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Direct mode crashes at app start in some Android 4 devices

Engaged ,
Jun 06, 2012

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I've noticed that compiling an APK with <renderMode>direct</renderMode> in the app descriptor (or Processing Mode: "Direct" in AIR for Android settings in Flash Pro CS6), results in the app not working at all in some devices.

In a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 it works fine in Direct Mode, but in two tablets named NVSBL Dragon and Yarvik GoTab Zetta TAB466EUK, it doesn't. All of them have Android 4. After you press the app icon, the screen goes black for 5 seconds, then you get back to the desktop with no error message. This happens every time you press the app icon. I've tried with AIR 3.2 and 3.3 and it always does the same. If the app is in CPU or GPU mode, this doesn't happen.

BTW, I know "Direct" mode is needed for Stage3D, but other than that, I don't really know what's this mode doing. Please, can someone really explain what's "Direct" mode? (so I can begin to understand why it doesn't work in some devices).

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Direct mode crashes at app start in some Android 4 devices

Engaged ,
Jun 06, 2012

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I've noticed that compiling an APK with <renderMode>direct</renderMode> in the app descriptor (or Processing Mode: "Direct" in AIR for Android settings in Flash Pro CS6), results in the app not working at all in some devices.

In a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 it works fine in Direct Mode, but in two tablets named NVSBL Dragon and Yarvik GoTab Zetta TAB466EUK, it doesn't. All of them have Android 4. After you press the app icon, the screen goes black for 5 seconds, then you get back to the desktop with no error message. This happens every time you press the app icon. I've tried with AIR 3.2 and 3.3 and it always does the same. If the app is in CPU or GPU mode, this doesn't happen.

BTW, I know "Direct" mode is needed for Stage3D, but other than that, I don't really know what's this mode doing. Please, can someone really explain what's "Direct" mode? (so I can begin to understand why it doesn't work in some devices).

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Jun 06, 2012 0
Adobe Employee ,
Jun 07, 2012

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Hi OMA2k,

I'm trying to find out additional details on Direct mode for you.  I searched for additional details on our help and ADC sites but what I found was pretty minimal.

In the meantime, would you mind opening a new bug at bugbase.adobe.com with the crash details and device information?

Thanks,

Chris

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Jun 07, 2012 0
Adobe Employee ,
Jun 07, 2012

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I just learned you've already been in contact with us about the crashes.  It still might be worthwhile adding them to the public database in case other users have been affected and would like to add their comments and votes.

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Jun 07, 2012 0
New Here ,
Jun 20, 2012

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I am having exactly the same issue with a Ployer momo 9 device running android 4.0.3

Any help would be great...

Thanks

Oli

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Jun 20, 2012 0
Adobe Employee ,
Jun 20, 2012

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hi Oli,

Does the device have adb capability?

If so can you past it here, or contact me offlist @ mkagita@adobe.com and send me the log?

we've been trying to get the logcat log to help us narrow down the issue.

We have so far not been able to reproduce with other tablets and devices with Mali 400 GPU.

thanks!

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Jun 20, 2012 0
Engaged ,
Jun 21, 2012

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Oli, if you can't find any drivers from the original company, try with these generic drivers:

http://www.topnotchtablets.com/installADBdriver

I still haven't tried them myself, but I'll do soon.

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Jun 21, 2012 0
New Here ,
Jun 28, 2012

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Thanks for getting back, I dont have access to the device at the moment but I will take a look as soon as I get it back.

Thanks again

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Jun 28, 2012 0
New Here ,
Jun 28, 2012

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Thanks for the reply I will take a look when I get my hands on the device again.

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Jun 28, 2012 0
Community Beginner ,
Jul 04, 2012

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I have same problem. Empty app with renderMode=direct works fine on Galaxy S2 and crashes on Ainol tab (both with Android ICS 4.0.3). I guess there is some hardware problems.

I've posted some detailes here:  https://bugbase.adobe.com/index.cfm?event=bug&id=3154891

If you need more detailes - feel free to contact.

