The next Android update will include a fix for a camera/CPU usage bug that has been affecting mainly the Nexus 5, but also reportedly some other Android device s running Android 4.4.2. The bug involves the camera or some other Apps(like Skype which we’ll get to shortly), which triggers a background process called mm-qcamera-daemon that causes the CPU to max out and then drain the battery.
The issue, which is logged in the Android Issue Tracker(Issue 60058) has been well documented with many followups in the thread from affected users, has been fixed by Google, with a Google responding to the thread with information on the bug and what triggers it as well as promising a fix, to be included in a maintenance update (Android 4.4.3 anyone?) with the engineer stating that ‘We believe we have fixes for the current high CPU reports on N5 due to mm-qcamera-daemon, and they will be included in the next maintenance update’. In terms of when we will see the update they had this to say ‘Unfortunately, I can’t provide an estimate for when the maintenance update will be ready, due to all the testing we need to do for this and other fixes’.
In the meantime, a reboot of your phone is their suggested workaround and it does seem to resolve the issue.
Where it gets interesting is that they believe that though there was an issue, and they acknowledge that it was a system level issue, reports of the bug increased when a recent update to Skype went live. The team believes that in the update there was is a background service within Skype that calls on the camera regularly which activates the bug which then proceeds to drains the battery. Unfortunately for Skype users, their official recommendation is actually to remove Skype as they believe it may ‘substantially reduce the likelihood of this bug appearing’.
The fact that this issue has been reported on other devices has also found its way into the forum entry, with recommendations for people experiencing the bug on other platforms to log it with their manufacturer, with the bug mainly affecting devices which use a Qualcomm chip for their camera processing.
But Google isn’t done,while the update is still in testing before release, they also wants people who experience the bug who haven’t used the camera or installed an App like Skype which uses the background service to access the camera to report it on the Android Issue Tracker thread.
While I haven’t experienced this particular bug myself it seems to have caused a pretty big stir, if you have been affected by it, reboot your phone in the meantime and rest a bit easier knowing that a permanent fix is on the way….soon?