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This wallpaper might make your phone unusable; here’s why


By: Tech Desk | New Delhi |

Published: June 5, 2020 8:28:33 pm


Android, Google, Samsung, wallpaper bug, wallpaper bricking smartphones, smartphone wallpaper hack, smartphone wallpaper phone brick, Android unusable wallpaper The issue is mainly cropping up for people using Google and Samsung devices running Android 10. (Image: HDQWalls.com)

We recently got to hear that wallpaper was making devices crash and become unusable. Several Android smartphone users were reporting that a wallpaper that consisted of a landscape with mountains, clouds and a lake was crashing their smartphones. Even the popular leakster Ice Universe tweeted, warning users not to use the wallpaper.

The issue is mainly cropping up for people using Google and Samsung devices running Android 10. The affected users are not able to resolve the issue and the only fix as of now is to factory reset the smartphone. This means if you try this and face the issue, you will end up losing all of your personal data.

The issue is only cropping up for users using the original photo as the wallpaper and not for users who are taking a screenshot of the photo or downloading it from social media platforms like Weibo. YouTuber MrWhoseTheBoss in a recent video of his stated that this was happening due to a single pixel in the image, which was sending Android phones using the Google Image processing engine into an error loop.

He says this is happening due to Android restricting the colour space to 255, as the operating system supports the Standard RGB (sRGB) format to display images, which can be capped at 255 luminance. The image was encoded in ProPhoto RGB format which has a wider range than sRGB, however, that is not the problem. The problem is with one pixel that was taking the image variables to 256 luminance and crashing the devices.

Also Read: Google delays Android 11 release, says ‘not the time to celebrate’

Android simply has to close these processes if it hits a snag like this. However, with the image being set as the wallpaper, the device is not able to close it.

MrWhoseTheBoss in his video states this can easily be fixed with a line of code in the source of Android, which states that if the variables of a pixel are at over 255 luminance, then the system should convert it directly to 255 luminance and then open.

Android Toolkit team lead at Google, Romanian Guy in a reply to a tweet said that the problem is not the colour space conversion issue that most people were pointing at, instead, it is being caused due to how the luminance is computed. Thus solidifying MrWhoseTheBoss’ findings.

In a report by 9to5Google, the publication said the bug does not affect devices running Android 11 beta version. They also said the bug does not affect Huawei devices and some more heavily tweaked versions of Android.

Also Read: Report says Samsung Galaxy A51 best-selling Android phone in Q1; guess which were the others?

In a report by SamMobile, it claims Samsung is very near to releasing an OTA fix for the issue and will be releasing it soon.

To recall, a similar issue popped up back in 2018 with people using the Google Wallpapers app, which was distributing images causing a similar bug to pop up. Google at the time did not divulge the reasons behind the crashes at the time. This bug was marked as fixed in a log of an upcoming Android release just two weeks ago, according to Android Police.

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Updated: June 5, 2020 — 3:14 pm

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