12-27-2011 05:43 PM
39 12
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  1. jlongjr27's Avatar
    So, multitasking. The way it's supposed to work is you open multiple apps and you can switch between them seamlessly. Simple enough right? That hasn't been my experience.

    What I am seeing is if you switch between multiple apps, apps that are "idle" get closed. This really sucks. Is anyone else noticing this?

    It's not just happening to one or two apps, it appears to happen most of my apps including: Go Launcher, Angry Birds, Adobe, News and Weather(a google widget), Slacker, the browser.

    I opened a enhancement request here. Issue 23569 - android - multitasking - Android - An Open Handset Alliance Project - Google Project Hosting
    Again, not sure if this happens to everyone or if it's something I have loaded causing this. Maybe it's because my phone is encrypted or connected to exchange?

    I think the reason this happens is because of legacy devices with less ram. Android closes apps that it thinks are idle to preserve free memory so the device doesn't get laggy. I have 250-300 mb ram free at any given time regardless of the number of apps running.
    12-27-2011 11:24 AM
  2. twindragons187's Avatar
    Weird, all the apps I open stay open til I close them. I'm able to switch between them just fine.
    12-27-2011 11:34 AM
  3. RyMac04's Avatar
    I'm trying to learn multitasking as well - BlackBerry multitask = hit the end key to return home -> open new app. Android multitask = hit the home key -> open new app?

    speaking of closing apps - I'm used to a BlackBerry where you close by hitting Menu->Close

    What is the proper way to close in ICS? Simply back button out of it?

    I also thought the "app switcher" button was more of a task manager. seems more like it is simply a list of recently used apps? no? is there a better "task manager"?
    12-27-2011 11:47 AM
  4. jlongjr27's Avatar
    I can switch between apps, they appear to be open. However they reload when you click on them.

    It happens easily with Angry birds and Adobe and the browser. If I open angry birds, then open a pdf, go to page 3, go back to angry birds, angry birds reloads, switch back to the pdf, it reloads to page 1.

    This happens sometimes. I use Go Launcher, it will reload when switching between multiple apps. The browser will reload the page I was on if I switch to another app or 2 or 4 and switch back to it.

    It's not a huge problem, more of an annoyance except for slacker which I prefer to be running all the time so when I get in my car and it connects to bluetooth it automatically starts playing.

    It would be nice to have the ability to flag apps that you want to run all the time regardless if they are idle or not.
    12-27-2011 11:54 AM
  5. ohiomoto's Avatar
    WebOS would multitask circles around ICS. I'm having some deep seeded anger issues with this whole Android thing. For as powerful as it is I'm finding that it is clumsy and buggy. I still love so much about the GN, but I'm having a lot of second thoughts about it as well.
    NoICon likes this.
    12-27-2011 11:56 AM
  6. dimachka's Avatar
    I confirmed that if I am playing angry birds and turn the screen off, when i turn it back on the game has exited. I guess i would expect it to still be open as you say in your enhancement request. This has never really bothered me though.
    12-27-2011 11:56 AM
  7. jlongjr27's Avatar
    I'm trying to learn multitasking as well - BlackBerry multitask = hit the end key to return home -> open new app. Android multitask = hit the home key -> open new app?

    speaking of closing apps - I'm used to a BlackBerry where you close by hitting Menu->Close

    What is the proper way to close in ICS? Simply back button out of it?

    I also thought the "app switcher" button was more of a task manager. seems more like it is simply a list of recently used apps? no? is there a better "task manager"?
    I think some apps will give you the option to close. Most do not. The way android works is it will close apps that are idle, which is a problem for me.

    I think your observation of the App switcher button is correct. To me it should be more of a "task manager". If you don't want the app running, present an X or swipe it to close it. Leave it running unless I close it.

