Is Google blocking apps writing to SD cards ?

Ok, so the subject is a little misleading. A more complete question would be:


"Is Google moving towards preventing third party apps from writing to secondary external storage ?"


At the moment, it does appear so, but it may also be a bug or manufacturers incorrectly implementing a "feature". First, let me clarify the question, for starters to explain which storage I actually mean.

Various Android devices released the past few years have come with "internal" flash storage, as well as having the capability to extend storage by using SD cards.

In Android terms, that "internal" flash storage is also called "external storage". It does not matter that the storage is physically inside the device, it is outside the normal app storage location.

Unfortunately, even though having these two types of external storage has been fairly common, Android still does not provide proper access to these cards through the API. You may think this article as about that - it isn't, this goes a bit deeper.

So, if you have purchased an Android device that came preloaded with 16gb (or 8, or 32, etc) storage and it can also use an SD card, your device has two external storages already.

The internal flash memory would usually be considered the primary external storage location, while the SD card would be considered the secondary external storage location (if internal flash is present). A USB stick or harddrive you can potentially connect would also be secondary external storage.

It appears that in newer Android builds, Google is making it impossible for third party apps (apps that were not preloaded on the device, but you manually installed or downloaded from Android Market / Google Play) to gain write access to the external SD card.

This would make the SD card (and USB devices) completely useless as anything other than read-only storage. Unless you manually copy files there using the built-in file explorer (if your device even comes with one), that is.

I ran into this issue earlier today when working on photo-backup functionality for DSLR Controller and testing it on a Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 running Android 3.2. After some time researching the problem, it appears there are a number of other devices also suffering from this "feature" - if you know where to look, complaints about this are abundant. In case of the DSLR Controller example, writing to the internal flash only instead of to SD cards makes the backup feature essentially useless, as will be the case for many other apps and their features. This problem was not present in Android 2.x, though I'm not currently sure in exactly which 3.x build it was introduced.

In the past, an app would request the "WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE" permission, which would grant write access to all external storages (user/group "sdcard_rw"). This has apparently been changed to only grant write access to the primary external storage. A second permission has been introduced called "WRITE_MEDIA_STORAGE", which would grant access to the other external storages (user/group "media_rw").

The problem is, a third party will not actually be granted this permission, only system apps and apps provided by the device manufacturer will normally be granted this permission. There are exceptions, apparently on some devices third party apps will be granted this permission, but according to the AOSP sources, they're certainly not supposed to.

So, what is going on here? Is this a bug? Is this a feature? Is this something meant to be used differently but wrongly applied in firmwares by the OEM? I would sure like to know!

Sources
Of course, you're not expected to just assume whatever I say about this to be correct. Here are some pastes from ICS sources.

system/core/include/private/android_filesystem_config.h:
Code
#
1
{ "media_rw",  AID_MEDIA_RW, },

This shows the AID_MEDIA_RW definition, the group an app must have to have access to secondary external storages.

frameworks/base/core/res/AndroidManifest.xml:
Code
#
1
<!-- Allows an application to write to internal media storage
2
     @hide  -->
3
<permission android:name="android.permission.WRITE_MEDIA_STORAGE"
4
    android:permissionGroup="android.permission-group.STORAGE"
5
    android:label="@string/permlab_mediaStorageWrite"
6
    android:description="@string/permdesc_mediaStorageWrite"
7
    android:protectionLevel="signatureOrSystem" />

This shows how the "WRITE_MEDIA_STORAGE" permission has "signatureOrSystem" protection. This means it will only be granted to system apps, or apps signed with the same key as the platform (apps provided by the OEM). Note the @hide marker. The description mentions internal media storage, which may hint at external SD cards being marked this way actually being a bug, instead of a feature.

frameworks/base/data/etc/platform.xml:
Code
#
1
<permission name="android.permission.WRITE_MEDIA_STORAGE" >
2
    <group gid="media_rw" />
3
</permission>

This show that the WRITE_MEDIA_STORAGE permission grants the "media_rw" group to an app.

system/vold/Volume.cpp @ Volume::mountVol():
Code
#
1
const char* externalStorage = getenv("EXTERNAL_STORAGE");
2
bool primaryStorage = externalStorage && !strcmp(getMountpoint(), externalStorage);
3
 
4
...
5
 
6
if (primaryStorage) {
7
    // Special case the primary SD card.
8
    // For this we grant write access to the SDCARD_RW group.
9
    gid = AID_SDCARD_RW;
10
} else {
11
    // For secondary external storage we keep things locked up.
12
    gid = AID_MEDIA_RW;
13
}

This shows that whichever external storage's mount point is equal to the "EXTERNAL_STORAGE" environment variable will get the normal AID_SDCARD_RW group, and apps can get access to this storage with the "WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE" permission. Any other external storage (this includes USB sticks and whatnot) will get the AID_MEDIA_RW group, and thus cannot be written to by third party apps.

