Jun 16 AT 6:35 PM Taylor Wimberly 19 Comments

T-Mobile fights battery drain with new Device Tune-up beta app

Many people claim that Android task managers are pointless and should not be used, but T-Mobile thinks differently. The carrier is beta testing a new program called Device Tune-up that will eventually be integrated with their My Account application (which ships on all T-Mobile Android phones).

If you are on T-Mobile and want to participate in the beta, then head over to their official forums. The beta is open for a limited time and it’s on a first-come basis. The app should run on all phones running Android 2.1 or earlier and it requires an official firmware (no custom ROMs are supported).

I would really love to hear how Google responds to this since I’ve seen several members on the Android team speak out against task killers. Users really shouldn’t need an extra task manager and Android 2.2 actually includes a built-in feature that displays running services and allows you to stop them.

However, I’ve definitely experienced several poorly coded apps that constantly run in the background and eat up my battery. An experienced user can normally identify these apps and uninstall them, but I understand how the average user might have no idea what’s going on. I can also understand why T-Mobile would want to kill these rouge apps that are unnecessarily running and sending data that clogs their network.

I’ve been trying to install the application, but I have had no luck so far on downloading it to either of my T-Mobile phones. Please sound off if you have tried out the app and let us know what you think.

“Device Tune-up is different from most task killers because it does not require you to do anything. Device Tune-up will default to ‘on’.  While on, Device Tune-up proactively closes services to help the device and battery perform at their best. Most pre-loaded applications will not be affected by Device Tune-up. For our non-technical users, this may mean you never even realize Device Tune-up is running; your device may simply run better.”T-Mobile forums

Source: T-Mobile

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://Website AT

    Recently uninstalled auto task killer from 2.2 , felt was taking up more battery.

  • http://Website Diana

    I got the new beta for my account. I had an error the first 2 times with web2go but the 3rd time I tried was the charm. It’s installed and I put in the apps I want it to ignore and so far it’s not been a drain hog. I’ve used task killers before never noticed a drain on the battery, nor a difference on the device.

    Using Mytouch 3g running 1.6

  • Uncemister

    So far its been pretty good. Using a MyTouch 3G Slide on 2.1

  • http://Website Casey

    Link is not working

  • http://Website Casey

    Tmobile took the link down it will be up tomorrow.bummer

  • http://Website chris

    Link won’t work man this is stupid

  • http://Website erick

    can someone please upload the apk somewhere else?

  • http://Website Old greg

    I know every body always says task killers are pointless but I have noticed a difference in reduced lag (especially when bringing up the keyboard) and slightly better battery life.

    Mytouch 3g 1.2

  • http://Website rev2redlineguy

    I installed this beta on the myTouch phone that I have (also have a Cliq too). I didn’t like that it won’t let you unexclude the preinstalled apps that are on the phone (which some of them are the culprits of resource hogs) but I wanted to give it a try. I uninstalled my Advanced Task Manager and let it run for a few hours. I started out with about 86% battery left on my phone and within a couple of hours (very very minimal usage only…texts, 1 short phone call & a few emails) my battery was down to about 65%. This morning(at 7am) I had it fully charged at 100% and with moderate usage and when I installed it in the afternoon (I’d say around 3pm) is when it was at 86%. Anyways, it was a battery hog because I guess all those other “preinstalled” apps it won’t let you unexclude are constantly still running in the background so I don’t know how effective it was at killing them. Oh well, it was a worth a try anyways. I uninstalled it & put back my task manager.

  • mp1963

    As usual T-Mobile in the UK have no such software. We don’t even get the My Account software!! Add to that their totally retarded disfunctional network and it reallty makes you glad to live in the UK … NOT!

  • http://Website hector

    Bloatware. Period.

  • http://Website Derek

    You absolutely need a task killer for moto Droid. I had a Droid last november and when you look at the list of programs running its like 25-30 things running at once. I would Taskkill them all and then less than two minutes later they’d all be right back sucking the life out of the battery.

  • Dharmabhum

    “However, I’ve definitely experienced several poorly coded apps that constantly run in the background and eat up my battery.”

    The carrier has no business dealing with this issue though. If there are issues with inefficient apps, that’s got to be on Google. Carriers can’t choose which apps are available in the market on their devices (and I’m glad that they can’t), and they shouldn’t try to add in apps or software that messes with the default operation of the phone’s OS. Whether or not Android needs task killers is irrelevant (and I’m of the opinion that Android does not need them); carriers worry about the strength of their network and let the handset makers/OS creators deal with OS issues.