    What's the point of 1GB ram if you can't utilize the last 300MB? To me Free ram is wasted ram.
    12-27-2011 11:58 AM
  8. ohiomoto's Avatar
    Also, the list is pretty much a "recently used" list and I'm pretty sure it's up to the developer/app to decide if it should actually stay open.
    12-27-2011 11:58 AM
  9. 2defmouze's Avatar
    "Swap is, in short, virtual RAM. With swap, a small portion of the hard drive is set aside and used like RAM. The computer will attempt to keep as much information as possible in RAM until the RAM is full. At that point, the computer will begin moving inactive blocks of memory (called pages) to the hard disk, freeing up RAM for active processes. If one of the pages on the hard disk needs to be accessed again, it will be moved back into RAM, and a different inactive page in RAM will be moved onto the hard disk ('swapped'). The trade off is disks and SD cards are considerably slower than physical RAM, so when something needs to be swapped, there is a noticeable performance hit.

    Unlike traditional swap, Android's Memory Manager kills inactive processes to free up memory. Android signals to the process, then the process will usually write out a small bit of specific information about its state (for example, Google Maps may write out the map view coordinates; Browser might write the URL of the page being viewed) and then the process exits. When you next access that application, it is restarted: the application is loaded from storage, and retrieves the state information that it saved when it last closed. In some applications, this makes it seem as if the application never closed at all. This is not much different from traditional swap, except that Android apps are specially programed to write out very specific information, making Android's Memory Manager more efficient that swap."

    Not my words at all, copied and pasted. Figured it will help explain what you are seeing with the way Android handles recently used apps and memory. If unimpressed, you can go get a new WebOS device instead... oh wait....
    ohiomoto and lordbah like this.
    12-27-2011 12:05 PM
  10. thebignewt's Avatar
    If you aren't actively using the app then the OS sees no reason to actively "back and forth" communicate with it (thus using RAM constantly). That's why it has to refresh when you open it, to reestablish the constant communication beween you and the data port up there. It's different than a home computer, which has way more memory.
    12-27-2011 12:06 PM
  11. twindragons187's Avatar
    At the bottom next to the home key, to the right, shows 2 boxes, click it. That's how u switch between them. To close them, click the boxes to see recent apps. Touch one and scroll it to the right.
    12-27-2011 12:18 PM
  12. RyMac04's Avatar
    At the bottom next to the home key, to the right, shows 2 boxes, click it. That's how u switch between them. To close them, click the boxes to see recent apps. Touch one and scroll it to the right.
    In that sense, it really isnt a "task manager" though. Just a list of recent apps. That list shows everything you've opened recently, whether its a settings page, text messages, or an app. I don't think it actually closes the process by swiping it off, rather just removes it from that list.
    12-27-2011 12:33 PM
  13. ohiomoto's Avatar
    If unimpressed, you can go get a new WebOS device instead... oh wait....
    LOL That cuts deep, really deep.
    2defmouze likes this.
    12-27-2011 12:40 PM
  14. jlongjr27's Avatar
    Not my words at all, copied and pasted. Figured it will help explain what you are seeing with the way Android handles recently used apps and memory. If unimpressed, you can go get a new WebOS device instead... oh wait....
    While that quote certainly sounds like a plausible explanation I'm not sure if it's entirely correct, at least with the galaxy nexus and/or android 4.0.

    Let's take angry birds as an example, because so many people have it, it's free to download so we can all be on the same page here.

    Open the phone settings, apps, and click on running. Open Angry Birds. press the app switcher button and go back to running apps. See Angry Birds listed? I don't. Where is it? Did it get swapped to the "SDD" for lack of a better term? For a split second I see 135 MB free then it jumps back to 222 mb free. Press the app switcher button and go back to Angry Birds. It's still running! Switch back to running apps. 144mb free, jumps to 225mb free, no sign of angry birds running. Press home this time, open a few apps, browse the web, open an email, then try to switch back to angry birds, it reloads. Why? It's pretty inconsistent though. Sometimes angry birds will close immediately after opening one app or locking the screen, sometimes it takes opening a few different apps to get it to close.

    Point is, it closed when I didn't want it to close. Slacker is a better example of why I want some apps to always run. When an app is idle it isn't using any power. When I turn my car off slacker pauses because bluetooth is disconnected. When I get back to my car after a few hours, slacker has closed and I have to restart it. If it were still running in the background when bluetooth reconnects it will resume playing with out me needing to unlock the phone and relaunch it.
    12-27-2011 12:41 PM
  15. thebignewt's Avatar
    will Angry Birds run if you to to airplane mode?
    12-27-2011 12:52 PM
  16. 2defmouze's Avatar
    While that quote certainly sounds like a plausible explanation I'm not sure if it's entirely correct, at least with the galaxy nexus and/or android 4.0.

