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Task Manager Comparison: MMTaskManager, Showcase, ArkSwitch, XTask

Since there are a lot of task managers out there for Windows Mobile, we decided to compare 4 of them found here on xda-developers.
In this article we compare the following task managers:

  1. E-Natives ShowCase by amarullz
  2. MMTaskmanager by vn1minh
  3. ArkSwitch by Arktronic
  4. XTask by Chinagb

We will take a look at the speed, look and overall experience.
They’ve been tested and reviewed on a HTC Diamond, which has a VGA resolution and is running Windows Mobile 6.1.

Speed

All managers give you the option to run them in background. This takes up some memory but starting up is much faster.
ArkSwitch,  XTask and Showcase automatically run in background, with MMTaskmanager you’ll need to enable it in the settings.
XTask seems to be very fast, Showcase ends up 4th just behind ArkSwitch.

Look

For me, design is pretty important. Since everyone has his own taste, I decided to post the screenshots so you can choose which one you like most. Only XTask gives you the ability to display it either full screen or another dimension.


XTask                     -MMTaskManager                 -ShowCase-                           ArkSwitch.

Overall experience

The developer of MMTaskManager wanted to create a simple task manager, and I think he did a good job. Unfortunately the way you can activate the manager doesn’t work out good for me. It should activate by tapping on the first 1/3 of the taskbar, but that didn’t work for me, the HTC start menu might be causing the problem though. There’s also an option to open it by long-pressing the ‘send’ key. However there aren’t much devices with that send key. The overall experience is very good though, nice finger friendly buttons.

MMTaskmanager: Nice design and simple but effective interface.

Showcase also doesn’t have much functions, but the way you can activate it is much better. You can tap on the right 1/3 of the task bar to activate it. When you’re running another program, and you want to close it or minimize it, the program uses some areas of the task bar to make that possible. Showcase is also pretty finger friendly, and looks very nice. I found only one problem: you need to open the Showcase Settings app to close Showcase. It would be better if you have a menu right inside Showcase that lets you modify the settings and lets you close the program.


ShowCase: Full screen experience, useful taskbar replacement.

It’s the very first application of xda member Chinagb, but XTask is already full of additional options and extra’s. It’s amazing how many things you can change. One thing that doesn’t work very good, is the way you have to activate it. It gives you an option to replace the start menu, but that doesn’t work. This might be caused by the fact that the start menu button does not activate the original Windows menu but the HTC menu. So it depends on which ROM you use.
But task managing is not the only thing that XTask does. It also functions as a file browser and application launcher, and also it gives you the option to view the history of what you’ve been doing with the file browser. For example, if you install an application, it will show up there. These features can be accessed in one small area by swiping left or right.
XTask also lets you rotate the screen, backup the settings, perform a reset, and it can also figure as a communication manager.

Check out this Youtube video which will show you the whole interface!

XTask: From left to right: Task manager, file manager, controls (settings), and the menu.


As you can see, there are a lot of settings you can change in the XTask interface.

ArkSwitch replaces the start menu nicely. You get a nice clarifying list of programs, and all options are sorted in a menu. Unfortunately there aren’t much functions that can be changed: Run at boot, use start menu icons, enable tools shortcut and Windows Mobile 6.5 compatibility. As with the other task managers, you can add processes to an exclusion list. The overall feel of ArkSwitch is pretty good, but like ShowCase and MMTaskmanager, and unlike XTask, I think it hasn’t got enough features.


ArkSwitch: Nice simple and effective interface.

We hope this review will help you decide which task manager you like most. For the more ‘power’ users, I think XTask is a really good option. It offers a lot of functions and does a lot more things than only task managing. However if you want a simple task manager which does its job, then the other three managers should really be taken into consideration.

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