will come here in search of information and leave confused when people present theories as facts, with nothing other than opinion and anecdote to support them. If I am wrong it will not only help with my understanding of Android, but be beneficial for the entire community.
     
  6. HankAtrix

    HankAtrix Well-Known Member

    See above
     
  7. Slug

    Slug Check six!
    VIP Member

    There's a big difference between managing tasks, which may include closing them gracefully, and killing them, which usually doesn't. Back in the days of Cupcake killing tasks was often necessary to avoid low-memory situations, as the OS was too conservative and usually you got away with it. Do that with Froyo/Gingerbread however and the chances are that you'll just confuse the OS as it will already have scheduled a clean-up. Do it continually and you end up consuming the very resources you intended to free up as you and the OS argue over what is (or isn't) "running".

    You may already have seen this article, but if not it's a pretty good explanation of why task killers are unnecessary.
     
  8. HankAtrix

    HankAtrix Well-Known Member


    Yes, I have read that article in the past and again recently. That article is one of the one's I was referring to regarding many people jumping on the anti-task killer bandwagon with generalizations.

    In my experience, the task killers work if you set up the ignore lists properly in order to not close any processes/apps that shouldn't be closed.
     
  9. ardchoille

    ardchoille Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    How do we know which apps shouldn't be closed? Android apps use activites to preform tasks. For example, if you use a file manager to send a picture via email, the file manager calls the send activity within an email app, passes the file name to it and the email app sends the picture.. not the file manager. This will result in seeing the email app as "running" even though the user didn't actually launch that email app.

    Suppose you have an app that isn't listed in the ignore list but an activity within that app is being used by another app. If you close the app that is being used the system must restart it from scratch to complete the task that it was trying to complete. If you close it again the system has to restart it again. This creates a situation where the user is battling the system.. wasting system resources.

    The best practice would be to place every app on the phone in the ignore list. But then you wouldn't need a task killer, would you? ;)
     
    daffyducknj likes this.
  10. amlothi

    amlothi Android Expert

    I'm actually not surprised that you are an executive. Not trying to be insulting here, but you honestly sound just like one.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  11. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
    Moderator

    Do me a favor. Post your kill list.
     
    Buddha64 likes this.
  12. HankAtrix

    HankAtrix Well-Known Member

    That is pretty funny! I hope it didn't sound arrogant! However, I am just trying to give anyone reading the post some sense of my background in software without posting a resume.
     
  13. HankAtrix

    HankAtrix Well-Known Member

    The phone is not a parallel system - meaning unlimited processor resources to run apps (even if Linux can run parallel). If you are running many apps then the system will show performance degradation. On my phone, I have downloaded well over 70 apps. I use ATK to efficiently close apps.

    In my case I let it close most apps except ones like Lockout (find my phone), calendar, text messaging, ultra keyboard, Juicedender, and a few processes that ATK recommended.

    If you don't have a lot of apps, then prehaps a Task Killer isn't needed.
     
  14. amlothi

    amlothi Android Expert

    You are making two assumptions about how Android works. They are both wrong. (If they were right, what you said is logical and makes sense.)

    You accept this statement as if it is a fact. It isn't.

    If the system is designed to handle multiprocessing well, then the system will automatically adjust to the "load" you place on it, and the user will not notice any degradation in performance.


    This is the second major thing that you have said wrong. (Note: it's not the same as the first thing I quoted.)

    Just because an app is loaded into memory does not mean that it's ACTIVE or even DOING ANYTHING. It's just sitting there, waiting for you to ask for it.


    Read the post from lunatic that I quoted above. Read it AGAIN and let your mind be open to the possibility that Android is different then you assume it is.


    If you aren't able to accept that your assumptions might be incorrect, then trying to educate you on "why task killers aren't needed" is like trying to put toothpaste back into the tube.
     
    daffyducknj, aysiu and lunatic59 like this.
  15. amlothi

    amlothi Android Expert

    So, I've been trying to think of a simple analogy for this, but I wasn't having any luck until now. Maybe this will help make the point clear.

