08-20-2013, 03:55 PM #1
- 46 Posts
I've been an extremely happy Windows Phone user (HTC Trophy, then Nokia Lumia 822). I was eligible for an upgrade, and thought I'd try the Samsung Galaxy S3. There are some things that I do like better about Android, like the notification center and actually being able to interact with the widgets rather than them just being relatively static points of information. I've heard that it's an OS limitation as a reason for why live tiles do not update more frequently than every 30 minutes. Is this true? Is this something that will change with future updates, even way down the road ones? If they could update more frequently without me having to go into the program, I wouldn't think the widgets are nearly as interesting.
08-20-2013, 04:31 PM #3
- 46 Posts
- 08-20-2013, 04:34 PM #4
No one knows for sure, but I would suspect it will get improve over time. The main reason they enforce the timer is so an app can't (whether intentional or not) drain the device battery or hog too much data bandwidth.
- 08-20-2013, 05:54 PM #5
How does HTC's clock tile work then? It's insanities like this that I just can't find a reasonable explanation. How do Android widgets work, why didn't they make it like that? How does the little clock in the upper right work, can't the tiles also do it?
And let's not mix internet refresh and tile refresh, i'm not saying let IMDB or Weather apps update the tile every second, but stuff like battery status, clock tiles etc... Seriously MS?
- 08-20-2013, 06:04 PM #7
- 08-20-2013, 06:11 PM #9
It's about avoiding lags. Imagine you allow all tiles to update and run code when they want. This means all app will do like on android run in the background unrestricted. All apps on android use this running in background unrestricted to get data. So this is why the S4 with octocore blah bblah will still lag just like S3 did before. This is the price you pay for unrestricted background access and for having widgets like on android.
So I do not think this will change. But there is a but here. People always assume that you are limited with 30-40 minutes between tile updates. This is not entirely true. You are restricted on running code in background once 30 minutes. So if I want to update a tile I would simply run in background once every 30 minutes and grab data over the internet and display it on the tile. That is just half the story. One can update the live tiles as fast as often as it desires. The limitations applies for running code in the background not for tile updates. So if you want faster tile updates you just make the tiles be synced by push notifications. This means essentially that the tile will modify in real time when it gets signal from the server.
Now the reason why you don't see this is:
1. Battery drain will occur if you use pushnotifications every second
2. You need a server that you pay for it monthly to do this so no crappy add supported app will ever do that. Even a paid app won't do that because the cost are monthly and you pay for the app just once.
3. You are limited to 10.000 push notifications per dat unless you buy SSL certificate. This is additional cost 100-200$ per year.
So in the end it's about cost that you don't see more frequent updates on tiles rather than anything else. You pay 100$/ year to keep the app in the store. You need another 100-200$ a year for SSL certificate + monthly costs in servers(at least 20$ a month cost for 10 apps but I estimate more like 100$/month for a good number for some medium number of apps installed of course I assume here maximum frequency for push notifications in order to get a good approximation of costs involved).
So when people don't buy apps and want all apps free you can clearly see why you won't have faster tile updates unless you accept to pay monthly fees for that app.
Sure for big titles like IMDB or whatever this is just a drop in the ocean. For small independent developers is just a no go since they won't make money with the app anyway even without paying for a push notification server.
As for batter status clock etc I already explained that more frequent updates there means lousy energy apps like on android.
So the end point is YES you can have stocks in realtime who says you can't is unprofessional and wont tell you about the costs as being the reason they will go on about API limitations bla bla. But you loose money monthly for a feature few desire. For unrestricted work that may or not result in a live tile update the answer is NO you can only do it on 30/40 minutes intervals.
08-20-2013, 06:12 PM #11
- 1,361 Posts
Ya, a lot of apps miss behave with background tasks, especially on Android. Hence its lag build up.
On my 920 the battery would drastically drain within a few hours. So I looked through my app list with permissions to run in background and disable a couple I didn't need. So far, no problems since. So one of those apps was draining the device super fast.
- 08-20-2013, 06:19 PM #12
So could it be the ONLY one i have left in background tasks, Weather Flow, that it's causing the drain every 10 days or so? So i have to give even that one up? How is that even a justification i don't know.. I'm no programmer, but I won't believe that the OS can't have some 'firewall' or something, that can tell the difference beatween wanted battery drain (me actually using an app) and process, background task getting stuck?
