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How much of an effect does it have on the phones battery life to keep applications such as the contacts application open. I ask because that app sometimes takes long to open the first time depending on how many contacts you have I guess. I'm running android 4.1.2 on an galaxy s3 if that makes any difference. But I'm wondering whats the best practice from an user as well as developer perspective with regard to keeping apps open as a posed to the old school conservative thinking of closing everything when it's not needed.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

In Linux/Android it is not recommended to close apps or use task killers. Unlike a Windows computer/phone, Linux/Android can keep applications "running" in the background which doesn't use any CPU or networking (unless it's a media player). It has actually been proven that closing apps causes more battery drain, because instead of Android being able to recall the app that was in memory it has to relaunch it, which requires more memory use as well as CPU.

You are better to leave apps running.

Sources: How To Geek and LifeHacker

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But does the closing of apps free up memory to make the phone run faster? I've heard it does, and it appears to after I kill some apps –  SSumner Mar 26 '13 at 17:48
    
Seems legit, tho still wondering about the memory as SSumner mentions –  John Mar 26 '13 at 18:05
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Yes apps left "running" will consume memory, but the way that Android/Linux manage memory is way different than how Windows does. Empty memory in Android is wasted memory. Android is built to use as much memory as it needs, and if apps or activities are consuming that memory it will close them. You should not interfere with the native memory management of Android because if you do, at some point the system will have to restart those apps that you or your task manager closed. –  Mr. Monkey Mar 26 '13 at 19:00
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