Samsung plays down Android copy-paste bug, angering developer
(Guardian Web Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Samsung has finally responded to user and developer complaints about problems caused by a copy-paste bug in its TouchWiz software that it puts on top of Android - but been accused of "lying" by a British developer affected by it.
Another user's experience suggests that Samsung is trying to "fix" the problem by trying to remove the ability to copy text on the device.
Since June last year, users of Samsung smartphones and tablets have been complaining that apps crash when they try to copy text, and that the only solution is to wipe the apps and data - a "factory reset" of the phone - and reload them. Other users have found that the phone restarts spontaneously.
Asked by the Guardian to explain the problem, and the reason for the eight-month delay in fixing it - after users had complained on multiple forums, including Samsung's own Developers forum - the company issued a statement on Friday.
It said: "We would like to assure our customers that this issue can only occur in extremely rare circumstances. Furthermore, this issue can be easily and quickly prevented through a regular over-the-air (OTA) software update which began rolling out last year."
The company didn't offer any detail about which devices are affected, what the "extremely rare circumstances" are, or how users would be able to recognise whether they have the OTA update installed. Nor did it give any timetable for the rollout.
However Terence Eden, who publicised the bug recently in the UK after his Samsung phone was affected by it, had a forthright response to the statement: "Bullshit," he told the Guardian.
He added: "t's a lie. They've released nothing for the Note 2. It happens to multiple people on a wide variety of devices. They've provided no information to their customers about this."
Eden is running Android 4.1.1, the latest version for the Galaxy Note 2 provided by Samsung, and says that the crash - caused when the user copies text to the clipboard more than a particular number of times - is still present.
Another Samsung user, Scott Jones, told the Guardian that on Wednesday he had an update over the air for his Galaxy Tab 2 - and had seen the option to copy text removed.
"Copy and paste no longer works on [my] Tab 2," he said. "I can no longer copy and paste from a web browser. Only started happening today. Got a Samsung app update and then it stopped… Copy and paste doesn't work in any browser. The option to paste no longer appears in the browser after copying."
Konrad Krakowiak, a Samsung developer, acknowledged the bug on 29 October 2012, but there has been no public acknowledgement until today of the problem, and no clear timetable for a fix - nor details about which devices are definitely affected.
Eden has produced a video of the crash, which makes his Note 2 go through a "soft restart". Others users have found that apps always crash when they try to copy text unless they do a factory reset - wiping apps and data from their phone.
Here's the video
(c) 2013 Guardian Newspapers Limited.
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