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Android 12's Material You crashes games, but it's not as bad as it sounds

If you keep noticing software crashes while playing games on an Android 12 device, here's why.

Published onNovember 3, 2021

Google Android 12 privacy toggles
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
  • An Android 12 crashing bug has been discovered.
  • The bug stems from automatic wallpaper changes and Material You theming.
  • Google is aware of the bug and apparently working on a fix.

One of the premier new elements of Android 12 is the Material You theming engine. Using your wallpaper as a guide, Android will automatically change the color accents throughout your system to create a cohesive visual experience.

When you combine this with auto-changing wallpaper, you get a really cool (and very colorful) view of Android. Unfortunately, a new Android 12 crashing bug is causing issues left and right, and it appears to stem directly from these Material You features.

See also: When is Android 12 coming to your phone?

As spotted by XDA-Developers, Google has a new bug tracker entry related to this problem.

The good news is that you need to fit a very specific set of circumstances to see Android 12 crashing before your eyes. First, you need to have a Pixel phone with Android 12 installed, since the Material You theming engine is still a Pixel-exclusive. Next, you need to have a system active that automatically changes your phone’s wallpaper. That could be one that comes with your phone or a third-party app. Finally, you need to fire up an Android game. With all these factors in play, your game will continually crash every time the wallpaper changes in the background.

Obviously, that’s a very specific set of circumstances. However, as Android 12 becomes more prevalent and Material You makes its way to more phones, this Android 12 crashing bug could be a huge problem. Thankfully, the bug tracker shows that Google is aware of the issue and working on a solution.

In the meantime, if you face this problem, the only workaround is to turn off wallpaper switching while you game. It’s inconvenient but better than consistent crashes.

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