I have given the link to this thread to Spring Design, so hopefully they will be checking it.
Hence, I want to clarify something from my own post:
I know there is some disagreement about whether android devices need task managers. When I was looking for a 3rd party app to force close, I came across discussions about how you don't need to close apps in Android. Android will close them for you before it gets sluggish.
The difference here -- I think -- is that android phones are either asleep or awake. The Alex on the other hand, is completely asleep, completely awake (with LCD screen on), or half-asleep -- LCD screen turned off, but e-ink screen active.
I think that when a Spring Design app is running, it goes to sleep when LCD goes to sleep. But this might not be true for 3rd party apps -- I know some of them have permission to keep Alex awake.
And while I have not tested it rigorously, I did have one of these 3rd party apps running, then turned wifi off and locked keys. Several hours later, the Alex battery was dead, although there was more than 20% charge when I put it to sleep (I had not received any warnings of low battery). I uninstalled that 3rd party app (newsrob), installed a 3rd party app to force close in notification pane, and have not had further problems.
But it would be nice to know what was running, and to have an easy way to close an app. And while we're at it, why not be able to open an app from the Settings/Applications menu as well as with an icon.