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Motorola Droid: Do You Feel The Need to Kill?



taskillerandroidTo kill or not to kill?  That is the question Motorola Droid owners are asking themselves lately.  I have been using and enjoying my Motorola Droid since it was released a few weeks ago.  While I am happy with the phone, it is a little rough around the edges and reminds me of when the iPhone and iPod Touch were first released.  Over time, OS upgrades were released and more apps were developed.  There is room for improvement through software upgrades and yet to be created applications.  I expect the same scenario will take place for the Android market and look forward to the boom that lies ahead.

One of the biggest discussions I have found through numerous forums regarding the Droid and any Android handset is the issue of killing applications.  Searching the Android Market, Android’s version of the App Store, there are a few popular task killing applications such as Advanced Task Killer and TasKiller.  Since Android supports multitasking, many programs have the ability to run at the same time.  Verizon has even featured the Advanced Task Killer in its section of the App Market.  These programs allow users to terminate or kill any running programs that might be running on the phone.  Typically, a screen pops up with running processes, a selection box allows users to pick which items to end, and the kill button is hit to stop the program from running.

Despite these programs ease of use, the arguments dominating forums indicate that Android has the ability to manage running programs without manually ending programs.  In fact, many folks who identify themselves as having strong technical backgrounds argue that killing processes can cause more harm than good.  They state that killing programs can create programs to forceclose and make the OS run slower.  The opposite argument from those that swear by these task killing programs is that longer battery life and better performance can be achieved by manually managing running programs.

I recently learned my lesson about terminating background processes as I ended the alarm clock which kept appearing.  I thought, “Why on Earth does this dumb alarm clock keep showing up in the background?”  I found out why it was running when it didn’t go off the next morning.  After reading through many opinions, I still have the Advanced Task Killer installed but I have stopped using it regularly.  I like having the option to end programs if I feel the need arises, but I will trust Android to do its job.  Thus far, I have not experienced any slowness or issues with performance.

So, what’s your take on killing programs in Android?  Are you a murderer?

Additional reading:
Here is a good discussion via Motorola’s forums about using task killing programs in Android.



  1. GoodThings2Life

    11/21/2009 at 9:09 pm

    I take advantage of a similar function on Windows Mobile… using HTC’s task manager utility to shutdown programs quickly. I’m not a multi-tasker very often, but I do from time to time, so I have the X on WM to close via tap-and-hold, but you can also set it to always force a close too.

  2. gorkon

    11/22/2009 at 8:31 am

    I do use a task killer. Most will let you leaves apps out of the mass kill or will let you kill select tasks. I have killed background tasks before and they almost always respawn. I have never had a issue with apps force closing because of past task kills. That part is bupkiss. While I won’t kill tasks on my server, on my phone I have found it not to be an issue.

  3. drzeller

    11/22/2009 at 9:35 am

    It’s funny that people aren’t jumping down (the proverbial) Android’s throat about programs not closing when you go away from them, since this has been a major picking point for Windows Mobile for years: “Why in the world would you need to install another program just so you could close your other programs?!”

    Just saying’!

    BTW, I returned my Droid out of fear that the camera issues would not be resolved in the Dec 11 update — which would make it too late to return the phone. I happened to return it the day before the new 24.5 day cycle started, so I never experienced a working camera. Other than that, I liked the experience. I didn’t care for the keyboard much – my Touch Pro 2 is much better, and for that matter, I liked my old Samsung i730 (vertical keyboard instead of horizontal) better, too.



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