The power button is supposed to wake up your phone, and ideally it should work every single time. On Android 4.3, however, that is not necessarily the case. Running the Netflix app seems to invariably cause the device to freeze the next time it is put to sleep. It's an annoying bug, but Googler Dan Morrill swung by a Reddit thread to confirm Google and Netflix are aware of the issue and have "top men" working on it.


It doesn't appear to matter if a video is played or not, letting the device go to sleep after opening Netflix causes the so-called "sleep of death." The only way to revive the device is to hold the power button until it restarts. I've seen this happen consistently on the Nexus 4 and new Nexus 7.

2013-07-31 08_43_43-PSA_ If you have Netflix, read this before updating your Nexus 4 to 4.3! _ Andro

This seems like a fairly serious bug to make it into released code, especially considering Google's promotion of Netflix as a Chromecast-compatible app. At least we know a fix is incoming. And it's good to know there are top men working on it... top... men.

[Reddit, Background: XDA, Android Central Forums]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • Porkchop

    I'm only running 4.3 on my last-gen Nexus 7, but haven't had any problems whatsoever, and I've been using it w/ Chromecast a lot since I picked it up on Thursday night. Maybe I'm lucky, or the last-gen isn't affected?

  • Nathan Fernandes

    this happened to me after running netflix and real racing 3 too

  • John

    Perhaps if they put one average woman on the job it would be fixed already.....

    • Mark Curtis

      Yeah the would have found it much sooner since women break everything, especially computers...

      • USSENTERNCC1701E

        Signed in, just to down-vote.

        • Perv Bear

          Signed in just to down vote such a useless comment.

          • Matthew Fry

            Was already signed in, have nothing to say.

        • Mark Curtis

          That's weird, doesn't show my at the end unless I click 'edit' something with parsing?

          • infogulch

            Yep, all html-ish tags are stripped. Really kills the snark.
            May I suggest:
            BB code tags: [/ancient]
            A bunch of spaces:
            IRC style: /me jokes about irc being more ancient than bbcode
            LaTeX: {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{ No. }}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
            Markdown: **my* *_markleft*_ is so_ much better* than *your* markright_**
            Plain old english: About as dry as this joke. (No kidding.)

    • Delta_46

      Sexist bigot.

    • Matthew Fry

      I agree that it should have been "top people" especially from an egalitarian operation like Google.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        Pretty sure "top men" is a saying. He wasn't sexist.

        • Mike Reid

          And if they used a "saying" referring to, for example, their top white/Caucasian people, then that wouldn't be racist ?

          Not trying to pick an argument, but Google should IMO try to be a bit more PC in this regard, despite that software dev is male by a vast majority.

          • Mark Curtis
          • John O’Connor

            This is not a very good can of worms to try opening here. I am familiar with those who believe the term "Mankind" is sexist, which is quite ludicrous in it's own right. Can people just grow up already and stop trying to make society so divisive with over-labeling everything. For !#@#$% sake, we don't need 20 words for each and every term like eskimos have for snow.

  • Brandon Tiller

    New Nexus 7 with Chromecast, no issues here so far. Just tested.

  • jamaall

    Mine doesn't do that.. Using for chromecast Netflix all day yesterday

    • ddpacino

      Same here. Trying to stream from my Netflix Android app directly to my Samsung Smart TV app still doesn't work. They need to fix that app, too.

      • jamaall

        I'm kicking myself for not buying more chromecasts when they had the Netflix promotion

        • Ryuuie

          Considering how easy it is to abuse the promotion, this is most likely a reason why it was stopped so early.

          • jamaall

            You can't stack the promotion, but I would have given it to my girlfriend, and I bet there are probably people trying to sell them

          • Ryuuie

            Yes you can stack them, actually.

            Friend bought two, got two codes, ended up trying both to see if they'd work and they both worked.

          • http://shanked.me/ Shank

            Yes, yes you can. You can't use two promo codes on the same account, sure, but anyone can make a new netflix account.

      • ProvoAggie

        That isn't supposed to work. The Netflix app only controls the Chromecast device. It doesn't work with any other streaming device (GoogleTV included). That is supposed to change in the future for GoogleTV but so far they haven't announced that the Netflix app will ever control the Netflix apps built into Smart TV's or Video Game Consoles.

        • jamaall

          With future updates chromecast should be all you need, completely worth the $35 I spent

          • ProvoAggie

            I have Chromecast and I also have Google TV. He was wondering why the Netflix app on his phone couldn't control the Netflix app that is built into his TV the same way that it controls Chromecast.

        • KanishkSingh

          I can control my LG smart tv 2012 the same way you can using chromcast. Works for netflix and youtube. It has been working for 6-8 months now before chromecast came out.
          Stop commenting on stuff you have no idea about.

          • ProvoAggie

            I have a 2012 LG Smart TV as well and I can control YouTube on it but not Netflix. Also, Netflix just released their update with the Chromecast button last week so I doubt that you've been controlling Netflix that way for 6-8 months. YouTube has had that functionality for a long time.

          • KanishkSingh

            Sir, since you cannot control your tv with the netflix app does not mean nobody can. I have a LG 47LM7600 and I can very well control both netflix and youtube. You probably have a LG google tv.
            Again dont assume stuff just because it does not work for you. I have been doing it for more than 6 months.

