Task Killers - The Answer from Google and Developers
I highly recommend people, especially those new to Android, watch the Androidology series of videos put out by Google themselves. In particular, part 2 does a great job of explaining how Android (and really Linux) is different then most people's OS experience. PLEASE READ THIS!!!
In response to the vast amount of questions regarding Task Killers, I find this to be a valuable article/video in making a determination in whether or not to use a task killer on 'auto-kill' or manually killing apps just because they're open. A task killer is meant to shut down unresponsive apps, not EVERYTHING open.
Good explanation of how the Android OS is designed to handle applications.
Make your decision from there
*quick cut & paste from the link*
from the developer who designed System Panel.
" Please read this section FIRST.
There are a great many misconceptions about how Android works with regard to
starting and stopping applications.
How to Use a Task Manager
Android was designed from the ground up as an operating system (OS) for mobile devices. Its built-in application and memory-management systems were engineered with battery life as one of the most critical concerns.
The Android OS does not work like a desktop operating system. On a desktop OS, like Windows, Mac OS X, or Ubuntu Linux, the user is responsible for closing programs in order to keep a reasonable amount of memory available. On Android, this is not the case. The OS itself automatically removes programs from memory as memory is needed. The OS may also preload applications into memory which it thinks might soon be needed.
Having lots of available empty memory is not a good thing. It takes the same amount of power to hold "nothing" in memory as it does to hold actual data. So, like every other operating system in use today, Android does its best to keep as much important/likely-to-be-used information in memory as possible.
As such, using the task manager feature of SystemPanel to constantly clear memory by killing all apps is strongly NOT RECOMMENDED.
This also applies to any other task killer / management program. Generally speaking, you should only "End" applications if you see one which is not working correctly. The "End All" feature can be used if your phone/device is performing poorly and you are uncertain of the cause.
The SystemPanel process listing groups applications into three categories: "Active", "Inactive", and "Internal":
Now the video from Google.
- Active applications are actually running at the present time on the device. An active application may be running in the background and not have any information currently displayed on the screen.
- Inactive applications have been preloaded into memory, but are not actually using up any system resources. Such applications will not consume any battery power whatsoever. The memory used by these applications can be immediately reclaimed should other applications require it. As such, there is no need to manually remove these applications, as you will see no tangible benefit from doing so.
- Internal applications are those which are part of the Android operating system itself. Some of these applications may be terminated manually, but they will be immediately restarted afterward by the OS."
* Originally posted by Renthor @ DxF *
Here's the link to part 2, "Application Lifecycle"
Bear in mind these videos are aimed at developers, but the gist of it is still applicable to everyone.
After watching the whole Androidology series, I decided to let the OS do its thing with killing/running apps and processes. I have a task killer installed only to kill unresponsive apps that the OS can't kill for whatever reason (which by the way, is a fault generally of the app's developer(s). Not the phone or OS). And the Android OS actually comes with it's own "Task Killer" for this purpose, I just prefer to have easy "one-tap" (or close to it) access to such things.
Here's the rest if you're interested (highly recommended. Especially if you're a dev) Videos | Android Developers
Adding information from the developer cvpcs (Sapphire).
...and the corresponding thread at DroidForum.net
01-13-2011 08:44 PM
We needed this thread, now for the Forum Guidelines
... if someone can sticky this that'd be great. We all know we'll be directing people here
Thank you sir!
Originally Posted by WERA689
insert *deep bow smiley* here.
This answered the ongoing questions i had with the whole "is a task killer neccessary" topic...and as i thought thier really not. just uninstalled the one i had which i knew was a waste from the start. thanks a bunch
that's why this thread is here. Not so much to tell anyone what to do with their device, but to educate them as to what a task killer is doing vs. how the OS is designed.
Originally Posted by TFlow
the 'auto-kill' and constant killing of open apps is really the issue. When you get an unresponsive (or frozen) app the app killer can be a handy 'one touch' solution... but there is a native task killer in the OS you can use anyway.
Glad to have helped!
IIRC, Honeycomb is supposed to include a well-developed task manager which allows for easy task-killing, too.
Great post Martin!
This issue comes up frequently at Android.net's sister site FascinateForum.
Last edited by CR6; 01-14-2011 at 09:21 PM.