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Revisiting Android Task Killers and Why You Still Don’t Need One…

We almost hate to approach the topic of Task Killers on Android after all this time, but with so many new faces here at Droid Life and in Android in general, it’s something that needs to be done.  In fact, after seeing the Amazon app of the day and reading through the Twitter conversations we just had with many of you, this thing needs to be posted immediately.  Let’s see if we can’t get you all some better battery life!

First off, please ignore the image up at the top of the post.  If this was 2009 and we were all running something less than Android 2.2, that statement plastered on that red banner might be somewhat correct.  But since it is 2011 and the majority of people on the planet are running Android 2.2, we need to get you away from the mindset that killing off tasks on your phone is a good thing.

So rather than me blabbering about the inner-workings of Android and how it manages RAM for the 10,000th time, I’m going to just pull from some posts that friends of ours have done that explain this in the plainest of ways.  

First up is our boy @cvpcs who you may know from CM and his Sapphire ROM days.  He knows Android inside-and-out, so when he goes into memory management which is done by the OS itself, you should listen up:

What people don’t seem to realize is that android is designed to have a large number of tasks stored in memory at all times. Why? Well basically we are talking about a mobile device. On a mobile device things tend to be slower. The hardware isn’t as robust as say a desktop or a laptop, so in order to get that same “snappy” feeling, there have to be workarounds.

One of these is how android deals with memory. Android will load up your apps and then keep them running until they absolutely HAVE to kill them. This is because that way, if you want to re-open an app, the system already has it loaded and can then just resume it instead of reloading it. This provides a significant performance increase.

What a lot of people don’t realize as well is that android kernels have their own task manager. This means that:

  1. it will be more efficient than any app-based task manager as it is run at the kernel level, and
  2. it should be left up to that task killer to decide when to free up memory

There is only one case where having a task killer is a good idea, and that is when you want to kill ONE SPECIFIC APP. Killing all apps is never a good idea. You don’t know what operations they are performing or if they are necessary.

Whitson Gordon of Lifehacker suggests that you should be more worried about CPU usage than what’s going on with your RAM.  We agree:

This set-up implies that the goal of killing these apps is to free up memory. Nowhere on the list does it mention the number of CPU cycles each app is consuming, only the memory you’ll free by killing it. As we’ve learned, full memory is not a bad thing—we want to watch out for the CPU, the resource that actually slows down your phone and drains your battery life.

Thus, killing all but the essential apps (or telling Android to kill apps more aggressively with the “autokill” feature) is generally unnecessary. Furthermore, it’s actually possible that this will worsen your phone’s performance and battery life. Whether you’re manually killing apps all the time or telling the task killer to aggressively remove apps from your memory, you’re actually using CPU cycles when you otherwise wouldn’t—killing apps that aren’t doing anything in the first place.

In fact, some of the processes related to those apps will actually start right back up, further draining your CPU. If they don’t, killing those processes can cause other sorts of problems—alarms don’t go off, you don’t receive text messages, or other related apps may force close without warning. All in all, you’re usually better off letting your phone work as intended—especially if you’re more of a casual user. In these instances, a task killer causes more problems than it solves.

More on how Android has a built-in memory-management system, but also on how killing all tasks is not a good thing (via: NextApp):

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.

And we could go on for hours with source after source on why task killers do nothing but work against Android, but you probably get the point now don’t you?  Ready for a quick recap?  OK.

Basically, Android keeps tasks handy because it thinks you’ll want to perform them again in a very short amount of time.  If you don’t, it will clear them out for you.  It also likes to keep as many things handy as possible so that the overall performance of your device is top notch.  If Android were to completely kill off everything that your phone is doing, then it would require more resources to restart all of them and you would likely run into slowness and battery drains.  By keeping certain things available to you, your phone is actually running better than it would without.  So please, stop killing off tasks and let Android do the work for you.

Your goal for the week is wash your brain of the idea that having little RAM available is a bad thing.  The more RAM available, the more Android will find ways to use it up which means your battery will be dead in hours.  Instead, let it manage itself, so that you can spend more time playing Angry Birds or reading Droid Life.

All good now?

  • Burl

    I still think having bloatware like Skype Mobile, Blockbuster and CityID running isn’t good for my device. It’d make sense if the Dialer was in the list of running apps, but it never is.

    • http://www.droid-den.com Rachid

      for those apps, a task killer wont help, they’ll keep opening themselves up. 

      Using a task killer will actually negatively effect your battery because apps will continually open, be force closed, oepned, etc.

    • http://www.droid-den.com Rachid

      for those apps, a task killer wont help, they’ll keep opening themselves up. 

      Using a task killer will actually negatively effect your battery because apps will continually open, be force closed, oepned, etc.

