Stable Android 12L has a status bar issue that went undetected for months of beta testing

Seems to occur on phones with a notch or punch-hole camera


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No matter how mature the software is or whether we call it stable, there are bound to be bugs in anything more advanced than a “hello world” app. If you’re using Android 12L on a phone with a notch or punch-hole, chances are some of your apps aren’t quite right. A change in the latest version of Android causes a layout bug in some apps that causes background colors, action bars, and possibly other elements at the top of the screen to shift.


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The specific issue appears to be a miscalculation of device inserts, a unique configured size for each device that informs an application where it can safely draw interface elements. The cause of the bug is not entirely clear, but in a pair of reddit posts, users of Google’s latest OS update seem to report that the issue usually occurs after opening the keyboard in some apps. Although it probably happens with a number, Snapchat, Spotify, Flamingo (Twitter client), Talon for Twitter, and Google News have all been named.

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Our own testing confirms that this bug isn’t triggered on the Pixel 4 XL, but it has happened on the Pixel 6 Pro, and there are multiple reports of it happening on the Pixel 5 as well. it occurs on devices with a notch or punch-hole camera, which requires a larger status bar and system insets.

There is no confirmation yet on what exactly is causing the malfunction. It’s possible the bug resides in Android 12L itself, or it could be the side effect of properly modifying the OS which had the side effect of exposing a long-standing bug in some SDKs or UI framework used by many developers. If this is the first, it will be up to Google to fix this issue with updates for affected phones. Of course, if it’s the latter, we could be waiting a long time as developers update their apps one by one.

In the meantime, there doesn’t seem to be much that can be done outside of force closing apps. However, the problem is mostly cosmetic, except when it sometimes hides buttons, so most of us can probably live with it until Google (or app developers) find a fix.

Thank you Luca H.


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