Task switcher too aggressive, not enough apps stored

Hi all,I've just updated to Android 9 with build number 5.150 so this issue may be well known.

Task switcher too aggressive, not enough apps stored

madbilly madbilly
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Hi all,
I've just updated to Android 9 with build number 5.150 so this issue may be well known. The task switcher is very aggressive at clearing apps, much more aggressive than in Android 8.1. In 9 it often reduces the list to just 3 apps, whereas in 8.1 I normally had 5 or 6 there. This is very very frustrating for me as I have to go back to home and reload the app. It's even more difficult to understand why it does this because the apps are still active in the background providing notifications! The apps I use several times a day like web browser, email, news and messaging are set as Active or Working Set in the Standby Apps part of Developer Options, but this doesn't seem to affect the task switcher.
Is there any way to change how aggressive the task switcher is at clearing apps?
Cheers :)

Comments

  • potemkin potemkin
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    Task switcher doesn't behave like that on my phone. It holds 10 or more apps.
  • user389 user389
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    It depends how long you expect apps to stay in the task switcher? Apps are removed after some hours if not used.
    Also please consider that Android runs housecleaning and indexing tasks during the first day or two after updating that may require more system resources than normal.
  • bhagyesh2491 bhagyesh2491
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    You could remove the limit on the number of background apps through the developer options .
  • petrus petrus
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    I have no problem with this.
  • martin.fd martin.fd
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    @mrbelter: I do it exactly the same way ... it's just not to get rid of ;)
  • martin.fd martin.fd
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    potemkin said:
    Task switcher doesn't behave like that on my phone. It holds 10 or more apps.
    Yes, but only for a certain time! I tested yesterday evening: before going to bed there were 15 Apps in the list of which today in the morning five had "survived"
  • Mick1965 Mick1965
    ✭✭✭  /  edited May 10
    I can't say I have noticed it doing this, as above, I have just got a habit of peridacally closing them all.

    Can't see what the problem would be though.
    Apps load almost as fast from storage as they do from memory.

    Apps don't need to be running to be able to receive notifications.
    An app when installed, will register with the push notification service, which always run in the background.


  • madbilly madbilly
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    I presume that the number of apps held depends on the memory they use so some people may have more and others less. However, since the apps I use are the same as in 8.1 the task switcher should hold at least the same amount normally, because Nokia phones "just keep getting better!" ;)
    In 8.1 I normally had 5-6 apps in the task switcher pretty much permanently and that kept me going with barely a need to return to the launcher. I would always clear apps I knew I probably wouldn't re-use again that day. In 9 it is actually inconvenient to use the task switcher, because I open it and see that the app I want isn't there and I have to go to the launcher and reload it - it takes at least twice as many actions and more than twice the time than on Oreo 8.1.
    @bhagyesh2491 the developer options limit doesn't help because the options are 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 or no limit, and my phone is already, by default like all others, set to no limit.
    I reported it to support although I don't expect a useful reply.
    Cheers :)
  • Mick1965 Mick1965
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    Sorry, didn't read your original post correctly.
    Thought you was worried about not getting notifications as they were cleared.
    Clearly not after reading again.

    Have you tried telling battery manager to  not optimise the apps that you don't want closing.
    Settings
    Search 'battery optimization'
    Tap battery optimization
    Tap the down arrow and select all apps
    Find and tap on app in question
    Select 'don't optimise'

    It solved a few problems for me with apps running in the background streaming audio with phone locked that just stopped for no reason.
    Maybe help your problem...worth a go
  • madbilly madbilly
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    Hi @Mick1965, thanks for the suggestion, I'll try that.
    Worth noting that it seems to have improved over the past few days as @user389 suggested it would.
    Cheers :)
  • Mick1965 Mick1965
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    Just out of curiosity really I tried this myself self, deliberately forcing my self not to close apps.
    I had 10 apps open,at 6ish pm and by 11pm that count was down to 5.
    Opened up the same 10 apps before I went to bed and by morning it had closed all but the last 5 apps.
    Left me wondering, what's the point of having 4 gigs of memory let alone the 8 and 12 gigs sported by the newest devices.

    At first I couldn't see the problem, reopen the app and you're good to go again.
    But leave an app open halfway through an interesting story, then by the wisdom of android pie, it shuts it down, that's really inconsiderate.
    We should be given more control over whether it closes apps or not.

