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Google acknowledges leaky memory, fix coming to Android 5.1.1?

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Memory leak on Android 5.0.1 could be repaired with Android 5.1.1

Memory leak on Android 5.0.1 could be repaired with Android 5.1.1

A memory leak that was originally discovered in Android 5.0.1, is still annoying and befuddling Nexus device users with Android 5.1. According to the Issue Tracker page on the AOSP website, Google has internally fixed the issue and plans to include it in an upcoming release. That most likely would be Android 5.1.1. 

The complaints are beginning to read the same. Apps, especially Google+, restart on their own. Some active apps disappear in the middle of using them, and free RAM drops in hours to about 750MB-800MB from 1.1GB-1.3GB. Most of the people who sent in a complaint appear to be using the Nexus 5, although other Nexus devices have been cited. Some complaints said that opening apps would increase the amount of RAM in use, but closing apps would not reduce that figure.

Issue 159738, "Memory leak still present on Android 5.1," was closed by Google on Friday. Now, it is just a matter of waiting for Android 5.1.1. Google will no doubt stamp this as "Rush" because no one wants to live with the craziness of a handset running with a memory leak.

Thanks for the tip Rodrigo!

source: AOSP

52 Comments
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posted on 14 Mar 2015, 21:12 15

1. joey_sfb (Posts: 5560; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


Another day another bug!

posted on 14 Mar 2015, 21:35 7

6. jeso86 (Posts: 8; Member since: 17 Apr 2014)


You mean the same bug :)
but this is really annoying I mean FFS Google fix this every couple of days my N5 becomes completely unusable :(

posted on 14 Mar 2015, 23:00 4

12. vincelongman (Posts: 4254; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


No they did fixed the 5.0 memory leaks
See the changelog, there's over 60 memory leaks that were fixed
This is a new memory leak in 5.1

And it is some specific apps/games
My apps/games aren't causing any memory leaks (not yet at least)

Google need to step up their testing
IMO they need to introduce soak testing, like what Motorola do
i.e. allow people (devs and power users) to sign up to test the builds, before they are officially rolled out

posted on 15 Mar 2015, 13:39 4

41. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 12539; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


Google should be ashamed of themselves. They fast tracked Lollipop to release and forgot to even test the build and make it stable. They should have stayed with kitkat until lollipop was in order.

posted on 15 Mar 2015, 19:10 2

46. tedkord (Posts: 10927; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


But it was perfectly alright the mess that iOS was released as, right?

posted on 15 Mar 2015, 19:32

47. vincelongman (Posts: 4254; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


Lollipop 5.0 was "stable"
I didn't have any app crashes or restarts
It just needed a reboot every couple days

At least its not like iOS 8, where apps crash daily on my iPad Mini 2
And there's nothing I can do about it

posted on 15 Mar 2015, 22:09

49. joey_sfb (Posts: 5560; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


I can say the same for iOS 8 release by Apple.

Mxy have you conveniently forgot to mention about how buggy iOS 8 release is?

posted on 14 Mar 2015, 22:44 2

10. fireblade (Posts: 716; Member since: 27 Dec 2013)


you mean ios?

posted on 14 Mar 2015, 21:23 4

2. SuperAndroid507 (Posts: 273; Member since: 06 Jan 2014)


And my xperia Z1 is still in 4.4.4 -.- I just hope Sony's update won't bring that memory leak issue.

posted on 14 Mar 2015, 21:29 1

5. Atrixboyyy (Posts: 334; Member since: 03 Nov 2011)


same here but with the Z3. I'm anxious for the 5.0 update but it literally means that much more waiting for 5.1.1...

posted on 14 Mar 2015, 23:09 1

14. vincelongman (Posts: 4254; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


