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My list of XA2’s Android problems

asked 2019-02-04 10:27:26 +0300

Smar gravatar image

updated 2019-02-06 09:49:53 +0300

After starting to use use Android apps on XA2, I started to encounter to some bugs. I collected a list of them. Here is the ones I think that are major ones.

Google services are not usable

I understand that Jolla doesn’t want to give support Google Play Services for various reasons, but some programs expects them. At least some kind of quasi working mode would be really nice, as many proograms don’t in the end use them much, and more of just make push notifications to work and to give Google some nice data from users. But for convenience, it would be really useful if it would be possible to at least somehow make the services at least partially work.

I say this one is bug, and not a feature request, because the services does not work, and they are kind of Android code, and Sailfish has a generic Android layer, so it should be able to run this kind of Android code too.

There is a bug that causes aliendalvik to go on a infinite crash loop that seems to be at least on my case related to Sailfish’s Google account sync’s contact syncronization. Disabling it seems to make aliendalvik stay alive.

It may be related to either sheer number of contacts or malformed data.

Rotation of display can’t be stopped

At least for Android software, Jolla’s display rotation lock doesn’t seem to do anything (it always rotates). Not sure if it’s same for native software too.

Android settings are accessible only in special situations

Android settings are not accessible but only if Android requests for physical keyboard configuration, which allows going back to the main settings.

I’m not sure if the settings should be available, but as things are now, there is some useful settings, like audio volume control and text size control. The default text size is far too big for me, so it’s really useful to be able to configure it. For some reason audio settings are almost off by default too.

There seems to be some other settings that actually affects the operation, so I think either Android settings app should be accessible (from example from Jolla’s settings?) or there needs to be a native way to configure the same things.

Text input in Riot repeats last word in previous message

On’s Android app, when sending messages, and the message sent does not end to a special characted (e.g. .), the last message’s last word gets inserted at start of the new message.

For example, when you send a message:

Sailfish is buggy

that message gets sent without problems. But when you start to send next message, at start of the input box (the native Sailfish virtual keyboard), there is a word buggy. It can be removed by hand, but this is really annoying especially as it only happens when (I guess) the word guessing thing tries to do its suggestions. So if you forget to remove the buggy from start of the line and just write new message and send it, you’ll get something fun, like:

buggySailfish is fun.

OOM killer doesn’t activate for Android apps

NOTE: I haven’t debugged this much, but so take this as my initial findings; I may have interpreted the data wrong.

It seems that aliendalvik and related parts are somehow memory capped, so they won’t get killed by Linux’s standard OOM killer. That’s all fine, but it seems that there is no custom logic to kill the programs that are consuming the memory, or at least it does not work as expected.

For such logic, I don’t remember if Android programs have a means to tell how much their data should be preserved in memory. If they do, honor it, otherwise there really should be a way to specify if any program should be kept in memory in expense of others. This prefer feature is not that important though.

Kind of related: swap is completely full in some situations, causing kswapd0 to be quite active. This effectively makes the whole system really sluggish. From what I saw, there is quite a bit memory available, so I wonder if this is related to aliendalvik somehow.

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I understand that Jolla doesn’t want to give support Google Play Services for various reasons,

That's not how it is.

ossi1967 ( 2019-02-04 10:40:26 +0300 )edit

ossi1967: I think word ”support” is ambiguous, I should’ve used better wording. I was referring here to ”give support to users in regards of bugs and so on” rather than ”make it work”. Or are you referring that Jolla would be willing to consider Google Play Services as first class citizen of aliendalvik implementation? I wouldn’t mind that either... :)

Smar ( 2019-02-04 11:15:21 +0300 )edit

Please keep in mind that the current relase for XA2 is in beta state. IMHO it was released (at a lower price) to keep the already postponed deadline. Sailfish provides android 'support' using aliendalvik. It is not, and isn't supposed to be "Android(TM)". There is however microG and I think I read that it should work.

Speaking for myself: I want to be able to use the occasional android app, but Google Play Services is excatly what I do not want to run on my phone. In other words: If Google Play Services is crucial for you, there is a very elegant solution on the XA2* ;)

*) Battery life is better, too!

femtopeta ( 2019-02-04 11:35:23 +0300 )edit

femtopeta: Speaking from general user’s point of view, there needs to be a way to make it work. It actually doesn’t matter how it is technically implemented, but it needs to be easy enough to enable to that non-technical people can do it without sweating. I’m not saying such support needs to be enabled by default.

Smar ( 2019-02-04 11:42:50 +0300 )edit

@Smar, it's more a matter of Google NOT wanting to. All on Google approach and platform goes in a direction of closing. If you really need Google services, then you have the solution: buy an Android device. Really, without any offense

magullo ( 2019-02-04 12:19:54 +0300 )edit

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answered 2019-02-04 18:07:21 +0300

michello gravatar image

I want to add a few other ones, I already reported to customer service but not sure if it’s the good process. I know it’s a beta and I’m pretty sure the team is working hard to get a more stable OS.

Here is a few other bug I encountered too:

Trying to run an integrated YouTube video on a webpage from the web browser lead to some infinite loop, I have shut down the phone then.

Sound is not working during call while having dual SIM card.

Messenger app from android work only through WiFi (maybe you can connect to other related bug).

Android app do not have access to native gallery video or images (maybe it’s some option to turn on)

Copy past, do not work between native OS and Android.

I’m eager to see a nice integration between the XA2 hw and the OS. I can imagine you have priorities. Looking forward guys


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WhatsApp as messenger app works well with mobile connection. (Wifi isn't needed at my phone) I can also access to videos and pictures which are stored on the phone (maybe u didn't gave the app the rights to do or you save them on sd card?) Copy/paste works from Sailfish to Android (eg. notes i can paste to WA-Chat). The other way around you are right. Up to now needs dirty trick. E.g. IceCat webrowser: You mark in the text what you need and share it with Message/SMS or E-Mail. From there you copy/paste into the native app.

1984 ( 2019-02-04 19:23:47 +0300 )edit

i as i write in a other post Threema and Signal works aswell in mobile mode but telegram works just in wifi mode :( and it is not only messenger apps :(

Vlad ( 2019-02-04 20:10:58 +0300 )edit
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Asked: 2019-02-04 10:27:26 +0300

Seen: 1,053 times

Last updated: Feb 06