Android L Should Crush Nexus 5 Camera Bug

A very good friend of mine went out and bought the Nexus 4 the day after Google announced it's replacement, the Google Nexus 5. His rationale is that the Nexus 4 had benefited from a year of development and would be ready for the general public, which he considered himself to be. He had owned a Nexus 'phone before and during the first year, the software was progressively refined such that it was, in his words, "perfectly workable after about a year." It's an interesting theory and probably works well for the patient amongst us and perhaps might have worked with the Nexus 5. This is still one of my favorite handsets despite being almost a year old. It's based on a 2.3 GHz quad core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, 2 GB of RAM, either 16 or 32 GB of storage and a 1080p resolution 5.0-inch display. It heralded the launch of Android 4.4 Kit Kat and debuted the Google Experience Launcher, which like the handset remains one of my favorite Google products.

However, the Nexus 5 isn't without its faults. One is rather indifferent in-call audio quality, which is more of an issue for people with less than perfect hearing (I have that t-shirt) and it's made worse with a round, small earpiece. Another was a relatively poor speaker sound, which LG and Google improved with a newer revision of the Nexus 5 hardware. And the third issue, which is relevant to this article, is associated with an unusual camera bug, which appears in the battery chart under "mm-qcamera-daemon." This is a bug that happens to some Nexus 5 owners, some of the time: my Nexus 5 doesn't have the issue but other people report that it happens all too often.

The bug is caused by the camera daemon (a background task that Android runs associated with the camera) incorrectly idling and instead contemplating the meaning of life and chewing through battery power. Earlier in the year, Skype appeared to utilize this camera daemon and would often trigger the high battery use. Successive updates to Android have included fixes to the problem, especially the update to Android 4.4.3, but despite this the error persists for some owners. The only resolution is to give the handset a reboot but there's hope on the horizon as Google have now marked the ongoing issue as "future release," which means it should be fixed when the official Android L is release. I wonder if this means by buddy will upgrade to the Nexus 5 from his Nexus 4 and if this marks the handset as now being truly ready for the world at large?

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About the Author

David Steele

Senior Staff Writer
I grew up with 8-bit computers and moved into PDAs in my professional life, using a number of devices from early Windows CE clamshells and later. Today, my main devices are a Nexus 5X, a Sony Xperia Z Tablet and a coffee cup.