1. Are you ready for the Galaxy S20? Here is everything we know so far!

External Storage (SD Cards) in Android L

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by RajCaj, Sep 11, 2014.

  1. Blackflag4

    Blackflag4 Well-Known Member

    Considering Google is like the number one data mining and storage company in the world, I would say that trying to push users to migrate to the use of the google cloud Is just another way for Google to ensure complete control of all information going in or out of its customers lives. Information/data is power, and Google never deletes data they gather on a person, so imagine how much more power they could have if they could see a little bit more of everything you do.

    There is no end to what info they will attempt to gather. A few years back, I remember reading that Google submitted a request to use microphone and camera data on android users phones to assist in more refined targeted ads. The theory was that if they could access a user's camera to see what is around them, or the Mic to hear what's going on in the users daily life, they could direct ads the user may be more interested in.
    This request was shot down of course, from what I had heard.

    Imagine you go into a Starbucks and order a black coffee, then someone suggests you try one of the pastries located on the sales counter. Then the next day your phone browser is bombarded by suggestions of which coffee, or pastries to buy while your browsing for gifts for your mom's birthday party. And links to 10 different companies offering the lowest prices on said items.

    Kind of (very) intrusive if you ask me.


  2. dibblebill

    dibblebill Android Expert

    Just speaking on SD permissions- It's been established that Android 4.4.x restricts SD access, and I can personally tell you, it DOES. It's not myth or FUD. ASUS barely modifies their OS on their devices, and my phone had to have the XPosed fix applied to get it to play nice with the external storage. I either had to use XPosed or a symbolic link to a folder there to get write permissions.
  3. nickdalzell

    nickdalzell Android Expert

    Maybe Samsung omitted that limit because I've never had any issues with SD access on my unrooted tablets and one rooted phone, and I've used ES File Explorer, as well as Jrummy root explorer no problem.
  4. Medion

    Medion Android Expert

    I've explained this to you before, so I think this is just willful ignorance on your part (par for the course for you). My response here isn't for you, but for anyone confused by your post.

    Android 4.3 brought some MicroSD changes, and KitKat enhanced and enforced them. While some Samsung devices that came from another OS to KitKat (Galaxy S3, S4, Note 2, and Note 3) have a "bug" that allows for a workaround (used by ES and many others), Samsung devices that shipped with KitKat (such as the S5) don't have this bug. MicroSD usage on this device and others works as Google intends it.

    So, what are the limitations?

    System installed applications have full read/write access to the MicroSD, if granted by Google/the OEM. This includes Samsung's Files app (making it the best file manager on a non-rooted S5).

    For normal applications, the entire SD card can be read, but the application can only write to the app-specific folder located in /android/data. If an app is updated to use the Storage access Framework (SAF), it can read/write to specific folders on the MicroSD, but only of the OEM has properly enabled this (on my Galaxy S4 GPE on 4.4.3, this still didn't work).

    If rooted, you can edited the platform/xml file to re-enable the old way of read/write for everything. Most custom ROMs do this as well, hence people using custom ROMs don't encounter this issue.

    This issue was so aggravating to me, that I literally swapped phones to avoid it. I went from a 16GB Galaxy S4 w/64GB MicroSD to a 64GB Moto X. I just don't care to root/ROM anymore. It's just not something that I care to do anymore regardless of how easy it is. Call it personal preference.
  5. Medion

    Medion Android Expert


    This will help you out. Works on any device with KitKat and MicroSD. It's the easiest solution as it only requires root of your stock OEM ROM, and no other changes. Downside is that it disables OTA. You have to make a backup of this file, and restore it when you want to take an OTA.
    dibblebill likes this.
  6. dibblebill

    dibblebill Android Expert

    Thanks. The stock ROM is almost pure Android so Xposed works fine
  7. AlexGood

    AlexGood Lurker

    Never heard that news. My cell phone sometimes seems that SD card can not be recognized. It really troubled me a lot. I thought may be it's the problem about SD card drives. So, I format the SD card and reboot the initial drive, guess what? It worked. I am so excited.

