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Why you don't need a task killer

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

  1. HankAtrix

    HankAtrix Well-Known Member

    Was there a question?

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  2. ardchoille

    ardchoille Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Did you notice that the running apps are listed in "RAM used" while the cached apps are listed in "RAM free"? Cached apps don't use any power and aren't actually running. These are listed in the same tab, by the way, and are toggled using the Menu button. Try toggling the list on your phone and see how many are in each list.

    I'd like to know how many apps you have in your running list and how many you have in your cached list.
  3. _mw_

    _mw_ Android Enthusiast

  4. BabyBlues

    BabyBlues Trouble Just Finds Me!

    I am at the point where I just want to hand my phone to one of people who is technologically advanced and say 'root it, make the crap programs go away, make my battery last a little longer' PLEASE & THANK YOU. I don't care if it requires a little dancing elf to be smooshed into my phone.

    But I do want to thank all those in this thread - I have been enlightened and entertained while reading.
  5. ardchoille

    ardchoille Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Little dancing elf? Shhh.. that's supposed to be a secret :D
  6. BabyBlues

    BabyBlues Trouble Just Finds Me!

    See, no one tells me the important things like what is top secret
  7. HankAtrix

    HankAtrix Well-Known Member

    I use ATK to get both battery and performance improvement.
  8. amlothi

    amlothi Android Expert

    For what it's worth, I have rooted my phone and removed all the "crap apps" and that didn't affect my battery life at all. Why? Because I never used the crap apps, so they didn't actually DO anything at all.

    What has helped the most with my battery?

    1) Decreasing screen brightness
    2) Decreasing how often my accounts sync
    3) Turning off features that aren't needed (Wifi, 3G, Bluetooth, etc) and only turning them on when I want them
    4) Installing a custom kernel

    Note: For the first 3 things you don't need a rooted phone.
    Note2: None of those things require a Task Killer.

    See the link in my sig for battery info. If you are primarily concerned about batteries, you are looking in the wrong place (a task killer thread).
    Buddha64 and BabyBlues like this.
  9. BabyBlues

    BabyBlues Trouble Just Finds Me!

    It's more of an overall performance that I'm trying to enhance so I look all over. But thanks for the tips - 1 & 3 I do, 2 I did this morning cause I always forget about that.
    4 - well, no root so no custom kernel.
  10. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum

    Rooting won't make your phone inherently faster and the carrier crapware will have almost no effect on your phone (other than wasting a little storage) if you don't ever use them.

    Nothing will make the battery drain like leaving the screen at full brightness all the time and leaving Wifi and 3G radios on all the time. When Wifi is enabled and connected to a network, the 3G/4G radios will go to sleep. However if you leave the Wifi area or simply move far enough away from the access point for the signal to become marginal the the 3G radio will wake up and re-sync data. If you are in an area where your WiFi and 3G signals are both a bit dodgy, they'll be fighting all day long and if you are out of range of WiFi with the WifI radio enabled, it will sit there and listen.

    Leaving the bluetooth radio on all the time does not have the same effect for me, so I've found that for best power consumption based on my usage I set my screen brightness to auto, turn WiFi on only when I am using it and leave 3G and bluetooth on all the time.

    No task killers involved.

    Using a task killer to manage performance on an Android phone is like driving the Indy 500 by yourself blindfolded. You'll get nowhere faster and when you crash, the pit crew will laugh at you.
  11. Knewz

    Knewz Android Expert

    I honestly believe it is user dependent. From my experience task killers are useful when phone becomes sluggish. But at the sametime i've seen them do more harm than good. And if you are rooted it may also me rom dependent. I used TPX with my froyo roms but never have used one on a GB rom.
  12. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum

    The problem is, though they may be a quick fix, they don't address the actual reason why the phone becomes sluggish. It's like pouring nitro in your engine when it becomes sluggish ... it makes it go faster, but it doesn't fix the problem, only bypasses. Plus, if you keep it up, eventually you blow up.

    Quick fix solutions are generally not worth it in the long run.
    ardchoille likes this.
  13. HankAtrix

    HankAtrix Well-Known Member

    A lot of people on this post are doing a disservice by so strongly recommending that members don’t use task killers. Although It is not required by every user (if you don’t have a lot of apps and/or apps running) but I assume most users have a lot of apps (I recounted my apps – over 75 apps downloaded on my phone). A big proportion of the apps run or are in cache.

    It is not required that you use a task killer – Android can do fine without one. But I use it to close many apps efficiently and automatically. It is part of my daily process. I don’t think task killers are the answer for everything, but I use less time on the phone closing apps (which helps the battery) and performance is notably better.

    In my firms experience, the phones become sluggish when there are too many apps running. Android is multitasking, but not parallel (in other words, if you adds apps, each app degradates performance when you get to a certain number of apps because we only have 1 CPU in the phone)

    There will certainly be a point when it is not necessary to use a 3rd party task killers (because Android will have its own task killer), but that isn’t today.

    I have tried another benchmark called System Benchmark with the following scores (and only chaging the number of apps): 2856 (with 30 apps running), 3380 (with 10 apps running), and 3507 with 4 apps running after I ran Task Killer.

