Earlier this month, Google released the first developer preview of Android 14. Codenamed UpSideDownCake, the latest version of Android brought several new features and changes like optimizations to battery life, enhanced security features, support for large screen devices and improvements to accessibility features.
According to a recent documentation shared by Google, Android 14 will restrict a common API used by task killer or speed booster apps. However, system apps can still make use of the API. This means task killers and apps which claim to boost phone speed and remove apps from memory will become redundant.
Previously, any app could terminate all background processes or other apps or tasks on an Android device using the ‘KILL_BACKGROUND_PROCESSES’ permission.
But starting with Android 14, using the permission will only let the app kill its own processes and won’t have any effect even if it passes the name of some other app. In the last few years, several task killer and memory killing apps like ‘Memory Booster’ and ‘Smart Booster’ have found their way on the Google Play Store.
Even smartphone manufacturers like Xiaomi, Realme, Oppo and others pre-install apps that remove other apps from memory, but they are often labelled as system apps, which means they might still work with Android 14.
Also, the real-world benefits offered by these apps often outweigh the problems they create since Android is designed to keep apps cached in the background and kill them whenever the system needs memory. Since these task-killer apps manually remove other apps from memory, it results in increased system resource usage and battery consumption. This is because the system needs to load the app into memory again instead of Android simply loading them from cached memory.
Google Play Store already has a policy for apps with deceptive description and misleading claims like increasing device performance, but the tech giant is yet to take any action on apps which claim to boost the performance of the phone by removing apps from memory. But with Android 14, things might change down the line and maybe Google will finally start cracking down on apps that violate the Play Store policy.