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Killing Apps Softly: How to Keep HotSchedules On and Performance Up

Our phones are the masters of multitasking. There’s Urbanspoon to find the hottest happy hour. Google Maps to get you to there in time for specials. Instagram to post your selfie. And then Yelp to give your fellow server five stars. Unfortunately, all of that multi-tasking really drains your smartphone’s ability to perform. Enter Android […]

Our phones are the masters of multitasking. There’s Urbanspoon to find the hottest happy hour. Google Maps to get you to there in time for specials. Instagram to post your selfie. And then Yelp to give your fellow server five stars.

Unfortunately, all of that multi-tasking really drains your smartphone’s ability to perform. Enter Android Task Killers. These apps are supposed to be the good guy, forcing background apps to quit with the hope that it will improve your phone’s performance while boosting battery life.

That’s the concept in any case. Recently these task killers have come under scrutiny, unexpectedly shutting down apps when you least expected it. We tapped this” lifehacker article”:http://lifehacker.com/5650894/android-task-killers-explained-what-they-do-and-why-you-shouldnt-use-them for the truth about how Android manages processes.

According to the in-house lifehacker expert:

“An app can stay ‘running’ in the background without any processes eating up your phone’s resources. Android keeps the app in its memory so it launches more quickly and returns to its prior state.” When your phone runs out of memory, they continued, “Android will automatically start killing tasks on its own, starting with ones that you haven’t used in a while.”

So what gives? On Android, apparently having your RAM nearly full is a good thing, says the author. “It means that when you relaunch an app you’ve previously opened, the app launches quickly and returns to its previous state. So while Android actually uses RAM efficiently, most users see that their RAM is full and assume that’s what’s slowing down their phone. In reality, your CPU — which is only used by apps that are actually active — is almost always the bottleneck.”

The goal of many of these app killers is to shut down apps to free up memory. The problem is, however, that you really need to be shutting down apps that take up too much of your CPU. Faulty-coded apps and apps that continually ping the Internet but can’t reach it, actually take up most of your CPU. App killers don’t see the difference between those apps versus the ones that you actually like to have keep open, like your alarm or SMS.

We actually suspected that these task killers might have been the culprits in some unexpected HotSchedule app shutdowns. Thankfully, our always-on dev team fixed the bug so that you could keep the shift movement going and your HotSchedules app safe from sudden extinction.

But are your others? Maybe it’s time to follow Lauryn Hill’s advice and ever so softly cut the killer app cord.

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