- 08-20-2013, 06:24 PM #13
Some programmers used by the relaxed and lazy android way of doing things don't care about their apps performance. They will simply use hacks like audio background players or GPS background agent to run their code unrestricted in the background. And so you get that battery drain. Unfortunately this will not change also since user do not know the culprit and won't react anyway. Before last batch of whatsapp updates this high profile app used the same technique for data communication and the real sanction from the users was not visible even though they knew about whatsapp being a battery killer.
So unless user base matures, read and understand about their device and demand quality apps (for which they must pay obviously) those sloppy things will happen.
- 08-20-2013, 06:31 PM #15
The GBA (General process background) the one that runs once20/40 minutes has 5 seconds of CPU time to execute. This is half the story. Because that task can steal your location(as to track you if the app is shady or give you weather for your region if it is legit weather app) this will make at that point a connection with the A-GPS (assisted GPS) which means: use the 3g data to get medium quality location, use Wifi to query near hotspots(then check those hotspots over internet on a database: meaning additional 3g or Wi-Fi battery usage) then go to weather server over internet and query weather. GPS is second battery killer after screen, data communication is third. Here you have all of them :). So you have 4-5 such apps and now you are getting continuous GPS and data communications (run each background app over 30 minutes but have more of them and it's like having one app that continues run in the background).
This is the technical bla bla. You can't firewall such stuff. Because I opted to install those apps so the firewall must also assume I want to have those background agents running. A compromise was made by limiting the number of background agents to 15 on windows phone 8.
- 08-20-2013, 06:41 PM #18
Yup. If you have location on all the apps that have background agents and use the location api will increase the battery usage of course because of the reasons I explained. The A-GPS (regular satellite GPS with help from 3g and wifi) has api that require the position with some precision. You can opt for a couple of hundred meters (yards) error in which case you only use Wi-Fi + 3g or use the precise stuff with all of them and an error of 4 meters but requires the GPS to go out of sleep and connect to the satellites(radio traffic + code executed for interpreting satellites data and making adjustments). Then use the perfect position that uses the compass(and gyroscop is available) and you get the whole package. Guess what precision programmer uses :).
2 reason are for the misuse of the precision requirements in locations apps:
1. Users don't care about what is happening and if they see the data you tracked about them they wan't it to be precise down to the meter without thinking about what that means and the utility of such data. So rather than educate you oblige and damn be the battery drain
2. Making apps free means you are the product so the app must datamine you as best as it can in order to make use of you as a product.
Again education + quality apps with the right price is the solution for this
08-20-2013, 06:42 PM #19
- 160 Posts
- 08-20-2013, 06:44 PM #20
I think that its all about options. Why should Microsoft, Apple, Google, etc. dictate what's good for me and my device. Some people like the delay in push notifications for battery sake but for someone like me that likes to have my info in real time then let the user make that choice. Don't restrict me. This one of the beauties of Android, you can choose the frequency of updates on most apps. My Note 2 and SGS4 Active last the same or better than my L1020 even with all real time info enabled. They are bigger devices with bigger batteries but they have bigger batteries to compensate for the OS and Apps. The people here that say "oh, that's why Android lags soo much" well, my L1020 lags just as much as Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2. And the lag is pretty minimal on my devices. Microsoft needs to get off their *** and listen to their customers. Apple did with the up coming iOS 7 and their true multitasking is going to be a very welcoming upgrade to that platform and I guarantee will bring some users back to iOS. Microsoft needs to follow suite. I'm glade I don't pay for these devices and I'm glad I'm fortunate enough to play around with all platforms to know how each interact. Android is not perfect but IMO offers the most flexibility in a Smartphone OS. WP8 definitely has potential lets just hope Microsoft listens to their customers.
- 08-20-2013, 06:54 PM #23
The new IOS 7 still does not have true multitasking. It's the same hat with different paint on it but as usual the apple did manage to market it as a feature. Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2 lags more than L 1020 (seen it after 1 week of usage by average educated user who installed all the crap in the world).
MS does listen to customers but again they learned from the past that security must be imposed by force(the UAC example not to mention the way users were using windows xp). Seams that people forget that the last batman game on android has permission to kill all other apps and services just to keep the framerate. This should not be allowed on a device you claim to be secure. People forget that android is the only really personal device you carry everywhere with you that needs an antivirus. People forget the security experiment on android when an app disguise as a game stole and bought on amazon without users knowing. People not living in rusia forget about the real theft of money from users on android devices. People forget that apps like instagram are allowed on android to see what app you are using, what apps you are running and how often you run them.
Listening is one thing. Allowing users to suppress the concept of security because they are lazy and gaining a reputation of a bad and insecure product mostly because of users is another thing.
- 08-20-2013, 07:02 PM #25
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