    The suggestion I made, I don't think it will help, as some of the apps it closed I had already told it not to optimise.
  • madbilly madbilly
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    Hi @Mick1965, thanks for testing and for your findings on the optimisation, that saves me the time!
    I posted this as a new topic elsewhere as I was astonished to see support's reply.
    Here's what I asked:
    I just updated my phone from Android 8.1 to the latest build of Android 9 for the Nokia 8. 

    The task switcher in Android 9 does not store as many apps as in Android 8.1. On Android 8.1 I could keep 5-6 apps in the task switcher view without problem and if I opened a lot of apps it would gradually reduce this to 5-6 again. This was acceptable as it normally kept my most frequently used apps available. However, Android 9 is much more aggressive at removing apps from the switcher view - too aggressive, it always reduces the amount of apps shown to just 3, which is not sufficient. It is actually inconvenient to use the task switcher, because I open it and see that the app I want isn't there and I have to go to the launcher and reload it - it takes at least twice as many actions and more than twice the time than on Oreo 8.1. The really frustrating thing is that I know the apps are still running in the background because they give me notifications! Please tell me how to allow the task switcher to keep more apps available, which setting do I need to change?

    Another problem is that I often get a case where the task switcher doesn't show me previews of the apps, only blanks. I can't find a pattern for this behaviour but I would like to stop it happening. Is there a setting which controls this?
    And this is the reply :astonished:
    You can disable adaptive battery and some other power saving features in order to see if you can improve the situation with the available background application number.

    Please go to: Settings -> Apps&Notifications - show all apps -> three dots -> Show system -> Battery protection -> Disable.
    Now, I can't find this specific app but I think it's the Evenwell powersaving one that many people saying can be disabled to stop it killing background processes and actually improve battery life. Still, if support think it's called battery protection why would they say to disable this?! :confounded:
  • martin.fd martin.fd
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    madbilly said:
    Now, I can't find this specific app but I think it's the Evenwell powersaving one that many people saying can be disabled to stop it killing background processes and actually improve battery life. Still, if support think it's called battery protection why would they say to disable this?!
    I have this app ("Akkuschutz" in German) and there was a tip somewhere that you should empty its cache if there are problems with the battery life ...

  • madbilly madbilly
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    Thanks @martin.fd I actually don't have a problem with battery life AFAIK, at least I haven't really noticed any change yet since I upgraded the phone to Android 9 a week ago. If I do notice worse battery life I will try this tip.
    Cheers :)
  • martin.fd martin.fd
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    @madbilly: Didn't mean "you should" but "one should" ... B)o:)
  • Mick1965 Mick1965
    ✭✭✭  /  edited May 13

    I also have this app. Did you select 'show system' from the three dots.


    But yeah not a very aptly named app considering that they are telling you to disable it.

    Edit:..... How are you meant to disable the app? As the disable button is greyed out.
  • madbilly madbilly
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    Hi @martin.fd don't worry I understood :smiley:
    Hi @Mick1965 yes I selected to show system apps. I don't have one called "Battery Protection" but I do have one called "com.evenwell.powersaving.g3.overlay.base.s600ww" which I think is the same thing. But maybe not. FYI this app I can disable, but I haven't.
    Cheers :)
  • martin.fd martin.fd
    ✭✭✭✭  /  edited May 13
    madbilly said:
    I do have one called "com.evenwell.powersaving.g3.overlay.base.s600ww"
    I also have this one (additionally) - but when I look in the developer options for active services, only "battery protection" shows up
  • user389 user389
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    https://developer.android.com/about/versions/pie
    Don't miss how apps are put in different buckets.
  • petrus petrus
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    user389 said:
    https://developer.android.com/about/versions/pie
    Don't miss how apps are put in different buckets.

