Android Bug Reports, Songs, Rovers

The following is a partial list of bugs in Android (or associated software) which have impacted my actual life in some way.  Some may have been fixed since I last encountered them.

  • When navigation is muted, but you hit volume down just to be safe, it unmutes and starts blaring, waking other passengers on the bus.
  • Sometimes the GPS stops getting locks on satellites until the phone is rebooted.  (This may be related to the GPSStatus app, installed to avoid this kind of thing.)  To be fair, satellites are very small and far away, so you can hardly blame it for having trouble.
  • You can say “Call <contact name>”, and contact names+addresses show up in the navigation search with “navigate to” options, but you can’t say “Navgiate to <contact name>” like you can with all other major actions.  This means you have to type their full address to find out which exit to take from the traffic circle, and it’s really hard to type while holding the wheel steadily to the left like that.
  • Sometimes, when arranging home screen icons, you feel sad and you’re not sure why.
  • If you follow Google’s guidelines and have your own Jabber DNS records set up in a particular way on your Google Apps server, it screws up Google Talk’s ability to authenticate, which in turn (for some bizarre reason) causes all app downloads to hang midway through.  This is rare enough that the error messages are not Googleable.  But don’t worry, it’s easy to figure out as long as you’ve read all of the source code to Android and to Google’s servers, which is good practice when you get any product.
  • Sometimes the home screen icons all disappear.  The only thing which fixes this is a restart, going through five menus to kill the “Home screen” process, or crying quietly for hours until the icons start to feel sorry for you and come back.
  • Occasionally, when swiping the lock sideways to unlock the phone, the lock button images are rotated by 90 degrees.  This is probably connected to your Jabber server somehow.
  • Sometimes an Android user will think they hear someone say their name, but they’re not sure, so they say ‘Yes?’, but then it turns out it was something else.
  • Maps Navigation doesn’t cache your route, so if you drive through an area with bad cell coverage, it may silently stop notifying you of upcoming turns, and you won’t realize anything’s wrong until you discover you’ve taken NH Route 2 all the way to the White Mountains, which are very cold.
  • Latitude doesn’t update well on either end.  Often times, it will tell you someone was in a particular place “5 minutes ago”, and then 10 minutes later — after multiple restarts — it will still say it got that last update from them “5 minutes ago” even if they’re actively using Maps, so you have no idea whether they’ve left.  This can continue for hours as you slowly run out of air in the closet.
  • The phone occasionally locks on full brightness and turns off the keyboard backlight, which is fixed by un-checking and then re-checking the “automatic brightness” checkbox, also about five menus deep, which is hard to see when you’re squinting because the screen is so bright.  Fortunately, it never gets very dark where I live in Boston.  Unfortunately, it’s extremely dark at night in the White Mountains.
  • Navigation instructions silence things like podcasts players, but don’t pause them.  Thus, to hear that missing sentence or two, you have to switch over to the podcast app and hit ‘back’ several times, then swerve your car to avoid the stupid stop sign that shouldn’t be in the middle of the sidewalk to begin with.
  • Google Voice doesn’t do push notifications, so you often get voicemails quite some time after the caller leaves them, sometimes after you’ve already called them back.  This can make you call your doctor back again and have a really confusing conversation where you accidentally get a second prescription. Which you can then get filled and sell on the street. Come to think of it, this bug might be a feature.
  • If you stop for gas, sometimes navigation suspends, but doesn’t resume when you start driving again (or just disappears without notifying you), so you miss the upcoming turn and think you’re already on I-95, and by the time you discover your mistake and turn around you’ve lost enough time that you totally get to the conference too late to catch Richard Stallman doing his acapella Bad Romance cover which is the whole reason you paid the entry fee in the first place.
  • If you have several Google accounts, there’s no way to select which one to use for Google Checkout purchases.  It just picks whichever one it notices first, even if it’s one from an old Google account tied to your mom’s credit card, so now she might know that you bought the app to turn the phone into a vibrator.  (The app doesn’t really work since the vibrate motor is too weak, but the reviews by people who don’t understand its purpose are hilarious.)
  • If you have a secondary account that it’s decided to use for Checkout, and you want to delete it so the phone will use your primary one, you can’t.  Why?  Because that account is used for an essential service and so can’t be deleted.  As far as I can guess, that service is Google Checkout.  This bug report is dedicated to Joseph Heller.
  • Google Chrome in OS X follows the Apple guidelines concerning the green “+” button, and has it make the window no bigger than it deems necessary to fit the current page’s contents.  This annoys a lot of people. Since there are no OS X Chrome extensions, the best workaround seems to be registering maximizechrome.com and putting a giant <div> there.  Whenever you need to maximize, you load that page before hitting the green button.  (This bug is not, technically, related to Android in any way.)
  • There’s a Fantastic Contraption app on iPhone, but not Android. This is probably a feature rather than a bug, since it means Android users can spend time on things other than playing Fantastic Contraption.

