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  1. #1
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    Why *doesn't* the X close apps?

    When there are things that don't make sense to me, but are beyond my level of expertise, I usually like to think there is some rational explanation for it, that I simply don't understand.

    But I sure can't figure out why one would need a 3rd-party app to have the X button actually close running programs. It is especially baffling to me now that we are on v6 of the OS.

    Is there some explanation for this "feature"?

  2. #2
    Registered User? vaxick's Avatar
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    HTC Task Manager v2.0 freeware for Pocket PC windows mobile and wm5 or wm6 ppc, PocketPC free downloads.

    If you go into the settings for the programs (The wrench icon) you can set it to close the program for good when you hit the X button.

  3. #3
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    I appreciate the pointer... but I know there are add-on apps that will do this. Question is, WHY?? If add-ons can do it, surely OS should be able to close things on its own (one would think).

    And since MS hasn't changed this over several version updates of the platform (I first started in WM4), I just wonder why. Does someone somewhere think there is some benefit to leaving things running in the background?

    But perhaps I expect too much in wondering why MS does what they do!

  4. #4
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    It's because there is no task bar like a windows PC. You can't easily switch between programs with the click of a button on a mobile device, so rather than closing the programe, it simply hides it so that you are able to use other programs as well at the same time.

  5. #5
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    You can't easily switch between programs with the click of a button on a mobile device.




    LOL - Maybe I am just being dense (if so, please pardon me)... but this seems completely backwards. Something isn't getting through my cranium.

    Since you CAN'T switch easily between programs... why keep one open when yer done with it??? Isn't this precisely the reason to close apps and NOT put them into the background?? (I mean, if you could quickly switch, like on a PC taskbar, it might actually make sense to keep things running. But since you can't... "hiding" it doesn't seem to make sense).

    Is this really the reasoning behind the no-close X?

  6. #6
    Registered User Dorf's Avatar
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  7. #7
    Registered User Dorf's Avatar
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    I would actually be mad if everytime I hit 'ok' and made I.E. go away i would lose the webpage I am on and have to launch from scratch. But yeah, I think making it an 'X' was not the best move.

  8. #8
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    Alright! Thanks for the link. Didn't have time yet to read more than the intro... but that appears to nail what I was wanting to find out. Can't wait to see if the explanation actually makes sense!

  9. #9
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    There are many times that I want to leave apps open as I do things on my phone. X was chosen most likely as a space saving icon. What else would you use that is short, to the point that is easily understood?

    I set long hold Camera button to activate the WM6 Task manager. Simple, easy to use...

    I can count 3 other 3rd party apps that I have on the phone that have their own versions of task manager functions as well.

    Once you understand what is happening, its not a real issue at least for me.

    This is also not a new issue as WM5 and WM2003 had the same type of functionality of the X.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JE Spex View Post
    You can't easily switch between programs with the click of a button on a mobile device.




    LOL - Maybe I am just being dense (if so, please pardon me)... but this seems completely backwards. Something isn't getting through my cranium.

    Since you CAN'T switch easily between programs... why keep one open when yer done with it??? Isn't this precisely the reason to close apps and NOT put them into the background?? (I mean, if you could quickly switch, like on a PC taskbar, it might actually make sense to keep things running. But since you can't... "hiding" it doesn't seem to make sense).

    Is this really the reasoning behind the no-close X?
    Umm, no, you want it to simply hide it, that way you can work within two programs at once...just think how hard it would be to get work done between programs if each time you had to switch, it would close them rather than just hide them. The way I see it is that hiding them is similar to minimizing on a PC, imagine if you could only have one program on a PC at a time, that would just suck. Same thing with a mobile device...it would suck if it closed them, rather than just hide them.

  11. #11
    Registered User Dorf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JE Spex View Post
    Alright! Thanks for the link. Didn't have time yet to read more than the intro... but that appears to nail what I was wanting to find out. Can't wait to see if the explanation actually makes sense!
    Oh, it doesn't make sense. It's just Microsoft's logic behind it. If they would have just used a '_' instead of the 'x' it would make more sense.

  12. #12
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    No, it still doesn't make sense.

    Hitting "X" should indicate to the program, "Save your state and exit".

    IE should save the URL and recent history. It's small and can be saved quickly. It can even save the scroll position. The content itself is probably stored in cache already.

    When restarting IE, it can make it appear as though you never left, all without the memory-thrashing expense of keeping it running.

    The problem is that the "TSR" model just doesn't scale. Use the phone for two days without rebooting and you have two dozen apps still running in the background for no good reason. It makes the phone slow and unstable.

    If X would say "Clean up and EXIT" to every program, this wouldn't be a problem.

    I hate to refer again to an iPhone when illustrating this point, but.... look at how the iPhone does it.

  13. #13
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    Like many things in life, you have to adapt to what is...

    You can change it with 3rd party software or you can just moan about it until the cows come home.

    I don't want my phone to work like an iPhone. I have much more control without one. I got over the X thing three phones and 2 OS's ago.

  14. #14
    Registered User/Squirrel Master sdittmar's Avatar
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    Without specifics, details, or supporting links... what I recall was that the default action is to minimize the apps because of the extra power (in flash access and CPU cycles) required to constantly be opening, closing, and garbage collecting each app by completely starting and stopping them each time you use them. Each time would be a full load of the app from flash into memory plus all of the processing to reinterpret and render the last state etc. In the case of anything connected to the net, that might include redialing and reconnecting to the network etc as well.

    Mobile devices, while powerful now a days, are still constrained resources. They have limited memory, storage, cpu, and particularly limited battery life. If you use your phone relatively often all day and closed them entirely each time, I think you might see a change in battery life.
    The more complex the mind, the greater the need for the simplicity of play.

