Skip to main content

This scenic image soft-bricks Android smartphones when set as wallpaper

A scenic image that is making the rounds on social media soft-bricks some Android smartphones when it is set as the device’s wallpaper.

Choosing a smartphone’s background image is one of the most basic ways to customize a device. However, it is apparently no longer safe to pick just any picture you see online, according to a tweet by known leaker Ice Universe.

Never set this picture as wallpaper, especially for Samsung mobile phone users!
It will cause your phone to crash!
Don't try it!
If someone sends you this picture, please ignore it.

— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) May 31, 2020

The image looks innocent enough, and with its serene view, it is the kind of picture that makes for a good smartphone wallpaper. However, as Ice Universe warns, setting it as your device’s background will cause it to crash.

Setting the image as a wallpaper causes the screens of some Android smartphones to continuously turn on and off. Rebooting the device does not fix the problem, which returns as soon as it turns back on. The soft-brick may be seen in a demonstration by 9to5Google.

Android Wallpaper Crashing Bug — 9to5Google Demo

The image does not cause any problems while in Google Photos, so it is not the kind of file that crashes smartphones just by sending it through messages or emails. Ice Universe, in a follow-up tweet, said that after uploading the image to Chinese social media website Weibo, the colors change and it no longer soft-bricks Android smartphones when set as a wallpaper.

9to5Google’s Dylan Roussel discovered that the image does not cause his Pixel 4 XL on Android 11 to crash, but a Pixel 3 XL on Android 10 was affected. Roussel was able to track the problem to the picture’s color space. Android 11 is capable of converting RGB to sRGB, which is what Android smartphones want to display. However, Android 10 is unable to do so, resulting in the soft-brick.

This means that the issue is not linked to this specific image, so people may encounter the problem if they download a random picture on the internet and set it as their wallpaper. If this happens, the only way through it is to either boot the Android smartphone into safe mode and change the wallpaper from there, or if that fails, access the device’s bootloader and perform a factory reset.

It is unclear if Android 11 will solve the problem for all makes and models of smartphones, but that will have to wait as the release of the operating system’s public beta has been pushed back.

Editors' Recommendations

Aaron Mamiit
Aaron received a NES and a copy of Super Mario Bros. for Christmas when he was 4 years old, and he has been fascinated with…
Here’s when your Vivo phone will get the Android 12 beta update
The Vivo X70 Pro+ being taken out of a pocket.

Google officially released Android 12 for its Pixel phones alongside the launch of the Pixel 6 series. The release came after the company had already uploaded the source code to Android Open Source Project earlier this month. Now non-Google manufacturers are now detailing their Android 12 beta release timeline for the devices. Vivo is the latest company to reveal when its phones get the Android 12 beta, joining others like Samsung, OnePlus, Oppo, Realme, and Xiaomi.

Vivo announced a list of 30 smartphones that will get Android 12 beta in the coming months. The smartphone list varies from the top-of-the-line Vivo X70 Pro Plus to the budget offerings like the Vivo V20 and Vivo V20i. Here's the comprehensive list of when your Vivo phone will get the Android 12 update:

Read more
You probably won’t get Android 12’s coolest feature when it rolls out
Android 12 display screens. Credits: Android official.

With Android 12, Google debuted a whole new design language for the operating system. "Instead of Google Blue, we imagined Material You," the company said at Google I/O 2021. For a whole lot of Android 12 upgraders though, the Google blues is exactly what they're going to get when Android 12 hits.

This week, Samsung finally announced and distributed the beta for One UI 4, its take on Android 12. Shortly after, Oppo announced ColorOS 12, its own spin on Android 12. Alongside Nokia's own Android 12 Beta, these releases tell us what to expect (and what not to expect) from Android 12 when it hits the vast majority of Android phones as it rolls out through the next year.

Read more
How to use your Android smartphone to stream Xbox games
how to set up ps4 remote play on ios and android xbox game streaming with controller

Ask anyone which they prefer in the "Android vs. iOS" battle, and the answer is likely to be a passionate one. That's for a good reason, of course, since both platforms have a lot to offer supporters, and crucially, don't always get the same apps, games, and features. Android, however, has a particularly large feather in its cap: The ability to stream and play Xbox games through the internet, with no console required.

Android users, with a little help from a handy Bluetooth controller, are able to play Xbox games through the wonders of cloud gaming. The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and Note 20 got early access to the service, and with their large screens and powerful hardware, they're a perfect fit for the cloud gaming experience. But they're not the only Android devices that can play Xbox games. Here's how you can play Xbox games on your Android smartphone.

Read more