    Let's take angry birds as an example, because so many people have it, it's free to download so we can all be on the same page here.

    Open the phone settings, apps, and click on running. Open Angry Birds. press the app switcher button and go back to running apps. See Angry Birds listed? I don't. Where is it? Did it get swapped to the "SDD" for lack of a better term? For a split second I see 135 MB free then it jumps back to 222 mb free. Press the app switcher button and go back to Angry Birds. It's still running! Switch back to running apps. 144mb free, jumps to 225mb free, no sign of angry birds running. Press home this time, open a few apps, browse the web, open an email, then try to switch back to angry birds, it reloads. Why? It's pretty inconsistent though. Sometimes angry birds will close immediately after opening one app or locking the screen, sometimes it takes opening a few different apps to get it to close.

    Point is, it closed when I didn't want it to close. Slacker is a better example of why I want some apps to always run. When an app is idle it isn't using any power. When I turn my car off slacker pauses because bluetooth is disconnected. When I get back to my car after a few hours, slacker has closed and I have to restart it. If it were still running in the background when bluetooth reconnects it will resume playing with out me needing to unlock the phone and relaunch it.
    I mean.. I guess I get you, but I just don't see what the big deal is. This is how android does things. Might have to just grow accustomed to re-opening Slacker when you get in the car, or just stop playing Angry Birds (that game sucks anyway IMO :P ), or realize that it might completely exit when you do other things on the phone... Idk, its all a non-issue to me, and since you won't be able to change how its handled within the OS you can either adapt or don't. FYI not trying to be rude about it, sometimes all you can do is shrug your shoulders and accept the minor issues and move on.
    12-27-2011 01:01 PM
  17. youngzayiles's Avatar
    While that quote certainly sounds like a plausible explanation I'm not sure if it's entirely correct, at least with the galaxy nexus and/or android 4.0.

    Let's take angry birds as an example, because so many people have it, it's free to download so we can all be on the same page here.

    Open the phone settings, apps, and click on running. Open Angry Birds. press the app switcher button and go back to running apps. See Angry Birds listed? I don't. Where is it? Did it get swapped to the "SDD" for lack of a better term? For a split second I see 135 MB free then it jumps back to 222 mb free. Press the app switcher button and go back to Angry Birds. It's still running! Switch back to running apps. 144mb free, jumps to 225mb free, no sign of angry birds running. Press home this time, open a few apps, browse the web, open an email, then try to switch back to angry birds, it reloads. Why? It's pretty inconsistent though. Sometimes angry birds will close immediately after opening one app or locking the screen, sometimes it takes opening a few different apps to get it to close.

    Point is, it closed when I didn't want it to close. Slacker is a better example of why I want some apps to always run. When an app is idle it isn't using any power. When I turn my car off slacker pauses because bluetooth is disconnected. When I get back to my car after a few hours, slacker has closed and I have to restart it. If it were still running in the background when bluetooth reconnects it will resume playing with out me needing to unlock the phone and relaunch it.
    But I would think, if they allowed apps to always run that would affect battery life really bad.. Imagine a bunch of apps running for 2 or 3 hours while your not in your car just to save you 7 seconds when you get back in... Id rather save my battery life.. Its not that hard to launch an app but a dead phone is useless... Android already isnt the best battery saving os.. I had a pre too and I think my battery would last about 4 hrs lol..
    12-27-2011 01:43 PM
  18. ohiomoto's Avatar
    Pandora runs on after I get out of my car. It pauses for a second right after Bluetooth disconnects and then resumes playback through the speaker by time I get out of the car. Swiping it out of the app list doesn't kill it so you have to launch the application and then kill it. So you have to open the app and then exit it to kill it before swiping it out of the list.

