Hacker News Comments on My ‘Mobile Multitasking’ Piece

Several insightful comments. “Jsz0” writes:

You certainly do need a task manager on Android for the simple reason that certain types of applications can be battery hogs. They may not tax the performance of the device enough to be killed automatically. I know Android 2.x is supposed to monitor battery usage but it simply doesn’t work very well — or at all in some cases. Subsonic (streaming audio client) kills my phone’s battery if I don’t kill it manually with a task manager. The app does not include a quit option. It can kill my battery in about 3 hours even if I pause playback because it keeps its connection to the server open. Another app I use, Jabiru (jabber client), does the same thing but it does have a disconnect and quit option so I wouldn’t need a third party task manager to deal with it. So it seems to me Android’s multi-tasking is largely dependent on the applications you use.

I’ve gotten a few emails from Android users claiming the same. I didn’t see this using a Nexus One, but, I didn’t use the apps mentioned above. The gist is that there do exist some third-party Android apps which have a detrimental effect on responsiveness and/or battery life in the background.

“Jiri” has an astute observation:

These Android/iPhone apps’ architecture is very close to web page approach. In web environment, you can load the page, interact with page, you can close it anytime and do something else.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010