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Jul 04, 2012 0
Community Beginner ,
Jul 12, 2012

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I may have the same problem here with an Air for Android apk published with Flash CS6 using the Air 3.3 SDK. My app crashes after a few second pause with a blank screen if I use either GPU or direct modes. If I use auto it works.  The performance is not anywhere near that of the same swf playing in a webview launched by a native java app, but there may be other issues behind that.

I'm settting the render mode in both the Flash publish settings, and the Air for Android publish settings--not sure if the Flash settings do anything in this case.

It seems like others have had problems with certain combos of fullscreen and rendermode settings in Air. I'm not sure if this is related.  http://sweetlilmre.blogspot.com/2012/04/fixing-fullscreen-orientation-bug-in.html

New to Air, and Android.  I'm trying to figure out how to get better logging which I realize would help diagnose. Does this ring a bell for anyone?

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Jul 12, 2012 0
Engaged ,
Jul 12, 2012

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Hi, to get ADB traces from your device, use the drivers your manufacturer have at their site. If it's a Chinese brand, probably they don't offer any drivers, so you can install this:

http://www.topnotchtablets.com/installADBdriver

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Jul 12, 2012 0
New Here ,
Jul 24, 2012

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Hi I tried with a different device and the new AIR 3.4 SDK and the problem still persists.. Can I ask if Adobe will support multiple android devices with direct render mode?

Thanks

Oli

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Jul 24, 2012 0
Engaged ,
Jul 24, 2012

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This bug has been marked as having status "Deferred" with reason "NotEnoughTime".

https://bugbase.adobe.com/index.cfm?event=bug&id=3207310

I hope this is only temporary, because they should have time to fix critical bugs such as this (it's critical because it stops the whole app from working at all!).

And yes, this problem is still present in AIR 3.4 beta, and I reported it back when I was using AIR 3.2...

It seems they only test with big brand devices. I know Chinese tablets are not so reliable, but people are buying them anyway because of the attractive price, and they're selling in big quantities, so they should be supported by Adobe AIR as well. They're also Android devices, after all.

If people with those devices find the app doesn't open at all, it's a lost customer, plus they'll write negative 1 star reviews telling it doesn't work! This is not acceptable.

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Jul 24, 2012 0
New Here ,
Jul 24, 2012

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I completely agree... They souldn't say they can support android if they can't!

So no stage 3d, no stage Video...

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Jul 24, 2012 0
Engaged ,
Jul 24, 2012

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...and no Starling

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Jul 24, 2012 0
Community Beginner ,
Jul 24, 2012

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It would be somewhat acceptable if Air fell back to software rendering in this case instead of crashing all together. At least we'd have the option of getting better performance on supported devices in the future. My company is trying to decide if the latest Adobe technology is worth while. So far the choice is between an Air for Android App which would trigger a massive CS6 upgrade for a whole department, and making do with older Flash technology in a native webview.

Both paths look to have major drawbacks at this point, and we still have an Adobe-free native Java app as a viable option.

We're still evaluating hardware at this point. If it's a hardware issue, I'd appreciate at least a hint such as, "avoid graphics chipset X."

Sorry I can't offer additional details as we still don't have ADB setup on these devices either, but it sounds like the same problem others in this thread are experiencing.

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Jul 24, 2012 0
Community Beginner ,
Jul 24, 2012

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Update: I was able to get logcat working using ADB from the command line. Unfortunately only one of the devices I'm currently testing is rooted, and able to do this.

F/libc( 1788): Fatal signal 11 (SIGSEGV) at 0x00000000 (code=1)

Here's a link to the full log http://pastebin.com/uhuMP5VP

This is Android 4.0.4 on an ARMv7rev2 1GHz (sun4i) device with Air 3.3.0.365 and Mali-400 MP graphics. Again, the app crashes after no more than a few seconds of black when direct or GPU mode are used, and works seemingly fine when "auto" (CPU) is used.

