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‘DontKillMyApp’ will tell you how often your Android phone kills background apps

If you’ve ever been frustrated by an app not working properly or closing when you were trying to use it, the fault may not be on the app. Every Android OEM tweaks portions of the OS, including how often background processes are killed. Now, there’s a new app to benchmark how often that happens.

“DontKillMyApp” is a product from the makers of a website by the same name and the popular “Sleep as Android” app. That app runs all night long to track how you sleep, but it often ends up being killed in the background. Obviously, that’s frustrating for the developers, so tracking how different Android phones kill background processes is of personal interest to the company. The website even ranks OEMs from worst to best — Huawei, Samsung, and OnePlus make up the top three while Pixel/Nexus, of course, are the best.

In collaboration with our friends over at Android Police, those developers created “DontKillMyApp.” This free app is designed to benchmark how your phone treats the background processes on it.

The app allows users to run benchmarks between 1 hour and 8 hours. During that time, users are told not to charge their phone or even use it as the app measures how background processes are treated. Android Police explains the process the app goes through to collect data:

The test runs a foreground service and takes a wakelock, and it then peforms repeating tasks on the main thread and thread executor at 10s intervals. It then measures how many of those expected executions have actually been performed. It also schedules an alarm (ostensibly exempt from doze) for 8-minute intervals and checks those against expectations as well. The bottom offers a visual in 5-minute intervals showing when parts of the test occurred so you can see when issues may have started.

In its current state, this app isn’t nearly finished. There are plans to make the data simpler to understand for the average user, as well as to fix issues that are popping up. It’s even labeled as “Early Access” at the moment. Still, it’s an interesting project you can download right now from the Play Store.

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