  • Anonymous

    I love how Verizon employees almost always install a task killer for you…did for both my parents. If I get a job there, I’m installing System Panel Free on most people’s devices so they can kill apps if they’re misbehaving, not have an autokill feature to abuse, and look at the actual CPU usage, not that most would know what to do with it. System Panel is the only task killer that should be out there IMO

  • Anonymous

    *sigh*

    I recall a simpler time when me and my cupcaked G1 could taskiller our way to bliss

  • http://twitter.com/G3NK1E Travis Fountain

    Google needs to get rid of these on the market if anything..  I know so many ppl that swear by these things.  It doesn’t help either when Verizon tells their customers that the first thing they should do is get a task killer app either.

  • Mike

    Ok, that sounds great. So why does the battery life on my Droid X improve with a task killer?

  • Mike

    Ok, that sounds great. So why does the battery life on my Droid X improve with a task killer?

    • http://www.droid-den.com Rachid

      If it does, its likely to to a poorly coded app eating away at your resources. Best to actually identify which app(s) and replce it with a better one.

    • http://www.droid-den.com Rachid

      If it does, its likely to to a poorly coded app eating away at your resources. Best to actually identify which app(s) and replce it with a better one.

  • Fwashjr

    My friend has been working on a uninstall program for a year now for the Droid family. I believe it will be ready in August for the general public. I have it on my Droid X and have uninstalled the “uninstallable” apps. The phone works fine and I have nearly all memory that I need to use. I’ve loaded apps and unloaded them with no problems as of yet. Every app that I don’t want that came with the phone is gone, all of them. My phone is not rooted either. This will be the app of the century. Attorneys have been working with him to see if there will be any legal ramifications but I think all should go well. I will keep you posted on the progress.

    • Draven13X

      Yay!!!

  • guest

    great article but its justa shame that the people who really need to hear this probably arent reading droid life

  • Lakerzz

    What about clearing cache??

  • Anonymous

    tinyurl.com/2df4ccp 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1245871643 Brian Cornea

    droid x2

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1245871643 Brian Cornea

    Steve Jobs: Your just using it wrong.

    This is why I don’t have an *phone

  • Jothen2002

    Sorry Off topic..but I need help …I live in a non 4G area…

    What would you buy 

    HTC Thunderbolt 

    Droid INC 2
    Or Droid X 2

    • Dlopez2892

      Droid x2 for the dual core

    • http://twitter.com/MastaMarc Marc C.

      wait for bionic or get the incredible.  DX2 is a nice piece of hardware, but  not worth it when u can get the DX for a hundred cheaper and its essentially the same phone only real noticeable diff is the processor

  • http://twitter.com/ma42091 Manuel Avila

    My dream is to work as a VZW rep cause I actually know stuff, teach everyone the ways of Android…then leave cause I have other dreams, leaving my knowledge of Android with them…Seriously, they make me laugh some times…

    • Alfreeman69

      The droid is strong with this one!

  • Sparhawk2k

    What I’m more interested in is a way to take away permission for some apps to randomly start themselves (or restart themselves as mentioned above) when I haven’t clicked on them.

    I don’t want to have to uninstall apps I might use occasionally because they’re constantly starting up and trying to do stuff in the background. Not every app has good control over this in the settings. So I never run something that auto kills tasks and I never try to kill everything. But I do have a shortcut to kill a select group of things that I might only use every few days. Though I understand that some of those might be counter-productive if they’re just starting up again. But I haven’t spent the time to figure out which do that…

  • Josh Allen

    Here’s how I explained it to my father:

    Say you’re out golfing, and you have a caddy carrying your clubs for you. You ask him for a driver, he has it right there with him and hands it over. Then, after you tee off, you ask him for a 5-iron and he’s got that handy as well.  A good caddy will even recognize what club you’re probably going to want next, and have it out of the bag already to hand it to you as soon as you need it. That’s how Android approaches memory usage – it keeps the things you’re likely to need right there and ready so you can just pop it open immediately.

    If you’re using a task killer, it can’t do that. It’s essentially the same as if you were to tell your caddy to leave all your clubs in your car. Any time you want a new club, you hand him the old one, and he walks all the way back to the parking lot, puts it away and gets the new one. Worse, occasionally he’ll try to be helpful and bring back a second club (say, your putter as you’re getting close to the green), but you’ll just tell him you didn’t want the putter right now and send him all the way back to the car again. Meanwhile, you’ll take your shot, and stand around at the green waiting for him to get back so you can hand him your 5-iron and tell him to go get the putter…

    • Burl

      Except your caddy is a moron and a stranger and he brought some scuba gear with him instead of clubs. The stuff Android keeps in memory is never the stuff I use.

      • Anonymous

        Then uninstall the apps…

        • Mike

          WOW what a brilliant idea…. now if only these pre-loaded apps could be uninstalled without rooting your phone. Sorry but i simply do not need my email to be ‘Moxier’ then a standard email inbox.

          • Arobbiv

            I agree I am thinking they take on some of the cost of the phone…. If not why?  Also could I pay a couple dollas more and get the phone without them.

    • Anonymous

      That was beautiful.

