Why it might not be a good idea to close background apps on Android?

February 22, 2024  18:10

Frequently closing regularly used apps on your Android smartphone will cause your phone to drain faster, since launching those apps again requires more energy than keeping them minimized in the background. Network threat expert and web developer Konstantin Gorbunov warns about this.

According to him, the user usually interacts with the visible part of the application, but at the same time all the resources necessary and invisible for the program to work are loaded into the device’s RAM. When an application is minimized, the operating system automatically captures the state that the application had at the time it was minimized, that is, it caches it.

“When a user accesses a previously minimized application again, the system no longer needs to initiate a full download of the application, but only needs to restore the cache. If it is closed, the OS will have to load all the necessary resources again, so from this point of view, minimizing applications is more beneficial than closing them,” Gorbunov explained.

When the application is launched, all its resources are loaded again. Google's documentation for Android developers calls this a "cold start." This procedure, according to the expert, spends more computing resources on the smartphone, which means the load on the battery increases. This means that if you constantly open and close applications, your battery will drain faster.

“It's like running a car engine. That is, a cold start is starting the engine in cold weather, when the system needs time to “warm up” all the components of the car,” the specialist said.

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