Gmail glitch turns Android handsets into strobe lights

Google working on a fix for bizarre Gmail flaw on Android handsets

Stewart Mitchell
23 Mar 2012

Android handsets have been hit by a bug that renders Gmail unusable and can hang handsets.

Although the company says the issue should soon be fixed, the bizarre glitch makes handsets flicker like a strobe light.

The issue only affects some users, and is even limited to certain accounts, as reports suggest that one account on a handset might work, while others fail.

Reports on various Android forums highlighted the problem, which starts when users try to log on to the email system, with one user posting a video showing the effects.

When the glitch strikes, it can render the handset unusable until it is restarted.

“This error is sawing through my device's RAM, after only a few moments of the behaviour, going back to the home screen meets with HTC Sense rebooting from a lack of RAM,” posted Nando on the Google code forum.

The issue affects multiple handsets, with forum posters suggesting the problem was actually with Google servers, rather than the handsets' OS.

A Google official posted that a fix was in the works. Some users have already seen the issue resolved, but other Gmail account users are still complaining about the problem.

“Beginning this morning, we've received reports of a bug causing some Gmail users on Android to experience screen flickering when they open the app,” Google staffer Brittaby Bee posted on Google Product Forum.

"We are in the process of fixing it and the issue should be resolved shortly. We apologise for any inconvenience.”

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