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  1. jrdatrackstar1223's Avatar
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       #1  
    So I decided to run a test: to pretend I was a novice, first time Windows Phone user that left background tasks on and apps "open" (as if I had come from an iPhone, where hitting the home button tombstones an app). I started Asphalt 5 and Modern Combat 4 and hit the Start button. I then put the phone to sleep and let it sit for an hour. It had lost around 10%, which leads me to believe the games were still running. I also have the following background tasks enabled (with Gas Buddy being the only one with live tiles)....

    Asphalt 7
    Bible
    Gas Buddy (again, the only app with live tiles)
    Here City Lens
    Here Drive Beta+
    Metrotube
    Redbox Renter
    Modern Combat 4

    My have two questions:

    1. Were the games truly suspended, and one app (or a combo of apps) really causing the drain...?

    2. Does an app with a background task not run that background task unless a live tile is pinned (or the lock screen is set to the app)? For example, Metrotube's background task description says "Metrotube live tile updates"; does this mean it will not run the task since I don't have a live tile for it?

    Also, after enabling all background tasks, I received a warning about battery life, so perhaps I answered my own question (lol), but just wanted insight. I was also wondering because I got someone to buy an HTC 8x, and explained how background tasks are handled better than Android (didn't want to eat my words lol). I'm sorry this has been asked a million times, but I thought that perhaps having a specific example could receive a pass for a new thread....
  2. a5cent's Avatar

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    #2  
    1. An app being suspended is not the same thing as an app being tombstoned, but technical issues aside, yes, your games were suspended (probably not tombstoned), and therefore not running or using battery power during that time.

    However, background agents can and will run. Background agents = audio, navigation, HTTP file transfers, and periodic tasks (like live tile updates). All of these may or may not drain your battery considerably, depending on what exactly they do.

    2. If you've activated a periodic background agent, the OS will run it every half hour or so. Period. However, what the background agent does may differ, depending on how your device is configured. It may notice that you don't have a live tile pinned and terminate immediately, or go through all the motions regardless. It depends on the app.
  3. jrdatrackstar1223's Avatar
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       #3  
    Quote Originally Posted by a5cent View Post
    1. An app being suspended is not the same thing as an app being tombstoned, but technical issues aside, yes, your games were suspended (probably not tombstoned), and therefore not running or using battery power during that time.

    However, background agents can and will run. Background agents = audio, navigation, HTTP file transfers, and periodic tasks (like live tile updates). All of these may or may not drain your battery considerably, depending on what exactly they do.

    2. If you've activated a periodic background agent, the OS will run it every half hour or so. Period. However, what the background agent does may differ, depending on how your device is configured. It may notice that you don't have a live tile pinned and terminate immediately, or go through all the motions regardless. It depends on the app.
    Man, and here I thought Windows Phone was about simplicity....oh boy...

    So basically, rule of thumb is: anytime I install a new app, I have to go and make sure the background task isn't set for that app, and to disable it if I don't need a live tile/toast notification. I thought Windows Phone was supposed to manage all this stuff so that we don't have to worry about all this...? Wasn't that what Joe Belfiore and the Windows Phone team touting vs Android; that apps are handled correctly and hassle free...?
  4. SnailUK's Avatar
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    #4  
    The whole point is that Android allows the full app to run in the background, where WP only allows the app to do anything every 30 minutes having a huge effect on battery life.

    You have one menu that shows all background tasks, and it should require one button press to disable background operation so its hardly challenging to manage.

    This is the first post I've seen moaning that apps are allowed to do stuff in the background most people moan it doesn't do enough or frequently enough.
    Sent from my RM-821_eu_euro1_342 using Board Express
  5. Huime's Avatar
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    #5  
    yep, swapping out of the game and lock the phone will drain your batter just as fast as you are playing. An funny thing is, if you resume the game, a lot of them need you to start all over again. Pretty stupid. Guess those dev are still too new to properly understand how MT works on WP8.
  6. a5cent's Avatar

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    #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by jrdatrackstar1223 View Post
    Man, and here I thought Windows Phone was about simplicity....oh boy...

    So basically, rule of thumb is: anytime I install a new app, I have to go and make sure the background task isn't set for that app, and to disable it if I don't need a live tile/toast notification. I thought Windows Phone was supposed to manage all this stuff so that we don't have to worry about all this...? Wasn't that what Joe Belfiore and the Windows Phone team touting vs Android; that apps are handled correctly and hassle free...?
    In theory, and in a perfect world were all app developers are awesome and get everything right, you shouldn't have to worry. Periodic background agents would always complete in under two seconds or almost instantly when confronted with the live tile scenario you mentioned... battery drain would be negligible regardless. I would recommend assuming micromanaging such issues is unnecessary and not threat over background agents without pinned live tiles, until you encounter a specific problem. Unfortunately, WP8 and all our apps are still in their young and developing stages, so we will encounter more than our fair share of issues... sounds like you may have one.

