Features & Use
Test device: HTC Desire
Version: Android 2.2
A task manager can close running programs for you—but that’s a redundant feature in the Android world because the integrated clean-up function keeps your resources free of unwanted data. That’s why apps don’t necessarily have to be shut down. Whenever you’re running low on resources GC (Garbage Collector) pops up and deletes unused apps. So if everything is as simple as all that, what on earth would you need a task manager for?
I use a task manager in Windows whenever I can’t terminate unwanted applications or processes. It’s a pretty efficient tool, even if it’s tough luck for the programs that simply die when they’re not closed correctly.
You could use the Android task manager in order to prevent build up in your system. After all processes have been shut down you’ll find that your phone will run much faster… though, it goes without saying that you should be careful about which programs you choose to terminate. Getting rid of something you need will do more harm than good and may even slow your system down.
The ES Task Manager starts off by showing you which programs and processes are currently running. You can then choose to close or update one, several or all running programs.
The context menu provides with of options on how to get the most out of the app’s functions. You can add apps to an “ignore list” which will prevent the tool from shutting specific apps down, even when you instruct ES Task Manager to end all apps. This makes sense seeing as you want to preserve system applications and processes which should always be running in the background.
On the opposite end of the spectrum there’s the "just kill“ list. The apps on this list will only be stopped if the matching widget was used with these settings. Again, think twice before adding apps which you condone as being so uninteresting that they deserve to die to this list.
You can also use the context menu in order to access apps which are running in the background. A de-installation shortcut is provided as well as a link to app details.
The annoying glitch: it’s only possible to add apps that are currently running to any of these lists. Non-active apps don’t appear in the overview and thus can’t be selected.
Check out the selection of background tools which establish SMS, call, and data consumption statistics under Services. You can then see since when a service has been running and how much memory space it requires. And you can send unwanted services into the netherworld.
The widget can be used as short cut to the Task Manager or else it can be used to end all apps on the ‘just-kill’ list.
- Close apps that cant usually be closed
- Well designed widget
- The ‘just kill’ list for apps
- Services are displayed and can be closed
- You can chose to not display system application and system processes
- Easy to use controls
- Apps can only be added to the ignore list if they are already running
- Widget can only be configured with one function
Do we really need them or can we turn our backs on all task managers forever? There is no definite answer to this question; I would say it all very much depends on how you use your Android phone and how much power (i.e. free memory space) it needs in order to run well. Older devices can run a bit slower and might really benefit from a clean sweep, but I tested the app on an HTC Desire and can say that I can do without a task manager. Still, it’s a useful app and the widget rocks. It allows me to stick news apps on the “just kill” list and ban them from the phone’s memory with just one tap on the widget.
Oh, and just one more thing: if all apps were equipped with a “close” function then task manager applications would become redundant. The AndroidPIT app and the App Center are good examples of apps which can be closed, but they don’t have to be.
Screen & Controls
The app’s design is quite basic so don’t expect anything too fancy. The app’s big brother – ES Data Explorer – is in a league of its own in that regard. That being said, the app’s is absolutely fine and appropriate for a task manager.
Controls are very intuitive. The context menu allows you to access all functions. One simple tap allows you to select an app from a list, and if you want to select more than one just tap again. That’s all there is to it.
A few of the more important settings are a bit hidden within the menu, e.g. the widget has to be configurated within the app settings, which means that you can’t put two widgets with two different functions on the homescreen.
You can insert a link towards ES Task Manager in the status bar; this is especially useful if you know you’ll be requiring the app’s services on a regular basis.
Speed & Stability
ES Task Manager ran very well throughout the testing phase. Now crashing whatsoever.
ES Task Manager is funded by advertisement which is in the upper or lower margin and is totally unobtrusive. The app can be downloaded free of charge in the AndroidPIT App Center.