    You have a standard DVD player, and 6 DVD movies that you would like to watch. This DVD player has limited capacity (only 1 DVD at a time). If you are in the middle of watching movie #1, but want to switch to movie #2, then you would have to stop #1 and switch out the DVD. If you try to put two DVDs in at the same time, it won't function correctly.

    The above is how you view Android to work.

    Android is actually more like a DVD player that can hold 6 DVDs at once. So, you put all 6 of your DVDs into the player and start watching #1.

    In the middle of movie #1 you decide to switch to DVD #2. The player will pause #1, remember where you stopped watching, and then start playing movie #2.

    If you want to switch back to #1, the player will pause #2 (remembering where you were) and resume playing #1 immediately.

    Now, with this 6 disc player, you can see that it is better for you to put all 6 DVDs in at the beginning, even if you aren't sure you will watch them all right now. Why? Because if you want to switch later, it's must faster to switch if the DVD is in the player already.

    Your Task Killer is like you removing the DVDs from the player and putting them back in the case. If you want to switch to that DVD again later, you've lost where you were and you have to spend more time now to put the DVD back into the player. You've created "empty space" in the player, and that actually makes it slower (and more resource intensive) to switch to another movie.



    "But wait!", you say. What if I have 7 DVDs? Then I've overloaded the system, and everything will slow down.

    Wrong.

    You see, our Android DVD player comes with a robotic DVD storage rack. It can actually store 100s of DVDs, but it keeps 6 of them "active" and ready for viewing all the time. Your DVD player knows which movies you have paused (not finished watching) and keeps those available for you to go back to quickly. When you finish a movie though, the player knows you aren't likely to come back to it soon and it allows that DVD to be replaced with a new one. Your Android DVD player also knows which movies you watch most often, so if there is "empty space that you aren't using" it will try to predict what you need and fill that space.

    The Android philosophy is that it's better to have 6 DVDs loaded and ready for you to access immediately all the time, instead of having empty unused space just sitting there.

    Not the perfect analogy, but hopefully you can see the point.
     
  16. Usta

    Usta Android Expert

    I think it is a close enough analogy. :)

    Pity that some people still hang on task killers. I guess old habits die hard...
     
    blahsaysmeu2u likes this.
  17. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
    Moderator

    This is a logical fallacy. Argumentum petitio principii ("Begging the question"). Your conclusion is only true if we assume that the apps are, in fact running, ie. consuming cpu cycles and putting a load on the processor. In fact, though they are listed by the Android system as "running" they are in a saved and cached state and not degrading the performance of the CPU for other tasks.

    Your second logical fallacy is post-hoc or "confusing causation with association". Simply put, just because two things occur together does not establish a cause and effect. In your case, just because there is a performance boost (real or perceived) following the use of a task killer, does not necessarily mean that the action of killing those tasks was responsible for that boost.

    I want you to do a simple test. Install Watchdog lite if you don't have it already. It's free and you may uninstall when done, although it's a handy little app. Once installed, use your phone for a while without killing any tasks. Then open Watchdog and click on the CPU tab and enable real-time CPU. In my case, since you put so much stock into personal experience, there are 31 tasks listed as "running". Only 2 are putting any kind of a load on the CPU. The rest are sitting idle at 0%.
     
    daffyducknj, Buddha64 and ardchoille like this.
  18. HankAtrix

    HankAtrix Well-Known Member

    I know how Android works. My read is that Lunatic clearly is anti-task killer (which makes 100% sense if he is a developer). He doesn't want his apps to be closed. Also, Lunagic is simply reposting most of his original post from another post by someone else.
     
  19. HankAtrix

    HankAtrix Well-Known Member

    With all due respect, it is you that is making the conclusions that ATK is unnecessary based simply on an article. Back to my original question: Would your phone run better if it runs 2 apps or 20. Despite Androids design to do multitasking, it still (like any other unix or other operating system) will be bogged done. It will do it (because that is how it is designed) but the performance is hurt running 20 apps.

