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HTC says it purposefully made multitasking broken on the One X

Posted: , by Michael H.

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HTC says it purposefully made multitasking broken on the One X
Recently, we've been getting a number of e-mails from readers saying that we need to do a story about how the multitasking on the HTC One X is broken. Amazingly, just as we were working on that very article, HTC made a statement on the subject. Unfortunately, it's not a statement that users will really want to hear. 

The general issue that we've been hearing about is that tasks that get sent to the background on the HTC One X are not being held in memory, but rather are being shut down, and so when you go back to an app it will start from scratch, or in the case of the browser, it will reload the page you had open no matter what. This effectively made multitasking non-existent aside from the HTC-built apps, which are actually held in memory. 

HTC commented on the issue today, and effectively said that it made the memory management and task killing on the One X extremely aggressive on purpose. Of course, HTC started out by placating users, but that probably won't go too far. The company told The Verge: 

HTC is aware of some questions in the enthusiast community about how the HTC One X handles multitasking and memory management for background apps. We value the community's input and are always looking for ways to enhance customers' experience with our devices. That said, right now multitasking is operating normally according to our custom memory management specifications which balance core ICS features with a consistent HTC Sense experience.

So, there you have it. Killing your apps is considered "normal" by HTC's standards. Just so everyone understands what the issue is, here's a video made by a reader of the multitasking on the One X. 


source: The Verge

87 Comments
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posted on 16 May 2012, 16:19 9

1. snowgator (Posts: 3277; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)


Gee, I wonder if the GS3 will be unable to multi-task, too.

What was HTC thinking? Like their competition needs to shut down some of the main advantages of Android for their Skins???

Whatever. Be interesting to see if this hurts them or not.

posted on 17 May 2012, 12:35 3

76. ZEUS.the.thunder.god (unregistered)


i think its just a goodwill gesture from HTC to help SAMMY with even more sales for 2012. good luck HTC.
S3 all the way:)

posted on 17 May 2012, 13:00 2

77. remixfa (Posts: 14080; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


that just helped kill any interest I remotely had in the phone. camera issues and no multitasking? no thanks.

I bet they implemented it to help save battery since its a bit under sized for the device.

posted on 17 May 2012, 19:52

83. Mario1017 (Posts: 336; Member since: 04 Sep 2011)


so does this happen to the One S as well?

posted on 17 May 2012, 21:03

84. Sackboy117 (Posts: 178; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


No the One S has actually proved much less laggier than the one x. . . .and it also has a better camera based on the review. . . . wtf

posted on 17 May 2012, 21:18

85. Mario1017 (Posts: 336; Member since: 04 Sep 2011)


im not talking about lag or anything like that....im talking about multitasking. and both X and S have the EXACT same camera, both are equal in every way. and the X isnt laggy either way...

posted on 16 May 2012, 16:27 1

2. hobble (Posts: 130; Member since: 11 Oct 2011)


I love how this article ends with a shot at HTC. And as someone who has run ICS on about four phones, none of them official releases, in all versions I've used you can change the amount of programs you let run as background processes. Can you not do it on "official" versions of ICS?

posted on 16 May 2012, 17:56 1

25. sprockkets (Posts: 1316; Member since: 16 Jan 2012)


I can second this. The stock version of android offers this option on the Gnex. Someone just needs to check the develop menu.

posted on 17 May 2012, 04:31

68. Forsaken77 (Posts: 552; Member since: 09 Jun 2011)


I think if the programs are running in the background you can "restrict background processes" to limit apps that run in the background. I don't believe there's a way to enable background processes because they're supposed to already be enabled as part of the core functionality of the Android os. It looks like HTC went ahead and dismantled that feature to prolong battery life. I bet the phone was getting real bad battery life and that was the only way to extend it.

posted on 17 May 2012, 13:03

78. remixfa (Posts: 14080; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


there is a difference between apps running in the background that u used and background sync processes. the HTC and the ics function you are talking about both limit active apps that you started.. not background sync apps.

posted on 16 May 2012, 16:29 6

3. WakaFlakaD (Posts: 370; Member since: 30 Apr 2011)


Apple?

