Google Android 2.x has a built-in utility for viewing system processes and running apps, but it doesn’t necessarily show everything that’s running on your phone at any given moment. Task Identifier, on the other hand, does exactly that. It can also provide actual app names and icons for running processes, allow you to kill any process, or set up alerts to let you know when an application is running.
Task Identifier comes in Full and Lite versions. The Lite version is ad-supported and doesn’t support full app names. Some of the settings are also missing. The Full version runs $1.49.
Both versions let you turn on a monitor that will provide a pop-up notification when processes are running. This can give you a pretty good idea of what your phone is actually doing when you’re not paying attention. For instance, I haven’t fired up the Aldiko eBook reader in days, but I just got a notification letting me know that it’s currently running.
You can also use Task Identifier as a task killer. Clicking any task from the List Tasks menu will bring up a menu asking if you want to kill that task — something I don’t really recommend doing under most circumstances, since Android is designed to intelligently manage your system’s resources. But if you want an app that will help you better understand how your phone works, Task Identifier can come in handy. On the other hand, if you’re just looking for a basic task manager, you may find the constant pop-ups annoying.