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It seems that there’s a memory leak issue that is causing a lot of different symptoms to pop up on devices running Android 5.0 Lollipop. Some people are finding that background apps are closing themselves and restarting. There are also reports that the launcher (home screen and icons) is redrawing from scratch every time people return, and it’s taking longer than it should. There’s also lag on the multitasking or recent apps menu for many, and the browser will reload tabs. For some people, apps are actually crashing and force closing, especially audio streaming apps. It looks like this can all be attributed to the same bug, and it may seem more severe on lower spec hardware.

Workarounds:

  • You can restart your device to temporarily alleviate the problem, but it’s likely to return within three or four days.
  • Some people report that turning off Google Now resulted in an improvement. The easiest way is probably to go to your app drawer and open up Google settings, then tap Search & Now > Now cards, and turn it off.

Potential solutions:

  • Some people report that the issue is fixed for them after deleting search data in the Google app. If you want to try, then go to Settings > Apps > All and find the Google App, then tap Manage space and Clear all data. You’ll lose Google Search, Google Now, and Google Now Launcher data, so you’ll need to set them up again.
  • You could try a factory reset, but make sure you backup everything precious first. Go to Settings > Backup & reset > Factory data reset, and then choose Reset phone or Reset tablet at the bottom. You’ll have to set the device up from scratch, but this may be a good opportunity to selectively re-install apps and clear out old stuff.
  • Keep an eye on Settings > About phone or About tablet and Software update or System updates. This is the thread at the Google forum, and the issue has apparently been fixed, but we’ll need a new update to get our hands on it.

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