Everywhere you look you see Ice Cream Sandwich being ported to one phone or another.  Anytime there's a version update to AOSP, it's fun to be an Android geek.  And every time it happens, and our great community of developers start porting it over to existing phones we start seeing apps that just aren't working well -- even our favorite apps.  So what to do when faced with a situation where an app you need or want badly is misbehaving?  It's a bit different situation when a build is hacked together versus an official update, like we're seeing now with Ice Cream Sandwich.  Here's what I would recommend:

Don't use the report to developer feature from the force close dialog if you see one.  There's a good chance the app isn't working because of something the developer has no control over, and just an app report is going to confuse the situation.  Take a moment and find the contact information for the developer, and send them an e-mail telling them what is happening, what software you're using, and if you're able, send a logcat of the event.  Also let the ROM developer know there's an issue, but don't expect he or she to be able to do much about it.  In fact, don't expect the application developer to be able to fix the issue either -- things like hacked video drivers or other binary bits we need and don't have can lead to unsolvable problems.

The important thing to remember, and I'll quote our own ICS ROM developer Beezy:

For now, just sit back and relax.  Enjoy what you can do now, and wait for everything we need from Google and the manufacturer.  Try a different app that does the same thing.

I'll also add that you don't have to use ICS just because it's available.  Give it a try when you can, and if it doesn't work out for you flash back.  Remember -- this is supposed to be fun.


Reader comments

What to do if an app doesn't work with an Ice Cream Sandwich port


Hey Jerry, you should do one of those Android 101 threads and tell people how to do a logcat.

I'll second that. There are free viewers like aLogcat that makes this easy to do w/o ADB.

And please tell people that it takes we can't test on every variation of hardware out there. Apps don't deserve one star reviews just because it has a a logcat if there's a force close, report the problem, let the developer fix it. If they don't fix it, then give them one star, but at least give them a chance to fix it instead of messing up their app ratings :-P

Maybe a companion blog post, READ BEFORE POSTING. Thanks for this guys. You reach a ton of folks.

I usually don't blame an apps when it doesn't work on a custom rom, especially an alpha, developers can't be expected to have apps that always work on new bleeding edge roms, most of the time the problem is in the rom itself when they don't work. If a crucial app doesn't work that simply means to me that the rom probably isn't ready to be a daily driver. I'd never waste an app developers time on a alpha or beta quality custom rom, unless it's a big one, say cynogenmod.

When I try out stuff like Android ports or new custom Roms I use this strategy and I root my phones and run custom roms normally from day one.

I find a good stable daily driver, right now I'm using Liquid Gingerbread 3.2 on my Thunderbolt, AOSP is finally to the point on the Thunderbolt that it's a very good daily driver, I'm very picky about bugs.
Then I do a nandroid backup of that daily driver and a Titanium backup.

Before I install a port or new custom rom that looks cool, I update my nandroid and titanium backups, full wipe and install the new rom.
I play with it for a few days, if it's good enough it could become my daily driver, but with alpha's like ICS ports and even many beta roms, their is simply too many bugs, so I then do a full wipe and restore my nandroid backup and titanium if needed.

Then I'm back to my daily driver without the hassle of losing all of my settings and having to setup things again, I love custom roms, and I'm definitely a flash addict but these steps minimize the wasted time of setting up roms.

Tip for developers. Just add the xlarge screen support and xhdpi parameters to your Android manifest. That will fix the odd looking screenshot above. (Galaxy Nexus is a xhdpi device)

>"I'll also add that you don't have to use ICS just because it's available. Give it a try when you can, and if it doesn't work out for you flash back. Remember -- this is supposed to be fun."

Well, you can't just "flash back" if your vendor pushes ICS to your device, and you are not willing to root your device and you want to keep your warranty...

The title of the article clearly states that he's talking about what to do in the case of a ported custom rom, ICS on devices like the nexus prime should have issues and obviously if apps don't work with it at launch you can submit bug reports and wait for the apps to be updated to support the nexus prime, or whatever new device with ICS becomes available.