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This gorgeous wallpaper can crash your Android phone

Don’t try this at home.

android wallpaper that can crash your phone
Image: Ice universe / Twitter

If you like customizing your Android smartphone experience, one of the easiest ways to do that is by adding a new wallpaper to your phone.

Typically, this has been seen as a pretty innocent way to make your phone your own, but if you own an Android phone running Android 10 or earlier, apparently you need to be a bit careful when deciding on your next wallpaper. This was first reported by Ice universe on Twitter, with additional reporting by 9to5Google.

If you download and use the image (seen in the header and below), it can crash your phone, making it impossible to boot it back up. Users will either need to do a hard reset or gain access to the file library of their phone (before the phone attempts to boot) through Safe Mode in order to remove the file.

Let’s just start out by saying, do NOT try this on your Android phone, including Samsung devices and even older Pixel phones, including the Pixel 3XL. Again, don’t do it. We’re not liable for any damages that happen to your phone if you decide to ignore the warnings.

READ MORE: How to check which version of Android is running on your device

The image you see above is the main offender, and according to people much smarter than me, it deals with the color profile of the original image.

Called Google Skia, one report claims that the profile itself (and the rich, vibrant colors it produces) is the culprit, but according to Reddit user Xanaxdroid_, the picture was actually coded incorrectly, with their assumption being that it was coded in such a way to crash users’ Android smartphones.

The image has an embedded color profile, Google/Skia/E3CADAB7BD3DE5E3436874D2A9DEE126, which I’m assuming was encoded incorrectly to crash systemui somehow since Android uses Skia in their frameworks. It’s com.android.systemui.glwallpaper.ImageProcessHelper that is crashing from an ArrayIndexOutOfBoudsException.

Another commenter notes that presumably this code could be interjected into other images, causing the same crashing issue found in the image above. It should be noted that only the original image can cause the crash, as running it through something like Photoshop and resaving it should remove the malicious code.

That said, it’s probably just best not to risk it. Again, don’t do it. Just don’t.

What do you think? Surprised that a simple wallpaper can cause so much damage? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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