Android gotchas and bugs

Notes on Android oddities that I’ve come across.

These Android notes are mostly for Android 4.1.2 on the Samsung Galaxy S2 GT-I9100. Some notes, where stated, are for a Nexus 10 on Android 5.1.1.

Because I use Android on the Galaxy S2, the OS contains Samsung-specific customisations. Also, it’s inextricably linked to Google services. As such some of these notes relate to the Galaxy S2 and Google.


Photo syncing mess

See my page on the Google Photos, Picassa, Gallery sync mess.

Insufficient storage

There are a few things you can attempt to clear space on your device.

Delete logs

If you get an ‘insufficient storage’ error (e.g. when trying to install/update apps) then you can delete your system logs:

  1. Open phone.
  2. Dial *#9900#
  3. Select ‘Delete dumpstate/logcat’.

Clear cache

If deleting the logs didn’t help, then you can try to clear the cache.

Either browse to each application and clear their cache one by one:

  1. Settings (cog icon) -> Application manager.
  2. Select an application.
  3. Clear cache.

Or install App Cache Cleaner to clear all cache in one go.

Move things to the SD card

If you are still running out of space on your phone, then move apps to the external SD card (where there is likely to be more space available):

  1. Settings (cog icon) -> Application manager.
  2. Select an app.
  3. ‘Move to SD card’.

It seems that some apps can’t be moved to the SD card for some reason.


Attempting device encryption can lose your data

If device encryption fails you’ll have to reset your phone to factory defaults, loosing all data! More on this below in the bugs section.

Google account sync won’t sync everything

Registering your Google account with the phone, which I did when Google Play app asked me for my Google account details, and choosing to sync it with the phone, will sync your calendars but not your email.

Password lock disables device reset

You don’t get the option to reset your password via your Google account if you’re using a password lock.

Error: Package file is invalid

If you attempt to install an app and receive “Package file is invalid” error, then clearing Google Play Store data may help. Go to Settings -> Application manager -> Google Play Store -> Clear data, and Ok it.

References: How to fix Package file is invalid error on Google Play Store


Photo syncing mess

See my page on the Google Photos, Picassa, Gallery sync mess.

Encryption failed

I attempted to encrypt my phone via Settings -> Security -> ?, so I followed the instructions and plugged my phone in to charge as the encryption began. After about 10 minutes I got an ‘encryption failed’ message with the instruction that in order to continue I had to reset the phone to factory settings. WTF.

If you get a problem with Android failing to decrypt an SD card, see Recovering Android encrypted SD card.

Package file is invalid

On installing a package from Google Play store you can receive ‘package file is invalid’ error after the download. To fix this, clear the Play cache and try again.

  1. Settings (cog icon or menu -> Settings) -> Application manager.
  2. Select the application. If it’s not visible in the current list, scroll right to All applications.
  3. Clear data.
  4. Clear cache.

Now try and install the application again.

Reference: How to fix Package file is invalid error on Google Play Store

Browser automatically downloads package (apk) files

With the stock browser at least, web sites can automatically download package (apk) files! You can’t prevent this happening!

You’ll probably see a message saying ‘starting download’, an arrow icon will appear in the notification area at the top of your phone and a status message will appear in the notifications saying ‘download complete’.

Do not click the file or launch it any way. If you do accidentally, do not complete the action - go back or cancel if given the option.

To delete any such downloads:

  1. Go to Internet -> Menu (button) -> Downloads, select the download and click the delete / trash icon. This will only remove the item from the download list - it will still be stored on the phone, so…
  2. Go to My Files -> All files -> Download, select the file and click the delete / trash icon. Probably best to check .downloadTemp and other suspicious folders as well!

As an extra security measure, make sure that Settings -> Security -> ‘Unknown sources’ is not selected, so that applications can’t install without your explicit permission.

References: Configure stock browser to stop automatic apk downloads

Mute does not mute

If you hold down the button at the side of the phone (on a Samsung Galaxy S2) then you’ll get a menu giving you the option to mute the phone or put it on vibrate only. This does not work - some applications will still have sound.

Last modified: 12/10/2015 Tags: , , ,

This website is a personal resource. Nothing here is guaranteed correct or complete, so use at your own risk and try not to delete the Internet. -Stephan

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