    My ‘ignore list’ is:
    Calendar (Pocket Informant), text messaging, ultra keyboard, Android market, Lookout (which will find your phone if lost), and E-mail (plus a few processes that ATK recommends)

    I hope this helps!
  14. gallandof

    gallandof Android Expert

    how many times did you run quadrant before the first test?

    i know i usually have to run quadrant 3-4 times before i start getting consistent results.
  15. Usta

    Usta Android Expert

    Yeah, the results of synthetic benchmarks are not so reliable...

    Regarding the apps, I don't think there is a noticeable difference. I have 115 user apps (+83 system apps, making a total of 198 apps on the phone) on HTC Desire, running on CM7 ROM. The phone is flying and I don't notice any lags at all. :)
  16. WalkingHate

    WalkingHate Lurker

    Ive used ATK, didnt really like it, didnt think it was really effective, the stock Task Manager doesnt show much to be honest not really effective. And then i got Go Launcher EX, which includes a running apps list, with the ability to kill apps(i happen to like but dont believe it does much either). Im relatively new to Droid community, but no matter what "Killer" i use, lets say 15 apps are "running", i kill all (that is allowed, as some just dont get killed), doesnt even take a minute and 7-10 of them pop right back up. I have read this thread entirely, and get what you are saying Lunatic, so it seems some arent running at all, just cached? I didnt see any "improvement" using any of them btw. Didnt make my phone run faster, or anything smoother that i could tell. Im still kinda undecided on a Killer, but this thread def help shed some light on some of my questions. Good Show Folks...

    Walking Hate
    (Samsung FTW)
  17. Stuntman

    Stuntman Android Expert

    I don't use auto task killers. I just use the Android one if the app is acting up which is rare.

    As for battery life, I find that my screen uses about 70% of the power. If the task killer causes my phone to use 20% less power, that's 20% less of the remaining 30% not used by the screen for a whopping 6% less power usage. For the amount of effort taken to kill tasks, I don't think it would be worth it for me to set things up.

    As for the speed of the phone, I'm pretty happy with it. I do occasionally get some lag, but not enough to bother me. I'm not sure how even a 20% improvement would make a huge difference.
  18. HankAtrix

    HankAtrix Well-Known Member

    For me, the fact that ATK does everything either automatically (some apps) and/or with 1 button push (the rest of the apps) means that I use much less battery because I am not using the screen (which, as we both know is the largest power drain). That is one of the main reasons to be able to close a bunch of apps at once.

    For the speed, it very noticeable for me when I have a lot of apps open (and I have one of “the fastest phone” dual core Atrix.
  19. _mw_

    _mw_ Android Enthusiast

    Hank every time you use ATK, God kills a puppy. That's good enough reason for me to not use one, I happen to like puppies.
    daffyducknj likes this.
  20. BabyBlues

    BabyBlues Trouble Just Finds Me!

    You have that all wrong. It's not ATK that kills the puppies ;):D

    ATK just captures them.
  21. sdrawkcab25

    sdrawkcab25 Extreme Android User

    The bottom line is:

    Android will always have (and needs) cached apps.... If you use a task killer to kill 20 cached apps, 20 more will just replace it in short time. And now when you want to switch back to that app you killed 30 minutes ago, android has to reload it, thereby using more battery power than if it was already cached in memory. It's like driving to the store every time you need food, instead of just storing it in a pantry. Of course it takes up space, but that's what the house was built for.

    If you aren't using your RAM for cached apps, you are just wasting it and more battery.
    ambientdroid likes this.
  22. HankAtrix

    HankAtrix Well-Known Member

    I use ATK to automatically kill them so that I don't waste time or battery managing and closing the apps. I also have a widget set. If I close 40 apps in a day, a few reopen. This, in my opinion/experience, is worthwhile.
  23. HankAtrix

    HankAtrix Well-Known Member

    Hi - I agree that most of the information in the posts is not in question (about the way that Android works). What is in question is the conclusion of that information with specific recommendations not to use task killers. It is not a penacea but it does improve performance substantially and makes closing apps more efficient (ie less time on the phone managing with task manager).

    Have a great day!
  24. ardchoille

    ardchoille Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Thank you. You wouldn't believe how few people really understand how the system works.
    daffyducknj likes this.
  25. ardchoille

    ardchoille Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    You never answered my questions:
    Question 1. Of the 20-30 apps that you close at a time, how many of those apps are actually running and how many of them are cached in memory?

    Question 2. How are you making the distinction between running apps and cached apps?

    If you kill 20-30 running apps, the system will have to restart all of them because the system needed them at the time they were killed. This actually degrades battery life as well as performance. Running apps don't run indefinitely until you kill them. They run to complete a task and are then moved from a running state to a cached state unless they are part of a service.

    If you kill 20-30 cached apps, the system will just cache 20-30 different apps. This doesn't improve performance, it makes the system work harder caching apps. This is Linux, cached apps are part of what makes it a better OS. It's also part of the reason I have used Linux as my sole desktop OS for 10 years.

    Question 3. Set the ignore list up properly? How do we know which apps shouldn't be closed or should be placed in the ignore list?

    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 app will then appear to be a rogue app that won't die when in fact the system is doing what it needs to do in order to complete a task. This also creates a situation where the user is battling the system. In this scenario a task killer is actually detrimental to system performance.

    If killing 20-30 apps is improving performance on your phone, something is very wrong somewhere and killing these apps is going to come back and bite you sooner or later. I wish I had more information so I could help you fix the real problem.
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