The two most common complaints that Android phone users have are performance (perceived speed) and battery life. The general consensus, at least up until recently, has been to employ a Task Killer to forcefully shutdown unnecessary apps. The idea behind this was to free up RAM, and therefore increase performance. Unfortunately this idea was based on the preconception of how standard computers operate, but this is not necessarily how a phone (Android) operates.

This has actually been a hotly debated topic among Android users. Some advocates that task killers don’t work have written compelling arguments. Even the Android developers have tried to explain to us common users the intricacies of Android and how it handles apps. Unfortunately this knowledge has not reached the grunts on the front line of phone sales. Many of our clients who have purchased new Android phones from Verizon or AT&T have come straight from the store with Advanced Task Killer already loaded. The salesperson at the store insisted that this was a necessary application to have.

Lifehacker has written an excellent article arguing the merits of not using task killers. They have also offered alternative techniques to increase performance and extend battery life.