Feeds

Rap for KitKat in crap app wrap trap flap: Android 4.4 is 'meant to work like that'

Even Notepad can manage text reflow

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Google has rebuffed users and devs calling on the internet king to reinstate text wrapping, broken and replaced in Android 4.4 aka KitKat.

The problem is that text displayed by web browsers using the WebView component isn't automatically laid out to fit on the screen of devices running the mobile OS, forcing users to zoom out squint at tiny letters or scroll from side-to-side to read the words in full.

The issue came to light in November 2013, in this thread over at code.google.com. User Anthony (the rest of his details are sensibly obfuscated by the forum) puts it simply: “There is no way to make web pages in Android WebView wrap text properly as there was in all previous versions of WebView.”

As a result, on many sites, the user has an unenviable choice to make: “With wide viewport [on], user must scroll side-to-side to read content. With wide viewport [off], page renders badly and often makes content unreadable. Workaround is for user to physically change orientation of screen to landscape and hope that screen is wide enough that hidden content is given enough of a place to render.”

Kit Kat Browser fail

"It's broken" says the user ...

Reddit on KitKat 4.4

..."It's just fine" says Google

Google seems irrevocably committed to the change that broke text wrapping – the deprecation of NARROW_COLUMNS and SINGLE_COLUMN layout options in KitKat.

Responses from the web advertising giant on the forum thread are straightforward: since its Android OS engineers deprecated those layout options, there is no issue. KitKat is working-as-intended, so there's nothing to fix. Google says devs need to use the new setUseWideViewPort(true) and setLoadWithOverviewMode(true) options, and in its support, it posted the above image of Reddit.

As well as browsers, devs are also complaining that the lack of text wrapping is hurting other apps such as HTML-based e-book readers.

Some of the developers in the discussion say that text reflow still works on the Opera browser, but The Register has not attempted a KitKat-plus-Opera install as a test. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Google opens Inbox – email for people too thick to handle email
Print this article out and give it to someone tech-y if you get stuck
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Entity Framework goes 'code first' as Microsoft pulls visual design tool
Visual Studio database diagramming's out the window
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.