Why do Apps Crash?
A mobile app is similar to a computer application, in that the reasons why it would crash are fairly congruent. An application usually crashes when the operating system finds it is attempting to perform a task for which it does not have permission. Permissions can extend to any area of the system, including hardware resources, system files or memory instructions. An operating system may also terminate an app as a resolution, if it finds itself in a deadlock or endless loop.
In addition to illegal operations, an application may run out of its allocated memory, which means the crash effectively freezes the app in a state of practical immobility. The app then remains in main memory, suspended and unusable until the user terminates it. This is also true of mobile apps, therefore there are certain ways in which the situation of a crashed application can be duly resolved.
Using Nokia’s Built-in Task Manager
The advantage of using a Nokia mobile handset is that chances are very good that the interface is similar to previous and succeeding Nokia phones. By extension, most Nokia phones have a dedicated key to access the main menu. Since the first edition of Series 60 phones, keeping the main menu button depressed activates the operating system’s task manager.
Usually the task manager appears in the top left corner of the screen, showing a list of applications that are currently in main memory. It serves as an easy way of jumping to that application without traversing through the main menu route. However, if the user presses the ‘c’ or clear button when one of the applications is highlighted, a message will appear asking the user whether they are sure they wish to terminate the application.
This is an easy method of forcibly closing a crashed app, and thereby freeing up space in the main memory. More often than not, a crashed app will not respond to any other attempt to close it using the normal method, and therefore will remain in the main memory. This not only clogs the main memory, but also prevents the app from restarting, as most apps do not allow more than one instance to be open.
KillMe Task Manager
In the event that Symbian’s task manager fails to accomplish the task at hand, there is another third party application known as KillMe which essentially does the same job.
KillMe provides a list of currently running processes, grouped by their relative importance to the system. The user can regulate the running processes to remove crashed apps from main memory, or even to free up space by terminating unnecessary processes. Caution should be exercised when using this app, as killing a process that is necessary for the operation of the handset will result in an unstable phone – even though the app tries to minimize this possibility by ordering them according to importance. There is also a panic mode, which terminates processes on startup; however using that feature is not recommended.
The app is not Symbian signed, and therefore must be installed using a special process.