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Video and Image Apps Able to Open One File Only

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by persistentone, Jul 2, 2021.

  1. persistentone

    persistentone Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    I have a Galaxy Tab A (2016) running Android 8.1 and I have a weird security problem. Any of the image or video viewing applications, such as MX Player, can open up one file from the File Manager on the SD Card. But if you hit the in-App buttons for "next" or "previous", the App is unable to advance and remains stuck on the video or image you originally viewed. It definitely looks like some kind of security restriction in what the Apps are able to see in the folder. At a deeper level, it looks like they might be unable to get a listing of all files in the current folder, and therefore they do not know what the next file to open is. If I manually try to open the next file, starting from the File Manager, then it opens.

    It does not matter which File Manager I use to do this. The behavior is always the same.

    Reviewing security options around storage, I do not see any options that would explain this behavior. Does anyone have a theory and is there a solution?
     



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  2. persistentone

    persistentone Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Under Android 8, how do you give an App access to "External Storage"? I noticed that some applications,, under their Storage settings, have a button for "Deny Access" to external storage. That implies they have this access. How did they get it?
     
  3. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Expert

    The app will ask for the permission when you click selections that would cause the app to need it.

    Example:
    You want to move a file from downloads onto the SD card.

    You select 'move file' and the app asks you where.

    You select SD card and then the prompt asking you to grant access appears.
     
  4. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Expert

    Are you originally opening the file with your file manager?
    Or even a notification (like after a screenshot or download)?

    That is when I see such behavior.

    Also when a file is in a strange format sometimes.

    Try opening the file with the media player (Gallery, MX Player, etc.) directly instead.
     
    ocnbrze likes this.
  5. persistentone

    persistentone Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    So I accidentally hit "Deny Access" for an App that gained permissions via the route you describe. After hitting the button for "Deny Access" I try to reacquire permissions via the method you describe. This ends up being quite difficult to figure out given the Apps I use and my current file systems, but I get to that point and then get the error "SD Card and USB device paths cannot be the same". I must be in rarified air, because Google does not see that string associated with Android.

    I have an SD Card permanently inserted into the tablet. I do have USB storage that I occasionally attach, and to try to workaround this issue I attached it. Somehow the OS believes these two different files systems have some common path element. If I have both the SD Card and USB storage attached at the same time, I cannot get either one to add to this application. In both cases, the selection dialog is showing "USB" at the top of the section dialog but showing the SD Card contents as what is under it. So the OS is using the USB device together with the file system of the SD Card, which is complete nonsense but I do not see a way to undo that or work around the issue. Any idea on how to work around that?
     
  6. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Expert

    Have you selected the phone or the external SD card as the default storage path of the device?

    Perhaps the USB will only utilize the internal memory and so cannot access the SD card.
     
  7. persistentone

    persistentone Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    No, the USB path is only using the contents of the SD Card, but reporting that it is the contents of the USB. The USB path is seen in the Samsung File Manager and there is no problem reading it. Only the "Files" app that is used by Android for acquiring permissions is failing to see the two storage paths - SD Card and USB - correctly.

    This whole method of acquiring file system permissions for apps looks extremely buggy and flawed. The problem I am having is that many apps are simply defaulting to a read-only mode where I cannot perform any action that would even invoke a need for a higher permission level on the disk. Android should have a way to give Apps access to particular file systems within the user interface for the system configuration (maybe in Security and Maybe in Storage...I am not picky about where they put it).
     
  8. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Expert

  9. persistentone

    persistentone Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    I have seen this confusion before, but what I am calling the SD Card is the memory card that I placed into the side of the tablet. In any of the file managers I use the built-in storage is referred to as "Internal" and the memory that I stuck into the tablet is labeled as "SD Card".


    I completely agree, but this is not my choice. Whenever an App tries to access a new file system on the tablet, this useless Files pops up and demands that I point to the file system I want to give that App access to. I do not want to use this horrible Files interface. It is worse than useless. But I see no other way in Android 8.1 to give individual Apps access to specific file systems. How else can I do it?
     
  10. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Expert

    I would find Files in the app external settings list.

    Settings
    Apps
    (show all)
    (show system)
    Files

    Then I would clear all defaults, clear all data, and deny all permissions.

    This will not, however, keep your device from trying to force youvto use this crAPP.

    When the thing first opens to ask which memory to access, swipe right.

    Hopefully, if your OS is similar to mine, another menu will appear where you can select

    Internal
    SD card

    and under those will be

    Files (NO!)
    Gallery
    etc.

    and if you have downloaded other file managers you may need to scroll up to see them in the list.
     
  11. persistentone

    persistentone Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    I cannot do any of these steps given your sequences with Android 8.1.

    Under Settings | Apps, there is no "Show All" or "Show System" and there is no Files or button to reset anything.

    When I get the "Files" app popping up there is nothing happening when I swipe in any direction. I am never given any option to select an alternate File Manager.
     
  12. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Expert

    Give me time, I must go to work.
    Afterwards, I will fire up my 8.1.0 and make a screen recording that shows the steps, and upload it to cloud storage.

    Then I will come back and post the link here.
     
    mikedt likes this.
  13. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Expert

    Two videos here, one showing how to access 'all apps' and the external settings of Files, and another file manager app.

    The other shows how Files will come up as an option, and how to bypass it and use another app.

    https://cloud.degoo.com/share/UmRG16M_joSM2OzwniCvPQ
     
  14. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Expert

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