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Just recently I noticed on my Nexus 7 that when I start some apps - and it's not just those allows to have superuser rights - I can briefly see a "red frame" all around the screen area of the app that goes away in a second or maybe a little less.

Does anyone know where this comes from and in particular what it means?

Note: as you probably guessed from the contents, my device is rooted. Also note that it's well possible that one of the installed apps is responsible for this, yet I don;t know which. But I'd like to know.

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That sounds vaguely like the developer options -- check to see if you've got those enabled. – offby1 Nov 17 '12 at 2:02
@offby1: spot on. Please write it as an answer and I will accept it. Although I cannot tell which exact option caused this, disabling the developer options altogether fixed it. Thanks. – 0xC0000022L Nov 17 '12 at 2:06
up vote 8 down vote accepted

This is caused by the strict mode setting under the developer options. It flashes a red border around the screen when anything does a long operation on the main thread.

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Happened with me also. Uncheck the strict mode setting and then reboot the device. Dont forget to reboot.otherwise the settings' change wont apply.

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It's unnecessary to reboot the device. I've toggled this setting many times. It takes effect immediately. – Scott Severance Mar 1 '13 at 7:53
It may be neccessary. On my Fairphone with Android 4.2.2 it was only disabled after a reboot. – cxxl Jan 22 '14 at 17:59
A reboot was necessary on my Samsung Note Pro. – Nick Mar 23 '15 at 22:54

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