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Widgets and CPU drain

Discussion in 'Android Apps & Games' started by ShawnWDP, Aug 31, 2011.

  1. ShawnWDP

    ShawnWDP Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Do widgets still drain the CPU even when an app is open or they are on a screen that isn't displaying? I ask because my EVO 3D has seriously slowed down after installing some widgets, but I don't know if its because I have one on each page of the homescreen, or if one specific one is causing a constant drain.

    I'll just delete them one by one and see when it speeds back up, but I was still curious if widgets stop running when they aren't visible.

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  2. itsallgood

    itsallgood Android Expert

    Widgets will use CPU and RAM. Not sure as to how much and at what times. (I think it will depend on the type of widget and how often they update.) Check running services and see what apps are running. If you delete a widget from the home screen, it shouldn't use any CPU or RAM. If you are using a 3rd party launcher, make sure to delete all widgets from the stock home screens.
  3. daveybaby

    daveybaby Android Expert

    A widget will use up RAM if it's on any of your screens, regardless of which screen you're on, which will potentially slow down your system. Removing the widget from your homescreens will free up that RAM.

    To see how much RAM a widget (or any other app) is using look here:
    [menu] -> settings -> applications -> running services

    Depending on the widget's functions, it may use CPU at different times. e.g.

    * All the time it is displayed, e.g. a clock widget with animated second hand. When you switch to a different homescreen, the widget should stop eating CPU.

    * Periodically, e.g. an email/twitter/facebook widget might go off to the internet every now and then to check for status updates etc. Ideally you should be able to configure how often it does this - setting the period to once per hour instead of every 5 minutes can save LOADS of CPU and thus battery. Typically this behaviour will occur regardless of whether the widget is currently displayed or not.

    * When you use it or interact with it in some way. E.g. status toggles or refresh buttons. CPU/battery use in these situations is typically negligible, unless youre clicking the damn thing every few seconds.

    * Conceivably a widget might use CPU all the time regardless of whether it's currently displayed or not, but i cant think of a single good reason why a widget should need to do this. If you have a widget that appears to be doing this, it's probably badly programmed and i suggest you uninstall it.

    If you want to find out how much CPU a widget is using, there are system monitor apps on the market to help you do this, e.g:
    System Tuner: https://market.android.com/details?id=ccc71.pmw
    OS Monitor: https://market.android.com/details?id=com.eolwral.osmonitor
    (I'm a bit rusty on these, so they may not be the best ones out there, hopefully someone else can make a recommendation).
    lekky likes this.
  4. Stuntman

    Stuntman Android Expert

    I find that the widgets on my phone are not updated unless I actually go to that home screen with the widget and wait a second. My centre home screen is the main one, so when I take the phone out of sleep, it will show the widget and update. If I move over to one of the other home screens, the widget doesn't update until I wait for a second or so. This would indicate that the widget probably isn't using any CPU until I switch to the screen.
  5. tcat007

    tcat007 Android Expert

    Any apps out there that will STOP particular services from starting? Like I have "Smooth Calendar widget" which shouldn't have to update but once a day. It's "update service" runs constantly. And I don't need "Maps location service" or "K9 mailservice" running 24/7. I check mail maybe once a day manually, and Maps very seldom. I also see Music Beta popping up quite often, seldom using it. You'd think these things would start only when you needed them.

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