The Android operating system comes with a capable utility for managing system resource usage such as processor, memory and storage, and for monitoring apps and tasks. But the minimalist tool provides just a snapshot of system performance at a given moment in time.
Those familiar with Microsoft's PerfMon performance monitoring tool might appreciate SystemPanel, a free tool by utility maker NextApp that provides similar information about Android systems in real time. It presents text-based and graphical displays of processor and memory utilization over time, lists running tasks and displays detailed information about the device itself. For $2.99 more, the full version adds an app manager for installing, uninstalling and updating apps and a long-term performance monitor.
SystemPanel installed on a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 in about 10 seconds and after popping up an ad for NextApp's FX File Explorer beta was displaying useful data about our test system, including data about our multi-core processor. SystemPanel does not run in the background; it consumes battery only when it's visible and goes away when it's not. The full version backs up old versions of all of a system's apps and can roll back. It also includes an optional monitoring service for generating long-term CPU usage reports that can help identify problem apps or tasks.