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I have an issue where the Home Screen (dashboard?) icons can take over 10 seconds to load when I press the home key. After this happens once, the icons will stay there if I open a program and then press the home key again. But, after some time has passed, I'll see this issue again.

Phone restart does not fix this issue. I don't have a lot of Services running and I keep things tidy with Advanced Task Killer.

This question looks similar, but that user's icons never load. Mine will always load, it just takes way too long.

Any thoughts are welcome.

Phone: Motorola Droid; Android 2.2.1; No Root/Mod
Apps: 1 Widget; 27 total icons
Modes: Normal; Desk Charger Mode (whatever that's called)

EDIT:

I uninstalled my Task Killer and a couple other apps that I don't use anymore. The problem isn't as severe, but still occurs. I will try removing the 1 widget I have and perhaps install an alternate launcher.

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3 Answers 3

I have the same phone and pretty much the same issue(s).

First of all, you shouldn't be using a task killer. It's unnecessary and counter productive. (See this question and this other question.)

One thing that will help is using a Home Screen replacement. There are several, but I've been using Zeam. While it doesn't remove the homescreen redraw delay completely, it's much better than without it.

Another thing that will help is reducing or eliminating the number of widgets you're using.

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Thanks for the note about Task Killers. I'll stop using that. I'd rather not install a Home Screen replacement, but I'm open to that. I'm also only using 1 widget. –  EndangeredMassa Feb 15 '11 at 21:21
    
@EndangeredMassa Using a home replacement will also let you reduce the number of home screens you have, which will also help with performance. Personally I use LauncherPro. It has a setting to try and force/keep the home launcher in memory. It also has a debug option see how much memory the launcher is using to help you reduce usage. –  Bryan Denny Feb 15 '11 at 21:34
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I have the same Droid 1 and I was having this happen all of the time. Now I run LauncherPro with no widgets, and I occasionally clear the cache of apps (using Apps2sd) to keep my available memory around 50MB. That seems to keep the behavior you describe down to a minimum (maybe once a week vs. almost every time). –  user739 Feb 15 '11 at 22:16
    
I have a similar experience on my Droid, usually after a long time away from the home screen (either in the car or home dock, for example). I found that it seemed to improve quite a bit when I ditched the Google stock price widget (don't remember the exact name), even though I'd reduced its update frequency to 2 hours. –  TomG Feb 16 '11 at 3:10

The delay that you are seeing is the Android operating system "opening" the home screen application after it has been stopped. Unlike most other phone platforms, the Android home screen is nothing more than an application (like Messaging or Email) which is triggered when you press the home button (or back button enough).

The Android OS will often stop applications which are running in the background but not being used in order to free up more resources for the ones you are currently using. If you spend an extended amount of time within an application such as a game or Messaging, the Android OS might stop the home screen activity to allow the current application to function better. When you press the home screen button to exit, it has to start up the home screen from scratch. The delay you see is the home screen starting up from a completely stopped state, much like the delay you would see when opening a large application for the first time since booting.

There is no (easy) way to prevent this from happening and in reality you shouldn't. The Android OS is built on a very robust platform that has been designed to handle resources much better than a human being. This is also the reasoning behind not using a task killer. The OS knows best.

To mitigate the problem, an alternative home screen might be worth a try. Three popular ones are LauncherPro, ADW.Launcher, and Zeam. Reducing the number of applications that run in the background will also help free up resources and allow the home application to stay loaded for much longer. Applications like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and most multiplayer games all keep services running in the background which consume resources.

Hopefully some of this can help you!

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"OS knows best" is not a good answer for a bad user experience. This is annoying enough to make me consider a different platform for my next phone purchase. Alternative launchers shouldn't be the answer. –  EndangeredMassa Feb 16 '11 at 23:29
    
They are not the answer, there is no answer. An alternative launcher might be lighter on memory which allows it to stay loaded longer. This functionality is by design and you should not want to change it. The extreme delay seen is a direct result of an aging device as well as other resources being eaten up which will cause a slow startup for ANY application. If I manually kill my launcher there is a 2-3 second delay when pressing the home button before it appears. If I manually kill GMail there is a 2-3 second delay before it appears. This is the nature of how Android works on a system level. –  Jake Wharton Feb 17 '11 at 3:57
    
@EndangeredMassa, it may be reasonable to say that "OS knows best" but it could be that the designer of Droid's home launcher does not. I would echo Jake's recommendation of trying a different home launcher. And if you don't like it, you can always switch back. –  Chance Feb 22 '12 at 17:58

I also have a Moto DROID rev. 1 that has been OTA updated to 2.2.1. I was also seeing the extreme delay (10 seconds and longer) in displaying the launcher after removing the phone from either my car or multimedia dock. I found that after performing a factory reset of my phone, the launcher was much, much more responsive. It has been several weeks since I reset my device, and while the launcher does lag from time to time, it is usually available in less than 2 seconds.

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