Google has gone big on personalization this year with Android 12 and has implemented the ‘monet’ theme engine. This one extracts colors from the current wallpaper and splashes it across the system UI and supported apps, giving users greater control than ever over what their phone’s software looks like. However, the new engine has some unwarranted side effects affecting gamers.
But as it stands, the issue can actually be reproduced across all games. XDA Developers tested Genshin Impact, Call of Duty: Mobile, PUBG Mobile, and Minecraft on a Google Pixel 6 Pro and found that all of them force closed upon switching the wallpaper.
While the use case where one changes the wallpaper while gaming is quite a rare one (who even does that?), the bug is still quite a bummer for those who rely on auto wallpaper changer apps.
Thankfully, the root cause of the problem has seemingly been spotted – Android configuration changes. A wallpaper change happens to be a configuration change on Android along with other activities like dark mode, screen rotation, and locale changes. Games typically used to ignore such changes but that isn’t the case anymore with Android 12.
Google has introduced a new change on the OS that forces activities to be recreated when the wallpaper is changed. This is reasonable enough for apps that need to respond to a wallpaper switch and color shift themselves accordingly, but is a problem for games as it triggers a force close.
Unfortunately, there isn’t any way to work around the problem. What’s even worse is that developers can’t get around it either. Google hasn’t provided an option to opt-out of the forced activity restart upon wallpaper switching yet, and games are suffering as a result.
The only solution at the moment is disabling any automatic wallpaper switchers while gaming and not changing wallpapers if you got a game running in the background.
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