Multitasking on the Droid

gravage

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Android has multitasking, but it?s clunky. You hold down the home key to get a list of running apps in the background. This gives me some really unwelcome flashbacks of Windows Mobile. It has also become clear to me that, like Windows Mobile, Android doesn?t close apps (or at least release the memory), as performance continues to degrade over time until I have to restart the phone for it to run correctly. Here?s a scenario of how I use my phone: I open Pandora (or Slacker), which I stream through a BT headset, then switch to a web page and read an internet article. Occasionally, my Droid will kill Pandora (or Slacker) and I?ll multitask out of the web browser to start it again. When I multitask back to the web browser, it refreshes the whole page. It?s infuriating. Why does it need to refresh a page if I?m multitasking? I may as well load the page from scratch each and every time. Before you blame my software or image, I have tried numerous images (rooted and unrooted, stock and non-stock) and all of them have this problem. It has to be a quirk of the Android core and it totally defeats the purpose of Multitasking.

I know I'm not the only one who's having this issue. Since it has happened to me on multiple images and configurations, I have to conclude that it's an Android issue. I don't have any problems like this on my Pre.
 

acidsamuraix

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Holding the home screen just displays the last 6 accessed apps, not necessarily running apps (like a BlackBerry).

Also, in the same paragraph, you mentioned that Android never releases the memory grinding it to a halt, but then go on to say that it shuts down Pandora/browser after a certain amount of time.

I know Pandora has a widget. I don't use it often since it drains the battery too much and i dont have a charger at work, but I would imagine using the Pandora widget would better guarantee that it continues to run. That said, whenever I do run Pandora I dont experience it shutting down.

Also, is the browser set onto pages that auto-refresh (like Google reader or CNN)? My browser is never displaying the Google homescreen (the homepage). This indicates to me that the thread is never removed. If I am on Google reader, it will refresh upon opening though, but it also does that on a PC. If I'm on a normal webpage, I dont think it usually happens that way.

Also, if you are actually losing threads, are you running some sort of taskKiller in the background that may be causing them to die?
 

gravage

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Holding the home screen just displays the last 6 accessed apps, not necessarily running apps (like a BlackBerry).

Also, in the same paragraph, you mentioned that Android never releases the memory grinding it to a halt, but then go on to say that it shuts down Pandora/browser after a certain amount of time.

I know Pandora has a widget. I don't use it often since it drains the battery too much and i dont have a charger at work, but I would imagine using the Pandora widget would better guarantee that it continues to run. That said, whenever I do run Pandora I dont experience it shutting down.

Also, is the browser set onto pages that auto-refresh (like Google reader or CNN)? My browser is never displaying the Google homescreen (the homepage). This indicates to me that the thread is never removed. If I am on Google reader, it will refresh upon opening though, but it also does that on a PC. If I'm on a normal webpage, I dont think it usually happens that way.

Also, if you are actually losing threads, are you running some sort of taskKiller in the background that may be causing them to die?

It is killing Pandora/Slacker while they are running in the background and streaming music. Yes, I have the widgets running for both. I'm not using any task killers.

I have heard other people say they don't have this problem. I can only conclude that it's a combination of streaming pandora/slacker through bluetooth and loading data through another app. Often, the closes occur when I start the browser or load a page. I often read articles on cracked.com and that is the page that refreshes most often when I multitask back to it. This only happens in Android and has happened regardless of which image I had installed. I have used several generations of Cyanogen, DroidMod, Adam's Smoked Glass, Bugless, etc., as well as stock ROMs. I have also tried the Dolphin browser.

The phone definitely runs like crap after it has been up for a while. If I restart it, everything runs fine again. It reminds me of the days of Windows Mobile and that makes me sad. I really like Android, but it just doesn't seem as stable to me as WebOS.
 

thebizz

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Um don't know what your talking about but the memory management is much better that webos I still have my pre and update it regularly. Yeah multi tasking may not be as beautiful as the pres bit it gets the job done. Without near as many bogs that I have with my Sprint pre
 

gravage

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Um don't know what your talking about but the memory management is much better that webos I still have my pre and update it regularly. Yeah multi tasking may not be as beautiful as the pres bit it gets the job done. Without near as many bogs that I have with my Sprint pre

I have the Verizon Pre. With double the RAM, it's a much different experience. I experience absolutely no slowdowns (other than the usual WebOS lag) or memory errors (too many cards) and the OS almost never crashes or has to be restarted, which is good considering that it takes like 15 minutes to restart.

As I said, I really like Android and my Droid. But I just want to be able to stream music in the background while I read web pages and right now, that works much better on the Pre. They are both good devices, but I'm having trouble deciding which one I want to use because they both piss me off in different ways.
 

dagostin

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pandora plus the bluetooth stream probably is just more intensive and can lead to the OS freeing up memory and thus killing your browser. I dont use bluetooth but pandora has never shutdown for me. I have seen teh case where the browser reloads the page and I agree this is because the OS actually killed the process and thus doesnt have it memory, but again this is the exception for me, not the norm, and only happens after some period of inactivity or extreme use of other apps.
 

pstinger

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Android has multitasking, ish...

If you pop to the home screen after submitting a URL in the browser, the page does not load in the background. At least it never does for me. That doesn't sound like multitasking. Now, I can open up an email; pop home, open maps; switch to email copy an address, switch to maps search; pop home, open... blah blah blah. I just find it curious that it can multi-task a lot, just not page loading in the browser.
 

dst255

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Android has multitasking, ish...

