speaker locked off except during phone operations


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Dec 10, 2015
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Have a 2016 moto g generation 3 running Android version 6.0. I had an audio firmware or app firmware problem I will relate herein that I've cleared up in case others have the same issue or better an Android software engineer sees this.

The problem appears to be a firmware or app bug. I lost the moto g speaker audio when not in the phone function. The headphone jack was fine, however plugging in a headphone plug into the jack was not automatically switching between the two. In the moto g phone function, its speaker worked normally. When making or answering a call there is a speaker icon in the display that toggles that speaker volume to a low level and that worked fine.

However using any other applications than the phone of which I have several like my music player, fm radio, audio microphone recorder, or any browser running say a video clip would only have sound out the headphones. The volume control also worked normally when a headphone was plugged in. I also went into Settings where there is no setting for disabling the external speaker as that would have no value. If one wished to remove sound they can use the volume button on the side of the smartphone and set it to minimum. Note also I went through power on off on cycles for a few months.

Today I worked on the issue again. I had never plugged a headphone into its jack while making a call. So I made a phone call to an automated phone robot and while doing so toggled the mute icon to normal sound level. I then plugged a headphone into its jack and noted it switched sound from the speaker to the headphone. I then removed it and sound switched back to the speaker. I repeated that a couple times just to be sure. I ended the call and exited the phone function. When I then tried any of the audio applications the smartphone speaker functioned normally. Plugging in the headphones correctly switched audio to the jack and removing it switched back to the speakers.

My guess as someone that has worked in electronic engineering groups over decades is there is probably a non-volatile memory variable that was incorrectly set by actions of the moto g phone function that blocked the headphone jack function that monitors whether something is plugged into the jack or not. In software that is likely some function that exited abnormally. Upon power down then up, that variable is apparently not on the list of variables that are reset to defaults. When I performed that operation during a call it did reset that variable.