Watchdog app watches your Android device for runaway processes

One thing that the Android OS has always had in it’s favor is multitasking. The ability to leave things running in the background while you move over to other, more immidiately important tasks. The main issue with that, of course, is system memory. As processes are opened and left in that state on the device, random access memory, or RAM, becomes a precious commodity that can reach the state of short supply in an even shorter amount of time.

While there have been many apps that automatically kill applications no longer in use, these apps have been known to wreak havoc on the user’s device. Now, there is an app available called watchdog that does exactly what this reader thinks an auto killer should do.

Watchdog monitors the backend of the OS and looks for apps that are taking up a lot of CPU usage (a quick ram guzzler and battery killer) and kills the process. This can be a major plus for battery life as well as RAM, as it keeps you device running stable and kills off those rogue apps.

To quote a post from Digg:

Use a task manager wisely because Android has no idea when you are no longer using an application, use AutoKiller to better configure Android’s memory and process manager, and most importantly use a startup manager (Autostarts) to configure what applications start when your phone boots, and please tell everybody else about it. Use a better launcher if your phone comes with a crap one.

There you have it. In this writer’s opinion, this is an app with a lot of potential. You can pick up an ad-supported version for free, or pay the $3.99 to have it sans advertisements. To get it, just search the Market for “watchdog”, or scan the QR code below.

[via LifeHacker]

» See more articles by Dustin Karnes


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  • D14BL0

    Task killers are bad for Android, and critically impact your battery life. Android does a good job at killing applications on its own when another application you request is cued. Using a task killer is counter-intuitive and should not be suggested by anyone, nor should you pay money for an app that is basically a deliberate attack on your device’s operating system.

  • http://phonefreek.posterous.com phonefreek

    I agree with Diablo to an extent, but android has proven that it is not smart enough to kill off rogue apps. Download craigsphone and see what it does to yourbattery life. That is unacceptable, the operating system should keep that in check.

  • Howard

    Regardless of how good Android is at killing tasks on its own, an OS should have a native means to allow its users to close tasks they no longer want open. Why should the control of what non-core app is open be completely up to the OS with no user control? Would you accept that on a desktop OS?

    Maybe a “task killer” is a bad idea, then Android should have a simple unified way to exit any app using the app’s options.

  • Tony Hedges

    Excellent article and good comments afterwards. Result= got rid of my task killer and installed the lite version of this app. It looks pretty good, however in the comments “Diablo” states a task killer is bad, but this app actually lets you “kill” apps too, so are we getting hung up on semantics?

  • http://phonefreek.posterous.com phonefreek

    Tony, the problem with task killers is that a lot of times you are killing processes that the phone is just going to turn around and re open so you are actually using more juice by killing them and having them start from scratch when you come back to them. Also, people don’t always know exactly what they are killing.

    I like the idea of watchdog (I have only had it installed for a short time) because it only prompts you to kill off apps that are seriously kicking the crap out of your battery life. In the 12 hours I have had it installed I have not been prompted to kill any app… so we’ll see.

  • Rob

    And how does Watchdog differentiate between a rogue CPU hogging process that needs killing and a genuine process that is simply busy and uses a lot of CPU?

    Take an extreme example, what would stop Watchdog from killing Quadrant benchmark?

  • http://phonefreek.posterous.com phonefreek

    Rob, I know I’m going to sound like an a-hole, but try the app before you spout a bunch of uneducated bs. The app simply tells you that a process is using a lot of CPU. It is ultimately up to you whether or not you want to kill it. If you don’t know what it is then dont kill it. But if Craigsphone is using 97% of you CPU when you are done using it, kill that bastard.

  • http://phonefreek.posterous.com phonefreek

    BTW, I downloaded all of the apps back onto my phone that I suspected may have been causing issues and so far craigsphone is the only app that Watchdog has warned me about. You can set a certain % of CPU usage for watchdog to notify you about. I’m digging this app.

  • http://freetalklive.com Bmorebadboy

    Use craigsnotifications instead of craigsphone.