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Opinion

Samsung is ruining even basic multitasking on its smartphones

For a company that made multitasking on smartphones a whole new ballgame with its Galaxy Note lineup of smartphones, Samsung’s recent doings seem to suggest it is no longer interested in offering users even a good basic multitasking experience. Galaxy phones still have the same useful multitasking features today, but Samsung has messed up a couple of basic things on recent smartphones to make switching between apps an exercise in frustration.

It started with the Galaxy Note 4. We were never impressed by how Samsung’s fourth-generation Galaxy Note performed, and one of the biggest issues with its software was the lag in the recent apps interface. 99 percent of the time the phone takes at least two seconds to show the app switcher, and for those who constantly switch back and forth between two or more apps, this basic form of multitasking is a time-waster on the Note 4. The Lollipop upgrade hasn’t fixed this lag, and even the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge, which come with the most optimized version of Samsung’s TouchWiz UX yet, take a second or two to react after you hit the recent apps button.

Then there is also the fact that the S6 and S6 edge have a memory management issue that makes them kill background apps too quickly, something that further botches a feature that has been a staple of Android for a few years now. Samsung hasn’t fixed it with the Android 5.1 update, and since other smartphones with the latest version of Android don’t have this delay in the recent apps screen nor an extreme case of task killing, it’s becoming clear the company is ignoring the multitasking side of things on its devices.

The Galaxy Note 5 is on the horizon, and I can only hope Samsung will be fixing all of the multitasking issues that plague TouchWiz at the moment with what could be the most awesome Note device in the series’ history. The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge are two of the best flagship smartphones the Korean manufacturer has ever produced, but the last few months have been a sad indication of how Samsung devices might not be your best bet if you’re a user that finds multitasking to be one of the most important features of a smartphone.

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garret14
garret14

Recent apps is almost instant since 5.1.1.

Agressive killing of services is a problem but the S6 is still faster than any other phone I had before like iPhone 6 or M8.

Nine54
Nine54

I haven’t really noticed an issue with app switching per se, but rather, the with apps not really resuming where they left off. The worst culprit is Chrome: it should not need to reload a tab every time I switch to another app and then back to that tab. It seems like other apps, such as Snapchat, suffer from something similar although it’s not quite as annoying. This is one of those things that, despite the horsepower of Samsung’s flagships, leads to the perception that iPhones have a more fluid experience. iPhone users can have a bunch of tabs open… Read more »

kronicle
kronicle

That’s just the difference in how iOS handles tasks and the way Samsung Touchwiz handles tasks. iOS uses NeXT Computer’s old antiquated late 80’s “Preemptive Task Management”. But since it still uses the old file system parameters, of stacking tasks one on top of the other, it needed this feature that basically allowed you to suspend one less important task, in order to run the one most immediately important the moment. It’s actually not multitasking at all. It merely puts on a front of being true system wide IBM style “Pervasive Multitasking”. When it’s not! The difference is in Touchwiz’s… Read more »

Nine54
Nine54

What is this this simple fix? And do you have any sources regarding TouchWiz and Enlightenment? Interesting…

o0MHJ0o
o0MHJ0o

You’ve never been impressed with the Note 4??? It is the best phablet of 2014! I’ve not owned one but have played around with it a few times and it’s smooth as anything! Granted after heavily using it it’s slows up a bit. But you jus need to close down open apps you’re not using. The only problem I’ve been having with Samsung devices it that after a few months of use the battery suddenly drains a lot quicker. Rarely seen lag in devices from the last 2 years.

daydreamer01
daydreamer01

There is a news story about how Google tests that their devices are lag free. I reckon Samsung also checks for lag, but instead makes sure that their devices do leave the factory with a good amount of it…

Sent from my laggy Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

taife32
taife32

I’m one of those who got unlucky on my Note 4 so much that I am now a permanent user of CyanogenMod 12.1. My phone was slower than my Galaxy S3 when opening the Recent App page no matter what I retired. It’s great that I can still use the pen for my needs, I only miss fingerprint.

