How To Make The Best Of Multi-tasking On Android

Coming from the simple, straightforward world of multi-tasking on Nokia’s Belle OS, I have found the multi-tasking experience on Android quite less than satisfactory, as a number of others have.

Fortunately, a couple of Mobilists have been kind to provide tips for getting the best out of multi-tasking on Android. I have added the first two tips myself, but note that I haven’t implemented any of the tips contributed by others, so I cannot vouch for how well they work. Here we go:

  1. Get a device with the biggest RAM possible. I have used devices equipped with 1GB RAM and still had background apps shut down regularly, so the bigger the RAM, the better.
  2. Get a device without a custom skin. Custom skins e.g. Sense UI, TouchWiz, and MotoBlur, all gobble up essential RAM before any other apps even start running and take precedence over every other app on your mobile. I vouch for this. Vanilla Android multitasking better than the skinned versions
  3. Go into your device’s settings to disable specific background processes that you do not need
  4. Don’t use the Home button when you want to leave an app. I don’t get this, but then do try it. Who knows…?
  5. Peg priority apps & services to the notification bar. I am told that the OS intelligently recognizes that apps pinned to the notification bar are important to you.
  6. Make sure that background data is turned on and always on. You can enable this in your settings menu.

There it is. If you have been unsatisfied with how multi-tasking works on your Android device, give the above tips a go. If you run into any issues, just post a comment below and I’m sure that fellow Android users here will be able to help.

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About The Author: Mister Mobility

Communications | Web | Mobile. Owned over 100 mobiles. Adventurer. Ladies' Man. Follow him on Twitter @Mister_Mobility, on LinkedIn at YomiAdegboye, and circle him on Google+. Listen to his music on SoundCloud.

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19 comments for “How To Make The Best Of Multi-tasking On Android

  1. eye_bee_kay
    November 13, 2012 at 12:31

    A great compedium.

    I will NOT follow number 6 above.

    6. Make sure that background data is turned on and always on. You can enable this in your settings menu.

    I do not believe number four.

    4. Don’t use the Home button when you want to leave an app. I don’t get this, but then do try it. Who knows…

    if a device with 1 gigabytes foreclosed apps, it is NOT about paucity of memory. Clearly! it is about inefficient resource management.

    if a newer android version does same, because of UI overlay, are we all to get Nexuses ALONE?

    I tire o!

  2. Harry Echemco
    November 13, 2012 at 12:33

    Mr. Mo for Presidency come 2015! He is running on 1993 SDP platform. Well you know what to expect. But at least you tried! LOL.

    I’ll will advise you let the dead bury themselves. The past is not a good place to dwell in. Hahahaha!

  3. eye_bee_kay
    November 13, 2012 at 13:04

    @Harry Echemco, my guy!

    Mr Mo is not talking about the past. he is here Yelling about the NOW!

    Android sucks at multitasking. repeat it to yourself until it becomes ingrained.

    fact.

    I was responding to an email just now. had to look up a telephone number to insert in the mail.

    by the time I left gmail, got the number out, come back, my email had vaporized. Standard Android bullshit, pardon my Swahilli!

    of course knowing that would happen, I already copied my unfinished email to the clipboard first. that way, I did not lost a character. (Clip Ninja is also there for that purpose)

    that NEVER happened when I was on crappy medieval Nokia 5800 of Symbian memory!

    Surely, newer is not always better.

    It is NOT about memory. we established that. and it is not about Android version obsolescence!

    so, what is it?

    itvis indisputably about sub par resource (memory) management on the part of Android.

    Take that!…lol..

    Of course, despite this, I would still pick Android over any other OS (for now)

  4. Harry Echemco
    November 13, 2012 at 13:19

    Can someone please help solve this puzzle. Why are people ditching Symbian, openly accepting that Symbian is not good enough anymore, and admitting that Android is far better and still, they spend their money to acquire Android devices and expecting the same Android devices to work like the Symbian devices they are abandoning in droves?

  5. martinkem
    November 13, 2012 at 15:14

    dont use the home key for minimizing an app, what should i use then.

  6. efe
    November 13, 2012 at 15:53

    I think its the back button that closes apps. Am not sure but I have seen a number of apps where the developer advises the user to close apps with the back key. The home key normally puts an app in the background. All these arguments bring up one fundamental flaw with android. There is no universal way to close an app that you are currently using. No exit button. No gesture. Nada. In many cases, you have to press back several times to exit an app. Even at that, it still shows up in the task manager. For instance, when using dolphin browser, you have to keep going back until you reach the homepage before you can exit. It is this lack of a universal way to close apps that is confusing developers and users alike. What will it take to add an exit button. As far as I know, only android has this flaw and until its fixed, the OS will continue to do a poor job at guessing which apps you need closed

  7. Harry Echemco
    November 13, 2012 at 16:15

    @martinkem:

    Oh sure, no physical exit button but many apps have their implementation of virtual exit buttons. Opera Mini, UCWeb browser, ES Explorer, File Expert etc.

