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Future versions of Android may make background apps easier

Future versions of Android may end up simplifying background apps. This information comes from XDA Developers, as a new discovery has been made.

It can be quite frustrating when Android kills an app in the background, an app you wanted to keep active and want to get back to. Well, maybe that won’t be much of a problem in the future.

Truth be told, this isn’t an issue for all phones, different Android iterations from OEMs handle this in different ways. Some are more aggressive than others, so you might not even mind.

Future versions of Android may facilitate background apps and provide improved performance

However, an improvement in this regard would be welcome. Future versions of Android will improve things, possibly even Android 13, although this cannot be confirmed at this time.

This will happen through a feature called ‘Multi-Generational Least Recently Used’ aka MGLRU. This feature has already rolled out to Chrome OS, and this feature is on its way to Android.

A commit on Android Gerrit reveals that Google has merged the change for Android 13 Generic Kernel Image (GKI). Another commit shows that it might be possible to enable it via adb soon.

Note that the second commit we mentioned hasn’t been merged yet, but it is under review at the moment. So that might be when Android 13 hits.

Google has identified an 18% decrease in OOM app kills

So how does this feature benefit users? Well, first of all, Google identified a 40% reduction in kswapd CPU usage with this feature. The company also identified an 18% decrease in out-of-memory (OOM) app deletions on Android.

A Google engineer said the company has tested MGLRU on “one million” Android devices. It was added that “substantial improvements in terms of CPU usage and memory pressure” were spotted, which resulted in fewer OOM drops and also reduced UI latency.

For those of you who aren’t aware, kswapd is the process that manages virtual memory. So all in all, this feature could prove very useful when it comes to the overall performance of the Android OS.

It is not known if this feature will be available in Android 13, but it is possible. On the other hand, Google might only end up testing it with Android 13, and fully enable it at a later date, we’ll see.