  • Sjosephf

    Not every Verizon rep is that dumb! I work for Verizon Wireless and I am always on the tech forums reading up. Actually many reps in my store are pretty tech savy and know what is good for the phones and what is not. But yes I agree that a lot are not educated on Android and know only what the “trainings” tell them. I always try my best to recommend the best phone I can to each customer and let them know that task killers are unnecessary. Even though most of the new Android phones we sell now come with one built in. Like the Droid x2 and the samsungs. 

    • http://twitter.com/Rocko9999 Rocko Smith

      What task killer is built in to the X2?

      • Anonymous

        Blur has it built in.

        • Sjosephf

          Yeah the new blur has one built in

    • http://twitter.com/Rocko9999 Rocko Smith

      What task killer is built in to the X2?

  • http://twitter.com/mydogischelsea Laura Parisi

    OK… but how else can I keep my phone from draining its battery by noon???

    • http://twitter.com/rabidturtles359 Kyle

      have you tried your phone without a task killer?

    • http://mariasama16.livejournal.com/ J Harrell

      Also, go to settings > about phone > battery usage. What is using your battery? System idle/display/cell standby generally tend to be top.

    • http://twitter.com/afallucco Anthony Fallucco

      What phone do you have?

    • http://www.facebook.com/derek.dt Derek Robinson

      You put a leash on your phone. Only turn on things like GPS / Bluetooth / Wifi when you plan on using them. Kill apps that are using lots of cpu (not memory) and turn down the brightness on your phone. I’m never worried about my OG running out of battery.

      • http://www.facebook.com/derek.dt Derek Robinson

        Also, there are scheduling apps that will adjust your settings for you depending on a set schedule. I have my phone all but turned off automatically while at work and school so that it doesn’t eat almost any battery while I know I can’t use it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/derek.dt Derek Robinson

      You put a leash on your phone. Only turn on things like GPS / Bluetooth / Wifi when you plan on using them. Kill apps that are using lots of cpu (not memory) and turn down the brightness on your phone. I’m never worried about my OG running out of battery.

  • Rizzidy

    You guys are just doing it wrong.  Everyone knows you need two task killers.  You need the second one to kill the first one that you used to kill all the other stuff.

  • Rizzidy

    You guys are just doing it wrong.  Everyone knows you need two task killers.  You need the second one to kill the first one that you used to kill all the other stuff.

    • Aaron

      But then how would you kill the second one.

  • Garrett

    I’ve favorited this article for the next time I have to deal with people at the verizon store or in general.

  • Barlog

    THANK YOU! I don’t know how many times I’ve had to remove taskkillers from new android user’s phone’s because they said “i was having a problem with my phone and when I took it to Verizon they installed this task Killer thing and told me I need to use it for my phone to run right” We all need to share thus on Facebook and Twitter everyone NEEDS to know Task killer’s are not needed ANYMORE! Thanks again for such a great explanation on this matter :-)

  • jbonics

    Just do the opposite of what the VZW guy says. They can care less, anything to get you out of their hair

  • Mr Carteratl

    AUTOKILLER MEMORY OPTIMIZER.

  • Cgmartin33

    So whats the best task killer? Jk… I have tried to explain this as easy as possible to people for years and they can’t seem to grasp the concept. And I find it sad that every fricken VZW store and Costco has loaded up every device on display with this crap so that all of the new customers can enjoy some lag!

  • Majestepic

    What about juice defender and watch dog? Should I just have no monitor service ? Srr :-P

  • RecursiveNature

    This was a good article, regardless of how well versed you and I are in the ways of the “Keyboard Ninja”. We can all use a good reminder here and there. We just need to remember that the $600 phone in our pockets is a really tiny calculator all tweaked out on the white stuff and works the same as desktop OSs when it comes to memory management and trash collecting and that RAM is handy, but the CPU is dandy!

    Let us not forget our little buddy the CPU and his/her recursive nature. Feed the RAM and let the CPU have a few vacation cycles.

  • Stephen D

    THANK YOU. So many people have trouble understanding this. If you are trying to conserve battery, then lower your screen’s brightness, and TURN OFF GPS. Quite a few friends of mine have came and asked why their battery life is bad. The first thing I check is if GPS is on, and it almost always is. There are some cases when I use the task manager built in to TouchWiz to kill a specific app that’s hogging resources or isn’t responding, but I never kill every task. 

  • Anonymous

    I just have one question. There have been 2 times when my phone was lagging insanely. I used a task killer these two times and my phone swiftly went back to performing like usual. Is using a task killer ok in an instance like this?

    • http://mariasama16.livejournal.com/ J Harrell

      Yes, because it sounds like you had an app that hung. What this article (and all similar articles) are about is that a lot of people set up a task killer to kill all apps at a certain memory threshhold (and then poke a widget to kill whenever they look at the phone) which is the detrimental side. A task killer installed that does nothing but allow you to kill a misbehaving/hung/frozen app is perfectly fine (though, the OS has a built-in killer for that as well and like all modern operating systems, a reboot generally clears any weird issues).

