Oct 21, 2011

Android phones and Task Killers *or in other words* Why are Task Killers bad for your phone

Everyone is nuts with these task killers. First thing you find on every forum is "install a task killer to get better performance and free RAM".

The question is, do task killers really improve your phone's speed and improve battery life?
The answer is NO. Why? Because Android works different than Windows. Do you think that the engineers where morons and released an OS with RAM flaw? Trust me, the OS is very optimized, and whenever android needs more memory, it auto shuts down processes that are not being used.

Android tends to keep apps in memory for faster re-launch, but these apps do not use any resource, so they will not drain your battery.
The more free memory you have on an android phone, "the worse". Why? because android restarts processes. So think about it. You get a Task Killer, and kill an app. The OS restarts that app with time, and the task killer kills it again. Basically this means that it uses up MORE battery. Kill, restart, kill, restart, and so on. Also some apps are not made to be force closed (thats what task killers do..). You may even end up with the app not working properly anymore.

When I got my phone I installed a Task Killer. After I understood how android works, I uninstalled it, and surprise: same battery life and same performance...

The real problem is CPU usage. Sometimes an app goes rogue, and starts to eat a lot of CPU, thus the battery drain. So keep away from task killers, because the more free memory you have, the longer it takes the apps to launch (less free memory = loaded apps = fast app start). You may end up with alarm clock and other apps you don't want killed being killed by the TK, if you won't set it up properly.

Don't forget, Android is made to auto kill tasks when it runs low on memory. The CPU is what's causing the lagg and slowdowns (and Task Killers do not monitor CPU usage...)

I will explain how to get extra standby time out of your phone and what apps to install soon.
Also what app to use instead of an automatic task killer. So stay tuned :D


Overware said...

This is why I never installed any on my Android. More people should know about this.

Good info there.

Radu said...

Problem is, Norbi, that specific processes are being restarted IF YOU ARE USING THE STOCK ROM! As in NOT a custom one.

Take HTC for example. It's got the Sense interface that includes FriendStream, Wheather and different stuff. All these, racked up, consume up to 400 MB of RAM. If you kill those processes, they are being restarted.

Now take Cyanogen for example. It ain't got bloatware that sticks themselves to the RAM == no processes restarted. Well, there are some exceptions : People, Maps if you have it, Gmail in some cases...

And anyway, it doesn't really matter whether you have 1 GB of RAM and just 512 MB available. It has been said that no matter how much RAM available you have, it still consumes energy... so you may have 800 MB free or 50, it consumes the same... unless some processes are actually doing work in the background (no CPU kill).

Not killing apps by yourself == less free RAM == lower performance (since it begins to stutter).

norbi_nw said...

"Not killing apps by yourself == less free RAM == lower performance"

Where do you get this? Because even i tested it, and if i have 80MB free or 20MB free (yes X10 has low memory...) it still feels the same... Why should it perform worse when the RAM used up will be cleared if needed..

And noone is talking about cooked roms, I haven't got there yet (with the "tutorial"). And I doubt that majority uses cooked roms, as they are bad (worse camera quality, instabile, bugs here and there, etc. OFC performance is way better than stock). - tested about 20 and still running stock modded.

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