Updated Again: Samsung and LG’s build of Android 5 (Lollipop) for the G3 and S5 (some) missing core OS libraries

Update 2015-02-23: It appears the Android 5 build on the Samsung S5 in certain markets is also broken in this way. Vote with your wallets, people. Or retweet our rant.

Just a short post to rant about LG.

Our European users, where LG is first rolling out their Android 5 update for the G3, have reported an issue with RescueTime. It turns out the issue is actually with LG’s Android 5 build.

It appears that LG has pushed out a variant build of Android 5 missing an entire library that is part of the SDK specification for build level 21 (Android 5), the “android.app.usage” API.

Android 5 removed the old system level features RescueTime used to make the product work, but replaced those features with better, more robust, and safer features in the app usage API.

For some reason, LG has managed to produce a build that apparently selectively rips out this part of Android. I haven’t read the fine print, but I wonder if this violates Google’s more recent licensing of Android that attempts to reduce fragmentation.

How are developers supposed to build apps for the Play Store, if manufacturers break the core SDK like this?

6 Comments on “Updated Again: Samsung and LG’s build of Android 5 (Lollipop) for the G3 and S5 (some) missing core OS libraries”

  1. Linden says:

    Ouch! I generally consider LG to be a solid manufacturer, too. I’d say it’s well worth taking this complaint to both Google and LG. This rant is also a very helpful glimpse into the challenges that app developers face!

  2. Samir says:

    Would rooting your phone and going with a custom rom resolve this issue?

    • Mark Wolgemuth says:

      I imagine so, but do not have any device to test with. It’d be great to get some confirmation of that in the wild.

      Most users don’t want to do that, though.

    • Samir says:

      Rooting is not something for everyone, but if you have users that are having problems with your service you could point them here to get a different rom: http://forum.xda-developers.com/lg-g3

    • Linden says:

      Given that this sounds like a brand new device, and that rooting voids most warranties, very few people will likely be willing to do that to make RescueTime run properly.

  3. Pavel Kogan says:

    Hi Mark,

    I am paid user of RescueTime, and I want to use it on my LG G3. Is there any way I could do it?
    Maybe some workaround or special build of your app?