| || |
RAM and tips to minimize Multitasking issues
Ok everyone. We all know HTC shafted us on this phone. RAM is too low, settings for killing apps are too aggressive, and Sense is a bloaty waste most of the time.. But that's what we have and that's what we have to deal with, so let's figure out a way to make owning this phone somewhat pleasant. It's sad that it's come to this, since I never had to do this on any old devices I had from 3 1/2 years ago, but I have to do it on a brand new phone.
Here's my tips in the last bit that can help minimize the amount of times you'll see apps have to reload because they were dropped out of memory. It's not idea, since some of these are new to either our phone or ICS, but I'll throw them out there and it's up to you to find out if it's worth keeping them enabled or not.
By default you'll probably have around 200-300MB of Free RAM. That doesn't mean you can load up 199MB of extra stuff though: The OS wants you to have about 150 (or so) free at all times or so, and when you get below that it starts killing things off. If you open up a new browser tab and drop to 149, it'll probably kill something that's 75 to get you back up to 224.. etc.
Here's a list of things and how much they take up.
Wallpapers: Live wallpapers are neat, and we finally have a phone that is powerful enough and has a good enough battery and processor that it really is a tiny drain on our overall battery. Problem is, something like the lava lamp wallpaper is 35MB. As neat as it is, a static image helps with RAM.
Face Unlock: It might be neat to unlock the phone using your face, but in order to do so you have to look like an *****, usually exposing 2 or more chins in the process, and it takes longer than simply doing a pattern IMO. Also, it's also a persistent 50MB. Once I saw that, I decided to disable it. It was an ok feature, but it wasn't worth 1-2 browser tabs' worth of memory.
NFC: Do you use google wallet? Leave it enabled. If you don't care about NFC, google wallet, or anything that uses it, disable it. It's 32MB and if you don't use it you'd best get rid of it. (Although this might just always be enabled, I'm not sure yet).
Use Stock Apps: While you might like Go SMS better than the stock SMS client, how much more do you like it? Messages is ALWAYS running, as is Go SMS. If you install Go just for the heck of it and don't care that much, uninstall it and use the stock app since they're both running, might as well save on some memory.
Browsing: Browsing takes up a LOT of RAM. 50 just sitting around, 100 if you have a couple tabs, 150 if you have a few. The reason people notice multitasking so much is because with a few tabs open, using 150 MB or so, this is going to easily drop your phone below the threshold and Sense/Android is going to kill off things you have open. Furthermore, since the browser is so big, if you do just about ANYTHING after leaving the browser, the browser will almost 100% likely get killed off first. My tip? Another sad one: Just be aware of how many tabs you have open. Do you need a 3rd? a 5th? On my desktop I might have 20 tabs open but on this phone, since it can't handle it, I'll try to keep it to 1-3, 2 if possible. I shouldn't have to do this but less tabs is the #1 way to keep other apps from closing out. I haven't fully tested different ones, but Chrome seems to be worse at this. And keep in mind that if you use something like ICS Browser + it will use the stock Internet app as its base, so you're not saving any room there, really.
And finally, for non-rooted users, check to see what apps keep popping up and if you never use them, uninstall them. I didn't play a couple games that were insistent on always keeping themselves in RAM, so I just uninstalled them.
Now, if you're rooted, and you might need to be a premium owner of Rom Toolbox or Titanium backup, you can go even further.
Disabling useless apps: Some apps like Titanium Backup and Rom Toolbox Pro will call this "Freezing" apps. Be careful with this, since you may think you want to get rid of some core things from HTC, but you might need them. The first thing I started with was Messages, since I already had an SMS client I liked (like I mentioned earlier). You don't need both. There's also some junk HTC puts on there that I figured I'd try to freeze since it's ALWAYS running but never needed, like DRM Protected Content Storage. I don't have a single piece of DRM media on my phone. Maybe this will cause an issue, but not yet. Same with FM Radio stuff, HTC Report Agent, Smith, and SocialManager. I don't know what those are, but I know stock android doesn't use them and I'll take my chances since they start up all the time and stay in RAM.
Disabling the startup of other apps: Why does ESPN Scorecenter feel the need to constantly keep itself in RAM? You will run when I tell you to run, not at all times, so you can disable it from starting up and listening for events that will trigger it to start up. For now, it never runs in the background unless I've run it myself, like it should.
And finally, minfree settings. HTC has changed this to be wayyyy more aggressive than it should be. If you have Rom Toolbox pro or other things you can changes this to something more reasonable. I use the "default" option and things close less frequently and my RAM can get a bit lower before things close.
Hope this helps, and maybe someday we'll get AOSP or some real fix from HTC to help make this a thing of the past.