I didn’t expect much when Android 14 came out, looked around the forums and no major changes or issues. So a week into the release, I upgraded. A few days later I realized all the pictures on my phone were gone. Doing some googling led me to others having the same issue, except they described in more detailed the error, and the more I tried on my phone the more I realized how useless it had become. Applications crashing because of low storage, no ability to install new apps, cannot send or receive photos, camera is unusable because it thinks there is no storage. This bug in particular affected people with multiple profiles, a feature that a small percentage of android users use.
What did google have to say about this? –NOTHING– no communication, or message or email. Then the articles on various sites came out highlighting the pointing to the issue. Which forced google to acknowledge it.
Public response and Issue tracker
So google started a public page for the bug on their external bug tracker, it listed the issue as P2, it’s a bug but not critical, and no google member assigned to it. Android 14 release continued, they’d fix the issue eventually but no timeline yet, and worse, no communication of official statement. As this went on, people who called google were told to factory reset their device and lose their data, many people got stuck in a boot loop with no way to use their phone or backup their data, and the fortunate ones had a significantly useless phone, but it would at least boot up. a week or two passed and the issue tracker reported more people and more loss of data. Three weeks later and only a couple communication messages on the issue tracker, barely any communication, or apology. Sometime in those two weeks they realized the screw up and changed to status to P0 which means critical bug and needs to be fixed before any major release of android. By now the number of people having this issue got closer to one thousand, many people stuck on boot loop and many waiting for useless phones.
I’m not sure if this page will still be up but this is the link to the issue tracker
Do realize that many people depend on their phones for two factor authentication, an unusable phone means you won’t have access to secure services like email, VPN, etc which are daily necessities for many.
Hiding the screw up
The release notes on the Android 14 QPR1 Beta 2.2 (November 2023) page did not explicitly list this issue, even though it clearly fixed it. The only note that maybe alluded to this critical issue was this
Fixed an issue that caused memory corruption in rare cases.
Which does not encompass the severity of the bug that was fixed.
For me and for many, this will be my last pixel phone. It’s not the fact that they had a bug in their software, it’s the lack of communication, urgency and accountability. Not only the it feel like they were dragging their feet on fixing this, but people who actually lost data or precious memories did not even get an apology for the screw up.
This bug appears to have resurfaced in 1/24/2024…