Google has invested more effort and development power during recent years in order to make its Android operating system more responsive to multitasking. It seems that the efforts have paid off, and that, for the moment, Android is more capable than iOS to take on multitasks. Here’s a look at how Android apps support multitasking.
How Android Apps Support Multitasking
Freeing up memory space
Android devices can easily get cluttered with too many apps because any user tends to download plenty of apps and forget about them the next day. However, Android now allows you to go through your app list and select the ones that you do not want to use anymore. This way, you are capable of freeing up memory space and enjoy a more responsive device. While this is not exactly multitasking, it certainly makes your job easier.
Multiple processes, multi usage of a single process
What makes Android more versatile than iOS is that it allows applications to use multiple processes in the same time, or many applications to use a single process in the same time. This allows a management of resources that is also needed for multitasking, which is exactly where Android excels.
The available RAM put at the disposal of Android devices is of the utmost importance in multitasking. When you hit on an app that was running in the background, it will become live on your screen in an instant. However, you should know that even the great capabilities of Android to multitask between various applications depend on how much RAM is needed to keep all these apps running in the background. If you reach the limit of your RAM, the kernel function will free up memory space, and, next time when you press on an application, you will have to wait for it to be completely reloaded.
The BroadcastReceivers component
What Android brings anew to devices that are powered by its operating system is the BroadcastReceivers component. Now, the apps are kept dormant in the background, so that they do not occupy too much space. Whenever a process solicits them, they will be accessed through this component. As soon as there is no longer need for them, the component shuts them down, so that the memory can be used for processes that are really in use at the moment.
The Service component
Another component that makes Android multitasking unique is the Service component. This cannot be killed and it handles the task management, except for the situations when the user chooses a certain application to be run in foreground. A notification icon will signal the exception, but, if you turn it off, the Service component will handle everything instead of you.
The specifics of Android multitasking
Unlike computers, Android powered devices need very little input from the user in order to handle multitasking. Little control is given to end users, and you basically have to count on Android’s capabilities to handle and manage the system and its resources for you. However, seeing how much work Google is putting into this, Android is doing a pretty good job.
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