  • http://twitter.com/robnance Rob Nance

    So if I never ever use an app like Slacker for instance, why should I leave it open just for the sake of leaving it open? There are many many apps like that, that open themselves & I never plan to use them. I use System Panel Kill All when my DInc 2.2 feels sluggish and lo & behold, my phone runs smoother. Use it a few times per day and never notice it does anything detrimental to my battery performance or anything else. Comes down to personal preference really, use a task killer if you want to.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=716789798 Lonnie Kerchief

      That means you have a rogue app running, and you should find out which one it is. In a properly running Android 2.2+ environment, there is no need to clear apps out. Apps that sit dormant don’t use any processing time, and if you load an app that needs additional memory beyond what is available, then Android takes the time to allot the memory for that app by shutting down the dormant app. It’s the same logic as garbage collection in .NET on the PC. It takes more system resources (and battery in the case of Android) to constantly shut down apps and have them start up again for just a few execution cylces, where as if they sit dormant in memory, they’re ready for the next time they need to execute.

      I’m not against task killers for that one-off kill now and then. That’s a good purpose for having a task killer. I have ATK installed, just set to never auto-kill. Next time you’re sluggish, start killing apps one by one until you find the offending app. I find that the one app I do tend to close now and then is the browser, but I haven’t even had to do that recently. I attribute it partly due to Flash, but with all the recent updates to it, I think they’ve got most of the bugs and performance problems out of it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/derek.dt Derek Robinson

      Why do you have apps that you know you’ll never use? I’d just remove them from your phone. If it’s something you need once a month or so, then download it when you need it and get rid of it afterwards.

    • http://www.facebook.com/derek.dt Derek Robinson

      Also, a lot of people are misunderstanding this article. It’s NOT saying “never use task managers” it’s saying “don’t use task managers to free up all apps from memory”. If your phone is slowing down it’s likely due to one or two rogue apps, kill just those apps. It’s not something I’ve looked into but I’m sure there are apps that show current cpu usage instead of memory usage and allow you to kill apps

  • Ryan C

    Wow i understand this and thats why i don’t use task managers.. and i haven’t for a long time after reading about why. I  didn’t know any better at first, so i’m glad there are people still willing to explain and go over again and again why they are bad and not needed. The sad thing is, when i notice someone at school has gotten a new android device, they almost always have the “Advanced Task Killer” icon in the notification bar. I know they all didn’t just come upon it on their own and a Verizon rep most likely recommended it to the unknowing new android adopter. I try to explain why they are bad and do more damage than good but usually its the same thing of rejection to my explanation and “its my phone” and then suddenly i have “no idea what i’m talking about.” Its sad really.

  • http://twitter.com/tomabrad Tom

    Droid-life over emphasizes this not needing a task killer thing.  Yes task killers are actually useful, just not as useful as people think it is.  Big deal.

    • http://twitter.com/pcriz Perry Meg

       If an app is so badly coded that I have to kill it, then it’s time to uninstall it

      • http://twitter.com/tomabrad Tom

        Pandora seems to be one of these apps.  It is so inconsistent with its stability that I constantly either have to use a task killer, or restart the phone.  However, I like the music that I listen to.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=716789798 Lonnie Kerchief

      Exactly. They’re good for one-off kills for rogue apps that are not performing correctly. Task killers should never be set to auto-kill.

  • MALfunction84

    This reminds me of the debate around SuperFetch in Windows Vista/7.  Empty RAM is useless RAM.

  • Jrer34

    i guess i am confused by this. There are times my thunderbolt is running really slow and i open up my task killer and it shows a huge list of apps that are running. i then kill all of them and the phone is running fast again. i really dont understand how letting my phone run slow/sluggish is better. 

    • JinxerFelix

      Likely there was ONE app that was misbehaving that you could have/should have killed – not all of them.

  • Anonymous

    This is why ZDBox is one of the best phone management apps on the planet. Not only can you see what non-system apps are running but you can then (in the same application) go to the battery management panel or data panel and see what apps are using up the most of your battery and data output. This also provides long term data collection for extensive monitoring of apps that could be chugging battery or sucking down data like candy. You can then make informed decisions about killing the individual applications to try to test battery life / performance so you can ultimately make the decision to either uninstall the application or deal with the side effects in some other fashion.

  • Zach

    Nice collection of articles. I learned. Something!

  • Interstellarmind

    i’m always surprised when i hear verizon reps recommending task killers to n00b androiders.

    …just goes to show how useless the reps are.

    • Interstellarmind

      also: kudos to kellex for keeping n00b people in the loop. it’s always refreshing to see how welcoming the android community is (i.e., support forums).

      • Anonymous

        We were all noobs at one time or another.  Gotta learn somewhere right?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Angel-Luis-Gonzalez-III/591224353 Angel Luis Gonzalez III

      i never recommend customers to use task killer or juice defender never,i keep telling my co-workers not to recomend it because its useless and eats more battery but they don’t listen and swear by it, I don’t, IM NOT USELESS >.< lol

      • Anonymous

        Interesting.  A VZ Rep recommended Juice Defender cause he uses it on his TB.

