Google launches crackdown against ‘killer speed booster’ apps; did you download any?

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Are you an Android smartphone user? What do you do to speed up your phone? There are several third party mobile apps which can be installed in your Android device to make it run fast. Notably, not all the apps you install from the Google Play Store are safe. And now Google is planning to crack down on apps that claim to speed up your phone. “Third-party “speed booster” apps can actually end up doing more harm than good, which is why Google is preparing to crack down on them with changes in Android 14 and a warning to app developers on Google Play,” a blog post by Esper stated.

Why it is recommended to not to use speed booster apps

According to the blog post, a lot is being said about the efficacy of ‘task killer’ apps that claim to improve the performance of your Android device. However, it is always recommended to not to use such mobile applications. “That’s because the OS already has its own built-in task management mechanisms, which were designed with the memory and power constraints of mobile devices in mind,” the post read.

“Killing processes to free up memory without regard for what state they’re in or knowledge of how Android/Linux manages memory can actually negatively affect performance as the OS has to do more work (and thus use more CPU cycles) to perform cold starts of processes the user just killed. It’s almost always better to let the OS manage memory than it is to use a third-party “task killer”/”speed booster” app to kill processes, which is why Google is starting to restrict what these apps can do and preparing to limit how developers market them on Google Play,” the blog post further informed.

It was further informed, “Beginning in Android 14, one of the APIs commonly used by “task killer” apps will be restricted. In previous releases, apps that hold the KILL_BACKGROUND_PROCESSES permission (a “normal” ie. install-time permission) can call ActivityManager.killBackgroundProcesses(String) to kill all background processes of a given app. This method does the equivalent of the kernel killing those processes to reclaim memory, leaving it to the OS to restart those processes later when needed.”

When apps call this method on devices running Android 14, regardless of that app’s target API level, they can only kill their own background processes. Passing the package name of any other app will have no effect on that app’s background processes, and in fact, the system logs will state that an invalid package name was sent.

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