    WP8 does have the potential to be management-free... bugs are preventing us from reaching that ideal ATM.

    Toast and tile notifications (anything sent through MPNS) works without requiring an activated background agent.

    Any and every OS is an extremely complicated piece of 'machinery'. At best it manages to create the illusion of simplicity ;-)
  7. jrdatrackstar1223's Avatar
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       #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by SnailUK View Post
    The whole point is that Android allows the full app to run in the background, where WP only allows the app to do anything every 30 minutes having a huge effect on battery life.

    You have one menu that shows all background tasks, and it should require one button press to disable background operation so its hardly challenging to manage.

    This is the first post I've seen moaning that apps are allowed to do stuff in the background most people moan it doesn't do enough or frequently enough.
    Sent from my RM-821_eu_euro1_342 using Board Express
    Wy would I complain that apps have the capability to run in the background. For one, I'm not moaning. Two, if I were moaning, it would be about how Microsoft just makes things sound so easy, as if someone with NO experience with battery life maintenance (on any kind of smartphone) could just pick up the phone, use it, and not have to worry about downloading an app that could have a crazy background task running without them knowing. Granted, they don't promise you can just use your device for days straight, but they always seem to emphasize simplicity, with the promise of a stress-free, worry-free experience...

    Back to the subject...

    I think I may have found a possible culprit. I have an app called voice butler, and it can be used to set reminders. The problem, I believe, is that these reminders are of the app, and not properly sync'd to the OS's calendar, and thus having to run in the background for a long time to constantly sync and check the time (even though there is no background task option or live tile notification). What led me to this was the title of the reminders; they would say "Voice Butler" instead of "Calendar".

    Gonna delete Voice Butler, and see if it makes a difference. If this is the case, that's gonna suck that I can't use Voice apps for reminders...
    Last edited by jrdatrackstar1223; 06-16-2013 at 01:57 AM.
  8. a5cent's Avatar

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    #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by Huime View Post
    yep, swapping out of the game and lock the phone will drain your batter just as fast as you are playing. An funny thing is, if you resume the game, a lot of them need you to start all over again. Pretty stupid. Guess those dev are still too new to properly understand how MT works on WP8.
    It shouldn't, and would require almost malicious intent to keep the game running under the lock screen.

    The same test could be repeated without the games. I'd expect the same results.
  9. jrdatrackstar1223's Avatar
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       #9  
    So it looks like it actually was Voice Butler (so far, I've noticed the drain stop after deleting it and using it the same way as before; could still be too early to tell). Is nice to know that I can at least hit the start button without having to worry about battery drain, even on games (except for gas buddy, which is location so that makes sense). I guess a possible workaround is to just use "Dictate Now", then paste into the Calendar (why can't Microsoft give us more voice commands...)
  10. Huime's Avatar
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    #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by a5cent View Post
    It shouldn't, and would require almost malicious intent to keep the game running under the lock screen.

    The same test could be repeated without the games. I'd expect the same results.
    It shouldn't that's the point.
    But you can try it out yourselves. The games are definitely killing the battery from the background.
    realwarder likes this.
  11. a5cent's Avatar

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    #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by Huime View Post
    It shouldn't that's the point.
    But you can try it out yourselves. The games are definitely killing the battery from the background.
    Any free game I could test? I don't play too many games. The very few I have don't exhibit that problem.
  12. Huime's Avatar
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    #12  
    you can use where is my perry trial to try it out.
    a5cent likes this.
  13. jrdatrackstar1223's Avatar
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       #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by a5cent View Post
    Any free game I could test? I don't play too many games. The very few I have don't exhibit that problem.
    You can practically download any game for free as a trial. I would say try one of the intensive games, like Modern Combat or NOVA 3 or Asphalt....

    My battery looks like it is still draining, but it could be because we are on the road (where signal is a little bouncy). I just wish I could get consistent battery life, because some days my 920 is fine, and others it sucks...
    a5cent likes this.
  14. a5cent's Avatar

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    #14  
    Huime, jrda, okay, you are making me curious. I don't usually play or install those types of games, so that may be why I haven't noticed any such thing. I'll take a look.

    So what exactly are you doing that causes the problem? Just put the phone down and wait for it to lock and shut off the screen?
  15. Huime's Avatar
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    #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by a5cent View Post
    Huime, jrda, okay, you are making me curious. I don't usually play or install those types of games, so that may be why I haven't noticed any such thing. I'll take a look.

