Wallpaper image crashes some Android phones

Android users have discovered that setting a certain image as their phone’s wallpaper could crash their device.

News of the bug first appeared on Twitter when leaker Ice Universe tweeted a picture (above) of the image that’s causing some Android devices to crash. Android Authority and 9to5Google have since confirmed that the wallpaper could have negative consequences when installed.

For a number of users, setting the photo as their wallpaper caused their device’s screen to start turning on and off, rendering the phone unusable. While 9to5Google claims users can restart their phone in safe mode to delete the image file, Android Authority had to factory reset its device to get it functioning normally.

The bug doesn’t appear to impact all Android devices, though. Android Authority claims it initially used a Huawei Mate 20 Pro to verify the bug, only to find it didn’t impact the device.

Dylan Roussel, a contributor to 9to5Google, explained the bug shows certain phones can’t support the color space the image uses in a weekend Twitter thread.

Roussel explained: "The function doColorManagement of the ColorManagementProxy is called at some point. This function checks if the Color Space of the image is supported by the device. The image is supported by default if its color space is SRGB, or if the current display supports it. If it isn't supported, it will replace the Color Space of the image to SRGB, and it will log its current Color Space.”

Davide Bianco, ROM developer for the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), has submitted a patch to AOSP that reportedly addresses the issue. In a description of the patch, Bianco states: “One possible fix is to limit y value to be always less than 256.”

This isn’t the first time Android users have faced this issue. In 2018, users reported setting certain wallpapers caused their devices to “go into a perpetual crash loop.” At the time, developers claimed they were unable to replicate the issue and ultimately closed it.

While you might be tempted to test the bug yourself, we strongly recommend against doing so. Until a fix is available, sticking to your device’s current wallpaper is a safe bet.