    Meanwhile, just happen to know a wonderful activity for Renice portable native USB 3.0 SSD. Maybe useful to you as well.

    they are giving away 64GB SD card and 256GB SSD drives to celebrate National Day of the PRC, search it on Google or Facebook for Renice Giving Away Activity
  8. The_Ty

    The_Ty Member

    Hey guys, I'm considering updating the firmware on my S4 from 4.2 to KitKat and there seem to be different opinions about the micro SD card issue. Is it going to be a problem for things like music player apps ( I keep my songs on the SD card).

    Also I agree about choice, and it seems antiquated to not have a micro SD card slot. It's one of the main reason I've stuck with Samsung over other Android phones. If you're not fussed then fair enough, but for me it's a big deal
  9. mrsmumbles

    mrsmumbles Android Enthusiast

    Then you probably shouldn't update to kitkat unless you are rooted. If you're rooted, you can use a workaround, like sdfix.
  10. Nidstang

    Nidstang Newbie

    You can still use a third-party music player app to play media off a microSD card on KitKat.

    KitKat prohibits non-OEM apps from modifying files on the SD card, unless the file is an that app's app-specific folder. However, all apps can read files on the SD card regardless of directory. A third-party music player will be able to play your files from the SD card no problem.

    A few things to keep in mind:

    (1) Unless your media files are in the music player's app-specific directory, the music player will not be able to modify the media files -- for example, it will not be able to edit ID3 tags.

    (2) Depending on how you go about it, you may run into an issue getting the media files on the SD card to begin with. Best ways in KitKat are by connecting your phone to a computer or using your phone's OEM file manager app (which has full read/write access to the entire SD card).

    (3) I have read that updating to Kitkat will wipe your SD card. I am not sure if this is true or not. To be safe, you should remove your SD card prior to updating and then put it back when done.

    This thread discusses app-specific folders, if you are interested.
  11. Medion

    Medion Android Expert

    As has been stated, you can read the files off the SD card, so the music will work. Where you're going to have problems is if your ripped music doesn't have embedded albumart or separate jpgs within the folder to indicate album art. If your music player attempts to download album art to the same folder, it will fail. If the music player caches it within its own folder and links to the music, that's fine.

    Because you have an S4, you'll have the workaround with KitKat that enables many apps to still have full read/write to the MicroSD. However, there's no guarantee that this will still work in future revisions.
  12. Pizzamannetje

    Pizzamannetje Newbie

    Well on my S5 I had to root and apply sdfix. Otherwise it wouldn't let me save files to the *external* sd card.

    Maybe you're talking about the internal sd card, maybe Samsung started applying the setting after the Note 3.

    What's worse: Polaris office won't save your files to the external sd card even after you applied the fix :-(
  13. Pizzamannetje

    Pizzamannetje Newbie

    Try FolderMount, that still works. I use it for large obb game files.
  14. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    Isn't Polaris a completely online office suite, along the same lines as Google. When I tried it, it wouldn't do anything unless I signed in with Facebook.
  15. nickdalzell

    nickdalzell Android Expert

    The only use for Polaris Office is viewing PDF files. It's an excellent inbuilt PDF viewer.
  16. Pizzamannetje

    Pizzamannetje Newbie

    No, at least not the Polaris you get with your Galaxy. Maybe there's another (free?) version on the play store or something. But the Samsung exclusive polaris is quite a good office app that allows opening local files (internal and sd card) and saving them only to internal memory. I think it *also* integrates with some cloud storage.
  17. Homeuser66

    Homeuser66 Well-Known Member

    Have you tried to save or even change a file or anything on your SD card?
    example, I have my Doctor visits on an Excel spread sheet. I add my Date, Weight an BP so I can keep track of them myself. Now that I upgraded to Kitkat, I can open (Read) the file using what ever app I want (Documents to go, or Polaris Office). The problem is, you no longer can Save your file. You may choose Save As: but you do not have any option to save it to your external SD card.

    Nick, if you can edit and have full access to your SD card, consider yourself lucky....

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