posted on 17 May 2012, 00:16 3

53. HTCFreak (Posts: 150; Member since: 17 Jul 2010)


It isn't even that bad with apple devices. Pages don't need to reload when the task was on the background, and with games, you just need to tap on resume and you can continue your game. So HTC... why? Is 1GB of RAM not enough?

posted on 16 May 2012, 16:32 15

4. kindahipdude (Posts: 45; Member since: 05 Apr 2012)


I used to be stoked for the new HTC phones, but now I'm gonna wait a little longer and get the SIII. They do stuff like this, they brag about Beats and don't give you headphones anymore, they have sucky browsers and texting apps...Samsung actually tried to improve the user experience which is why I'll go with them.

posted on 17 May 2012, 02:12 1

61. belovedson (Posts: 832; Member since: 30 Nov 2010)


I finally got to check this phone out and i am not impressed. Off white and ceramic feeling just doesnt work for me i hope the sprint version comes out soon it looks nice

posted on 16 May 2012, 16:41 18

5. a1000smiles4u (Posts: 84; Member since: 24 Apr 2012)


thank you htc
u made my decision easy
galaxy s3 all the way

posted on 16 May 2012, 16:41 19

6. chapizzo (Posts: 116; Member since: 13 Sep 2011)


What???????

With all that ram, HTC can't provide real multitasking???????

posted on 16 May 2012, 16:56 10

10. a1000smiles4u (Posts: 84; Member since: 24 Apr 2012)


dr dre using all the ram :P

posted on 16 May 2012, 16:58 6

12. BuckeyeCadet86 (Posts: 68; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)


considering that sense probably needs just about all of the available memory, it doesn't surprise me that the One X can't do multitasking.

posted on 16 May 2012, 16:45 15

7. Sniggly (Posts: 7180; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Maybe that's why the One X is being held up at customs; they made it more like the iPhone with their multitasking "solution."

IT'S A JOKE, DON'T SHOOT, DON'T SHOOT!

posted on 16 May 2012, 18:19 2

28. Lucas777 (Posts: 2137; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)


its also quite apple of them to say "ur multitasking wrong"

posted on 16 May 2012, 18:26 2

31. Sniggly (Posts: 7180; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Snorfle. Yes, i just made up a word. That was funny. :)

posted on 16 May 2012, 18:36 2

32. sithman (banned) (Posts: 299; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


Don't put apple in it. Htc jus f'd up, own up to it.

posted on 16 May 2012, 16:49 17

8. gallitoking (Posts: 4690; Member since: 17 May 2011)


HTC just keep shooting themselves on the foot...

posted on 16 May 2012, 16:57 5

11. Sniggly (Posts: 7180; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Apart from the lack of an SD card slot, this is really the only flaw I see in the One X.

posted on 16 May 2012, 17:18 9

21. WirelessCon (Posts: 309; Member since: 11 May 2010)


The lack of an SD card was a huge flaw, so will this no multi-tasking nonsense.

The design aesthetic is beautiful, but I need more storage to even be viable, and the cloud is not an option.

posted on 17 May 2012, 17:44

82. remixfa (Posts: 14080; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


dont forget that it has camera issues right now as well and a tiny battery

posted on 16 May 2012, 16:55 1

9. theBankRobber (Posts: 649; Member since: 22 Sep 2011)


Multitasking is one of Androids pros, only way I see this as a positive is for better longer battery life.

posted on 16 May 2012, 23:04 2

48. maxican16 (Posts: 364; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)


if an app has to restart from scratch every time it is called, it will actually decrease battery life. multitasking on Android != multitasking on a PC.

posted on 16 May 2012, 17:04 1

13. Xquisite (Posts: 87; Member since: 23 Apr 2012)


This isn't that much of a deal breaker for me. But I'm on Verzion, and since Verizon isn't releasing a HTC One X variant, I'll have to go with the S III if they get it.

posted on 16 May 2012, 17:05 5

14. WirelessCon (Posts: 309; Member since: 11 May 2010)


So you can't listen to a music app and browse the internet at the same time?

You can't browse the internet while calling a friend?

