1. rjdangerous's Avatar
    Coming from BB, you were able to close a app/program when you finished. Playing with my buddys Incredible you could not close the apps, he ended up with like 10 things all running at once. He says the battery life sucks as is, so I'm guessing you would want to close them.

    Also read something about a "app killer" how they will close the apps, but I remember someone on the forum saying that app killer apps don't work.

    Patiently waiting for my X
    SCMoney360 likes this.
    07-01-2010 03:26 PM
  2. Eazy123's Avatar
    You don't need an app to close. Android was built so that when it needs the resources, it does what it needs to do. If you ever use System Panel, you'll see for yourself that backing out of an app is all you need to do (for 99% of apps), and the app will not use the CPU.
    07-01-2010 03:37 PM
  3. meyerweb#CB's Avatar
    Yes, you can. But in geneal you don't want to. Unlike the BB, or PalmOS, or even Winmob, Android, especially 2.0 and later, does a very good job of managing memory and cpu. The fact that an inactive app is sitting in memory is rarely a problem. If an active app needs that memory, or you launch a new app, Android will itself close the inactive app and make the memory available. Otherwise, Android leaves recently used apps in memory so that if you need it again, it's available immediately. Android will also, under some circumstances, load an app or service that's related to a running app, in case it's needed. All of this makes the OS faster to respond in most situations.

    The BB OS, if I understand correctly, isn't capable of this. If memory is assigned to an app, it's unavailable to any other app, so you need to kill unused apps. Not so in Android.

    If you close an app or service, and then need it again, it has to be reloaded, which takes time and uses MORE power than just leaving it sitting there would use.

    Remember, empty memory uses no less power than used memory. If it's RAM, it still gets refreshed constantly. If it's ROM or NAND memory, it only uses power when being read or written. So an app loaded into memory only uses power if it's doing something.

    Here's a more detailed explanation of how Android manages memory:


    Now then, to answer your question: Yes, you can manually kill apps with or without an app killer program. On the EVO (and I assume an X is very similar), from the home screen press menu, then settings, then Applications. Wait for it to load the list of all apps. You can then tap any app and, if it's actually running, there will be a highlighted button labelled "Force Close."

    The free application System Panel does a good job of showing how background application use (or don't use) system resources. Spare Parts does a good job of showing what applications are actually using battery. They'll show you that leaving unused apps in memory really doesn't impact battery life.

    Now then, task killers. If you use a task killer manually, it's not much different that using the Applications list in Settings, although perhaps more convenient. You just need to be careful to kill only apps you want to stop, not everything that's in the background. Why? Because many background processes are needed by other apps, and closing needed processes can cause problems. Some people swear by task killers, others swear at them. For everyone who says something like "using ATK on auto gave me great battery life!" there's someone else who says "since I stopped using ATK my system is much more stable."

    Before I got my Evo I thought I'd need an ATK to improve battery life. But when I actually studied how Android works, and looked at the resources background apps use (or don't use) I decided against it.

    I easily get 15 hours of battery life with my Evo, and would consider myself a moderate user. Today, after 9 1/2 hours of use, I had 45% left. If your buddy really wants to figure out why his battery life is bad, he should load up the apps I mentioned above and see what's causing the problem. An automated task killer is just a bandaid, not a solution.
    SCMoney360 likes this.
    07-01-2010 04:07 PM
  4. rjdangerous's Avatar
    Thanks for the detailed replies. I was more or less worried about the apps that are always updating, facebook, weather or a google maps type.
    07-01-2010 04:15 PM
  5. meyerweb#CB's Avatar
    Well, you have two choices with those apps. You can go into their settings and tell them NOT to do automatic updates (or set the time interval to a longer period). But if you do this you are, to some extent, eliminating the benefit of Android and Evo. You won't have up to date data when you check the phone. Or you can let them do background checks as designed.

    I don't use facebook much, so I have it set not to do background updates. I installed the weatherbug widget, and let it update every hour. To me, weather information that's several hours old and for a location that I'm no longer at doesn't seem very useful.

    If you exit google maps with the back key, it doesn't do anything to use power. Exit it in one location, then travel to another and start the app again. You'll see the same location where you turned it off, then it will update to your current location. It doesn't appear to use any resources when in the background, either, unless you're actually navigating.
    07-03-2010 10:38 PM
  6. SCMoney360's Avatar
    Thanks for the good question rjdangerous, and the good explanation meyerweb!
    07-04-2010 06:28 AM