On the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean interface of my Samsung Galaxy SIII, I have noticed there seem to be various places where an application's running state is documented. I would like to know what the difference is between an entry for an application appearing in the following four places:

  1. Application appears in the Task Manager under the Active Applications tab widget.
  2. Application appears in the Task Manager under the Clear Defaults tab widget under "Launch by default".
  3. Application appears in the Application Manager under RUNNING.
  4. Application appears in the Application Manager under DOWNLOADED or ALL, and when clicked the "Force Stop" button is enabled.

It seems applications can appear in any of these four places in a bunch of different ways, and would like to know what it means if an application appears in one of these four places as opposed to another one of these four places.

Thank you for clarifying this puzzling issue.


Cases 1+3 show the app is currently running; basically, both are "task manager" views.

Number 2 is rather related to "preferred apps" for a given action: if you e.g. have two web browsers installed, this decides which one is launched if you tap an URL.

Number 4 is the "application manager". Usually, an "active force-stop button" should indicate a running app which you can "kill" by clicking this; but I'm not 100% sure whether the button is always disabled when the app in question does not run.

  • Thank you @Izzy for your comment, but what is the difference between 1 and 3? I have applications listed under 1 but not under 3, applications listed under 3 but not under 1, and applications listed under both 1 and 3. What is the difference between these three cases? Also, is a service a process or is it part of a process. This page does a good job at explaining the difference between activities, services, content providers, and broadcast receivers. But it doesn't explain how a process differs from a service. Dec 14 '14 at 10:57
  • I understand 2, it can be used to clear which activity is launched corresponding to a given intent, so after clearing if multiple activities are available for a given intent the user will have to manually select which activity to launch upon the intent being emitted. I'm not sure about the buttons appearing when I click on such an app though. Dec 14 '14 at 11:03
  • I'm not 100% sure here, as I neither have a 4.3 device nor a Samsung device (Samsung often has "specific solutions"). If you could enhance your question with specific screenshots, that might help spotting the difference (and I'd update my answer then accordingly if I can).
    – Izzy
    Dec 14 '14 at 12:21
  • 1
    (3) likely shows services in addition to apps. Dec 15 '14 at 7:26

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