Samsung and Android seem to have a love-hate relationship. It certainly got better at staying in line with Android standards, best practices and updates, even as it continues to form its unique identity with its One UI user experience. It’s not as bad as the days of TouchWiz, but there are still some cases where Samsung prefers to do things their way. This does not always end well, as illustrated by the case where, at least from Android 11 onwards, Samsung’s divergence from standard Android has been observed to be too aggressive and excessive to kill apps in the background.
Apple’s iOS was actually best known for its petty policy when it came to applications running in the background. Although Android remains a little more relaxed in this area, it still needs to be careful that background apps don’t let a smartphone dry without you noticing. Eliminating these background apps is a fact of mobile life, but some seem to do it worse than others.
The “Don’t Kill My App!” The site compares OEM phones with Android phones and stock Pixel phones to rate which are very aggressive compared to the standard set by Google. For years, OnePlus and Huawei have had the crown of shame, with Samsung only a third. Now, however, the world’s largest Android provider has reached the top, and not for good reason.
According to the website, Samsung’s Android 11 update, starting with One UI 3.0, has become even more aggressive in killing background apps to the point that even some alarm apps stop working after 3 days. It also affects health and fitness applications that collect sensor data while running in the background. Not only is this more aggressive than standard Android, it also goes against Google’s stated policy that OEMs be more transparent about things like this.
The good news is that you can turn this behavior off or at least configure it to your specifications. The bad news is that the process is time-consuming and complicated. The worst news is that some report that a simple firmware update will reset everything back to the default behavior of being an aggressive application killer in the background.