At&t is okay with this?

posted on 16 May 2012, 17:32 1

24. clevername (Posts: 1431; Member since: 11 Jul 2008)


The article says htc made apps will background normally. So yeah you can use the media player to listen to music and do anything else. And yeah you can be on a phone call and browse the web. The dialer and player are htc made...well htc modified anyway...

That's my theory as it is.

posted on 16 May 2012, 21:52 3

42. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2686; Member since: 26 May 2011)


You are right, sir. Music still runs fine in the background, as will calls, but most everything else gets aggressively killed.

posted on 17 May 2012, 03:00

62. wendygarett (unregistered)


Michael, Im currently using oneX... and I really dont understand what does the video telling me... and I cant find anything wrong on my multitask... is it fully malfunction? or lags? Can PA provide a video about the problem of multitask?

posted on 17 May 2012, 17:06

81. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2686; Member since: 26 May 2011)


I'll check to see if someone has a One X to put it together, but there are other videos on YouTube.

The basic idea (which is explained in the article) is that multitasking just doesn't hold the app in memory in the background. Apps are aggressively killed, so apps have to reload when you switch to them.

posted on 17 May 2012, 04:28

67. rd_nest (Posts: 814; Member since: 06 Jun 2010)


@ Michael : Does SGS3 have the same problem??

posted on 17 May 2012, 17:05

80. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2686; Member since: 26 May 2011)


Just the One X as far as I know.

posted on 16 May 2012, 17:07 2

15. CWBAlfredo (Posts: 28; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)


Actually a deal breaker for me. I hope they issue a fix!

posted on 16 May 2012, 17:10 2

17. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 3042; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)


The way they put in it isnt a problem in their eyes.

posted on 16 May 2012, 17:08 5

16. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 3042; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)


There is nothing more annoying than web browsing then getting a text, responding to the text and going back to web browsing just for it to completely reload. Doesnt sound bad at first but trust me itll get on your nerves in no time.

posted on 16 May 2012, 17:21 1

22. WirelessCon (Posts: 309; Member since: 11 May 2010)


Yep, that's really annoying, HTC better get a fix out there.

Maybe 2GB RAM is indeed needed in the future, S III isn't going to cut it 9 months down the road.

2 year contracts are evil.

posted on 16 May 2012, 20:45 1

39. Hemlocke (unregistered)


The Japanese variant of the S3 is rumored to be launching with 2GB of RAM, as is the LG Eclipse LTE.

posted on 16 May 2012, 18:04 2

27. NLiveris (Posts: 11; Member since: 13 Feb 2012)


100% agreed. Watching that video made me uncomfortable. Real bad, HTC. Inexcusable.

posted on 16 May 2012, 18:46 1

33. ph00ny (Posts: 606; Member since: 26 May 2011)


This is the exact reason why i dumped my original iPad. Got tired of tabs reloading when i switch back and fourth

posted on 16 May 2012, 20:58 1

40. jan25 (Posts: 417; Member since: 26 Feb 2012)


completely agree too. never liked how HTC One series's browser performed. now to hear about the multitasking issue is inexcusable, and i was once an HTC fan. i still think Sense looks way better than TW but then practicality comes first.

posted on 16 May 2012, 17:13 3

18. nytonyv (Posts: 9; Member since: 23 Apr 2012)


i dont understand how this is a "crippling" feature for the htc phones yet when apple started doing this with their "real multitasking" iphone 3gstuvwxys or whatever the hell stupid letter combination it was everyone oohed and aahed like it was the second coming. apple called it "smart multi tasking" and battery saving memory functions and yet when another company does the same thing its a deal breaker. i dont see a problem with this as its an lte capable phone (again something apple cant do) so the internet should be loading rather quickly. my biggest concern would be the extra data used to reload web pages and apps and re transmit data and how that effects ur data lkimit.

posted on 16 May 2012, 17:17 3

19. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 3042; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)


Because its Android. Android has TRUE MULTITASKING.

posted on 16 May 2012, 21:55 3

44. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2686; Member since: 26 May 2011)


The difference is in which way you're going. Apple went from having no multitasking at all to having the limited multitasking, so that's a step up. HTC took the Android system which has proper multitasking and borked it with over-agressive task killing/memory management.