    So what exactly are you doing that causes the problem? Just put the phone down and wait for it to lock and shut off the screen?
    start a new game, then jump out of it, lock the phone. Come back 10 minutes later. You will have a better view with a battery app usage graph.
  16. waitthereimaWP's Avatar
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    #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by jrdatrackstar1223 View Post
    Wy would I complain that apps have the capability to run in the background. For one, I'm not moaning. Two, if I were moaning, it would be about how Microsoft just makes things sound so easy, as if someone with NO experience with battery life maintenance (on any kind of smartphone) could just pick up the phone, use it, and not have to worry about downloading an app that could have a crazy background task running without them knowing. Granted, they don't promise you can just use your device for days straight, but they always seem to emphasize simplicity, with the promise of a stress-free, worry-free experience...

    Back to the subject...

    I think I may have found a possible culprit. I have an app called voice butler, and it can be used to set reminders. The problem, I believe, is that these reminders are of the app, and not properly sync'd to the OS's calendar, and thus having to run in the background for a long time to constantly sync and check the time (even though there is no background task option or live tile notification). What led me to this was the title of the reminders; they would say "Voice Butler" instead of "Calendar".

    Gonna delete Voice Butler, and see if it makes a difference. If this is the case, that's gonna suck that I can't use Voice apps for reminders...
    RReminder apps don't always run in the background, they use what's called the ScheduledActionService, this basically allows the app to set reminders. The app will not run in the background until its needed. The OS it self determines if its time for the app to display the notification. Heck reminder apps don't even need a background task to function. There should be no effect on battery life! (BTW I've developed reminder apps before, I KNOW they shouldn't effect battery life)
  17. jrdatrackstar1223's Avatar
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       #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by waitthereimaWP View Post
    RReminder apps don't always run in the background, they use what's called the ScheduledActionService, this basically allows the app to set reminders. The app will not run in the background until its needed. The OS it self determines if its time for the app to display the notification. Heck reminder apps don't even need a background task to function. There should be no effect on battery life! (BTW I've developed reminder apps before, I KNOW they shouldn't effect battery life)
    Thanks, and yea...it looks like I'm still getting the drain with the uninstall of the voice butler app...hmm...
  18. spacejovi's Avatar
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    #18  
    I was once playing angry birds or istunt2 (i can't remember which) on my L820 during a flight and then pressed the windows button to lock the phone and leave it to charge with usb port. After three hours, I found the phone was super hot on the battery side and the battery level was 10% less...the game was definitely not tombstoned and it must've been draining my battery like crazy. The battery level did not get higher until I killed the game.
  19. sinime's Avatar
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    #19  
    An app should tomstone if it's not the active app... even under a lock screen (unless the developer enables the app to run under the lock screen - in which case the app should ask you for permission first.)

    Only way I could see it not tombstoning, is if the app had a bug or something that prevented tombstoning.

    I've had my phone battery drain at times, but a restart generally clears out whatever was causing it.
  20. a5cent's Avatar

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    #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by sinime View Post
    Only way I could see it not tombstoning, is if the app had a bug or something that prevented tombstoning.
    Wrong. You and others aren't explaining this correctly and it's confusing. Apps are NEVER tombstoned unless the OS starts running out of memory and needs more. This is achieved by unloading the least often used app from memory, whereas a suspended app remains in memory. Almost every app (except audio and navigation apps) are suspended when not in the foreground, but only the least often used is likely to be tombstoned, if at all. Those are the differences. Tombstoning is done entirely by the OS without any app involvement, so an app has no way of preventing tombstoning, no matter how many bugs it may have. As mentioned in the second post in this thread, being suspended and being tombstoned are entirely different things. I suspect you and others mean suspended, not tombstoned.

    Keep your terminology straight people, otherwise your technical explanations end up being more misinformation rather than useful.
    hopmedic likes this.
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    #21  
    Quote Originally Posted by Huime View Post
    It shouldn't that's the point.
    But you can try it out yourselves. The games are definitely killing the battery from the background.
    I get this too. And it's not just games. E.g. a flashlight app.

    You have to close out apps before hitting lock (off/standby button) else they can really chew through the battery.
  22. airwolf878's Avatar
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    #22  
    As someone else mentioned, audio and navigation apps have special privileges to do work in the background and may not be suspended like other applications. Check your settings for the Nokia Drive and Gas Buddy apps, as they may be constantly using the GPS in the background which will cause the battery to drain faster. The Nokia Drive app has a battery saver option to disable the constant GPS usage.
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    #23  
    10% in an hour... that's 10 hours of battery life. Is that really bad? I don't think I've ever gotten 10 hours out of my Lumia 900...
  24. jrdatrackstar1223's Avatar
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       #24  
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeSo View Post
    10% in an hour... that's 10 hours of battery life. Is that really bad? I don't think I've ever gotten 10 hours out of my Lumia 900...
    10% an hour with NO use....as in the phone is sleep in my pocket...
  25. Forc3's Avatar
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    #25  
    its pretty simple Direct X games/apps do not get deactivated by the system they use "real" multitasking. So games which use Direct X still fully run in background. I wonder why no one has known about that. oO
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