Google Pixel 7 Crashing Thanks to This ‘Alien’ Clip on YouTube

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Some Google Pixel 7, Pixel 6 and 6A devices are crashing when loading a 4K YouTube clip from the movie Alien.

People have been complaining about the peculiar bug on the Google Pixel subreddit, which was spotted earlier Monday by Gizmodo. Some folks say loading the clip via the official YouTube app instantly crashes their phone but that their device works normally on reboot. Others are saying they ran into network connectivity issues and had to reboot their phone again. Those with older Pixel devices don’t seem to be running into the issue.

In testing, CNET staffers found that Pixel 7 Pro and Pixel 6 devices that were up-to-date crashed immediately when loading the YouTube video. An out-of-date Pixel 7 on build version TD1A.220804.031 and YouTube version 17.17.37 didn’t crash.

Google said the issue has been addressed and that it’ll deploy a full fix in March.

It isn’t clear exactly what the problem is or what about the video is causing Pixel devices to crash. The three-minute clip from Ridley Scott’s 1979 sci-fi horror film Alien involves the protagonist Ripley communicating with Dallas, captain of the Nostromo, as he navigates through the spaceship. The clip was posted two years ago and plays fine on other devices.

Bizarre device crashes seemingly triggered by benign bits of media don’t happen all that often. The last notable such instance included a “cursed” wallpaper from 2020 that would crash Samsung, Google, OnePlus, Nokia and Xiaomi phones. An investigation by YouTuber Mrwhosetheboss explains how a single pixel caused the phones to run into a boot loop error. 

A text message from 2017 was able to freeze iPhones on certain older versions of iOS 10. Another random bit of crashing included Janet Jackson’s 1989 song Rhythm Nation and how it apparently crashed certain mid-2000s laptops, according to a Microsoft developer. Usually, in these instances, software developers are quick to fix the issue in future updates.

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