Its supposedly already fixed
So Sony would just need to copy the fix over to their build of 5.1

posted on 15 Mar 2015, 03:56 2

21. boosook (Posts: 1430; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)


the problem is that Sony will now release android 5.0, then it'll take another 6 months for android 5.1, and then another 6 months for android 5.1.1, and some devices will be stuck with android 5.0 and its memory leaks because the 18 months will be over when sony will release android 5.1 (they have done this with many older phones, even flagships like the T which never received kitkat... they do not consider the 18 months from when Google releases a new version, but from when *they* release a new version).

posted on 15 Mar 2015, 04:38 3

22. vincelongman (Posts: 4254; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


4.4 to 5.0 was a huge update
Literally the biggest ever for Android
So there were bound to be plenty of bugs

5.0 to 5.1 is one of the smallest updates ever
Mostly just bug fixes
So I'd be surprised if it took Sony more than 2 months

Also many OEMs already fixed the memory leaks in their builds of 5.0
For example I know Motorola did (my brother has a 1st gen Moto G)
I've heard Samsung and HTC also fixed the memory leaks on their builds
So I'd be surprised if Sony hadn't fixed the memory leaks

posted on 14 Mar 2015, 21:29 7

3. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5711; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


this issue has been tracked since shortly after 5.0 released. this honestly should have been fixed with 5.1. this was one of the biggies that i was hoping would be fixed with that release.

posted on 14 Mar 2015, 23:00 1

11. vincelongman (Posts: 4254; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


No they did fixed the 5.0 memory leaks
See the changelog, there's over 60 memory leaks that were fixed
This is a new memory leak in 5.1

And it is some specific apps/games
My apps/games aren't causing any memory leaks (not yet at least)

Google need to step up their testing
IMO they need to introduce soak testing, like what Motorola do
i.e. allow people (devs and power users) to sign up to test the builds, before they are officially rolled out

posted on 14 Mar 2015, 23:06 1

13. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5711; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


based on what information?

"A memory leak that was originally discovered in Android 5.0.1, is still annoying and befuddling Nexus device users with Android 5.1."

that's what the article clearly states.

posted on 14 Mar 2015, 23:13 1

15. vincelongman (Posts: 4254; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


The article is wrong

There was never ONE memory leak in 5.0
There were MANY memory leaks in 5.1

Google fixed 60+ memory leaks

But they introduce this new one in 5.1

Otherwise find me a link to this exact problem (check the AOSP source) in 5.0

posted on 14 Mar 2015, 23:34 1

16. Awalker (Posts: 1438; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)


Vince is right. Go over to the AOSP site and look through the change log. There's many references to various memory leaks being fixed. I installed 5.1 on my Nexus 5 about an hour after Google posted the factory image and my device has been working fine. RAM is okay and none of my apps are closing or resetting.

posted on 15 Mar 2015, 13:36

40. JC557 (Posts: 1433; Member since: 07 Dec 2011)


It's worse with the desktop version of Chrome and it's been brought up quite a bit in their forums as well as elsewhere.

posted on 14 Mar 2015, 21:29 6

4. mptripper (Posts: 31; Member since: 10 Dec 2013)


I fear for those 1gb ram users

posted on 15 Mar 2015, 12:05

39. Sidewinder (Posts: 422; Member since: 15 Jan 2015)


I had to ditch my s3 and buy a s4 for the exact same reason. Aosp lollipop rom on my s3 was worse than touchwiz 4.3 when it came to memory management

posted on 16 Mar 2015, 01:23

50. james58385 (Posts: 5; Member since: 03 Dec 2014)


Android One user here (1GB RAM) on 5.1 Lollipop. All is well, so far.

posted on 14 Mar 2015, 21:44 2

7. valapsp (Posts: 557; Member since: 12 Aug 2011)


lots of apps still crash on my nexus 6 running 5.1

posted on 15 Mar 2015, 00:48 2

18. Andrewtst (Posts: 619; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)


I am running 5.1 at my Nexus 6. I don't have single apps FC.

