June 5, 2020

Android: Why this photo is bricking some phones

BBC News is reporting:

Dozens of Android phone owners are reporting on social media that a picture featuring a lake, a cloudy sunset and a green shoreline is crashing their handsets when used as wallpaper.

Looks harmless, right?

How could such a serene image cause a phone to crash? Basically, its too much for the phone to handle. The developers never thought about an image that has too much information in its  ‘colour space’ .

“There are different ways of defining the colour space. Some spaces have specialist uses in graphic design, so sometimes you’ll see images that aren’t in the usual ‘Standard RGB’ format. It’s also possible to deliberately create images that have more colour information than some devices can handle.

“What’s happened here is that the way some phones deal with these cases has gone wrong.

“The phone crashes because it doesn’t know how to deal with it correctly, and the software developers probably hadn’t considered this might happen.”

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