Google presses down on a CPU-overloading camera-related bug in the Nexus 5, possibly other devices

Google presses down on a CPU-overloading camera-related bug in the Nexus 5, possibly other devices

Google's Android developers have beentipped about a software bug which results in abnormally high CPUusage when using the Nexus 5's camera. A developer chimed in on Google's bug tracker, saying that the company has fixes ready for a futuremaintenance update. He explained that a recent update to Skype makesthe app access the camera regularly (in the background) in a way thattriggers high CPU usage. This results in battery drain, slowdown, andinability to access the camera app. 

The googler believes that thisisn't a bug in Skype itself, and other apps which handle camera datathrough a specific Android process can also cause the bottleneck. The developer could not provide anestimate for a maintenance update's release. Until it's ready, hesuggested rebooting the phone to resolve the problem temporarily.Uninstalling Skype is also a good option, at least for the few of youwho can get by without it. 

The programmer also said that the problem might appearin other KitKat-running devices that have the same Qualcomm imaging chip as the Nexus 5, but it will be up to their respectivemanufacturers to issue fixes due to differences in software.

For reference, here's the full quotefrom the developer:

source: Googlevia AndroidCentral

Related phones

Nexus 5
  • Display 5.0" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.3 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, Quad-core, 2260 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB
  • Battery 2300 mAh(17h talk time)



1. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2279; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

I've had the same issue, but it's not worth the update considering that my phone is rooted.

8. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Doesn't really make a difference if you take the update and install from recovery. The root will be reinjected and your app data should largely still be there. You can also still install it and root again as Google usually doesn't stop rooting on its nexus devices.

16. cheetah2k

Posts: 2271; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

Just dont use Skype.... Seems to fix the problem :)

20. Professor

Posts: 223; Member since: Aug 02, 2013

The problem is NOT Skype as they claim because I don't have Skipe or any other camera related program aside from the Google one and my Nexus 4 (with Kit Kat 4.4.2) have that overheating and draining battery problem after I installed Kit Kat.

2. google-apple

Posts: 34; Member since: Jul 19, 2013

I also did post this problem in the discussion section... Happy that google is coming up with a solution...!!! :)

3. PootisMan

Posts: 266; Member since: Aug 02, 2013

This is not the only bug that needs to be addressed. What about that hissing noise when recording video?

12. kozza3

Posts: 778; Member since: Oct 17, 2012


4. Augustine

Posts: 1043; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

I did notice this issue. Not only does it hog the CPU and the battery by the "sensors.qcom" module, it also hogs the camera, making it impossible for any other app to open the camera, including the camera app, when one cannot take pictures without rebooting the phone.

17. google-apple

Posts: 34; Member since: Jul 19, 2013

Errors are a) "Camera error: Can't connect to camera", b) "Unfortunately, Camera Has Stopped"

5. boosook

Posts: 1442; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

One reason more to uninstall Skype and use Hangouts instead. :)

6. Augustine

Posts: 1043; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

Unfortunately, Hangouts on Android cannot make international calls to land-lines, though it can on iOS

7. Professor

Posts: 223; Member since: Aug 02, 2013

FINALLY Google doing something to address the problem I am having with my Nexus 4 since installing Kit Kat 4.4.2. Since installing Kit Kat my phone overheats in the upper part (near the camera) even if the phone is not being use at all. And every time it does that (several times per day) the battery goes from 100% charge to redline in less than 1 hour. I installed a new battery thinking it was the battery going bad but the problem continued. After installing Kit Kat the only way to make the battery last (at least 2 hours stand-by) is by turning off the Wi-Fi and setting almost everything in the phone to work only when and if connected to Wi-Fi. I don't have Skype or any other photo related programs in my phone. And the ONLY programs installed in my phone aside from the ones that come with Kit Kat are: Tango, Whatsapp, Shazam and Waze. I installed Waze (although never being able to make it work) due to Kit Kat eliminated the Navigation program and the Map program don't work either with the new version installed by Kit Kat (and since it was installed by Kit Kat I cannot go back to the old version that used to work perfectly with 4.2).

13. Scott93274

Posts: 6040; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Well, it looks like the statement I made to you the other day was incorrect. Hopefully all the issue's you're having are addressed right away. One hour of battery life would drive me up the wall.

22. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

Tango is a similar type of app to Skype, I try maybe uninstalling that. Then maybe Whatsapp if that doesnt work. Shazam and Waze wont access the camera, so I doubt they're any trouble.

23. Professor

Posts: 223; Member since: Aug 02, 2013

Although I have never used I just updated Hangouts just in case this is the one causing the problem. If the phone continues doing this I am going to uninstall Tango to see if this stops the problem. Everytime this problems pass the phone indicates that is the "Android System" downloading more data in the background than all others applications together. And trying to recharge the phone don't work either unless you reboot the phone because once is overheating (doing this) the phone is draining battery much faster than the charger can supply...

9. zekes

Posts: 230; Member since: Aug 14, 2012

Now I see why the phone is so cheap

15. hurrycanger

Posts: 1765; Member since: Dec 01, 2013

Yep, there are reasons why it's cheap. A lot of corners gotta be cut both in hardware and software (bugs). It's a great phone for performance and pure android experience, but it's not meant to be on par with other flagships like the GS5, GS4, G2, Z2, Z1, or HTC One. For the price, many people would be fine with it though. It gives people the top performance without the top price.

10. Deaconclgi

Posts: 405; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

May I have 4K recording please? The Snapdragon 800 seems to be under utilized by the camera in the Nexus 5.

11. pellegrini

Posts: 84; Member since: Jun 14, 2012

"These may be related to a recent update to Skype, which seems to access the camera regularly from its background service in some way that triggers this bug" NSA, is it you? lol

14. SemperFiV12

Posts: 949; Member since: Nov 09, 2010

I still carry my Lumia for photos... So don't really use the Nexus 5 camera. But I've used Skype with no problem. Battery issues are not any worse than before I installed Skype (and other apps).

18. AfterShock

Posts: 4147; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

I've not had this issue on any of the four Nexus phones in my house.. Thinking the app changes something is my guess as Skype is not used here at all.

19. flipjzn

Posts: 257; Member since: Jun 22, 2012

Lucky m I chose the LG G2 :) and I don't have skype on it becoz I prefer its version on my iphone5s :)

21. Professor

Posts: 223; Member since: Aug 02, 2013

The problem maybe related to the camera since that's the area that overheat, but I don't have Skype installed and I have the problem. But definitively the problem started when I upgraded the phone (Nexus 4) to Kit Kat. And the only new program that I have installed after Kit Kat is Waze since Kit Kat eliminated the Navigation program and the version of Maps installed by Kit Kat don't work either (unable to be used to navigate since it is unable to find any address). And all my programs (including Maps) used to work perfectly before "upgrading" to Kit Kat.

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