Google confirms that apps close processes, free up RAM and the like are a hoax and will be even more so with Android 14

google confirms that apps close processes free up ram and.webp.webp.webp
google confirms that apps close processes free up ram and.webp.webp.webp

The mobile is going a bit bad so you open an application that says it will make it faster, you press a button and, voila, that’s it, the mobile now runs like never before. It’s placebo and somewhat counterproductive because of the way Android manages memory. Google wants to kill them and you already have the bullet loaded inside Android 14.

Google is going to greatly restrict apps of this style in Android 14, by limiting the API they use to kill processes so they can just close their process. In this way, they will be able to stop doing the only thing that they could really do due to the limitations of the system. It is also quite possible that they end up being banned from Google Play.

Process closers? No, thanks

The oldest of the place will remember apps like Advanced Task Killer, from a time when Android mobiles were very tight in power and memory and the operating system itself was still pretty much in its infancy. In the context of mobiles with 512 Mb of RAM where you literally couldn’t open WhatsApp until you closed Facebook (completely), they might make sense, but not today.

As of Android 14, these apps will not be able to do the only thing they could do: close processes

Since then, rivers of ink have flowed for and against this type of optimizer apps, freeing up RAM and “accelerators” in general. Google never liked them, but rarely has he been as clear about it as now. The documentation on the process shutdown API changes includes the following text:

Note: It is not possible for a third-party app to improve the memory, power, or thermal behavior of an Android device. You need to make sure that your app complies with Google Play’s policies on misleading claims.

Google settles the controversy: it is impossible, but Android 14 is going to make it even more impossible. Due to the way Android works, almost the only thing these kinds of apps could do was kill background processes with the API. killBackgroundProcesses(). Starting with Android 14, new apps or old apps that try to execute that command will only kill their own process. In a way, karma.

Google adds that developers “shouldn’t try to affect the life cycle of other apps, even older versions,” because “Android is designed to cache apps in the background and kill them as soon as they need memory.” Moreover, he adds that this process it can actually worsen performance and memory usage.

With such a forceful stance, the future of this type of applications in Google Play seems to be hanging by a thread, since in theory they already violate the misleading claims policy according to Google’s reasoning. For now, they survive and there are still hundreds, although it would not be surprising if in a few months Google Play brings out the much-needed broom to clean its store.

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