A wallpaper that can crash your phone instantly - here's how

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
(Image credit: Future)

There have been reports about Android phones facing crashes due to a wallpaper. Yes, you read it right! A wallpaper can crash your phone completely, and although it's pretty rare it could make the device unusable until you change it in safe mode or reset it. 

The issue spotted by Ice Universe has wallpaper of a skyline which seems to exceed the native sRGB colourspace on Android devices. Initial crash reports came from Samsung devices but later it has been spotted on several devices running Android 10 or lower. 

How is the crash caused?

This could be because the histogram value of the image is more than 255 and exceeds the sRGB limit of Android. However, users who are on the developer preview of Android 11 didn't face the issue and this could be due to the software having the code to replace the unsupported sRGB colour spaces.

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However, Android 10 and lower versions don't have this by default and need a patch to fix this. According to experts at XDA, a popular Developer Davide Bianco says that the issue is due to the wallpaper being in the RGB colour space and the sRGH colour space on Android failing to detect the image thus crashing the system. He has already submitted a possible fix to the AOSP platform.

This indicates that the issue does not pertain to one wallpaper. In fact, any image, which uses the RGB colour space could crash the older Android devices unless a fix is patched to overcome the issue. 

How to recover?

Hence, we don’t recommend users from trying out this wallpaper or any other wallpapers that use the RGB colour space.  If you have already tried it and are facing issues like boot loop, or system UI crash, you can overcome the issue by restoring the factory settings using a recovery mode.

You can also boot the device into safe mode and change the wallpaper. Nevertheless, if you really like the image, we suggest that you can take a screenshot of the image in the post and use it as the system wallpaper.

Abdul Q

Abdul Q is a Content editor at Techradar India. Formerly.