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Remember the Beautiful Sunset Photo? Here is Why it was Crashing Android Phones

Remember the Beautiful Sunset Photo? Here is Why it was Crashing Android Phones

Why is this photo causing Android phones to crash?

Many Android users have reported that a seemingly innocent photo of a glorious sunset was breaking their smartphones when they set it as their wallpaper. But no one really knew why till the photographer himself opened up about it.

The photo is that of a beautiful sunset against a cloudy sky, and has a lake and greenery in the foreground as well. It is not very different from other photos that you usually set as wallpapers. Then why are Android users blaming this photograph for crashing their phones?

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According to tech reporters at BBC, setting this photo as your wallpaper could cause your phone to automatically turn on and off multiple times. Even Google Pixel and Samsung phones have been affected. Take a look:

When the photo started going viral, a San Diego-based scientist and amateur photographer, Gaurav Agrawal, reached out to the BBC. He took the photo at St Mary Lake in Glacier National Park, Montana in 2019 where he had gone with his wife. Describing it as a magical evening, Agrawal used his Nikon camera to take the photograph.

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Back home, he edited it on Lightroom and uploaded it on Flickr. He had no idea that his photo was causing phones to crash!

Here's what really happened. Lightroom gives all users options as far as colour modes are concerned before saving the edited photo. The one Agrawal chose is not supported on Android phones. He has an iPhone, and therefore never had issues with the photo.

The fact that the problem was mostly affecting phones with the Android 10 update only confirmed this. A tech blogger who goes by the name 'Nemo' on Twitter has been able to explain this phenomenon. When it comes to colours, Android phones follow the sRGB (Standard Red Green Blue) format. However, in case of this photo, the RGB format was followed. Phones with Android 11 updates are able to automatically alter this format to make it compatible, but Android 10 is not.

Agrawal had no idea his photo had been going viral, and that too for the wrong reasons. It is not the photo's fault, or that of the photographer's. It's a formatting error, one that can be rectified easily.


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