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Android 15 takes killing an app to the next level

Force-stopping an app in Android 15 will temporarily disable the home screen widget of that app.

Published onJune 14, 2024

samsung galaxy s24 tips widgets
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
  • Android 15 will disable the home screen widget of any app that you kill.
  • This prevents the app from effectively still running when you’re attempting to force-stop it.
  • The widget will be grayed out and won’t start again until you relaunch the app.

A last resort when an app is playing up is to kill it by hitting Force Stop on the app management screen. While that terminates the app and its background activities, it doesn’t currently disable any home screen widget that the app might have. Android 15 will reportedly disable the widget of a killed app until you manually launch it again.

As spotted by Android Police, Google has updated the behavior changes section of its Android 15 developer website to indicate that when an app is force-stopped, all its widgets are temporarily disabled as the OS terminates or cancels the app’s pending intents. The widgets will also be grayed out on the home screen and won’t restart until you manually launch the app again, directly or indirectly.

This is a common-sense measure because the widget might be the whole reason why the app, or at least an element of the app, is misbehaving. Having it immediately start again after you’ve attempted to kill it was liable to take you back to square one. Google is asking developers to test out this new functionality in the current Android 15 Beta version.

You may not have experienced this problem, as many apps you use won’t have home screen widgets. For those apps that do, non-developers like most of us won’t see the effects of this change until we get the Android 15 update, which isn’t expected until late 2024.

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