  8. eye_bee_kay
    November 13, 2012 at 16:53

    There is no
    universal way to close an
    app that you are currently
    using. No exit button. No
    gesture. Nada. In many
    cases, you have to press
    back several times to exit
    an app.

    @Efe, a number of apps have an exit button which you can choose to enable or disable.

    For example, Opera Mini and Opera Mobile bith have an option on their Settings where you can expose an EXIT button

    Some apps do not need an exit button, if they are meant to sit in memory. the idea is that Android would manage the memory by itself, and you never need to exit any app yourself. it is obvious Android often falls down on that job!

    dont use the home key for minimizing an app, what should i use then.

    @MartinKem, you can use a number of apps to accomplish that. those sort of apps sit in memory and use a Swipe to enable you access your predefined list of apps.

    Examples:

    Notification Toggle
    1Tap Quick Bar (the ultimate)
    Smart TaskBar

  9. Austine Ezemelue
    November 13, 2012 at 19:13

    @Harry

    “Can someone please help solve this puzzle. Why are people ditching Symbian, openly accepting that Symbian is not good enough anymore, and admitting that Android is far better and still, they spend their money to acquire Android devices and expecting the same Android devices to work like the Symbian devices they are abandoning in droves?”

    Leaving one platform for another does not mean there are no features of the old platform that one would want to be similarly implemented on the new platform.

    The main reason I left Symbian for android is third party applications. Developers seem to have apathy towards it, especially after the burning platform saga. There are apps I needed but were not just available on Symbian.

    “ANDROID SUCKS AT MULTITASKING”

    When I first started using android, I was shocked that if I left browser open but leaves it in the background. all the web pages are reloaded afresh when I comeback to it later, burning previous data.

  10. efe
    November 13, 2012 at 19:14

    @eyebeekay, that is the point. Majority of apps do not have the exit button and android has no way of closing apps so the OS tries to guess which apps should be open or closed. That is where it fails. Allow the user to control and the multitaskin wahala would be a thing of the past

  11. Harry Echemco
    November 13, 2012 at 21:03

    Ok, the general consensus is, Symbian is better at multitasking while Android is an all round better operating system.

    Symbian/Belle is dead or just about dead while Android is only getting warmed up.

    Symbian/Belle belongs to yesterday and history while Android is the present and the future.

    Let’s embrace live now and look forward to the future. Amen! Have a good night rest everybody.

  12. olusheenor
    November 13, 2012 at 21:35

    long live nokia belle!!!

  13. November 13, 2012 at 22:00

    bla bla bla…I miss my N8 with Belle’s cool multitasking. Thank Heavens I still have my N9 to remind me of how multitasking should be done.

    Even with 2GB RAM, Samsung’s TouchWiz still manages to annoy me regularly. And the 512MB RAM on the Blaze? Let me not go there.

  14. November 13, 2012 at 22:52

    Android sucks terribly at this multi-tasking and app management thing. My WordPress app froze up while I was trying to moderate a comment here. No way to terminate it except dig into Settings menu to go force stop it. Bah.

  15. Noni
    November 14, 2012 at 08:56

    @ efe, when using Dolphin browser, why not use the swipe gestures? That’s what I’ve always used to exit the browser and close pages.

    So then, the apart from the “burning platform”, which OS does multitasking well – iOS? WP?

  16. November 14, 2012 at 10:05

    Noni,

    So then, apart from the “burning platform”, which OS does multitasking well?

    These all offer superb multitasking:

    - MeeGo
    - BlackBerry
    - WebOS

  17. belushi
    November 17, 2012 at 08:06

    I had some issues while using the Samsung galaxy. most likely because of the low ram space as mentioned by Mr Mo. with a 2gig ram on the note2. I never have to use any of the ‘prescription’ above. I can leave my opera mini for days and still come back to meet the websites where I left them without reload. It was same on the galaxy s2.

    I remember reading Larry Page’s description of how Android manages resource. he discouraged the use of task managers as row OS is intelligent enough to know which app to kill or keep in the background. I do know though,your ram size is key to offering best multitasking here.

  18. efe
    November 23, 2012 at 06:53

    @belushi, I agree with you. All the samsung galaxy products with at least 1gb of ram that I have used did not have problems with multitasking.

  19. fortespy
    November 23, 2012 at 16:20

    for me,I have used the samsung galaxy 2, samsung galaxy Note and Samsung galaxy note 10.1, i have not experienced these issues. what i do is use Netqin mobile security widget that comes with a RAM optimiser. ocassionaly I close running applications on the background. when on an application and I want to use others, I just press the home button,it takes me back to square 1 then i launch the app i want.. to get back, i launch the task manager and select the app i want.. i usually find it open waiting for me

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