    One of the beauties of webOS is that if a "card" is there, the app is running. If you dismiss the card, the app is killed. This is handled by the OS and the user. Really simple, but it's possible for the user to use up all of the phones resources causing the too many cards errors or simply burning up the battery. But it's really easy for the user to see what's using those resources. Just flip through the cards and get rid of what you are not using. For the record, I've opened more that 30 cards on my Palm Pre Plus on several occasions without crashing the OS, but there were others who had a lot of issues, especially with the original Pre. But that really doesn't matter, I'm just trying to explain how it works for those who have never used it.

    From what I understand about Android, this functionality is controlled by the app which means it's up to the developer to decide how the app is dismissed. If the developer doesn't handle it, Android manages it based of resources so the user can't accidentally use all of its resources. Fine I guess, but now we have this nice list in ICS and the user doesn't really know what's actually running or not. Furthermore, just dismissing the card doesn't mean that the app will stop running. Navigation is another example of an app that will keep running after you dismiss the card. So you have to be more careful in this regard.
    12-27-2011 02:07 PM
  19. CynicX's Avatar
    This will probably be fixed to a point. Honeycomb is the same way but it takes A LOT to shut down previous apps. Angry birds will stay loaded so will my browser when switching between them. If I play GTA3 then a PlayStation emulator THEN go back to the browser it will have to reload.

    Anyway the GN should be a more powerful device compared to my Xoom so its possible software tweaks can help fix this problem...
    12-27-2011 02:16 PM
  20. VickMackey#AC's Avatar
    WebOS would multitask circles around ICS. I'm having some deep seeded anger issues with this whole Android thing. For as powerful as it is I'm finding that it is clumsy and buggy. I still love so much about the GN, but I'm having a lot of second thoughts about it as well.
    webos could multi-task, but that's all it could really do and it did it poorly. TMC errors, massive slow downs were common. And forget about running a game in the background. Not a problem on Android. And let's not even talk about bugs...
    12-27-2011 02:17 PM
  21. ohiomoto's Avatar
    I had a pre too and I think my battery would last about 4 hrs lol..
    Hail to the almighty Touchstone! LOL

    Really, hands down the best mobile accessory ever. Especially after installing in a car. Also a must have for any Pre user who dreams of getting through a day without swapping batteries! LOL
    12-27-2011 02:22 PM
  22. jlongjr27's Avatar
    When apps are idle they are not using battery. If an app is using battery while in the background it is actively doing something. Slacker being paused is not going to cause battery drain if it is idle in the background.

    Let's not get hung up on my reference to slacker. The point I am trying to make is I wish there were a way for me to control what apps are kept alive and which ones can be closed. I really don't mind that apps are closed when idle, the phone is so fast it's not really a problem.

    But in my reference to slacker, it would be nice for me to not have to find my phone when I get in the car or if I forget to get my phone before I start driving I have to dig in my pocket, unlock it with a pin and start slacker while driving.
    12-27-2011 02:30 PM
  23. ohiomoto's Avatar
    webos could multi-task, but that's all it could really do and it did it poorly. TMC errors, massive slow downs were common. And forget about running a game in the background. Not a problem on Android. And let's not even talk about bugs...
    <shrug>Not my experience at all. Never had a TMC error or slowdown and no problems multitasking. </shrug>
    12-27-2011 02:31 PM
  24. VickMackey#AC's Avatar
    <shrug>Not my experience at all. Never had a TMC error or slowdown and no problems multitasking. </shrug>
    Well you are the .01% sir, but that doesn't mean that it isn't true. Webos was a slow, buggy OS.
    12-27-2011 02:34 PM
  25. tk-093's Avatar
    Apps don't need to be 'kept alive' they just need to be gracefully tombstoned, or their state suspended.. whatever you want to call it. WP7 does a pretty good job of it for example. I don't know if Android has that ability or not.

    I always shake my head when people talk about 'multitasking' on Android anyway. It's pseudo multitasking just like the other major mobile OS's. True multitasking would keep YouTube playing in the background when I switched to type an email like it does on my Windows PC.... who wants that anyway? Nobody.

    Having the ability to keep certian threads running in the background like email gathering or music is the way to go. When I move out of Angry Birds (or whatever app you are talking about) take the app out of RAM and save it to disk. When I launch it again, resume that state. Easy peasy.
    12-27-2011 02:53 PM
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