SamMobile1811
SamMobile1811

Use FingerSecurity

matus201
matus201

This article is spot on. The multitasking in S6 is completely ruined. My old 2013 Moto X with Lollipop multitasks MUCH better, and is able to keep in memory the last ~10 apps (this includes browser, games, instagram, facebook…). This S6 hardly keeps 2 apps in memory, and if you run Chrome it keeps only 1- Chrome. If they don’t fix it till new Nexus or iPhone comes, I’m switching 🙂

maherk22
maherk22

S6 Edge, 5.1.1, and the app switcher opens as soon as my thumb hits the button. Ram management isn’t as excessive as it was, and as long as it keeps my phone snappy, i am fine with it. We get it that you be been trying o distant yourself from Samsung and showing that you’re not biased to them, but you’re taking the wrong road in doing so. You’re coming out as biased trolls against Samsung, talking about personal experiences and making them look like the whole world are going through the same. Quit nagging, and get back to your… Read more »

jjcommonsense
jjcommonsense

As much as I try not to be a complainer, I have to agree. My Note 4 definitely has a 2-3 second lag when I’m using the app switcher. Its almost faster to just go to rhe home screen and reclick the app icon than to use the switcher. I picked up an LG G4 as my work phone and am just amazed at how quickly it responds to my touch commands. I love the SPEN of my note 4 but im finding myself picking up the G4 more than the Note because it gets me what i want when… Read more »

j2001m
j2001m

That just because it’s new, it will soon start to lag like any other phone using sad card readers (not the sd card)

Alacran1977
Alacran1977

I don’t like the way Sammobile is following bringing out notes based on their own experience with a sample of one on one smartphone and making them seem like it’s a generalized problem. When reading the title it seems like it’s a strong evidence note, but when reading it within you realized it’s a completely biased opinion. Please, choose carefully the way you present and write the note. It’s unprofessional the way you are writing lately.

shadad
shadad

agree. we already told him that couple of times on many articles but no use LOL

aeensing
aeensing

Pffff totally bogus! Maybe you shouldnt have to many apps open? More apps in background open means less performance.

Same goes for cars. If i drive alone my turbo charged car is blazing fast. If i put 4 fat people in it my car is slow……

phate89
phate89

That’s just [email protected] You don’t know anything about how background works in mobile phones. Most apps doesn’t keep running in background or they do only when they’re actually doing something. If they don’t have to do anything they freeze themself so they are ready in memory already open but they don’t use any resource other than ram.

phate89
phate89

That’s simply not true. You don’t know anything about how background works in mobile phones. Most apps doesn’t keep running in background or they do only when they’re actually doing something. If they don’t have to do anything they freeze themself so they are ready in memory already open but they don’t use any resource other than ram.

n900mixalot
n900mixalot

Since my last comment was not approved let me explain what was in that YouTube video. It showed a nexus 5 compared to an S6 and showed that the Nexus held or froze the apps in mory but the S6 didn’t. That is the memory problem. Not the one Lollipop was dealing with. The build.prop on the S6 has aggressive memory management that doesn’t allow apps to freeze in the background efficiently. Also the Nexus 5 has 1 gig less RAM than the S6. So why the Nexus 5 reopens apps faster than the S6 is what needs to be… Read more »

phate89
phate89

probably you answered to the wrong guy. I agree with you and I know that. I was the first to answer to sammobile “ram is google’s fault” article they removed afterwards. I answered to that user that claimed that they don’t leave all that apps in background because they slows down the phone. They do not because they’re freezed in background

Nine54
Nine54

Samsung and Google can point fingers all they want, but at the end of the day, the customer is still left with a sub-optimal experience. Regardless of whose fault it is, someone needs to take ownership over the customer experience. Ideally, both would collaborate here since they both want the customer to have a good experience. But, if that’s unrealistic, then Samsung should step up and own it. If they need something from Google to make it happen, then they should pressure Google. And pressure the carriers to get the update out quickly. And regarding updates and “bloatware,” although it’s… Read more »

HomerS66
HomerS66

Let’s see how the LG phone will do in a few months of using, if you can use it in slowmotion then.

tommywe
tommywe

I had to downgrade my S5 from Lollipop to Kitkat mainly because Samsung doesn’t give a shit fixing Samsung Gear Manager: it doesn’t communicate properly with my Samsung Gear2 watch: cannot use apps for my watch, and even worse: drains the battery of the watch and the phone as well.
Very disappointing, I expected more from Samsung.

SaschaHa
SaschaHa

I’m in an Beta test group of a custom rom for Galaxy Note 4. The team fixes a lot of the software issues thst came with Touchwiz. The whole team says, that Samsung does a very bad job in optimizing their software. Samsung has modded a lot of the original Google code and makes them worse than before. I remember a change for notifications that are around 300 lines (a good programmer could make this change with 10 lines) and they forgot some of the main lines. In Lollipop for Note 4 there is a GPU bug, that could be… Read more »

HomerS66
HomerS66

The Lollipop GPU bug you are referring to is caused by the Snapdragon GPU driver and works great on Samsungs Exynos GPU.