If you pop to the home screen after submitting a URL in the browser, the page does not load in the background. At least it never does for me. That doesn't sound like multitasking. Now, I can open up an email; pop home, open maps; switch to email copy an address, switch to maps search; pop home, open... blah blah blah. I just find it curious that it can multi-task a lot, just not page loading in the browser.

That's just the implementation of the stock browser. Try doing that in Dolphin. I just started to load a heavy traffic website, hit the home button, and when I went back to Dolphin the page was already loaded.

Each app is written differently, its not always the OS's fault.
 
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acidsamuraix

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That's also a way of saving resources/battery for many programs. Developers are encouraged to basically put their app "to sleep" when it's running in the background, and assume it has been killed as far as recovery of information.

This way, you hopefully wont have background processes spinning unnecessarily eating your battery when you're not even using it or even need it to be refreshing at that time.

For most applications, it's perfectly acceptable and fast to simply to a refresh when it becomes active and take an extra 1-2 seconds to start instead of keeping a constant refresh in the background. This can be seen in most twitter/facebook widgets. Although they're "running", they dont usually refresh the info unless active on the viewed homescreen.
 

gravage

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pandora plus the bluetooth stream probably is just more intensive and can lead to the OS freeing up memory and thus killing your browser. I dont use bluetooth but pandora has never shutdown for me. I have seen teh case where the browser reloads the page and I agree this is because the OS actually killed the process and thus doesnt have it memory, but again this is the exception for me, not the norm, and only happens after some period of inactivity or extreme use of other apps.

Yeah, I've considered that it's just the combo that's my problem. Most of the people I talk to who say they don't have this problem use regular headphones, but I hate wires.

Interestingly, on my Pre, the whole phone becomes more laggy in general (with occasional freezing while scrolling web pages), but multitasking is never affected. It seems to just hit the CPU really hard.
 

gravage

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It's official: I give up on my Droid. I'm parking it and using my Pre.

On the bus ride home lats night, streaming Pandora through bluetooth while trying to read an article on the web browser, Pandora kept crashing inexplicably, so I fired up Slacker. Slacker crashed. I've seen this before, so I rebooted my phone. Was able to listen to Pandora for a while after that, but it eventually crashed again for no reason while running in the background. Oh, and the web page I was reading refreshed every time I came back to it.

There's no reason for this. I'm running 0.9 Bugless Beast ROM now. It was a fresh wipe and load and there are no conflicting apps. The problem lies with the way android multitasks and maybe it isn't capable of running apps in the background while heavily streaming data through bluetooth.

I know i'm not the only one having these issues and I know that it is the Android core that is the problem. I have had this issue since 2.0 and with every ROM I have tried.
 

dst255

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So instead of it being the fault of the apps that are crashing, its the OS's fault? Interesting.

I would contact support for Slacker or Pandora. They are obviously resource intensive applications and may not be in such a stable form right now.
 
G

GenericMessage

It's official: I give up on my Droid. I'm parking it and using my Pre.

On the bus ride home lats night, streaming Pandora through bluetooth while trying to read an article on the web browser, Pandora kept crashing inexplicably, so I fired up Slacker. Slacker crashed. I've seen this before, so I rebooted my phone. Was able to listen to Pandora for a while after that, but it eventually crashed again for no reason while running in the background. Oh, and the web page I was reading refreshed every time I came back to it.

There's no reason for this. I'm running 0.9 Bugless Beast ROM now. It was a fresh wipe and load and there are no conflicting apps. The problem lies with the way android multitasks and maybe it isn't capable of running apps in the background while heavily streaming data through bluetooth.

I know i'm not the only one having these issues and I know that it is the Android core that is the problem. I have had this issue since 2.0 and with every ROM I have tried.

See, I haven't rooted........and I am fine.

Just because two apps have an issue; you assume that the OS is flawed (a OS that you've hacked with a custom rom no less).

Try running stock and i'll bet that your issues become non-issues.
 

thebizz

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The whole thing is memory management get auto memory manager and set slacker and Pandora to always keep alive. It's not an issue of the OS is flawed its working as its supposed to background apps that are hogging memory are closed
 

gravage

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See, I haven't rooted........and I am fine.

Just because two apps have an issue; you assume that the OS is flawed (a OS that you've hacked with a custom rom no less).

Try running stock and i'll bet that your issues become non-issues.

If you bothered to read my original post, you'd see that I have run stock roms (non-rooted) and had the same problem. It's part of the reason I rooted.
 

gravage

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The whole thing is memory management get auto memory manager and set slacker and Pandora to always keep alive. It's not an issue of the OS is flawed its working as its supposed to background apps that are hogging memory are closed

I'm not familiar with "auto memory manager". I'll look into that. Truthfully, though, the memory management isn't working correctly if it's closing apps that are obviously active, regardless of whether they're hogging resources. It's not like there isn't enough RAM.
 

thebizz

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Theirs plenty of ran the OS just likes to keep it free try auto memory manager and leave Pandora as always keep alive that should remedy your issue and let the OS kill other things to keep the phone snappy
 

gravage

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Theirs plenty of ran the OS just likes to keep it free try auto memory manager and leave Pandora as always keep alive that should remedy your issue and let the OS kill other things to keep the phone snappy

Thanks for the tip! I'll try that right away.
 

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