      • Timmah

        JuiceDefender and Task Killers are two TOTALLY different things.

  • Anonymous

    I’d imagine that the majority of droid-life users are already aware of this. This information needs to be in the next  DROID DOES commercial from Verizon…

    Something like “Droid does this, droid does that…. but the one thing droid doesn’t do is need a task manager”
    That would get peoples attention. 

    • Anonymous

      I like this idea.

      • Burl

        Droid Needs Instructions – yeah that’s going to sell phones.

      • Jothen2002

        Wow this is too funny. So i read this post yesterday, right before I went into my local Verizon Authorized rep…..( I was getting my 99.00 dollar T-Bolt activated :) )  and I heard the “tech ” people say about 5 times, including me …to make sure you install “advance task killer” . I pretty much kept my mouth shut because they were helping me…until I was about ready to leave .. I asked “tech” about task killers and why they are important and all she could reply was that these “PHONES DON’T KNOW HOW TO RUN THEMSELVES”. . I didn’t need to argue as I could see I was wasting my breath, but that I just heard different.I does’t stop there … I proceeded next door to my Best Buy looking for a case …and the phone rep literally grabbed my phone went to the market and downloaded attempted to download “advance task killer” ..( because I have to have it) …Good thing I hit cancel without her seeing …I am just too nice of aguy to b+*$ch slap …

        Wow …,,craziness …and thanks for all your help….

    • CaptainHowdy

      Or put “droid does automatic task managing”

  • Mr.Joe

    From the sounds of it it’s ok to have a task killer.  Only use it there are certain apps you need to kill.  Like maybe email before the nights end.

    I don’t know.  But I’m just going to say I <3 task killers.

    • Mcneilmoe

      gay

    • Guest

      Chances are, when you kill the email app, it’s going to start right back up again wasting cycles as stated. The email app is specifically one that you wouldn’t want to kill. Instead you should modify the data settings on your phone so that it only syncs when on wi-fi for example, or only during certain times. I know you can do this on the Droid X at least. Task Killers are entirely worthless

      • Mr.Joe

        Actually it doesn’t.

        I turn off autosync (which will kill gmail off) and then I kill the Yahoo mail app which keeps it dead.  I then just power cycle the phone to bring everything back to normal.  

  • Mcneilmoe

    My d2 is FAST and battery is AMAZING! NO taskiller. I run Liberty 0.5 gb, oc to 1.265 ghz, smartass gov

  • Anonymous

    i think as a group we can move on from angry birds, i havent had this game installed since about a week after rio came out

    im not all about plants vs zombies, rocket bunnies, pac man and pokemon via gba something or another

    • Anonymous

      Not or now? :P

      • Anonymous

        Ugh im on ie7 at work, it wouldnt let me edit so I had to sneak out the dx. def meant NOW lol

  • David Rosen

    ok this is all well and good and i haven’t used an app killer since the early days of my old g1, but it still leaves a question i’ve been trying to get an answer for for a LONG time now… what DO you do when your phone is running sluggish? resetting the phone generally helps, but isn’t there some way to “kill” whatever is slowing it down without having to reset?

    • Rory W.

      I use the Process Monitor app because is shows the the CPU %.  From there, I can see which app is hogging up the system and kill just that one.

      • Anonymous

        ^^^there you go. Finding the CPU hog is the key.

        • David Rosen

          right but what do you do once you’ve found it? i used that app watchdog, and it said that newsrob is using too much cpu like a few times a week… theres no WAY i’m getting rid of newsrob. its the best app on my phone. oh and the actual stock browser a bunch of times.

          • http://twitter.com/pcriz Perry Meg

            Kill the Hog but some people go over board and kill every app they are not using or kill I’m portant system apps.

          • David Rosen

            see you’re saying then that it’s ok to use task killers. which the whole article and like a dozen twitter posts today all say is not ok. if its cool to kill the hog, then its cool to download task killer, the free app of the day on the amazon app store. which everyone is so against. i mean who would honestly load up a task killer and just start killing everything for no reason? the only way i would ever use a task killer is to kill tasks that i think are specifically affecting my performance and/or shouldn’t be running in the first place.

          • http://twitter.com/pcriz Perry Meg

             You can go both ways against it, all these guys that get the latest greatest phones with Dual Core processors and all that jazz might not experience the lag of someone running an OG Droid so its easy to dismiss performance issues. I say go right ahead with a task killer, but don’t assume because you didn’t open the app, that it needs to be killed. My DX has spent most of its life without a Task Killer and been fine. But that isn’t to say there haven’t been occasions that I do need to smite an app or two down for being a resource hog..

          • http://twitter.com/zerosouls Scott Burton

            The simple solution is that once you’ve found an application that is being a hog, uninstall it and don’t look back. Done.

