An image is causing some Android phones to crash when set as wallpaper

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A new Android bug has been discovered that can cause your phone to crash when you set a particular image as your wallpaper.

The image began circulating on Twitter a few days ago, with Samsung leaker Ice Universe warning users not to set the picture as a wallpaper because it’ll cause your phone to crash. The bug has been shown to affect Samsung and Google devices but not every Android phone is susceptible. For example, 9to5Google notes that OnePlus devices appear to be unaffected. Devices running Android 11 also aren’t affected.

As for why this wallpaper is causing phones to crash, Google’s Romain Guy speculates that it’s related to a rounding error in the color space conversion of the image. XDA‘s Mishaal Rahman points to developers Luca020400 and BadDaemon who echo that, saying that the crash is caused by a rounding error when Android 10 and older versions convert the image to sRGB. Android 11 doesn’t do this by default, which is why it’s not affected.

The good news is that Google has confirmed that it’s working on a fix for the issue. 

This is definitely one of the weirder smartphone bugs that we’ve seen in a long time, but the good news is that there’s a simple way to avoid being affected by it: don’t set the image as your wallpaper. If for some reason you really want to see it for yourself, you should be able to fix things by booting your phone into safe mode or resetting it using the bootloader, but is all that work really worth it just to see a photo make your phone crash?

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