The data used for reloaded pages is one concern, but say you're looking at our site and in the middle of commenting on a post. Say you have to jump out of the browser for a second to check something, but when you come back the page reloads and all you've written is lost. That's real trouble.

posted on 17 May 2012, 03:08 1

63. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)


The iPhone always had multitasking on native apps. It added it on 3rd party apps with ios 4.

"proper multitasking"??

Umm yea sure

Apple's solution is better

posted on 17 May 2012, 07:41 1

72. SleepingOz (unregistered)


In denial as always taco! Multithreading ain't multitasking! And how is it better?

posted on 16 May 2012, 17:18 3

20. k1ng617 (Posts: 264; Member since: 13 Oct 2009)


Wow what's the point of Android if you can't even have background tasks? It's like going back to the OG iPhone, and the One x has a gig of ram for what then?

posted on 16 May 2012, 17:24 2

23. WirelessCon (Posts: 309; Member since: 11 May 2010)


One gig of RAM ain't enough. Too bad the S III won't have that much either. I may have to wait for the next Nexus to see an actual breakthrough.

posted on 16 May 2012, 17:58 1

26. humandroid (Posts: 58; Member since: 11 May 2012)


Michael H article...

posted on 16 May 2012, 18:20 1

29. yougotkilled1 (Posts: 167; Member since: 27 Apr 2011)


Once there is a work around to unlock the boot loader on the AT&T version, it's custom rom time.

posted on 16 May 2012, 18:26 4

30. APPLE_R0YALLY (banned) (Posts: 73; Member since: 08 May 2012)


WE SAY® the problem is HTC Sense is a ram hog.....!? It takes up 600mb of ram just to run it along with Os. WE SAY® here it is-
System 58 mb
Phone 28 mb
HTC Sense 72mb
HTC weather 23 mb
HTC bgp 24 mb
Google process 29mb
Android settings remote 34 mb
Process acore 36mb
Settings 42 mb
Notes 23 mb
Nfc 23 mb
Maps 24 mb
HTC acount 23 mb
Flex net 23 mb
Clock 23 mb
Lock screen 23 mb
System ui 35 mb
HTC Sense input 34 mb
Ftp server test 34 mb
Bluetooth map 23 mb
People 25 mb

EYE® say 1gb ram is no way enough.....!?
WE® $till have another 10 apps left to install.....!?
WE THINK®......!?

posted on 16 May 2012, 19:24 3

35. hung2900 (Posts: 817; Member since: 02 Mar 2012)


Oh you know when S3 released I saw a variety of comments from HTC fanboys like "TW is ugly, gimme Sense 4.0", "Sense 4.0 is much more better", "TW runs huge of background apps"... And now is that what they need from Sense?

posted on 16 May 2012, 18:52 1

34. mas11 (Posts: 1032; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)


Eh, tbh I never liked the look of Sense and this just makes it worse. Why make such a powerful phone then cripple it? I'm gonna stick with Motorola and Samsung.

posted on 16 May 2012, 19:41 4

36. networkdood (Posts: 6310; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


So, they purposely broke multi-tasking to boost battery life - kind of sneaky.
There are devs out there that give the users the option of doing this on custom ROMs, such as AXIOM RAZR.
Perhaps, this should be an option for all Android models.

posted on 16 May 2012, 21:57 4

45. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2686; Member since: 26 May 2011)


and all HTC really had to do was put in a bigger battery, which should have been possible since the phone doesn't have a removable battery.

posted on 17 May 2012, 00:29 2

55. mas11 (Posts: 1032; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)


I completely agree. If you're going to make the battery non-removable you better put in a large battery. I would love to see more manufactures using 3300 mAh batteries like the one in the DROID RAZR MAXX. I think battery life is one of the most important aspects of a phone because who really wants to be carrying around a charger all day.

posted on 16 May 2012, 19:58 1

37. GENARAL.LEVY (banned) (Posts: 93; Member since: 17 Apr 2012)


1gb ram come on Htc. it needs 2gb muppets.

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