          • David Rosen

            how am i supposed to uninstall the browser?

            and i’m just simply not uninstalling newsrob. it’s the best news reader app on android. it even just was picked as the best on a lifehacker poll, and i’ve been using it since the g1. i’ve tried every other newsreader and they all suck in comparison. there are some apps i can uninstall, but if i haven’t even RUN the apps since the last time the phone was turned on, it makes no sense that they should be running and using cpu. thats why i don’t get why you shouldn’t be encouraged to use some kind of app that stops unnecessary stuff from running.

          • http://twitter.com/zerosouls Scott Burton

            The browser (if your using googles) is a system app, and if it’s just sitting in the memory then it’s not really hogging up any battery.. in fact this is an app you want in the memory.

            But if you want to run out of control apps and then use an app (task killer) on top of that to run CPU cycles to control those apps, then I guess that’s what you gotta do, have at it :)

          • David Rosen

            haha yea exactly. i don’t wanna do that. i just wish there was a way for an app to be installed. so one day when i want to use it i can run it. but for it to not be loaded and potentially wasting cpu cycles in the background, ever, until i ask it to.

          • http://twitter.com/zerosouls Scott Burton

            some developers could do a lot better to put their apps on a leash, for sure. it’s like some think we bought an android just to use their app :P

          • David Rosen

            haha yea exactly. i don’t wanna do that. i just wish there was a way for an app to be installed. so one day when i want to use it i can run it. but for it to not be loaded and potentially wasting cpu cycles in the background, ever, until i ask it to.

          • DBK

            Wow you suck at reading. He specifically said, a few times, that one should NEVER use a third party app killer and to use the built in one instead and to NEVER kill everything. Killing one or two rogue apps is fine.

            Plus, you’d be surprised at just how many people actually kill everything fro no good reason. It’s scary.

          • David Rosen

            i don’t suck at reading. i read that. but then perry meg said its ok to kill some apps, just not too many. that’s who i was responding to. you suck at reading. :-)

          • DBK

            You mis-referenced the article, which is what I thought I pointed out. My apologies if that wasn’t clear. No worries, though. You definitely aren’t the only one. I just hope that it’s clear now and you understand.  :)

          • David Rosen

            i don’t suck at reading. i read that. but then perry meg said its ok to kill some apps, just not too many. that’s who i was responding to. you suck at reading. :-)

          • http://www.facebook.com/rob.janowski Rob Janowski

            Here are 2 quotes from the article that I believe you missed.  I think all of us probably have some sort of a task killer installed but the point of the article is that you DO NOT have it KILL EVERYTHING.”There is only one case where having a task killer is a good idea, and that is when you want to kill ONE SPECIFIC APP.””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.”

          • David Rosen

            the funny thing is that now that i’ve read all these responses to my question, i think the thing i’m gonna walk away from this article is “install a task killer” haha. i’m just not gonna use the “kill all” widget or settings or whatever. but it seriously sounds like after all of this, it IS good to have one, if you have an app or two that tend to give you lag and you really don’t want to get rid of those apps (most apps/games i would get rid of, no problem, if it meant better performance, but for an app like newsrob, which is a frequent offender, it’s simply not an option… it’s one of the main reasons i use my phone)

          • DBK

            As long as you use the built in one and don’t download a third party one AND (and this is the important part) only only kill the one or two apps that are causing the problem and not kill everything, then you’ll be fine.

      • David Rosen

        ok but according to all this information we’re just not supposed to kill anything i thought. also, what if you have an app, that you like to use, but it’s constantly auto-loading and hogging cpu %. you don’t need it to run until you actually go to use it, is there any way around it loading?

      • CyberPete

        I use SystemPanelLite Task Manager. It is mainly an informational app, but gives you nice easy info about what is using most CPU (and much more). You can quickly see which app is being naughty, and kill it.

  • Crazydog

    Thanks for posting this today. I became physically ill after seeing the Amazon app of the day. This’ll be a great thing to throw at people when they say ‘task killer’.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andres-Prado/100000832421362 Andres Prado

    lol i think i helped caused this post to happen lol :)

  • Darkfyre

    So…you mean to tell me that my Droid X ISN’T losing its 3G connectivity because I don’t have a task killer intsalled?? Thats what the Verizon store rep told me! He knows ALL about Android…he said so!

    • Mcneilmoe

      fag

    • Anonymous

      Oh lord…

      • http://profiles.google.com/potentialender james netzer

        We have a verizon dealer here that also services computers. I overheard him tell a customer that just being logged into safe mode could infect his computer. 

        I wanted to walk over and tell her I’d fix her computer for $20 bucks. 

        • Njulius13

          You should have!

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002473541673 John Rogers

          safe mode has more than one version these days, using safe mode with network support can still leave you open to attacks.

    • Anonymous

      If there is a problem with your phone on Verizon, thats the first thing they make you do. I just laugh when they tell me to install a task killer. 

      • Darkfyre

        Yeah..dude snatched it out of my hand and installed ATM before I could object to his absurdity. Soon as he handed it back to me, I uninstalled it and asked if there was anybody else I could to talk.

