By Stephen Schenck | November 11, 2013 5:19 PM
Among the many changes we’ve been talking about with the release of Android 4.4 KitKat have been a new keyboard with support for entering those super kawaii little emoji icons and the system’s deeper integration with Hangouts, now becoming the default SMS client. At the intersection between these two, there’s an annoying little bug that’s recently come to our attention, which threatens to lock users out of the app.
If you’re in a Hangout, and one of the participants starts overdoing it with the emoji – and we mean REALLY overdoing it, with pages and pages of the icons – the app’s going to crash. While annoying, under that level of abuse it’s not exactly surprising, and if that were the end of things, we’d be a lot less concerned. The problem is that it’s exceedingly difficult to get back into Hangouts, as the app freezes up when you try to start it again.
Reportedly, the only way out of this loop is to access your account from a computer and leave the Hangouts group where all these emoji were posted. That’s decidedly inconvenient, so we’re glad to know that Google has been made aware of this issue, and is presumably working on correcting it. It’s not that we particularly feel a need to send page after page of emoji, but this has the potential to become an annoying DoS attack if it isn’t fixed soon.