  15. #15
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    Ok i downloaded this file and saved it to my device. Then i chose ok phone rebooted and now i cant find where the program is. I did a couple of soft resets to see if that would do the trick and nothing. If i go to remove programs its there so i know its on my phone but ican't find it please help.

  16. #16
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    krelvin said:

    Like many things in life, you have to adapt to what is...

    You can change it with 3rd party software or you can just moan about it until the cows come home.



    Yeah, that's fine, I get it. My question in starting the thread was not meant to be another gripe session, just trying to understand the reasoning behind something that strikes me as being such an anomaly.

    And thanks to Dorf and the MS blogger, at least I now have an explanation about that... thin as it may be! (For those still wondering or speculating, read the blog entry from Dorf's link)

    As for

    Umm, no, you want it to simply hide it

    I would say, no... YOU simply want to hide it! I don't, and for quite a few reasons. This may be due to differences in how we use our phones. But it is also noteable that what you find convienent about the current system is not the reason behind it.

    I agree with GroundLoop that an app remembering its state on close would be a simple solution... and in fact, according to the MS blog, this actually does happen in the background when memory runs low.

    Better yet would be to follow the model that some of the add-ons use (I know the SPB product works this way), with having the [X] give a drop-down menu with options to close, hide or switch to other running task.

    That way the closers are happy, AND the switchers are happy. And the switching is even easier than the current system.

    But again, I didn't start this to ***** -- just was curious. And what I find as tremendous irony is in the beginning of the blog entry: how MS decided that, to compete with Palm, they needed this "memory management" approach and that users didn't want icons on their main screen. LOL! How many people now complain and go get 3rd party apps to do precisely those things!?

    Its like MS said, "Hmmm, we're getting killed by Palm. Let's incorporate the worst features of their system, and see how that works out!"

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by JE Spex View Post
    krelvin said:

    Like many things in life, you have to adapt to what is...

    You can change it with 3rd party software or you can just moan about it until the cows come home.



    Yeah, that's fine, I get it. My question in starting the thread was not meant to be another gripe session, just trying to understand the reasoning behind something that strikes me as being such an anomaly.

    And thanks to Dorf and the MS blogger, at least I now have an explanation about that... thin as it may be! (For those still wondering or speculating, read the blog entry from Dorf's link)

    As for

    Umm, no, you want it to simply hide it

    I would say, no... YOU simply want to hide it! I don't, and for quite a few reasons. This may be due to differences in how we use our phones. But it is also noteable that what you find convienent about the current system is not the reason behind it.

    I agree with GroundLoop that an app remembering its state on close would be a simple solution... and in fact, according to the MS blog, this actually does happen in the background when memory runs low.

    Better yet would be to follow the model that some of the add-ons use (I know the SPB product works this way), with having the [X] give a drop-down menu with options to close, hide or switch to other running task.

    That way the closers are happy, AND the switchers are happy. And the switching is even easier than the current system.

    But again, I didn't start this to ***** -- just was curious. And what I find as tremendous irony is in the beginning of the blog entry: how MS decided that, to compete with Palm, they needed this "memory management" approach and that users didn't want icons on their main screen. LOL! How many people now complain and go get 3rd party apps to do precisely those things!?

    Its like MS said, "Hmmm, we're getting killed by Palm. Let's incorporate the worst features of their system, and see how that works out!"
    ummm i thiught for sure the answer for my question would of been here....damn

  18. #18
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    The idea is sound the implementation is poor. Why should you need to worry about which bits are in which kind of memory in a device, you don't even think about managing the bits that are in the L1 cpu cache memory do you?

    The problem is windows mobiles application model and memory manager is not up to the task of hiding the implementation from you, but it should be.

    It's just like using a Mac after using a PC for years, I was so used to programs being closed when the X was hit in order to free up resources to avoid out of memory conditions, that it annoyed me on my Mac that the X doesn't always shutdown the program most stay resident just their interface windows are simply closed. Then I started to realize how well this works when implemented properly, on my Mac Safari is pretty much running 24x7 if I hit the icon it comes up instantaneously, yes it uses about 200mb of ram all the time, but why have ram sitting in your machine empty anyway? The memory manager seamlessly handles swapping out to disk should ram get low and I don't think about it.

    The iPhone now is the same way, there is no X of any kind or really a concept of "closing" a program or even a way to see what’s loaded and what isn't, but it doesn't matter as the OS handles it so far perfectly, it's not even something that comes to mind when using it. It will be interesting to see if it can continue to be so seamless and robust when third party apps are loaded and they misbehave.

    Just think about this, 30 years ago there where LISP machines that had no real concept of loading or saving to disk, the RAM in the machine was simply a big cache to the hard drive and the OS handled the details of making sure all changes where saved and what was in ram, you could unplug the machine at any time and plug it back in and it would resume exactly where it left off, very similar in many ways to a modern database system like MSSQL or Oracle.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by sameolpete View Post
    ummm i thiught for sure the answer for my question would of been here....damn
    I don't think anybody knows what your question was. Maybe you mixed up threads somewhere?

    Your first post talks about downloading "this file", but there's no file discussed here.

    Maybe if you clarify what your question is someone can help you out.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by vaxick View Post
    HTC Task Manager v2.0 freeware for Pocket PC windows mobile and wm5 or wm6 ppc, PocketPC free downloads.

    If you go into the settings for the programs (The wrench icon) you can set it to close the program for good when you hit the X button.
    ^^^^^ this is what i was referring to the Task Manager App. I downloaded it and dont know where it went on my phone. I cant find it anywhere.

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