Don’t do that, then

August 11, 2017

There are certain classes of bug — or at least unexpected behaviour —¬†which are so buried in layers of how-did-you-even-get-there that I wouldn’t even begin to think about reporting them, but which still manage to irritate me. Here’s an example.

I play Candy Crush Saga. In the game, when you have used up your five lives, you have to wait until a set period of time has elapsed for them to be restored; you are encouraged to get more lives more quickly by spamming your friends or by paying actual money to the plagiarists who produce the game. There is, however, a workaround:

1. go to ‘Settings’ and set your phone’s date to the next day
2. switch back to Candy Crush, at which point your lives will have reappeared
3. return to ‘Settings’ and reset your phone’s date back to the correct one
4. return to Candy Crush and enjoy your new lives

Screenshot of 'overview' in Android

Many apps make lives work

In the course of the thousands of hours I’ve lost to Candy Crush (level 1834 on original Candy Crush Saga, level 1382 on Candy Crush Soda Saga) I’ve become pretty quick at doing this ridiculous app-switching task, first on an iPhone and more recently on a Fairphone. (Trivia: ‘Multitasking’ for iOS was introduced in iOS 4, in 2010. I still think of this app-switching behaviour as ‘alt-tabbing’ because I first encountered it on a Windows PC.)

But here’s the thing: on Android 6.0.1, the Overview button (did you know it was called that? I didn’t until I looked it up for this post) only works for the first 3 steps of the above 4-step dance. In order to get to step 4 I have to press the Home button twice, and then return to Candy Crush by any of the usual means (from home screen; from ‘all apps’; via Overview button; probably other methods which are failing to occur to me).

Nobody is ever going to fix this; it is manifestly absurd that I should even be in a position where I notice this behaviour; nonetheless, it’s really very annoying.