So far I find 5.1 is stable now not like previously in 5.0.1

posted on 15 Mar 2015, 01:54

19. LoveHater (Posts: 176; Member since: 09 Oct 2013)


dont fear .. here at Moto G 5.0.2, and never had ML

posted on 14 Mar 2015, 22:07 4

8. joey_sfb (Posts: 5560; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


Nexus is Google Android Developer device so it meant for Google to beta test new feature. If you want Nexus than you must be willing to be inconvenient once in awhile.

My Samsung Note 3 lollipop has no memory leak or app crushing issue despite being on Android 5.0. The speaker mute function is also there which is lacking on the Nexus Android 5 edition.

So its more than just Android version number, its new codes having conflict with the older ones.

posted on 15 Mar 2015, 05:32 2

24. Predator1701 (Posts: 108; Member since: 28 Oct 2014)


What are you smoking my friend because I want some! First of all we(Nexus users) are not beta testers for new versions of android, Nexus devices are consumer devices as much as development devices. And if you think that the version of android 5.0 lollipop that you have on your Note 3 is different from mine on my Nexus 4 just because there is touchwiz on top of it the you are very wrong!!! It has the same bugs and mistakes as well as new features, the only difference is samy put a skin on it and added mostly useless features.

posted on 15 Mar 2015, 06:10

25. elitewolverine (Posts: 5176; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


If you think all they did was put a skin...then here is a bridge to sell you.

posted on 15 Mar 2015, 07:16 2

28. ciprian.ruse (Posts: 294; Member since: 13 May 2014)


My Galaxy S5 ( G900F) with 5.0 has the memory leak that makes the drawer redraw sometimes so nothing is fixed on touchwiz !

posted on 15 Mar 2015, 08:55 1

31. joey_sfb (Posts: 5560; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


ciprian.ruse you should just bring your device back to Samsung Service Center and complain to them.

Works for me. If they really can't resolve it they might give you a new S5 with the older firmware in it.

posted on 15 Mar 2015, 10:26

35. joeytaylor (Posts: 432; Member since: 28 Feb 2015)


On your S5...do u lose everything on your sd card...i do...then restart the phonecthen it all comes back...i have a lot of android process stopped...the native messaging app constantly stops....jus wondering

posted on 15 Mar 2015, 08:50

30. joey_sfb (Posts: 5560; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


LOL! You are a beta user and you don't even know it.

Install Android Studio and see for yourself. The default SDK and Virtual device is a Nexus. Every developer would design their apps base on Nexus. The first to get features are also meant to test them. The result are collected to be analysed and corrected.

If you don't want to be a beta tester of your Nexus device simple. Don't be the first to install a new ROM. I always wait a couple of weeks before I install new firmware, I have the same practice for new apps upgrade.

Don't be a hero!

posted on 15 Mar 2015, 10:09

33. Awalker (Posts: 1438; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)


Nexus devices are consumer products as predator said. The Android SDK is built around Nexus devices because of two thing - they're Google products and they're the first to get updates. Google wants developers to push out updates to their apps as quickly as possible and they need access to products that are running the latest build of Android and that's Nexus devices.

When Google releases the source code for the latest version of Android it is in their mind the final product. They would never release a code that OEMs are suppose to work off of that's not final.

posted on 15 Mar 2015, 22:06

48. joey_sfb (Posts: 5560; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


The reason i wait for sometime and read user review before i upgrade phone firmware is because its easy to upgrade but very inconvenient to revert.

For app cases, i always backup important app with ES Explorer extracting the apk before I upgrade otherwise it very difficult to reverse. I have a few bad experience of app quality dropping from user perceptive.

posted on 14 Mar 2015, 22:09 1

9. mike2959 (Posts: 527; Member since: 08 Oct 2011)


OMG. Does everyone understand this is why the OEM's say screw it? Then
add the carrier's in the mix..forget it. It's not their fault! With Android you just don't get a update that fixes a bug...you get a whole freaking OS again. Now all of you will be bitching for this update, blaming carrier's and OEM's, when its all Google's fault.

posted on 14 Mar 2015, 23:37 2

17. joey_sfb (Posts: 5560; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


It's not who's fault. It's a software bug.

