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Android 5.0 Lollipop flashlight bug seems to affect both the Nexus 5, and Nexus 4

Posted: , by Florin T.

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Android 5.0 Lollipop flashlight bug seems to affect both the Nexus 5, and Nexus 4
With Google now rolling out Android 5.0 Lollipop to its Nexus devices, reports about various bugs are starting to show up - which is not unusual, since we’re talking about a major OS update. One of these bugs is related to the new flashlight feature that can be easily turned on from the quick settings menu of Lollipop devices.

The bug mainly affects Nexus 5 handsets. Here’s what it's about: if the flashlight is turned on and you leave it to turn off by itself (it looks like this happens after a few minutes), both the flashlight and the camera app will stop working. They’ll go back to normal only after a reboot.

While multiple Nexus 5 users are confirming its existence, the bug doesn’t seem to affect the Nexus 4 in the same way (and yet it still does affect it a bit). We’ve checked on one of our Nexus 4 handsets running Lollipop: the flashlight doesn’t turn off itself at all, it stays on as long as you want. However, the camera will stop working after a few minutes. But we discovered that it will work again if you open it from the lock screen - and you don't need to reboot to fix the problem.  

Google should be already working on a small Lollipop update to fix bugs, though there’s no way of telling when we should expect to see this update. Until we hear more on the matter, let us now if you’ve encountered this flashlight bug on your Nexus.


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posted on 17 Nov 2014, 19:56 3

1. theguy2345 (Posts: 1216; Member since: 24 Jun 2014)


How did an issue this big not get fixed with beta testing? When you just turn on the flashlight it glitches. Should have been an easy thing to find.

posted on 17 Nov 2014, 20:01 3

3. Sniggly (Posts: 7305; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


The same as any other bug that crops up with major software releases. That's why minor software updates always follow no matter which OS you use.

posted on 17 Nov 2014, 21:47

9. vincelongman (Posts: 4576; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


Also most people use their flashlight and then turn it off
For this bug you have to forgot it and leave it on for several minutes for it to timeout
So it didn't happen to anyone until now

Its an oversight by the dev team, but nothing surprising or major

posted on 17 Nov 2014, 20:08 4

4. elitewolverine (Posts: 5188; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


Because a billion lines of code gets by. But the funny thing is, where are all the haters that popped up when iOS had its issues?

I personally don't care, in a few days I will be testing lollipop on a nexus 5, but I wouldn't nail google to the wall for this. As long as there is a fix.

posted on 17 Nov 2014, 20:23 2

5. theguy2345 (Posts: 1216; Member since: 24 Jun 2014)


Funny thing is, I am not an IOS guy at all. I am just curious on how such a large bug got past beta testing.

posted on 17 Nov 2014, 21:23 1

6. elitewolverine (Posts: 5188; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


Neither am I. I do find it funny that a flashlight bug would be in 5 when there isnt one in 4.4. It must be entirely new code that wasnt carried over. I guess that is a good thing.

posted on 18 Nov 2014, 17:14

21. daniel.dimitri (Posts: 3; Member since: 18 Nov 2014)


yes, there is a totally new camera api that allows developers to write apps with direct access to camera functions. Its all new and to clarify 4.4.x never had a built in flashlight from google although it was a popular addition from many developers and even OEMs. It's also noteworthy that similar bugs were common with flashlight apps and custom Roms that included a flashlight feature because the flashlight feature would often conflict with the camera app.

posted on 17 Nov 2014, 21:42

8. vincelongman (Posts: 4576; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


Because its actually a very minor bug that doesn't affect much people

Most people use their flashlight and then turn it off
For this bug you have to forgot it and leave it on for several minutes for it to timeout
So it didn't happen to anyone until now

Its an oversight by the dev team, but nothing surprising or major

posted on 18 Nov 2014, 06:51

18. elitewolverine (Posts: 5188; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


I use my flashlight on my WP, everyday in the morning for at least 10mins. Everyday, except on Thur. As a result this would have affected me day one.

I know it is minor, but it is still rather funny. To see the difference between a bug post for google and a bug post for any other OS. it is night and day.

posted on 17 Nov 2014, 19:58 2

2. donphone (Posts: 64; Member since: 20 Oct 2013)


Wish i could test but still haven't received the ota update...

posted on 17 Nov 2014, 21:59

10. sprockkets (Posts: 1611; Member since: 16 Jan 2012)


By the time you get the OTA, you'll have a build without the nagging bugs, so consider yourself lucky.

Also, video playback is broken. I wouldn't update period until they fix that!

posted on 17 Nov 2014, 22:53

11. vincelongman (Posts: 4576; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


Which device you on?
I've heard its only the 2013 Nexus 7 that has that bug

Though some apps aren't updated yet
E.g for MX Player you have to download their Nightly

posted on 17 Nov 2014, 23:00

12. sprockkets (Posts: 1611; Member since: 16 Jan 2012)


I'm on that device. And what is stupid is that on both dev previews it wasn't broken.