      • Mr.Joe

        Maybe you should tell them that there is a task killer already on there.  In 2.2 it’s found in the application settings under running.  That will fix it.

        OR just install one and have them actually fix it.  They’ll see it and then say OH then it must be this!

    • Mr.Joe

      Maybe you should have told him that Android has a task killer and then show him where it is.

      But in all reality these reps can be anything you want them to be.  It’s up to you!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andres-Prado/100000832421362 Andres Prado

      do you remember when they told us that the DROIDX was gonna be 4G upgradeable lmao :D dont belive THEM believe DROID LIFE  :D

    • http://twitter.com/AndroidEcko Bonifacio

      VZ reps dont know their face from their a$$.  I like to go the store and ask random noob questions and listen to their silly answers!

      • http://www.facebook.com/joeygueez Joe Guido

        Your wrong on so many levels, Just because you’ll run into an occasional idiot, doesn’t mean we dont know anything.  You can’t expect them to know everything unless your a total nerd like me. Some people don’t have the passion and the know how like some, but NEVER categorize all reps as idiots.

        Thank you

        • GLT5000

          Thanks Joe, I AM one of those reps who make sure that all the new people to android understand what they have just bought, even sometimes go as far as sideloading apps on their phones (just loaded netflix on a DX today for a customer) some reps just do it for the paycheck, I do it cause I LOVE ANDROID!!

          ANDROID 4 LYFE!!

        • Ybdri

          *You’re. You may not be an idiot but improper grammar sure makes you sound like one.

          • Anonymous

            And pointing out pointless grammar mistakes that don’t even matter because the point is still clear makes you look like an ass… :)

          • Otaku Vincent

             Grammar is very important. People are becoming grammatically ignorant.

          • http://profiles.google.com/elyesq Ely W. Sluder

            How do you become ignorant?  Forget stuff you knew?  I think you mean that people are not learning how to use grammar correctly, and are thus ignorant.  Or they are just stupid and thus incapable of curing their ignorance.  

            I agree with BAoxymoron … you get the point and that is what is important.  

          • Squishinkitties

            I think people are actually just lazy.

          • http://www.reverbnation.com/russellbabbitt RainMan

            I personally worry about my side of the street. In my experience I have had many people who have less than perfect grammar communicate ideas to me clearly and efficiently. I have also had experience dealing with people who are condescending towards anyone they feel that they can pick on, and while sometimes these people are very smart and have some good ideas, I find it much easier and pleasurable to converse, exchange ideas, and constructively communicate with the first type of person. I think communication is about the message, not the messenger. As long as the message is understandable I try to just listen and think of what it means to me… – “Wisdom comes even from the mouth of a fool…”

          • Ybdri

            I’d rather be an ass than an idiot.

          • Guest

            I prefer being a smartass

          • Spc Hicks09

            Let me show you guys how important grammar is.

            Did you eat grandma?
            Did you eat, grandma?

            This is why grammar is important. It can totally flip the meaning of a sentence.

          • Mojave

            Actually, that shows how important punctuation is. How about this for grammar?

            You’re food.  <— the shark letting you know he's about to eat you
            Your food.    <— the salmon on your dinner plate

          • Alfreeman69

            I aint need no grammar lessons I speaks english just fines even though I ain’t got me no edumacation

          • Anonymous

            dude stop being a english teacher and go try to get laid 

          • Ed

            And this shows that world is screwed

          • Jon

            Guys, for the most part, Verizon reps are idiots. I totally agree. But there are some of us who actually take our job seriously. I am not the most tech-savvy person, but I care about my job. So I research and read posts like this in my spare time. After all, I get paid commission. If I don’t know what I am talking about my customers will not come back to me. Find a rep that is knowledgeable. STICK WITH HIM OR HER. My biggest problem is people who are not loyal. I don’t mind them dealing with someone else, but then I have to correct the mistakes!
            There are idiots in every profession.

          • Anonymous

            Is this why you are selling Android over Windows Phones, commission?

          • Guest

            That is called punctuation, not grammar ;) Learn something before giving lessons.

          • Ybdri

            I’d rather be an ass than an idiot.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Russell-Babbitt/1132916986 Russell Babbitt

            I used to focus on correcting others, using this overly active and highly intelligent brain of mine to let them know what they were doing wrong and usually not even offering advice on how to fix the “problem” I had diagnosed them with. – This link shows a lot of the steps that I used to focus more on myself, and stop expecting so much of the world and it’s inhabitants. I find that I am much happier now accepting people for who and how they are. and working on myself rather than them. I expect nothing anymore and it’s a much better way for me to live my life, expectations are pre-meditated resentments - http://www.wikihow.com/Stop-Being-a-Condescending-Person - Good luck and I am not trying to criticize you, just share my personal experience with my criticism of others.

        • angermeans

          I have to say I agree I dont work in the store but I do work in customer care and I am a huge android enthusiest and stereo typing all reps because of a few morons that don’t care is hardly a fair statement. I hear stupid comments and advice all the time and to be honest I see just as much from people on forums and blogs all the time and that hardly makes all of us morons. This whole verizon reps are idiots and have the stupidest comments is very ignorant. I love my job and think that I take it very seriously and take pride in giving customers the right information especially when it comes to something I am passionate about like mobile products.

