When the mobile starts to go a little slower than the account, there are not few users who run to open multitasking and close background apps. On whether or not it is beneficial to close them, on whether or not it saves battery, there is an open debate in which it is difficult to reach an agreement. So let’s try to shed some light on both positions.
Let’s review the Advantages and Disadvantages of Closing Background Applications. We will know a little better how the management of RAM memory in Android works and we will see that, although logic tells us that the more free memory there is, the better, it does not always have to be this way.
This is how RAM management works in Android
RAM, short for Random Access Memory, is a very fast storage that “reboots” when the phone is turned off. Its end is store frequently accessed temporary information with the aim that the user does not have to load it when reopening it. In the case at hand, we are talking about applications. The idea of RAM is that if you open WhatsApp and close it by pressing the Home button, the app does not have to reload completely, but is running in the background to be ready if you need it again.
In that sense, Android manages RAM in its own way. Google’s operating system is designed to fill as much RAM as possible with processes (not necessarily apps). This is how Android ensures that, even having an app in the background, you receive notifications, for example.
Android prefers to keep the RAM as full as possible since having it empty is synonymous with wasting resources
When opening a heavy application such as Facebook, which requires a large amount of RAM, Android automatically closes processes with low priority. In this way, a balance is maintained between background processes and applications in use. Now, it will depend on the version of the operating system you use that this management is more or less efficient.
Advantages: keep the most “greedy” apps at bay
When you close applications in the background, the RAM memory fills up with other processes because Android understands that having empty RAM is a waste of resources. Now you may have a gluttonous app in the background, such as Facebook or an app with a strange bug, so closing it can help improve that consumption, at least temporarily.
That brings us to the second part, and it’s the mobile data saving. If we have an application in the background that is constantly accessing the data, we may see a higher consumption of the account. It can happen, for example, with Spotify if you have it configured to download songs in the background with the data.
Closing applications in the background makes sense if we do it with heavy or gluttonous apps
There are also games that abuse this system. There are many titles that maintain a second process to send push notifications like “Play again!” or “New Community Event!” If you are not interested, you can kill the process to avoid unnecessary consumption but, we insist, it is temporary.
Disadvantages: closing open apps will not make your mobile go faster
The disadvantage can be guessed from the advantages themselves. When you close an app that you use often, say Instagram, and reopen it, you are forcing the system to reload the application completely, which is more CPU intensive. That translates into higher battery consumption which, although not exaggerated, can be a slight problem if we have the most degraded battery of the account.
If what you have done with Instagram you do with all the applications you use often, such as WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube, Gmail, Chrome, etc., you will multiply that consumption. So, closing applications makes sense as long as you do it with those that you don’t usually use (a game, for example).
When you open an application from scratch, the system fully charges the CPU using it, which generates a higher battery consumption
It is more efficient in energy terms access an application that is “saved” in RAM than reopen it completely. After all, that is the function of RAM. Not all background applications consume an excessive amount of RAM or resources, so only close those that do.
There are things you can do if you want a more exhaustive control
And we are not talking about installing RAM memory optimizers. As you may have already elucidated, they are completely useless since they close processes in the background, processes that Android understands that they are important and that it will open again as soon as you close them, generating an extra consumption of CPU and, therefore, of battery.
Android allows to apply Battery optimizations from settings. To do this, go to Settings> Applications, find the one you want to optimize and make sure that the option is checked. That will make Android manage its operation in the background as best suited to the operating system at that time. You can also uncheck the option if you don’t want it to. On WhatsApp, for example.
Another thing you can do is restrict background data usage. Go to Settings> Applications> Data usage and uncheck the “Background data” box. That way, if you have an application that consumes more data than the account, it will stop doing it and you will save some megabytes at the end of the month.