Google is working on a fix for an issue causing apps on the Pixel 3 to randomly close

Drew Angerer/Getty Images
  • Some owners of Google’s Pixel 3 smartphone have experienced issues with apps randomly closing themselves when they’re meant to be running in the background.
  • The issue is mostly an inconvenience, but it’s not something that’s expected from a brand-new smartphone that cost north of $US800.
  • Google says the issue can be fixed with an update that’s coming in the next few weeks.

A glitch in some Pixel 3 smartphones that closes apps running in the background is getting a fix in the “coming weeks,” Google told Android Police.

Several Pixel 3 owners have reported via Reddit, Twitter, and various forums that apps they recently used would close themselves when they switch to other apps. Usually, recent and often-used apps stay open and running in the background for convenient quick access when you return to the app.

Instead, some Pixel 3 users have found that their recently-used apps need to fully re-open when they return to them. Other users have found that Spotify, in particular, will randomly close itself when other apps are in use.

Having to re-open apps can take significantly longer than returning to the app when it’s running in the background. It’s a minor nuisance, perhaps more so for games that need to reload entirely, which can take more time than standard apps.

But users aren’t happy that a brand-new smartphone with a pretty high price tag – $US800 for the Pixel 3 and $US900 for the Pixel 3 XL – has problems retaining apps in the background. Many say it hasn’t been an issue on previous devices.

Most are pointing the finger at the Pixel 3 phones’ comparatively paltry 4GB of RAM. Indeed, that’s on the lower end for top Android smartphones these days, where 6GB of RAM is more or less the standard now. Marques Brownlee of the MKBHD YouTube channel also expressed his concern about the Pixel 3’s minimal RAM.

A quick refresher on RAM: It’s short-term memory where any device like a phone or computer can store the apps you’ve recently used so that you can revisit those recently-used apps right where you left off, without needing to re-open the app. The more RAM you have, the more apps can be stored, and the faster you can switch between them.

Google told Android Police it’s a glitch and it can be patched up with a software update. Let’s hope so because it would be a hardware issue otherwise, where the only fix is to buy a new smartphone with more RAM. I personally haven’t experienced issues with multi-tasking on the Pixel 3 XL I’ve recently used. Either way, here’s to hoping the problem can be fixed with an update.

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