Tracking down more Android storage space hogs

Even after cleaning out the app_webview/BrowserMetrics’ folder in my K-9 E-mail client (see: Tracking down Android storage space hogs), I found that the free space on my phone once again dropped precipitously to about 300 MB. Consequently, I decided to dig a little deeper into just what BrowserMetrics was all about.

In the previous post, I had noted that a bug report had been launched on GitHub specific to K-9.

GitHub bug report

Subsequent comments on this posting suggested that the problem was related to the implementation of WebView and that this might be solved by switching to Bromite. In starting to research Bromite, I then cam across a bug report on GitLab that indicated that the problem was not restricted to K-9 but, in fact, many other apps that used WebView were also eating up disk space.

GitLab bug report

Checking my phone using the DiskMap function in X-Plore File Manager showed this to be the case, where several of the installed apps had BrowserMetric folders with sizes of several hundred megabytes. Deleting the contents of these folders once again produced lots of free space on my phone but, clearly, a more permanent solution was required.

A comment to the post on GitLab’s forum noted that “This will be resolved by any builds dated 20201227 or later…” where this was referring to builds of the LineageOS custom ROM which is the basis for the currently-installed Android Pie OS on my phone.

For more than a year I have been using a custom-ROM developed by MSe1969 on the XDA Developers’ forum. For simplicity, I opted to use MSe1969’s standard build rather than the security- hardened microG build. The basis for the custom-ROM has been switched from Android 7 (Nougat) to, most recently, Android 9 (Pie), and now a further change is to occur where, with the implementation of Android 10, the standard build will be dropped and development continued only on the microG build.

The reason for this is that LineageOS, which dropped development of builds for the Moto G3 some time ago, has now re-established this as a supported platform with effect from the release of LineageOS 17.1. So, rather than duplicate the efforts of the LineageOS team, for now at least, MSe1969 has opted to have them develop the standard build of Android 10.

However, he was good enough to provide a transitional build to allow users to switch from LineageOS 16.0 to LineageOS 17.1, at which point one of the nightly builds of 17.1 could be installed to create a (hopefully) stable platform.

I have now gone through this process and installed lineage-17.1-20210101-nightly-osprey-signed.zip, the build for January 1, 2021. Since this release accommodates the “…20201227 or later…” timeline noted above for fixing the WebView issue, I’m hoping that this will indeed be the case.

References:

Webview’s BrowserMetrics should be regularly cleaned by K-9 #5061
https://github.com/k9mail/k-9/issues/5061

WebView produces a lot of garbage in cache
https://gitlab.com/LineageOS/issues/android/-/issues/2820

“This will be resolved by any builds dated 20201227 or later by…” https://review.lineageos.org/c/LineageOS/android_external_chromium-webview/+/298862

A Stable Custom ROM for the Moto G3
https://linuxnorth.wordpress.com/2019/08/27/a-stable-custom-rom-for-the-moto-g3/

[ROM][Unofficial][9.0.0][signed]LineageOS 16.0 for Osprey
https://forum.xda-developers.com/t/rom-unofficial-9-0-0-signed-lineageos-16-0-for-osprey.4095453/

LineageOS Android Distribution
https://lineageos.org

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Tracking down Android storage space hogs

When you (try to) download an app from Google’s Play Store and nothing seems to happen, there is probably a notification on the lock screen indicating that there is insufficient space to perform the operation. This can also be a problem when trying to update apps. On my phone, even quite small updates, say 20 MB, can fail if there is less than 500 MB of free space available! But, then the trick is to find what is hogging all the available storage.
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Google phone app not displaying incoming calls

I had a very frustrating experience when waiting for an important phone call. The phone rang, but there was no pop-up to enable me to accept (or decline) the call. Having “missed” the call, I had to dial-out to return the call and make the required connection.
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User Manual/Tutorial for LibreOffice Basic Macros

In an earlier post (Save the Current Workbook using a LibreOffice Calc Macro), I bemoaned the fact that I couldn’t seem to locate a really useful user manual or tutorial for macro programming using LibreOffice Basic. In particular, I noted that the keywords I was using for a Google search were not productive. Both aspects of this issue were resolved when I recalled that LibreOffice is actually a fork of OpenOffice. The trick is to search on Google for something like: OpenOffice basic macro user manual.

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Identifying the OS (Linux or Windows) in a LibreOffice Basic Macro

In the last post I described how to save the open Calc workbook from a macro. One of the parameters used was file:///media/DataDisk/agl.ods which clearly indicates that Calc was being run under Linux. But, those of us with dual-boot systems can also run LibreOffice Calc under Windows in which case we would want to save the file as something like D:/agl.ods. It would be useful if we could use the same Calc workbook, and the same macro, with both operating systems. So, how are we going to code the macro to use the correct disk folder designation?
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Save the Current Workbook using a LibreOffice Calc Macro

I often find it difficult to track down how to develop macro code in LibreOffice Basic to do what I consider to be routine tasks. Perhaps I haven’t found the requisite beginner’s guide, or don’t use the right search strings in Google. For Microsoft’s Excel, the latter technique using “VBA” usually does the trick; however, including “LibreOffice”, “Basic” and “macro” doesn’t necessarily find the answer for Calc.
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Testing Development Versions of LibreOffice

If you are not a computer programmer, graphics designer, technical writer, or a web developer, one way to assist in the development of open-source software, such as the LibreOffice suite, is to test pre-release versions of the software as these are developed. If any bugs are identified these can be reported to the development team so that they can be fixed in future builds. A really neat feature of LibreOffice is that a development version can be installed in parallel with a stable release that is being used as a “daily driver”.
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Changing Icons in Android Pie

Most of the icons used in Android Pie look fine, but I really don’t like the default icon for the Calendar app. Previously, with Android Nougat, I had used the Icon Changer free app developed by Juyeong to switch the default icon to a different image. However, a note in this app’s description indicates that it does not support Android Oreo (Version 8.0) and, presumably, this also applies to later versions such as Android Pie (Version 9.0). The good news is that many web postings recommend Awesome Icons from Momo apps for the same task.
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Waking up the Moto G3 under Android Pie

As noted in the previous post, with Android Pie installed, waking up the phone seems to require (in my case) opening the wallet-style cover, double-tapping on the screen, and swiping up the screen to unlock it. This is a lot more steps that I have been used to since, previously, I could just open the cover and swipe up the screen. Fortunately, the WaveUp app solves my problem.
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Upgrading to Android Pie on the Moto G3

For the past several months I have been using a custom ROM of Android Nougat on my Moto G3 smartphone (See: A Stable Custom ROM for the Moto G3) that has been receiving monthly, over-the-air (OTA), security updates. Now, MSe1969, the ROM’s developer from Frankfurt, Germany, has announced the availability of an Android Pie version of his software and has noted that this will become a replacement for the Nougat variant.
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