Android Oreo may not be the flashiest release, but it’s got tons of under-the-hood changes. We recently discovered documentation in the AOSP source code that outlines one of these understated features, which has been dubbed “Rescue Party.”
According to Google, Rescue Party will automatically kick in when it detects that “the system_server restarts more than 5 times in 5 minutes,” or if “a persistent system app crashes more than 5 times in 30 seconds.”
In other words, if your phone’s stuck in a bootloop, or if you get the dreaded “SystemUI has stopped” message, Rescue Party will attempt to fix the issue.
After Rescue Party is activated, it will apply a series of escalating fixes. Google doesn’t specifically identify the mechanics behind these fixes, but their wording makes it sound like it’ll try things like wiping cache and Dalvik.
Each time Rescue Party applies one of these fixes, it will let your phone attempt to boot again. If the system_server or a persistent system app continues to crash at that point, it will try a more aggressive fix. Once it runs out of fixes to apply, Rescue Party will automatically prompt you to factory reset your phone, which is an effective cure-all for most bootloop scenarios.
Rescue Party is built into Android 8.0 Oreo, so it will be included by default on Google’s own Nexus and Pixel devices. Other manufacturers, however, will have the option of removing Rescue Party in their OEM-skinned versions of Android — but let’s hope they don’t.
For those of us who like to root and mod Android, Rescue Party sounds like it could really come in handy when a certain mod causes issues.