The Death of Speed Boosting Apps? Android 14 makes this fundamental change

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 10, 2023
Google Android

Speed boosting apps that promise to deliver improved performance by clearing memory and killing background apps face a serious issue when Android 14 comes out later this year.

A good chunk of these apps are snake oil, but that is not keeping millions of users from installing them on their devices. Especially lower-end and mid-range Android devices may have performance issues after some time of use. Memory may be used all up by apps, the processor may not have troubles with games, or storage space may be at an all-time low.

Speed bosting apps, there are plenty on Google Play, promise to resolve all these issues with the tap on a button. While some may indeed free up some memory, it is only a temporary recourse at best.

Google is working on Android 14 currently. The company has released two developer previews already, which we covered here and here,

Android 14 is a major new release that is going to shake things up significantly. One of the changes is intended to block apps that rely on aging APIs to even install on Android 14 devices. Google says that this is designed to plug a loophole that malicious Android apps use currently to bypass certain restrictions introduced in newer Android versions. There is also support for third-party passkeys management, which password managers such as Dashlane, 1Password and Bitwarden have been waiting for.

The death of speed boosting apps?

Android developers and users who have looked through the Android 14 changelog may have stumbled upon a behavioral change: Apps can kill only their own background processes.

What this means is that, going forward, any app may no longer kill the background processes of other apps; this is a big problem for task manager apps, but also for speed boosting apps. The core feature of many performance boosting apps is this task killing to free up memory and decrease power usage.

"Starting in Android 14, when your app calls killBackgroundProcesses(), the API can kill only the background processes of your own app.If you pass in the package name of another app, this method has no effect on that app's background processes, and the following message appears in Logcat: Invalid packageName: com.example.anotherapp".

Google notes that applications should not use the kill process or "otherwise attempt to influence the process lifecycle of other apps, even on older OS versions.

Even more damning, Google warns users on the same page that "it isn't possible for a 3-rd party application to improve the memory, power, or thermal behavior of an Android device".

We have come to a similar conclusion when we analyzed Game Boosters for PC gaming.

Closing Words

The change has significant consequences for speed boosters. One of their core features won't work anymore on Android 14 devices. While the functionality continues to work on older Android versions, it is fair to say that the functionality is on life support.

It seems likely that speed bosting apps won't go away anytime soon, if at all. Still, users on Android 14 and newer devices will notice a reduced functionality when they run these apps. Whether these continue to be that enticing then remains to be seen.

Now You: do you use speed boosters?

Android 14 poses a serious threat for speed boosting apps
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Android 14 poses a serious threat for speed boosting apps
Android 14 blocks any application on the device from killing other apps that run in the background.
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  1. Albert said on August 18, 2023 at 1:49 pm

    Thanks for the tip Martin.

    It is for these kinds of posts that I follow GHacks.

    1. Mike Williams said on August 26, 2023 at 8:55 pm

      What’s up with the generic comment, are you a bot?

  2. Tachy said on August 18, 2023 at 3:23 pm


    Where on the planet is that still in use? I was forced to give up using my RAZRV3 years ago because 2G was phased out by AT&T.

    1. arbuz said on August 20, 2023 at 5:02 pm

      Everywhere 3G has been turned off and you don’t have LTE coverage, and believe me there are many developed countries where this is the case and if it weren’t for 2G you wouldn’t even be able to make a phone call.

    2. Doc Fuddled said on August 31, 2023 at 5:55 pm

      Maybe I missed it, but I don’t believe tha term “2G” is in the article. Perhaps you are referring to “AGM G2”??

  3. Tachy said on August 18, 2023 at 3:27 pm


    Your website has gone insane.

    When I the post button I then saw my comment posted on a different article page. When I opened this article again, it is here.

    1. Martin P. said on August 31, 2023 at 4:39 pm

      @Tachy @Martin Brinkmann

      ” Your website has gone insane. ”

      Same here. Has happened several times.

      1. owl said on September 1, 2023 at 3:42 am

        @Martin P.,

        For over two weeks now,
        I’ve been seeing “Comments” posted by subscribers appearing in different, unrelated articles.
        For the time being,
        it would be better to specify the “article name and URL” at the beginning of the post.

  4. Anonymous said on August 18, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    @tachy a lot of non-phone devices with a sim in them rely on 2G, at least here in europe.
    Usually things reporting usage or errors/alarms on something remote that does not get day to day inspection in person. They are out there in vast numbers doing important work. Reliable, good range. The low datarate is no problem at all in those cases.
    3G is gone or on its last legs everywhere, but this stuff still has too much use to cancel.

    Anyhow, interesting that they would put that in. I can see the point if you suspect a hostile 2G environment (amateur eavesdroppers with laptop, ranging up to professional grade MITM fake towers while “strangely” not getting the stronger crypto voip 4G because it is being jammed, and back down to something as old ‘stingray’ devices fallen into the wrong hands).

    But does this also mean that they have handled and rolled out a fix for that nasty 4G ‘pwn by broadcast’ problem you reported earlier this year? I had 4G disabled due to that, on the off chance that some of the local criminals would buy some cheap chinese gear, download a working exploit and probe every phone in range all over town in the hope of getting into phones of the police.

  5. Andy Prough said on August 19, 2023 at 3:04 am

    >”While most may never be attacked in stingrays, it is still recommended to disable 2G cellular connections, especially since it does not have any downsides.”

    The downside would be losing connectivity. I spend a lot of time way out in the countryside where there’s often no service or almost none. My network allows 2G, and I need it sometimes. I have an option on the phone to disable 2G, I may do that when I’m in the city and I have good 5G connectivity, but not out in the country.

    I would imagine that the stingray exploits, like most of the bad things in this world, are probably things you will run into in the crowded big cities.

  6. owl said on August 21, 2023 at 3:40 am

    I stopped using it in a mobile (Wi-Fi line) environment, so I’m almost ignorant of the actual situation,
    But the recent reality in Japan makes me realize that “the infrastructure of the web is nothing more than a papier-mâché fiction”.

    It is already beyond the scope of what an individual can do.
    What we should be aware of is the reality that “governments and those in power want to control the world through the Web”, and efforts to counter (resist and prevent) such ambitions are necessary.

  7. Anonymous said on August 26, 2023 at 9:27 pm

    Why do you want people to disable the privacy features? Hmmmmm?

  8. Anonymous said on August 27, 2023 at 2:30 am

    Now You: do you plan to keep the Ads privacy features enabled?

    I’d like to tell you, but apparently if you make a post critical of Google, you get censored. * [Editor: removed, just try to bring your opinion across without attacking anyone]

  9. Tachy said on August 27, 2023 at 5:15 am


    You website is still psychotic. Comments attach to random stories.

  10. John G. said on August 28, 2023 at 2:46 pm

    @Martin please do fix the comments, it’s completely insane commenting here! :[

  11. ECJ said on August 28, 2023 at 5:37 pm


    The comments are seriously messed up on gHacks now. These comments are mixed with the article at the below URL.

    And comments on other articles are from as far back as 2010.

  12. Naimless said on August 29, 2023 at 12:57 am

    What does this article has anything to do with all the comments on this article? LOL I think this Websuite is ran by ChatGPT. every article is messed up. Some older comments from 2015 shown up in recant articles, LOL

  13. Paul Knight said on August 31, 2023 at 3:35 am

    The picture captioned “Clearing the Android Auto’s cache might resolve the issue” is from Apple Carplay ;)

  14. Anonymous said on August 31, 2023 at 9:57 pm

    How about other things that matter:
    Drop survival?
    Screen toughness?
    Degree of water and dust protection?

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