Though I didn't think it was limited to just it...

posted on 17 Nov 2014, 21:33

7. Taters (banned) (Posts: 6474; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)


Um why does the flashlight shut off automatically anyways? The one on my iPhone 6 keeps going until I turn the toggle off. What if it's a black out and you need it for more than a few minutes?

If it's a battery saving feature it should be an option for auto shut off.

posted on 18 Nov 2014, 03:09

15. RoboBonobo (Posts: 61; Member since: 13 Sep 2013)


I think that's part of the bug. The Nexus 4 doesn't automatically turn off. It doesn't make sense to have it turn off automatically, so I think it's not supposed to.

posted on 17 Nov 2014, 23:02 1

13. Bondurant (Posts: 436; Member since: 04 Jun 2014)


this is the beauty of android.

posted on 17 Nov 2014, 23:35 1

14. hurrycanger (Posts: 1574; Member since: 01 Dec 2013)


I'm glad you give so much credits to Android. :)
I wonder if you were there praising other mobile OS's when they got bugs.

posted on 18 Nov 2014, 06:36

17. willard12 (Posts: 1723; Member since: 04 Jul 2012)


It's a little different when other OS get bugs. With other OS, you see a thousand quotes like "they don't rush things to the market." Or my favorite, "they take their time and get it right." If people got rid of the hype behind them, you'd see the same reactions.

posted on 18 Nov 2014, 04:15

16. stathax (Posts: 2; Member since: 05 Sep 2014)


Guys, last night i recieved the notification for android 5.0 OTA download. I had a lot of junk on my nexus 5, so i did a factory reset before downloading the update. However, when the device turned back on, the notification was gone and system updates says that my device is up to date. Any ideas?

posted on 18 Nov 2014, 17:38

22. daniel.dimitri (Posts: 3; Member since: 18 Nov 2014)


There is a roll out schedule. Each nexus device has a unique id (this is not the imei or meid or hex or serial number or any other number that is persistent and assigned when the phone is manufactured) and this is used to select devices that receive the update. When you reset the phone you may have created a new id so now you are in a different batch from before... Still the update shouldn't take too long.

posted on 18 Nov 2014, 10:24

19. Miles1993 (Posts: 1; Member since: 18 Nov 2014)


I haven't encountered this error. I sideloaded Android L on my Nexus 4 upgrading from 4.4.4 Kitkat. Took me about 30 minutes.

posted on 18 Nov 2014, 15:45

20. fran77 (Posts: 2; Member since: 16 Oct 2014)


My nexus 5 got O.T.A yesterday and so far everything is fine. No lags no slow downs etc. I noticed that most people having problems, flashed the update on their own, and they flashed the wrong build. Some flashed LRX201, some LRX205. I don't know where they getting all this builds but the right one that came O.T.A is LRX210 for nexus 5 and everybody that got it i know has not had a problem yet.

posted on 18 Nov 2014, 18:15

23. daniel.dimitri (Posts: 3; Member since: 18 Nov 2014)


Had my flashlight going for a good 15 minutes and no issue. Not sure what conditions are causing the service to stop. Normally issues like this are a result of some hack "developer" messing with the way the linux kernal handles ram. It could be that I didn't leave it long enough or that this happens when a lot of things are running but it seems this bug is not as common as everyone seems to think. Likewise I have not experienced the alleged WiFi password bug and I never had the alleged battery drain bug.

posted on 18 Nov 2014, 19:13

24. jimv1983 (Posts: 29; Member since: 10 Oct 2013)


I am having the battery drain issue. If I have wifi on and set "Keep Wi-Fi on during sleep" to "Always" like it was on Kit Kat then my Nexus 5 almost never goes to sleep. I've been thinking about doing a factory reset but I don't want to spend the time to set up my phone again.

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 09:21

25. parth3011 (Posts: 1; Member since: 19 Nov 2014)


This was a problem i faced when i had flashed the L developer preview. It had happened when I enabled the "enable NuPlayer" option under Media in developer options. So in the final build if this option is checked on by default, take a peek on it and notice if the problem goes after that. Anyone trying out this please tell if it worked out. I'm back on 4.4.4 and no longer have acces to lollipop so can't tell.

posted on 20 Nov 2014, 00:09

26. aayush295 (Posts: 1; Member since: 20 Nov 2014)


I had this problem in 4.4.4 in my nexus 5 too. It doesn't matter if i use my flashlight or not, both my camera and flashlight stop working after 8-10 hrs of a reboot. I am still having this problem in lollipop. Hope google fixes this bug soon

posted on 21 Nov 2014, 05:00

27. Selina (Posts: 2; Member since: 21 Nov 2014)


unfortunately Camera again does not work (it makes me angry). I had this issue on Android 4.4: high CPU usage of the 'mm-qcamera-daemon' process and can’t connect to the camera. On April 2014 Google promised fixes of this in the next maintenance update. No such a fixes were made. Today I updated to Android 5.0 and again – Camera does not work. Only difference that in running processes there is no 'mm-qcamera-daemon'. Anybody knows is there any solution of this?

posted on 25 Nov 2014, 07:51

28. teeteeb (Posts: 1; Member since: 25 Nov 2014)


I can't get the flaslight to turn off, my phone updated last night.

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