Wallpaper that kills your phone | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 02, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:00 AM, July 02, 2020


Wallpaper that kills your phone

Disclaimer: The writer or the publishing body will not be responsible for what happens to your phone after you try the wallpaper.

Wallpapers are an important part of how we personalise our phones. From black holes to a view of the Alps, wallpapers reflect our interests and desires.

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Let's picture a typical scenario: you see a beautiful wallpaper on your Twitter feed and want to download it. Without a hint of suspicion, which is obvious, you download and set it as your wallpaper. Instantly as you move past the lock screen, your phone display starts to blink. In a last ditch attempt, you rush for the power button and restart your phone. Your efforts are still in vain! Your phone gets stuck in an endless boot loop.

So, what's the science behind it?

The wallpaper is a photograph of St Mary Lake in Montana. The photograph was taken with a Nikon camera and edited using an Adobe Lightroom preset and then uploaded to Flickr. Technically speaking, it is not a fault of the photographer, rather of some Android devices' colour engines.

Simply put, most Android devices have their colour engines work in the sRGB (standard RGB) colour space. After an inspection of the real image's colour space, it is found out that the colour range is more wider than sRGB, i.e. ProPhoto RGB. Most devices using Android 10 and under do not know how to process these colour ranges, so every time this wallpaper is rendered on your device UI as a wallpaper, the phone crashes. Google has stated that Android 11 will fix this issue.

Ok, I get it. Now help.

You ran out of luck the moment you began downloading that photo. Unfortunately, the only fix is that you factory reset your phone. All data in your internal storage will be lost and cannot be retrieved unless backed up to a cloud service or otherwise. Should have listened to your tech-savvy sibling when he bragged about having Google Drive *shrugs*.

But, I really like this wallpaper. Is there any way to use it?

Fortunately for you, yes. You can simply take a screenshot of the photo and then apply it as a wallpaper just like you would do to any other wallpaper. What screenshotting does is take a photo of the screen in the compatible colour space with some compression just like social media does. So yeah, you're safe. Just don't download an original copy of the photo.

You're lying. My phone works perfectly fine!

Firstly, no. Secondly, there's a reason for that. Your phone manufacturer probably uses a different colour engine or you've got Android 11 installed.

Osaman is a curious mind always wondering about AI, simulations, theoretical physics and philosophy. To discuss nerd stuff DM him on www.fb.com/osaman.binahmed

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