          • Cbigthings

            Well store and consumer care are different, i perfer to call consumer care before even thinking about going into a store and watching “employees” looking at a computer for 40 minutes before they insult me.  I have had a much better experience with consumer care than a rep at a store….i have been a vzw consumer since ’98

          • Smrzzy

            I wonder who is worse… VZW reps or Best buy… I had a best buy rep walk up to me while I was checking out the iPad, said you do you have any questions. I said, do you know how much RAM is in the iPad 2, he said “It doubles the original iPad”. I then said, how much is in the iPad, he said “I don’t know but the iPad2 is doubley fast”.

          • Anonymous

            So by being an android enthusiast you are possible selling them the wrong phone? You are supposed to be professional not an enthusiast of any brand or phone, that’s why you are getting paid.

          • angermeans

            I said nothing about tying in me being an “Android Enthusiast” and selling a customer the right phone for their needs I only brought up the fact (and responded to another’s comment) that [not all] Verizon (or any company for that matter) customer care specialists are morons. Don’t take what I said and twist it all around. I am far from vain to think that just because I may prefer one brand doesnt mean that every person that I come in contact with needs that brand. Next time don’t read into statements especially when you have no idea who I am or what I do (especially at my job).

        • jason w.s.

          Its not about “having the passion”, its about doing your job and knowing atleast a little bit of info about the sh!t you are being paid to sell. I mean come on people, do a little research on these devices. Of course not ALL reps are idiots, just most of them. Just about every rep ive ever dealt with at different VZW stores are clueless. Ive gotten into many a heated discussion with reps that think they are telling me “whats up”, when they actually couldnt be more wrong about the device or subject at hand. Even some of the reps that are close friends of mine know it and we laugh and joke about it. Thats just been my general experience though ;-P

      • Zach Tanksley

        For the record, you cant generalize people just because of 1 or 2 you have spoken with. I know a lot of verizon reps who are constantly pulling ATK and other crapware off of phones.

    • http://twitter.com/iNateG Nate Gantt

      No joke–every Verizon store I go to, they tell people that. My friend has a Droid Incredible, and she was telling me about how bad her battery life is and how she’s using AutoKillers. “The Verizon Rep told me to,” she claimed. I had to give her a little “chat” on why we don’t use those. :P 

      Next time I hear a Verizon Rep tell them that, I’m gonna argue on there behalf. It’s nonsense. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1245871643 Brian Cornea

      and this is why they work at Verizon.

    • Anonymous

      We all need a VZW rep advice killer.

    • Cbigthings

      They just say what there trained to say, they never listen to the question…..just trained monkeys!

      • Alfreeman69

        And the monkey flips the switch!

    • http://twitter.com/icecolddemon Phil Oakley

      “He knows ALL about Android…he said so!”

      LOL.

    • Joesmack

       And you believed him??? Does he develop for Android? Can he even tell you what the platform was that Android was built from (it was Linux for those who don’t know which is why I chose my android phone over the iPhone). Did he work for the maker of the phone? Probably no to all these questions. He is simply a phone sales person and his job is to dazzle you with fancy phones with glittery looks and features. He isn’t a programmer, a developer, or a IT tech. IF he was he wouldn’t be working as a salesman…. Get the point. Read forums and discussion boards about your phone. They are usually answered by developers, hackers, and those who know the OS language and how to program it. Don’t listen to the moron at the store that knows nothing more than what the prices of phones and plans are and how to close the deal on you when it may be more than you can afford. They are the equivalent to the car salesman. Do you ask him for mechanical advise or do you turn to and ASE certified mechanic that has been servicing cars for many years…?

  • Anonymous

    I used one for locked up programs. Its good to have.

    • Anonymous

      Then just do that manually in the applications setting. 

      • Anonymous

        Its a much longer trip and much more work to get to application settings and terminate an app.

        • DBK

          Wow you really can’t click/press two or three more times?  -__-

        • Anonymous

          Ever heard of shortcuts?

  • syrenz

    Used to use the built in task killer on my phone all the time. Stopped some time ago after reading an article like this somewhere. Overall phone performance and battery life indeed dramatically improved. So yes, no task killer is the way to go.

  • http://twitter.com/zerosouls Scott Burton

    Way to bring it together. This is going to keep coming out through the years to come as more noobs get their hands on Androids but it’s great to see a well respected droid blog tackle the subject in the correct manner.

  • Anonymous

    I use system panel & get better battery life with it than with out.

    • Starhelius17

      *FACE! PALM!!!*

    • Mattyb1085

      what phone do you have? a backflip?

  • Toky_neg

    Fine .. so no App killer it is …

    • Calvin Williams

      I still use it to kill apps on my Droid 1. I noticed a huge difference in speed right after I press the advance task killer widget every time.