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Jul 24, 2012 0
Engaged ,
Jul 24, 2012

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dan at ctrlbreak dot net wrote:

It would be somewhat acceptable if Air fell back to software rendering in this case instead of crashing all together. At least we'd have the option of getting better performance on supported devices in the future. My company is trying to decide if the latest Adobe technology is worth while. So far the choice is between an Air for Android App which would trigger a massive CS6 upgrade for a whole department, and making do with older Flash technology in a native webview.

You don't actually need CS6 to use the latest version of Adobe AIR. You can even skip Flash Pro altogether (except maybe for assets) and use, for example, FDT, which has a free version.

dan at ctrlbreak dot net wrote:

Update: I was able to get logcat working using ADB from the command line. Unfortunately only one of the devices I'm currently testing is rooted, and able to do this.

As far as I know, you don't need root to get ADB traces. I've been able to get traces from devices which weren't rooted.

BTW, a developer contacted me and says the "Deferred" just means the fix wasn't ready for AIR 3.3 and it was deferred to the next version. Let's hope they fix it this time.

Everybody which is having this bug, please vote in BugBase, since it's the thing that makes the AIR developer team care about fixing the bug. The more people the better:

https://bugbase.adobe.com/index.cfm?event=bug&id=3207310

And while you're at it, please vote this one as well

https://bugbase.adobe.com/index.cfm?event=bug&id=3207310

That's another bug which also happens only in Android 4, and involves crashes as well, this time when playing video.

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Jul 24, 2012 0
Adobe Employee ,
Jul 24, 2012

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Sorry for the delay.  We've been working on getting the proper devices in house so we can reproduce and regress this issue.  The hardware should be here next week and we'll go from there.  Our management team is aware of this problem, but I'd still like to encourage you to take a minute and vote on the bugbase bug's that OMA2k has referenced.  Please feel free to ping the thread or me directly for status updates.

If you've been affected by this bug and would like to get access to our prerelease program, please send me an email (ccampbel@adobe.com) with your name, company name, and work email address.  Please note this thread so I can make sure to expidite your application.  I'll get the invite process started and then this way, when a fix becomes available, you'll have early access to test against our prerelease builds.

Thanks,

Chris

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Jul 24, 2012 0
Engaged ,
Jul 24, 2012

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In my previous message I pasted the same bugbase URL twice, sorry about that. The second URL (related with video issues) should be this one:

https://bugbase.adobe.com/index.cfm?event=bug&id=3205172

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Jul 24, 2012 0
Adobe Employee ,
Aug 11, 2012

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Regarding the crash reported, we have reproduce the issue and fixed the issue for 3.4.

Please give it a try with our Beta  http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/flashplatformruntimes/air3-4/.

Let us know if you are still running into issues.

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Aug 11, 2012 0
Engaged ,
Sep 26, 2012

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Hello, there's another crashing bug not related with the "crash when starting app in direct mode" which was indeed fixed in AIR 3.4

I've separately filed it here along with an example app attached:

https://bugbase.adobe.com/index.cfm?event=bug&id=3337603

That problem still happens in the latest 3.4 with the Sanei N10 tablet (and others).

I've also filed a bug in the prerelease site.

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Sep 26, 2012 0
New Here ,
Mar 08, 2013

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Chris,

I'm still getting this problem testing with Air 3.6 in Flashbuilder 4.7 using Starling on a GoTab GBT1040RS. Anyone know of a workaround or fix?

Android 4.0.3

Giving error: the application is not correctly embedded (wrong wmode value)

Using <renderMode>direct</renderMode> in the ...app.xml file

Works fine on other devices such as Samsung Galaxy S, Galaxy S3, iPhone 3Gs, etc...

thks,

Jon

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Mar 08, 2013 0
Adobe Employee ,
Mar 08, 2013

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Hi Jon,

Could you please open a new bug report on this over at bugbase.adobe.com?  When adding the bug, please include sample code or an application so we can quickly test this out internally.  If you'd like to keep this private, feel free to email the attachment to me directly (ccampbel@adobe.com). 

Thanks,

Chris

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Mar 08, 2013 0