Prevent Huawei from Killing Your App //Android Dev Diary

I have been playing around with Android app development, particularly on how to retain UI values after configuration changes and minimizing the app to launch a different one.

To retain values after configuration changes, I use ViewModels.

And to retain values after minimizing the app, the following is supposed to do the trick:

But in the phone where I test most of my apps, it doesn’t! Minimizing my app to play a YouTube video, open a mobile game, and watch a few TikTok videos for about 15 minutes, causes my app’s UI data to reset.

I installed the same app to another phone, a Samsung phone under the A Series. The user played a mobile game for several hours, and came back to my app to find all the previous UI values still intact!

I remember that when I was still working with the Squadzip team (still grateful to Roman for suggesting that I try to practice “mindfulness” — it works wonders for a hectic lifestyle!), that Huawei phones gave us the same kind of issue. Apparently, Huawei phones are quite aggressive at killing apps in the background to preserve battery life.

Options that I considered to prevent Huawei phone from killing my Android app in the background:

  • Save UI data to SharedPreferences, on top of using Bundle to save and restore instance state (hesitatant to do this because I don’t really need to save UI data)
  • Simply advise the user not to leave the app if they want their data to be retained (BAAAD IDEA!)
  • Find some sort of “whitelist” in Huawei settings to exempt my app from being aggressively killed

The method I chose to prevent Huawei phone from killing my Android app:

For the current app I’m working on, I chose to change a setting in the Huawei phone because it’s the easiest. It shouldn’t be so hard to explain to app users either.


  • Go to Settings
  • Look for “Battery” and click on it
  • Look for “App launch” and click on it
  • Type the name of your app in the Search field.
  • Turn off the “Manage automatically” setting
  • Click OK on the prompt. (I chose to leave auto-launch, secondary launch, and run in background to keep my app alive.)
  • The description below your app’s name should now be “Manage manually” instead of “Manage automatically.”

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A Filipino programmer with a variety of interests such as baking, singing, making up silly song/rap lyrics, K-pop, drawing, creating unique dessert flavors, obsessing about finding out how some things works, board games, anime, video games, and forgetting things that usually go in her long list of interests. Running small-time online dessert shops Cookies PH and Catzie's Cakery.

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