These issues aside, I’m really happy with my Droid.  The screen is incredible, it’s much faster and easier to use than the G1, and I wouldn’t trade away the physical keyboard and persistent SSH for anything.


I just about fell out of my chair when I saw this.  Thank you to everyone who appeared in it, and to Olga and Elaine for doing whatever black magic they did to get them all together. <3. (Side note: I met Neil Gaiman once, back when I was in college, when his book tour came near my town. At the signing afterward, I talked awkwardly to him for what seemed like several minutes while he signed stuff for our group. Later, my friends pointed out that I was speaking too quietly for him to hear—or, in fact, to notice that I was standing there at all. I’ve been quietly embarrassed about that ever since and this video makes me feel better.)


If anyone is still sad about my Spirit comic, maybe this person’s rewrite – author unknown, found on a random image page – might provide some comfort.  Also, I got a couple of nice letters from members of the Spirit/Opportunity teams, and it’s very clear how proud they are of these little rovers. Next, Europa!

169 thoughts on “Android Bug Reports, Songs, Rovers

  1. We stumbled over here by a different web page and thought I might check things out.
    I like what I see so now i’m following you. Look forward to looking over your web page again.

    My web-site: Antonietta

  2. Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Thank you so much,
    However I am having problems with your RSS.
    I don’t know the reason why I am unable to join it. Is there anyone else having identical RSS issues? Anyone who knows the answer can you kindly respond? Thanks!!

    my website :: mobile ui design making an iphone app developing apps for android making an iphone app create an android app mobile application design mobile apps developer design mobile website iphone app development cost how to create an app for android how to create android app how to make an app for android android app developers android application developer iphone applications development ios developers iphone application developers making android apps making android apps making an app making an app make android apps make android apps android software development ipad app developer creating iphone apps app development cost develop iphone apps on windows developing for android iphone application development company developing iphone apps mobile app design how to make a android app creating android apps how to make android app mobile application development companies mobile application developers app designer mobile site design how to make apps for android apple ios developer develop iphone apps android applications development iphone application developer iphone app builder mobile developer iphone app design mobile application development company mobile application developer mobile applications development mobile design create android app mobile website development iphone apps development android apps development (Genevieve)

  3. Howdy great website! Does running a blog such as this take a massive amount work?
    I have absolutely no knowledge of computer programming but I had been hoping to start my own blog in the near future.

    Anyhow, if you have any suggestions or tips for new blog owners please share.
    I know this is off topic but I just wanted to ask.
    Thank you!

  4. A veces, un usuario de Android va a pensar que escuchan a alguien decir su nombre, pero no están seguros, por lo que dicen ‘¿Sí?’, Pero luego resulta que era otra cosa.

  5. - The cut out for the umbilical cord is perfect. It was comfortable to put on, stayed on, and provided extra pleasure for my partner. I was recently on a trip to Disney World where I was on my feet for most of the day. I have twins and luckily only one of them is irritated by these new diapers but once the box runs out for the one who isn’t bothered by these diapers they’ll both be back to pampers just to be safe. To try to make up for the pain relief I got from the NSAIDS, I’ve been trying some nutritional supplements. And Reset, by far is number one of my list! Protein shakes have a reputation for not having the most pleasant taste. I’ve found some resources saying that a UTI is a common, minor type of infection, but let me say that sufferers of recurrent infections feel it is anything but minor. At least they kill the pain so half the battle is complete. For some it may work in the first few days. Yes I know, calories, calories.

  6. I simply identified your blog, I actually book marked it and im looking through the actual blogposts. I already like it. Useful issue either way you look on this.

  7. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>