S5 Flip Flap Flop

When we last left our hero (me? ha ha), he had installed the latest LineageOS installed on my second T-Mobile Samsung S5 (actually my original from T-Mobile). I like it! It’s not quite as pretty as the stock O/S (OK OK, stock ROM), but it works well, more quickly, and, most importantly (related to the quickness), uses much, much less flash!

I had to (re-re-) install all of my programs, of course, and that was a pain. Worse, several of my “go to” programs are now “abandonware”. Sigh. Notably, “Profiles”, which gave me one-touch change of settings – I used this to turn off BlueTooth, dim display, and, in earlier phones, change volumes etc. However, in the S5, even with the T-Mobile ROM, I had to use “do not disturb” to prevent overnight E-mail & text notifications.

Anyway, so now the phone works… mostly. Still adding programs…

My use case is to leave the phone plugged in, face down, on my dresser overnight. Often my tablet is sitting there as well, plugged in, because I like to read the news, devotions, etc., before going to sleep. Well, what do you know, the tablet is large and thin, so I put it on the dresser first, then the phone on top, face down.

The past two mornings, the phone is working – I can see notifications in my web-based “WhatsApp” and text messages on “PushBullet” – but it seems to be locked up! The clock is present on a blue background in the top half of the screen, but the bottom half of the screen is black 🙁 It’s doing the haptic feedback on button presses (including the “soft” buttons), but won’t change screens for anything. If you plug it into the charger, the blue background changes to yellow, whoo hoo. My only recourse was to open it up, remove the battery, and reboot the phone that way.

Well, it turns out that this is a known problem with the Galaxy S5 – well, actually, a feature! Ugh. Apparently, there are some cases out there (or “covers” as they are sometimes called) that have a magnet in them, so that the S5 knows when the face is closed. It’s called a “flip flap”. Well, when the face is closed for a period of time, it automatically goes into “flipflap” mode, which shows the clock on the solid background, per above, through a lightly tinted upper window in the cover.

There were posts on this issue from a year ago – see https://www.reddit.com/r/LineageOS/comments/6yzpn1/how_to_disable_flip_flap_klte/ . Apparently there was a setting to disable this so-called “feature” (does my disdain show here?), but it would keep re-enabling itself “automagically”, as one post put it. You have to use “debloat” under “Magisk”. Now, here is a journey down a rabbit hole.

Installing Terminal Emulator
Go to the Google Play store and install Terminal Emulator from Jack Palevich. It will eventually need root privileges, but that should be automatic. Just remember that.

Installing Magisk
There are two parts of Magisk – the actual program, which you download as a ZIP archive and install in TWRP Recovery, and the manager program, which is an Android program but is no longer in the Google Play store, so you have to download the APK and sideload it. Here is the installation guide. To perform the sideload, you download the APK, find it in your file explorer and click on it to “open” it. I use ES Explorer. This will ask if you want to sideload this ultra-dangerous application, to which you reply “yes”, and there you have it!

Optionally Check for Root
The next part requires root access, so you can check for root with Root Checker from joeykrim. This may fail the first time, because Magisk has to wake up and ask to give it root privileges, which, if you want it to detect root privileges, you will say “yes” to. Ha ha.

Installing Debloater
Unfortunately, you are just getting started. You may have to reboot to get Magisk Manager fully loaded. Open Magisk Manager, click the upper left menu, go to Modules. It will be empty. OK then, click the upper left menu, go to Downloads. Install Bash for Android. Do not install Debloater from here, unless you are on Magisk 19 or later – this is a bug in my opinion. Instead, that thread leads to a scary filesharing site to get old version. Now go back to Modules, click the bottom middle plus, navigate and select the downloaded older debloat ZIP archive, and it will install.

Now, reboot.

Doing the Deed in Terminal Emulator
Once I got Terminal Emulator running, I just:

  • su – up to superuser mode
  • debloat – if it says “module not found” then you have too new of debloat, go to this thread which leads to a scary filesharing site to get old version
  • 2 System Priv-Apps – which will list available applications to be removed / masked by debloat
  • 25 – FlipFlap program!
  • exit – to get out of “su” mode
  • exit – to exit the terminal emulator
  • – now, reboot the phone to apply changes
  • Load Terminal Emulator again, do “su”, “debloat”, “2 System Priv-Apps” again, and “FlipFlap” is no longer in the list, yay!

    Blank Terminal Emulator Screen
    I goofed and uninstalled Bash for Android instead of the too-new version of Debloater. ( hint: there’s no double check, it just does it – so be careful! )

    After I reinstalled Bash for Android, Terminal Emulator just gave a blank screen! I’m not sure if it was related. Maybe I hit the “X” to close a window, rather than typing “exit”.

    Anyway, it did come in after some fiddling. Not sure what I did. I waited a long time, I went to “windows” and tried to add one (killed the program?), and I tried to add a window using the big plus on the screen. I uninstalled and reinstalled Terminal Emulator.

    If this does happen, be patient. Click things, try things, it will eventually work.

    Better, be careful when clicking things in Magisk.

    Shall see if this fixes the problem. Maybe will find out tomorrow morning 🙂

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