Latest Android Patch / Norton Mobile Version, Introduce a Bug.

My Pixel C tablet is running Android 7.1.2, and overall I am happy with it. One interesting difference that exists between this stock Android implementation, and the Samsung implementations I am used to, is that this implementation has no disable feature, to look on the servers for the latest security patch. And frankly, I like my devices to be up-to-date.

This means that I have already installed the May 5 patch, with its latest security enhancements.

But this patch seems to have introduced one bug I am aware of. When I go into ‘Settings -> Security -> Device Administrators’ , and when I try to enable ‘Norton Mobile Security’ as a Device Administrator, then I get the message that the Settings app has crashed – each time. Yet luckily, in general, I can still change app permissions – just not Device Administrator Status.

The Device Administrator Status allows one app selected by the user – or several apps if he so chooses – to take over control of the mobile device. It needs to be unset, before the app in question can be deactivated. But apps can sometimes refuse to let users unset this Status Bit, in order to protect the Device Administrator capabilities of the app.

It tends to get used by anti-theft software, so that the anti-theft can remotely wipe, or just track the whereabouts of the device, without a person who may have stolen it, being able to deactivate this feature. So there do exist scenarios in which we’d want this capability.

I happen to have another anti-theft app on the same tablet, which has Device Administrator Status set, so I am not fearful that I would have no recourse, if the device was stolen.

But it would actually be nice to have two anti-theft systems in place, by adding this capability for Norton Mobile Security.

Now, instead of just thinking that the crash is a bug, I could guess that it might be another app, with this bit set, that is interfering in my (user) ability to Set Device Administrator instead, for the app I chose. But more according to my real musings, if another app had set that, the result should just be a message-box telling me that the settings change has been refused… The result should still not be, a crashed Settings App. And so it would seem to make more sense to me, that this is just a bug, introduced by the latest Security Patch. I am hoping that this bug will be gone, by the time the June 5 patch is out.

Dirk

(Edit 05/18/2017 : )

Actually, it now seems that this bug could be with Norton Mobile Security, and not with Android itself.

The reason I am saying this, is the fact that I can assign Administrator Privileges to another app without problems. The app in question needs to display an additional screen, once we have checked it off, and from that screen, the privilege can be granted.

Norton Mobile Security could contain some programming error, that hinders it from displaying that additional screen correctly, and that causes the Settings App to crash instead.

 

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