Electric Prayer

The Liturgy of the Hours, the Mass, and other things.

Archive for August, 2016

Android Bug

Posted by universalis on 11 August 2016

The Kindle Fire has a bug which makes all pages in the Universalis and Catholic Calendar apps blank. (We have had just two reports of non-Kindle Fire devices being affected, but it is almost always the Kindle Fire).

The apps themselves continue to work normally in every other respect: for instance, the calendar listing is still visible, and you can switch from one page to another.  It is just that the content of the pages themselves is blank.

The bug appears intermittently, on specific dates, the same date each year. It appeared in August 2013, and again in August 2014. Both times it went away after a few days. 11 August appears to be the peak day for bug reports.

We have conducted detailed research, thanks to one of the Fathers of the London Oratory who was experiencing the bug and able to lend us his Kindle Fire.

  1. Only early models are affected. Modern Kindle Fires aren’t.
  2. The bug is not in Universalis but in Android itself.
  3. The bug is triggered by viewing Morning Prayer for 11 August, the feast of St Clare.
  4. Once the bug has been triggered, the text of the page is never updated again.

How to get round it

  1. Move to an Hour other than Morning Prayer, or a date other than 11 August. You won’t see any change in the text yet, but the headings at the top of the screen will show the date and the hour.
  2. Close Universalis and shut down your device completely.
  3. Power up your device, and the problem will have gone away.

What we have done

In the latest releases of the Universalis and Catholic Calendar apps, released in September 2016, we have changed the way in which text is displayed. The main motive for doing this was to get more control of scrolling, and to lay the foundations for future plans (such as a page-turning mode as an alternative to the scrolling one). But the new display mode also avoids the defective component in Android, and the St Clare bug no longer occurs.

The new way of displaying text is turned on automatically, and you don’t have to do anything: just make sure you have the latest update of Universalis or Catholic Calendar.


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