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Why do apps & browsers keep refreshing pages ?


Sep 1, 2016
I have an Amazon Fire HD (and yeah I know it is not a true Android device). It annoys me no end that if I have an app, like a browser, open and have to switch to a different app, like Keepass so I can get a password, when I go back to the browser it does a FULL PAGE refresh and I lose whatever I had changed on that page, like entering my username. Just did the same thing to me with Untapped, filled out all the registration info, accidentally minimized the app, and when I got it back everything had been wiped.
Since Android keeps the app in memory, supposedly even when I exit, much less switch apps, what is it that causes this to happen ? Since I see it in Opera all the time, and Firefox only sometimes, is it an app design issue or an OS issue ? I mean to me that is not what I expect a good user interface to do, and hey, even Windows doesn't wipe things out.
What's the deal ?
So yes, your Fire HD has Android as its base operating system but since FireOS runs on top of that its user interface is altered in different ways. Using the Home and Back buttons on Android might not be quite the same (and that's a iffy thing with Android too since there are so many different user interfaces). You might get more relevant help going to Amazon's Fire help forums than here:
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I've never owned or even handled a Fire device, so can only speculate. The comments below are based on knowledge of Android, but I do not know what changes Amazon will have made.

It probably has very limited RAM: you don't say which model this is, but as far as I can see the best was 2GB RAM and most models 1.5 GB or even 1GB. That may be one factor: Android will keep apps in RAM if it can, but the OS will use some of that and so if opening a new app requires more RAM than is free it will dump the previous one from RAM, and then you will get a reload when you switch back.

That said, although it's a very long time since I used a 1GB device this sounds worse than I'd expect for a 2GB one. But this brings us to the second unknown: how the manufacturer (Amazon) has tuned the memory management. There are internal settings (hidden from the user) that control how aggressively the device will free up RAM vs keep activities, and different manufacturers do set these differently. For example I was always struck by how my previous phone (2GB) had fewer reloads than my tablet (3GB): HTC simply tuned this better than Samsung. I've no experience of Amazon, but if they have been too aggressive in freeing RAM it could produce this result.

There are settings in the developer options menu that may make some difference (if Amazon still keep this menu - if they do it will probably be hidden, in which case you'll have too find the build number in software information and tap on it repeatedly until it tells you you are a developer now). Not the full settings, but the background process limit setting may help, and of course you don't want "don't keep activities" ticked. But you may not have these settings.
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