The Google Pixel 3 is in the news again, and it is all for the wrong reason. It’s another bug that seems to shut off access to what inarguably is one of the biggest USP- the camera. Users reported encountering either a ‘can’t connect to camera’ message or one that says, ‘The camera driver encountered a fatal error.’
Further, the can’t connect to camera message is found to be specific to third-party apps when accessing to the camera. Unfortunately, the camera becomes inaccessible henceforth. As with the other error message, it has been found to come up when accessing the camera directly via the Google Camera app. Rebooting the device has been found to be effective for both cases though its only for a short duration.
Even a factory re-set too has proved to be only a temporary solution to the bug. To make matters worse, Google is yet to comment on the issue. A fix is reported to be in development though it is not known how soon that is likely to arrive. What is evident though is that the bug is of software origin as a hardware failure wouldn’t have restored the camera post a reboot or reset.
Those effected have said the flashlight too becomes non-functional once the camera shuts off. And the condition has persisted for some even post a reboot, or when operated in Safe Mode. An independent investigation of Pixel 3’s camera API, however, seems to point to some sort of a lock that fails to disengage even after an app is done with the camera. This again could be denying other apps access to the camera as the apps could be led to believe the camera is still in use.
Interestingly, such a bug had also affected the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL as well though on a much smaller scale compared to the Pixel 3. What is frustrating affected users all the more is that Google isn’t replacing affected units while a fix does not seem to in sight too.
Other problems we have seen affecting the Pixel 3 so far include memory management issues or the phone getting overheated when charging.