It’s 2016 and Android still has memory leaks

What is a memory leak you ask?  Here is the definition from Wikipedia: In computer science, a memory leak is a type of resource leak that occurs when a computer program incorrectly manages memory allocations in such a way that memory which is no longer needed is not released.


Google, why hasn’t this been fixed?  It has been over 1 1/2 years since a memory leak was introduced in Lollipop, Android 5.X.  Why is it still in the latest and greatest version of Android Marshmallow, which is 6.0?

What can a memory leak do to your Android device?  From making it virtually unusable, it can also make it slow and very sluggish, which would force the end user to restart the device to ultimately correct the processes that are not correctly releasing memory back to the operating system.  This is a very frustrating process because it occurs without any warning.  Let’s face it, even with Android devices being made with 3/4GB of RAM, the OS still utilizes over 80% at any given time, which is good; however, the problem lies when the device gets down to it’s last couple of hundred of megabytes and processes are gasping for more memory that they will never get.  Memory on Android is a very confusing topic and I suggest that you do your own research on it; however, to briefly outline it:

  • Android automatically manages memory while your apps are running
  • There is no need, ever, for a Task Killer
  • Apps come into memory, grab the resources that they need
  • When an app is closed and is left unused for some time that memory will be released and be available to the operating system again

The important thing to note about all of these above steps that happen at the operating system level is that they should happen automatically.

It isn’t and it needs to be addressed now.  A very poor user experience is achieved when a user has to restart a device in order to get it to work properly.