    • http://Website Zer0-9

      I think you are over estimating the common persons intelligence, the ability for good application development, and the ability of Android (or any OS) to properly handle memory.

      1) While it may not be the responsibility of the carrier to handle inefficient applications, it is in their best interest to do so. This is a “selling feature”, a reason to choose them over another carrier. Also providing an application like this cuts down of technical support calls and in-store visits. When a consumers phone doesn’t work they will most often blame the carrier first before the manufacturer of the phone, and the developer of the OS that runs the phone is least likely to receive the blame as people are generally uneducated about the hardware they purchase.

      2) The carriers can control what software is available to their consumers through the Android Market.

      3) Android does need to improve the ability of the user to control tasks if they so choose. There are a number of core applications that suffer from memory leaks I’ve noticed on my phones. Not only does Android still need a task killer, it also needs settings to prevent applications from starting a process to begin with. I don’t use the Amazon Music Store, and I would really appreciate being able to remove it or turn it off, not to mention the Messaging application since I only use Google Voice for sending text messages. So not only is a task manager a must, but something akin to MSCONFIG would also be nice. Some applications I like to use but I don’t need it spawning a process every 5min when I’m not actively using it.

    • http://Website Eurotrash

      “The carrier has no business dealing with this issue though” REally? Maybe you don’t understand what is being discussed here ? YES, the carrier does have something to do with applications!! HELLO, we are talking about the apps that can not be removed that are placed in the image from the carrier. If there is an app that uses a lot of memory and constantly running then uninstall it! you don’t need anything for those. People are talking about the resident proprietary apps that come pre-installed that you can not remove unless you root the phone ??
      Can you say “Amazon mp3″? and the shite ton of other proprietary apps that the carriers sign deals with to bundle in your phone ??….rrrr

  • http://Website msd

    “Users really shouldn’t need an extra task manager and Android 2.2 actually includes a built-in feature that displays running services and allows you to stop them.”

    Android 2.1 has this.

  • http://Website Bob McCormick

    I’m disappointed that Tmo is wasting it’s users time with crapware like this. Task killers won’t help your battery life, if anything they’ll make it worse. As many task killer users have discovered, killed background services just restart. The difference is, starting and stopping is more expensive (in terms of CPU usage and battery life).

    You can also read almost any Android user forum and find tons of people complaining of problems with not getting texts, IM’s, google voice notifications, etc. who eventually find that the root of their problem is that they’re been using a stupid task killer to kill the background services that are supposed to be receiving those messages!

    Tmo should be spending their time and efforts getting some better Android phones into their lineup. The only decent Android phone currently available from Tmo is the Nexus, and you can’t even get that in their stores yet.

    • http://Website Zer0-9

      I’ll say it again,
      A task killer is essential to the OS to stop misbehaving, locked up, and memory leaking applications. Including those included in the OS, from the hand set manufacturer, the carrier, and the market. Stopping extraneous tasks has always improved the performance of my phone, freeing up system RAM from misbehaving applications. I have tried going without a task killer/manager and within the day my phone is at a crawl. Android, like any OS, is simply not capable of managing RAM and applications as well as an informed user can.

  • http://Website jaamgans

    You can always try the AutoMemory Manager app – works by giving you a couple of default settings to memory management, and an option to customise your memory management slider. By controlling how much memory your system has to work with, it can control how many apps are always on the go, and thus how much memory and system availability you have out there.

    Found it worked really well on 1.6 based ROMs and really helped to keep things quick and snappy (but had to be careful about settings – aggressive was too much for G1 – lost too much of the multi-tasking as the aggressive settings didn’t leave enough resources), however since flashing a 2.1 based Cyanogen ROM haven’t been using it as this ROM is very quick by itself, thus didn’t require management.

    However I also use an app killer, as per this article some apps are badly coded and thus you sometimes need to kill an app – you could uninstall, but some are useful enough to keep – so a kill task app becomes useful. if you do use once I wouldn’t suggest setting it to automatic – only use it when you need to kill specific apps – and don’t forget to add clock, alarm, gmail storage and other apps to your safte list otherwise you will be killing notifications, syncing etc.