Google Takes a Stand Against Scammy Phone Speed-Up Apps in Android 14
Apps promising to enhance your phone’s performance have been in existence since the times the Play Store was referred to as the Android Market, and almost all of them are bogus. These apps frequently claim to increase your RAM, improve performance, or even cook food for you, but they are simply closing background processes, generating more harm than good. Thankfully, Google is finally taking a strict approach to these fraudulent apps in Android 14.
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Esper’s Mishaal Rahman has reported that Google is altering a critical API utilized by task killer applications. Most of these apps employ the KILL_BACKGROUND_PROCESSES authorization to execute a system operation that terminates all apps functioning in the background on your phone. While this might free up RAM for a brief time and have an immediate impact on processor usage, Android automatically handles background processes, and most of the terminated processes will reinitiate. The restart operation places a greater strain on system resources since the background tasks being conducted by the apps that were terminated must be restarted.
With Android 14, when an app utilizes this function, the system will only allow it to terminate its individual background processes. Even if the application is targeting an earlier Android version and transmitting the specific package name of an app to be shut down, it will have no effect. Now, it is solely feasible for a system app running this permission to terminate any app besides itself.
Android manages the memory usage of apps automatically.
This API change was already deployed in Android 14 DP1, but documentation for the change was just recently provided with DP2. In the documentation, Google clearly states that “It isn’t possible for a third-party software to enhance the memory, power, or thermal performance of an Android device.” It further notes that “Android is designed to retain cached apps in the background and automatically kill them when the system requires memory,” and indicates that task killer application developers “should ensure their application is consistent with Google Play’s policy against deceptive claims.”
Google is essentially wielding the banhammer here, and it’s refreshing to observe the corporation being firm in confronting the behavior of these unscrupulous apps. The Play Store prohibited a million apps in 2021 alone for violating regulations, so hopefully, these adjustments will lead to a significant reduction in performance boosters apps in the future. Meanwhile, if your phone is underperforming, you may want to investigate real recommendations for enhancing Android performance.