So it’s not Samsung but Qualcomm to blame and the fix is already on the way and supposedly arrives depending on carrier in july.

SaschaHa
SaschaHa

@HOMERS66: Not it’s not. I’m on Note 4 Exynos and the GPU bug is still there. And that’s a different GPU.

HomerS66
HomerS66

Then we are speaking of two different GPU bugs, i mean the one where Lollipop reduces the GPU performance on Snapdragon Note 4s but works normal on Exynos Note 4s.

SamMobile1811
SamMobile1811

You are Wrong Dude, My Note 4 SD Variant is Perfect with GPU Scores even better than Kitkat.
The Issue you are talking about is in Exynos Variant of Note 4 N910C basically !!

dklaiqi
dklaiqi

I don’t know if its just me but my Alpha opens the recent apps very quickly, if the animations are off it opens instantly. ( Arabian 5.0.2)

robertkoa
robertkoa

I had just checked my Alpha 850M Exynos and before I saw your Post and Recent Apps opens in less than a second with normal Animations speed 1X. I once tested speeding up Animations in Developer Options but I like the relaxed feel and Alpha is fast anyway. Hoping for a Note Compact at reduced Size 4.8″ to 5.1″ screen with Note Features ( styus optional) and Price and CPU Muscle. Was hoping for S6 Pro at 7.7 mm thick with 3200 Mah Battery but will offend S6 owners. Therefore a Note Compact with big battery etc. AND a S6… Read more »

dheon5
dheon5

It’s quite negligible.

Paps Duke
Paps Duke

you always whining about features going wrong with your personal smartphone and make them into an article,we want facts not your pathetic “hey my galaxy s6 is slow”….”hey just 2500mah”….We want objective articles, not subjective, *sighs* good ole sammobile is gone.

kronicle
kronicle

Yeah you are right about that. Except for Diedre being such a good writer being more positive. She’s what they need here. A writer who isn’t so Bi-polar depressive negative one moment and only slightly positive the next!

This writer is like a guy on the rag three weeks out of a month! lol….. he’s that pathetic in his understanding of technology in the first place. Sammobile will never grow to be the #1 Samsung fan destination, if they keep allowing him to write about his bloody period worse than any woman writer has ever had!!!

maxbg996
maxbg996

Transition animation scale less than 1 x affected the recent app response. Try set it to 1x and it will be immediate.

CiaCia
CiaCia

Hello, I have a Galaxy Lollipop upgraded to 5.0 and I must say that multitasking is a bit slower than the Kit Kat 4.4.2 ! But it is slow especially in closing the recent app !

CiaCia
CiaCia

Galaxy Note 3!

sammay69
sammay69

you can downgrad your phone

VedranT
VedranT

I am not quite sure we are on the same page here, but my S6 (with French 5.1.1) opens recent apps screen instantly. Sometimes (but really rarely) it slows down for a moment, but in general it works great. I think some users are exaggerating about these issues. When I compare it to IP6+, my S6 runs like spaceship 🙂

superlion
superlion

I also have updated to 5.1.1 just the UK version. I also do not have any problems with multitasking. I have testet my S6 EDGE vs. Nexus 6 and can say, that my S6 EDGE is faster then Nexus6 with 5.1.1

Peschiera
Peschiera

The same with me. Recent Apps opens faster than on my companies iPad air. Also my S6 does not kill Background apps at all!
I only read things like that on this site! Very strange!

phpanos
phpanos

I’m very picky about the app switcher and I have to agree that the french version of 5.1.1 made it fast like it should be. Did ABHIJEET M really test it on 5.1.1?

androidizen
androidizen

Spot on although for my mind the problem starts with Google’s Android 5 and continues through Samsungs dire QA process for software. Google have royally messed up with Lollipop and even what 8 months after release its still leaking like mad. Samsung as a company has all the cash but keeps churning out derivative handsets to hit segments of the market that even Apple cant be arsed with. It’s no wonder Samsung has so little focus on fixing the issues, developers are spread to thin. Both companies should be being taken to task yet it seems theirs very few of… Read more »

fay99
fay99

I don’t understand why people are still thinking it’s a lollipop issue. Have they ever used any other devices at all, or do they only live in their own small world. Apparently even a nexus 5 or may be nexus 4, which have 2 gigs of ram “only” don’t have this ram management on this 3 gig device. Those people should experience how the stock Android runs and behaves themselves, and stop believing the bs heard from others, and stop spreading out the bs. The memory leak bug in lollipop has no relationship at all with the s6’s zero multitasking… Read more »