I am a happy camper with all my Android devices because I know how to manage them.

OEM pick Android over WP because it's still a better deal for them.

posted on 15 Mar 2015, 03:29 1

20. lyndon420 (Posts: 4158; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)


Of course Android is a better deal...it sells.

posted on 15 Mar 2015, 08:24

29. mike2959 (Posts: 527; Member since: 08 Oct 2011)


What I'm saying is if Google screws up a update, has bug's, whatever... The average user has got to live with it for a LONG time because updates SUCK ON ANDROID!

posted on 15 Mar 2015, 11:53

37. Fellwalker (Posts: 352; Member since: 04 Apr 2014)


And because Google randomly remove useful features, like bluetooth rSAP. My nexus 5 originally worked beautifully with my car, but 4.3 stopped it doing so, and its never worked since. I have a Samsung note 4 on loan, and that connects perfectly. Google closed all the bug report threads on Google + when they released 5.0.

posted on 15 Mar 2015, 04:48

23. mahmood74 (Posts: 17; Member since: 24 Jul 2013)


Yes i have problem n7 2013

posted on 15 Mar 2015, 06:50

26. nodes (Posts: 698; Member since: 06 Mar 2014)


it's no surprise that most newer Android handsets come with 3GB even 4GB RAM.

posted on 15 Mar 2015, 10:12

34. Awalker (Posts: 1438; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)


That's only because of the spec wars among OEMs.

posted on 15 Mar 2015, 07:05 1

27. draco75 (Posts: 5; Member since: 01 Mar 2015)


Note 4 running 4.4.4 is starting to look delicious....I guess it's true when people say, If it ain't broke don't fix it.

posted on 15 Mar 2015, 11:55

38. Fellwalker (Posts: 352; Member since: 04 Apr 2014)


I'm certainly not updating my nexus 5 from 4.4.4.

posted on 15 Mar 2015, 09:20 1

32. SupermanayrB (Posts: 534; Member since: 20 Mar 2012)


This is why I only use devices with expandable memory.

posted on 15 Mar 2015, 13:41 1

42. JC557 (Posts: 1433; Member since: 07 Dec 2011)


This is about RAM not storage so expandable memory or not it won't matter.

posted on 15 Mar 2015, 14:36

44. SupermanayrB (Posts: 534; Member since: 20 Mar 2012)


Ahhhh.

posted on 15 Mar 2015, 14:02 1

43. miket1737 (Posts: 2415; Member since: 17 Mar 2013)


Expandable memory has nothing to do with this issue here

posted on 15 Mar 2015, 11:39 2

36. Tuxedo (Posts: 344; Member since: 19 Mar 2013)


This sort of bug is just unacceptable. Not sure how Google is getting away with it but if it was Apple it would have been in the TV news already. I got to admit that I have never had such a severe bug with any Apple device. This should have been fixed with 5.01.

posted on 15 Mar 2015, 16:24

45. Trex95 (Posts: 883; Member since: 03 Mar 2013)


The problem with Android is poorly written OS, Google should start rewritten Android with upcoming fully support 64 bit version instated of tinkering.

posted on 16 Mar 2015, 01:56

51. obedchuni (Posts: 159; Member since: 16 Jun 2014)


ya you are correct trex95, and most of the android fans were happy that they could enjoy the 64bit Os, but I couldn't find any app that takes the advantage of 64bit hardware, even having 2.7, 2.5 or the lowest 2.3 Gz processor and industry leading GPU, most the high end game lags on android...I have witnessed it as my friend iphone 4s still don't lag while playing asphalt 8 while my other friend Samsung galaxy S5 still lags.......

posted on 16 Mar 2015, 03:33

52. Trex95 (Posts: 883; Member since: 03 Mar 2013)


That's true. It's about software and hardware not only about hardware (massive hardwaer) that can't take advantage of software. I thinks Google optimized some apps to work with 64 bit like G mail what i remember!

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