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willward

suspending program updates on my android phone

Question

I installed Advanced Task Killer on my Galaxy III phone. It DOES work and kills programs that are active and that I do not need immediately. Yet, two hours later, many of the programs have re-started and are once again draining the life out of my battery.I barely get one full day from a battery charge and the Advanced Task Killer app seems to work but only temporarily. Is there some way to permanently suspend the updating of apps until I need to open them? This would save me a lot of charging time. Either with this app or some other way?

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You should delete Advanced Task Killer instantly. It has no use. Well, maybe a little, but only for a short period of time, like you saw for yourself.

Android devices work differently then windows machines do with memory. Read the article I wrote about it on GroovyPost. But here is the big reason:

BlockquoteAndroid and Windows have very different memory management methodologies. People that are used to running Windows are mistakenly applying their bad habits to Android, and end up with completely different (and usually opposite) results.

In Windows, applications are allocated memory as they start up, and hang onto it until they either exit normally or are end-tasked. This means that if there’s no free memory, programs will either fail to launch or Windows will attempt to use the paging file (swap) to push other programs there. This obviously slows down the machine considerably, which is why freeing up memory is a good practice.

In Android (and Linux in general) the memory management is completely different. After the initial start-up when core services and apps load up, the OS tries to allocate the rest of the available memory to as many applications as it can, so that when you do launch them they spring to action much faster than they would from scratch (This by the way, is why you hear of people complaining that Android starts up apps that they have not yet opened). When you actually launch an app that hasn’t been allocated memory, the OS will automatically free it up by either de-allocating it from non-running apps, or even killing off other already running apps. Like Cyanogen himself said on multiple occasions, "Free memory is wasted memory."

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You should delete Advanced Task Killer instantly. It has no use. Well, maybe a little, but only for a short period of time, like you saw for yourself.

Android devices work differently then windows machines do with memory. Read the article I wrote about it on GroovyPost. But here is the big reason:

BlockquoteAndroid and Windows have very different memory management methodologies. People that are used to running Windows are mistakenly applying their bad habits to Android, and end up with completely different (and usually opposite) results.

In Windows, applications are allocated memory as they start up, and hang onto it until they either exit normally or are end-tasked. This means that if there’s no free memory, programs will either fail to launch or Windows will attempt to use the paging file (swap) to push other programs there. This obviously slows down the machine considerably, which is why freeing up memory is a good practice.

In Android (and Linux in general) the memory management is completely different. After the initial start-up when core services and apps load up, the OS tries to allocate the rest of the available memory to as many applications as it can, so that when you do launch them they spring to action much faster than they would from scratch (This by the way, is why you hear of people complaining that Android starts up apps that they have not yet opened). When you actually launch an app that hasn’t been allocated memory, the OS will automatically free it up by either de-allocating it from non-running apps, or even killing off other already running apps. Like Cyanogen himself said on multiple occasions, "Free memory is wasted memory."

 

Free memory is wasted memory

 

While I agree with this quote, when it comes to improving battery life it isn't entirely accurate. Memory requires power in order to retain whatever is being stored/used in it. This is true whether it is a smartphone, laptop, or iPad.

The problem with Task Killers on Android is that they often use more battery to run than the apps sitting in the background.

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Regarding apps running in the background

Android 4.0 has an option in Settings > Developer Options > Apps > Don't keep activities - If enabled will kill all apps that you aren't currently using. This has saved me a ton of battery life. In this same place you can also limit background processes to 1 or none, and that will also save more battery life.

Regarding Apps Updating themselves

If you open up the Google Play store and press the settings button, there are 2 different options that might help here.

  • Auto-update apps
  • Update over Wi-Fi only

Disabling auto-update will make it so apps don't update unless you manually decide to do it. And the Update over Wi-Fi only will still allow apps to automatically update, but only when on a WiFi connection (which you manually connected to either at present or setup sometime in the past) granted that you have the WiFi function of your phone turned on.

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