FAQ
Yesterday I uploaded an update to an app. Today I get a couple reports
of crashes. One provided the stack trace and that crash is possible
only if they got a truncated download. I don't know if any of you have
perused an apk but the executable and resources are at the end. I've
seen crash reports before from users who provided the stack trace that
indicated that the app couldn't find a resource or in one case the
Google Maps library dex. File integrity checks have been around since
x-modem but there appears to be no such thing when downloading with Play.

And often after suggesting uninstalling and reinstalling the app worked
for those who had the crash. Today I suggested two reports that they do
that but it is still crashing. Here's another thing: we can't download
our own apks to do a bit check even length check on the download. I can
understand why they maybe won't do that but they could provide 1) the
full byte count of the upload and 2) MD5 and SHA1 checksums to see if
they match the files we upload. That should be easy to provide. With
only two reports I don't yet want to revert the apk in question as it
might just be a quirk of their devices (as if devices don't have quirks
nowadays). And these reports are from India which has crappy telecom
data support.

Anyway I've posted a feedback on this to Play and providing this here
because if you notice they now say to post Play problems on this group.

- Brian

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  • Brian Conrad at Jul 6, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    On 07/04/2013 03:50 PM, Brian Conrad wrote:
    Yesterday I uploaded an update to an app. Today I get a couple
    reports of crashes. One provided the stack trace and that crash is
    possible only if they got a truncated download. I don't know if any of
    you have perused an apk but the executable and resources are at the
    end. I've seen crash reports before from users who provided the stack
    trace that indicated that the app couldn't find a resource or in one
    case the Google Maps library dex. File integrity checks have been
    around since x-modem but there appears to be no such thing when
    downloading with Play.

    And often after suggesting uninstalling and reinstalling the app
    worked for those who had the crash. Today I suggested two reports
    that they do that but it is still crashing. Here's another thing: we
    can't download our own apks to do a bit check even length check on the
    download. I can understand why they maybe won't do that but they
    could provide 1) the full byte count of the upload and 2) MD5 and SHA1
    checksums to see if they match the files we upload. That should be
    easy to provide. With only two reports I don't yet want to revert the
    apk in question as it might just be a quirk of their devices (as if
    devices don't have quirks nowadays). And these reports are from India
    which has crappy telecom data support.

    Anyway I've posted a feedback on this to Play and providing this here
    because if you notice they now say to post Play problems on this group.

    - Brian
    Just a follow-up after researching the APK structure which is of course
    a ZIP file and doing some tests, a truncated and corrupted APK will not
    even install. Truncated it throws an EOCD error and corrupted (only two
    bytes changed) also throws an install error since there is a CRC
    checksum in the file. Obviously an APK does need to load properly for
    the console to get all the manifest information.

    The problem seems to come from a couple users with the Samsung Galaxy II
    7" tablet with a 600x1024 display. However an emulator configured that
    way runs the app okay. These people probably have a virus or a device
    malfunction. Some users with similar crashes on prior versions found
    that the app ran fine after they did a factory reset so something else
    was indeed causing a problem.

    - Brian

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  • B0b at Jul 7, 2013 at 4:13 pm
    I get occasional report of resources not being found on app startup, thus
    crashing the app.

    The exact cause is difficult to know: broken install, broken ROM, PEBKAC,
    repackaged version, ...
    I even saw a crash due to someone running an instrumented version...

    Since there is nothing that can be done with such dubious crashes, I just
    ignore them, along with Android platform crashes that are unfixable
    (WebView anyone ?).




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  • Brian Conrad at Jul 7, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    On 07/07/2013 09:13 AM, b0b wrote:
    I get occasional report of resources not being found on app startup, thus
    crashing the app.

    The exact cause is difficult to know: broken install, broken ROM, PEBKAC,
    repackaged version, ...
    I even saw a crash due to someone running an instrumented version...

    Since there is nothing that can be done with such dubious crashes, I just
    ignore them, along with Android platform crashes that are unfixable
    (WebView anyone ?).
    In most of these kinds of crashes the only thing that helped the user
    was a factory reset. Then the app ran fine. It's hard to convince some
    of them though that it's not my fault. If you can't recreate a bug you
    can't fix it.

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  • Tim Mensch at Jul 7, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    On 7/7/2013 10:13 AM, b0b wrote:
    I get occasional report of resources not being found on app startup,
    thus crashing the app.

    The exact cause is difficult to know: broken install, broken ROM,
    PEBKAC, repackaged version, ...
    I even saw a crash due to someone running an instrumented version...
    Another possibility: The user has connected their phone to a computer,
    and the SD card has been taken offline. This assumes the user moved the
    app to the SD card, of course.
    Since there is nothing that can be done with such dubious crashes, I
    just ignore them, along with Android platform crashes that are
    unfixable (WebView anyone ?).
    Yes, WebView. The best is WebView crashes in an ad plugin, so you're
    doubly removed from any ability to fix the problem.

    Tim

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  • Brian Conrad at Jul 8, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    On 07/07/2013 02:23 PM, Tim Mensch wrote:
    On 7/7/2013 10:13 AM, b0b wrote:
    I get occasional report of resources not being found on app startup,
    thus crashing the app.

    The exact cause is difficult to know: broken install, broken ROM,
    PEBKAC, repackaged version, ...
    I even saw a crash due to someone running an instrumented version...
    Another possibility: The user has connected their phone to a computer,
    and the SD card has been taken offline. This assumes the user moved
    the app to the SD card, of course.
    Since there is nothing that can be done with such dubious crashes, I
    just ignore them, along with Android platform crashes that are
    unfixable (WebView anyone ?).
    Yes, WebView. The best is WebView crashes in an ad plugin, so you're
    doubly removed from any ability to fix the problem.

    Tim
    Then I get a glowing 5 star review for the same version this morning.
    You would think this would allay any idea to the user with the problem
    that the problem is the app. It looks like the guy with the problem
    (and possibly another guy with a 7" Samsung Galaxy II) have posted their
    stack trace every time they've tried an uninstall/reinstall. The stack
    trace is always the same with a
    android.app.Instrumentation.callActivityOnCreate(Instrumentation.java:1094)
    happened on the startup screen with OnCreate. At that point everything
    is very vanilla. The update changes occurred deep in the app with some
    improvements to an existing function.

    Of course I've noticed over time with a lot of other well rated apps "it
    crashes on startup after the latest update" as if something went afoul
    with the device itself not the app.

    - Brian

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  • Brian Conrad at Jul 10, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    On 07/07/2013 09:13 AM, b0b wrote:
    I get occasional report of resources not being found on app startup, thus
    crashing the app.

    The exact cause is difficult to know: broken install, broken ROM, PEBKAC,
    repackaged version, ...
    I even saw a crash due to someone running an instrumented version...

    Since there is nothing that can be done with such dubious crashes, I just
    ignore them, along with Android platform crashes that are unfixable
    (WebView anyone ?).
    In this case it was a missing button on the large layout. I thought I
    had it included and the emulator I used to test for 600x1024 was loading
    the normal layout so the error wasn't seen. I ran the newer 7" WVGA
    emulator 1024x600 and it ran the large layout. I had tested on a
    variety of different emulators before release and none of them loaded
    the large layout even though a large screen. Anyway users with these
    configurations are happy and back to giving 5 star reviews.

    - Brian

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postedJul 4, '13 at 10:50p
activeJul 10, '13 at 7:34p
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Brian Conrad: 5 posts B0b: 1 post Tim Mensch: 1 post

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