    If your assumption was right, you could run as many apps as you want without degradation (with would work if you had a massively parallel system but you don't)
     
  20. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
    Moderator

    Then your read would be completely inaccurate, as seem to be your assumptions about Android. I am neither "pro" not "anti" task killer per se. What I am opposed to is the improper use of any tool and recommending to those less informed that they will do things they will not. The use of a task killer with Android 2.2 or later is unnecessary and potentially detrimental. Recommending their use to improve performance is irresponsible.

    Another logical fallacy ... Argumentum ad hominem. If you can't discredit the argument, discredit the person making the argument. This is patently offensive. If you are going to accuse someone of plagiarism, please cite sources.

    Unfortunately, if you repeat a claim often enough (and one with no evidence to support it, in this case), some people will begin to think it has merit. It is only for those who stumble upon this thread that I continue to try and shed some light on the misunderstandings and misuse of task killers on Android devices.

    One last time. It would ONLY be true IF the phone was ACTUALLY RUNNING those apps.

    Let's say I was truly multi tasking by being on a phone call with my wife, surfing the web to find a restaurant and using maps to get directions. During the course of the call, I receive a text message from my son asking me to pick him up and I also get a notification that one of my apps was just auto-updated. Yes, of course performance will be affected as indeed all of those apps are running.

    That is not the issue. The issue is killing tasks. If I kill any one of those things while they are in use, it will immediately stop the process. The phone call will end, my directions will not route, I can't surf the web, etc. It renders the phone useless. If I stop using those apps, then performance returns without the use of a task killer, because those apps become saved in state and no longer put a load on the CPU. Now, IF one of those apps CONTINUES to use processor cycles, then in that instance a task killer would be necessary. But, that is a rogue app and should not be used until the developer corrects the situation.

    Your assumption that once a task begins it continues to run until killed is completely erroneous.
     
  21. HankAtrix

    HankAtrix Well-Known Member

    That is an overgeneralization: some apps will be in memory and some apps will not.

    Here is some additional quantitative truth: I ran Quadrant on my phone before I ran ATK and scored a 1624. I then simply hit ATK once to close the apps and scored 2022.
     
  22. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
    Moderator

    You know, if we keep this up we may just hit the 20 most commonly used logical fallacies. The comment above is argumentum ad consequentiam (Appeal to consequences). Simply stated it is providing a premise with a positive outcome to distract from the original argument.

    I have no doubt that you can kill processes to improve your benchmark, and if the purpose of an Android phone was simply to run benchmarks, then your truth would have merit. That is not the discussion.

    I think we have beat this issue up enough and there is enough information contained within the various links to allow people to educate themselves and draw their own conclusions. Have a good day.
     
  23. cds0699

    cds0699 Android Expert

    This thread is a good read :)
     
    daffyducknj likes this.
  24. _mw_

    _mw_ Android Enthusiast

    In DIY auto mechanics one of the first tools most people acquire is affectionately referred to as a "butt-dyno". It's that device in the seat of your pants that tells you that you've gained 10 horsepower after installing your new K&N filter and are actually going faster than before. In reality, it's nearly always wrong.

    It would seem Android has a butt-dyno, and its name is Task Killer. :)
     
    daffyducknj and blahsaysmeu2u like this.
  25. HankAtrix

    HankAtrix Well-Known Member

    With all due respect - you are staying that Task Killers are not useful with Android. My argument is that running fewer apps leads to better performance and that Task Killers are an efficient way to kill apps if you set the ignore list up properly. I ran a benchmark as part of my education process and want to share the results. It speaks directly to the premise - my phone runs 30% faster if I kill apps.
     
Loading...
Similar Threads - Why don't need
  1. Drchiefd113
    Replies:
    5
    Views:
    482
  2. kumaranil13k
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    479
  3. kumaranil13k
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    285
  4. dorlow
    Replies:
    3
    Views:
    779
  5. JimmyPixel3a
    Replies:
    21
    Views:
    1,377
  6. iliji
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    907
  7. dontpanicbobby
    Replies:
    46
    Views:
    1,426
  8. FensterBaron29
    Replies:
    5
    Views:
    7,534
  9. User123app
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    709
  10. HeartOnFire69
    Replies:
    2
    Views:
    872

Share This Page

Loading...