    Thank you, Hans. :smiley:   Very interesting website.
  • user389 user389
    ✭✭✭✭  /  edited May 14
    @petrus ,
    It's nerdy and perfect for a rainy day :smile:
    @madbilly ,
    The Battery Protection system app is still in the list on my phone. I consider a factory reset, later, maybe, to see if it's still supposed to be there now that Android comes with its own Adaptive Battery.
    Previous Android versions could hold 25 or 50 apps in the recent apps screen / task switcher, and apps could reserve space in the list. This is no longer possible, it's now up to Android's AI / machine learning. Apps may appear blank immediately or later, depending on how the app is coded and how Android decides to treat it in the background (which bucket it's currently in).
    I suggest remain calm and don't mess with the system apps.
    The challenge for third-party developers (and dontkillmyapp guys) is that less than 10% of Android phones are on Pie. So they code their apps to a previous API level and Android version to be compatible and available on 'old' phones - but they must obey the new rules regarding background activity, battery saving, doze mode etc. to work properly in Pie.
    --
    Hans
  • madbilly madbilly
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    @martin.fd good tip thanks, I found the service via developer options > running services. It's call com.evenwell.batteryprotect. Why would support ask me to disable this?

    However com.evenwell.powersaving.g3.overlay.base.s600ww is not there, as far as I can tell.

    @user389, I did check the app standby buckets and all the apps I use and want to stay in the task switcher are all marked active IIRC.
  • martin.fd martin.fd
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    user389 said:
    The Battery Protection system app is still in the list on my phone. I consider a factory reset, later, maybe, to see if it's still supposed to be there now that Android comes with its own Adaptive Battery.
    I just did a factory reset (after the phone came back from repair and I installed 5.150) and the app is still there ...
  • Mick1965 Mick1965
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    madbilly said:
    Hi @martin.fd don't worry I understood :smiley:
    Hi @Mick1965 yes I selected to show system apps. I don't have one called "Battery Protection" but I do have one called "com.evenwell.powersaving.g3.overlay.base.s600ww" which I think is the same thing. But maybe not. FYI this app I can disable, but I haven't.
    Cheers :)
    Tried stopping and disabling the ....power saving.g3.... app this morning 9 ish
    Opened 10 apps, and by 2.30 ish 5 of those had been closed. So it's not that one.
    I can't disable the battery protect app as disable is greyed out.
    May give the evenwell battery protect a go later.
  • jdan jdan
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    What about disabling Digital Wellbeing? Could this also lead to a better performance of the task switcher? Lots of Pixel 3 owners claim it has improved the performance of their phone! Might also be a good thing on Nokia 8 I guess. Somebody on the Nokia 7 plus forum here claims it is also a good thing to do for his phone.

    1. Settings > Digital Wellbeing.
    2. Tap the three-dot menu button in the upper right corner.
    3. Select Turn off usage access.
    4. A warning message will appear telling you that doing this will make Digital Wellbeing non-functional. Tap Turn off in Settings.
    5. The Usage Access section will appear. Tap on Digital Wellbeing.
    6. Tap the toggle next to Permit usage access so it is in the “off” position.
    (instructions taken from Android Authority)
  • martin.fd martin.fd
    ✭✭✭✭  /  edited May 14
    @jdan: I have deactivated Digital Wellbeing from the very first moment ... doesn't affect the task switcher



  • Mick1965 Mick1965
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    Overnight I stopped and disabled com.evenwell.battery protect.overlay.base.s600ww
    Opened up about 10 apps and still this morning only 5 remain.
    So not that one either.
  • madbilly madbilly
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    Hi all,

    Thanks for the testing. My optimism of a few days ago that it was improving is again replaced with frustration! One improvement is that the quick shortcuts at the bottom of the launcher remain in the task switcher view, so I can customise that to ensure I've always got my most used apps at the touch of a button. I also use Z-Launcher as an alternative launcher which also keeps the most used apps (nominally) in the list, which is another alternative.

    However, my main frustration is now that in spite of the task switcher not storing as many apps as on 8.1 (which I presume is to save battery) my phone now consumes the battery energy quicker than on 8.1! Less convenience and less battery life, this is what "just keeps getting better" is?!

    I would rather they had stayed on Android 8.1 (or 7.1 even) and provided feature and security updates.

    Cheers :)
  • Mick1965 Mick1965
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    Personally I find battery life about the same if not slightly better. Oreo Vs pie.

    Task switcher though, is kind of confusing as to why. Turning off a bank or two of memory will only save a miniscule amount of battery life.

    You could always go back to Oreo if you don't mind a factory reset. It's straight forward enough, but just the hassle of the installing everything.
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