          • ProvoAggie

            I have a 65LM6200 which is not a GoogleTV Smart TV. I had to buy a Vizio Co Star for GoogleTV functionality. I also use Netflix on a daily basis on my phone and on my TV. It was specifically announced that the Netflix update the Monday before the Chromecast came out was to add that button. Also, there are hundreds of articles dating back several months talking about that functionality for YouTube. I can't find any reference or sign that it was ever possible with Netflix.

          • KanishkSingh

            It works perfectly on my TV whjich supports DIAL,

            Only difference between youtube and netflix is when you stop streaming for a youtube app, the app exits to the tv which is not the case with netflix. With the latest update you can even see what is playing on your tv with netflix as soon as you open up the app.

            I guess it does not support your tv and secondly you need to know what to search for.
            This protocol is called DIAL and LG and some apps mainly youtube and Netflix has been supporting since Jan I think. Same protocol is used in chromecast. But when you tab cast it, your laptop is set as a webserver and the link is passed onto chromecast.


        • Lucas Laws

          My Netflix app can control my PS3's Netflix just fine, thank you sir.

      • KanishkSingh

        You need to check if your samsung tv supports the DIAL protocol. Some of the 2012 TVs do that.

    • Josh

      On 4.3?

    • Luxferro

      Are you on official 4.3, or an AOSP 4.3 rom?

      Reason I ask is the AOSP roms aren't affected. There's differences to the kernels... which is likely the reason for the problem.

      kernel differences http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2382880

  • fabulosospucas

    Is the video support a matter of Google or app developers? Not one video player app is working on my nexus 7 since the upgrade to 4.3.

  • bozzykid

    I haven't seen it on my new Nexus 7 but it happens almost every time on my Nexus 4.

  • Jerrod Schultz

    I noticed a similar issue with my gnex last night. It woudln't give me the "sleep of death", but it would hang a bit and cause netflix app and OS to crash and do a soft restart. Would have to reopen netflix each time in order to get chromecast controls back.

  • jm9843

    This is a weird bug that doesn't seem to affect everyone. Netflix on both my new Nexus 7 and Nexus 4 is working fine with the Chromecast. No lockups.

  • PhineasJW

    I've gotten the lockup on more than just the Netflix app with 4.3 and the Nexus 4. But each time, it did seem related to Chromecast.

  • tdog23767

    Fools! They don't know what they've got there.....

  • Matthew Gardner

    Is Dianne Hackborn one of Google's "Top men"?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Her cats are.

  • Jeffrey Cohen

    My N10 did this earlier today. I was watching Netflix last night and couldn't get the tablet to turn on this morning. I was wondering what was up. So far I thought 4.3 has been awesome, it appears to have fixed the Chrome crashes I was having on my Nexus 10 and it seems just a bit peppier. Hopefully this is an app fix that can be done quickly.

  • Danny Cotton

    Just had this happen after watching Fringe while eating breakfast! It almost gave me a heart attack, I really can't be without a phone right now. Good to see the cause. It reminded me I really need to backup my phone. Which is better, Titanium or Helium (formerly Carbon)?

    • quick

      Titanium Backup is better, however the UI isn't the most user friendly, can be confusing. If you have never used it before and don't need anything other than a basic backup go with Helium. Helium has a much easier UI, and backup directly to your cloud storage (drive, dropbox etc..) if thats something you want.

      • Danny Cotton

        Sounds good, thanks. All I need is to backup app data, game saves, and pictures/video, etc. I don't flash ROMs or anything like that. I will check out Helium, sounds like it would go well with my free 50 GB Box account on my Nexus 4 :)

        • quick

          For app data / game saves helium will work, but neither will backup your photos/videos.

          I use Google+ app to auto-backup those things over wifi. However this might not work for you since you probably want to use the 50gb box account instead of the Google Drive 15gb shared storage.

  • Scott Breitbach

    Just got my 4.3 update on my N7 last night. Haven't tried Netflix yet, but I am unable to play videos with HBO Go now. :( I hope they work on that next...

  • Josh C

    this happens EVERY time i sleep after netflixing, especially when chromecasting. But my device has on a few occasions frozen with the screen on while in the youtube app chromecasting. this happen to anyone else?

  • 16bitz0r

    Not only Netflix crashes with 4.3. even Google's application tend to be "forced closed" without any reason with 4.3.

  • ahniwa

    I've also been experiencing this on my Nexus 4 (running 4.3) with Netflix. Which is lame because it's lessened the excitement of getting my Chromecast. Looking forward to having this fixed soon.

  • John O’Connor

    Oh come on Goog. Netflix's Market Cap is 14.40B presently. Just buy them already and fix your subpar HD purchased video on HDMI out

  • Hugh Robateau

    My nexus 7 freezes after it sleeps without using chromecast. I don't have to do a hard reset but I have to close the application and reopen to continue watching. I believe an update for Netflix is long overdue.

  • bumbaclart

    yeah - my Nexus4 does that - annoying, But my Nexus7 doesn't - both have had their 4.3 update. Weird...

  • Marco Mendoza

    Has that issue happen to me I'm going to see if there will be an update soon

  • Ben

    I don't have netfix and i have this problem.