The comments are somewhat confusing, as they do mention "primary SD card". The EXTERNAL_STORAGE environment variable often refers to the internal flash instead of the primary SD card. So again, maybe this is not what was intended to happen.

It is not uncommon (but also not a standard) for the internal flash to be mounted in one place and referred to as "the" external storage, with all other external storages mounted in subfolders of that mountpoint. This is a popular OEM workaround to the problem of the Android API not properly supporting multiple external storages (and Google seems to be refusing to fix this situation). This way, a third party app only needs to know "the" external storage location, and due to the subfolder structure, it can still access all of the external storages. This specific way of doing things obviously causes problems with the code posted above.

Hopefully, somebody at Google can shed some light on this situation.

Update #1
This has been discussed on Android Developers' weekly Google Plus hangout, as well as some other chats with Google engineers.

None of them had any idea what is going on here - yet. But we have gotten a promise that this specific issue will be looked into, and they will get back to me on this - I hope it will be in dialog!

I also wanted to share with you that even devices like the SGS2 (international) suffer from this issue on ICS, though Samsung has worked around it using a very ugly permission hack. The problem is still there, even if it doesn't show up.

Update #2
By request, here's the way Samsung has worked around the problem in their ICS builds for the SGS2:

/system/etc/permissions/platform.xml:
Code
#
1
<permission name="android.permission.WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE" >
2
    <group gid="sdcard_rw" />
3
    <group gid="media_rw" />
4
</permission>

Well, this is certainly an interesting way to go about working around the problem. What is happening here is that if you ask for the "WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE" permission, you also get the "WRITE_MEDIA_STORAGE" permission - at no extra charge! It should be obvious that this is not in any way a proper solution to the issue.

What makes this even more interesting is that this means at least Samsung engineers are apparently well aware of the problem.

Still looking forward to hear what Google has to say about all this. It worries me that they added code that - based on the code comments - is meant to restrict even more access, while not providing any clear reason why this should happen.

Update #3
An observant commenter on the XDA portal article stated that this issue is patched in CyanogenMod:

Code
#
1
// Originally, non-primary storage was set to MEDIA_RW group which  
2
// prevented users from writing to it. We don't want that.  
3
gid = AID_SDCARD_RW;

That's nice for CyanogenMod users, but doesn't help stock users. The question remains - WHY ?! There doesn't seem to be any reason for this stuff, and it's causing real-world issues to real-world devices for real-world people!

Comments

Posted by Dazag on 13-04-2012 at 00:42:31
you always surprise me with your work.
Really interesting topic i would like to know why this is happening.

;)
Posted by Demetris on 13-04-2012 at 21:07:04
Can this problem be fixed by a kernel re-build?
We are facing this problem with ICS on Galaxy S + family phones which we cant access the internal sd card after facing encryption unsuccessful.

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1447303

No real solution has come up yet.
Cyanogen himself has posted some thoughts about the subject but nothing that will really help is found.
Are you able to help us out on this?
Same issues are facing in other threads in Vibrant and Nexus S also.
Thank you in advance
Posted by Chainfire on 13-04-2012 at 22:18:30
I'm sorry but that appears to be an unrelated problem. Both Cyanogen's post on the subject as well as raz123's seem to point out pretty specifically what the problem is. I can't really say what the solution might be :(
Posted by Cristina on 14-04-2012 at 01:48:00
I'm also expecting they do something about it. I have this issue with my motorola xoom wifi only US.
Posted by Grigory on 19-04-2012 at 10:04:43
Thank you for putting it all together, I have blisters on the fingers to write to my customers why AppMonster can not write to SD card (now I can just link your post here ;)

The situation is terrible, SD card support have to be improved an Android. Some devices have 1 sd card, some other 2 cards, SDK supports only 1 SD card ... horror
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Posted by ron the motorman on 02-05-2012 at 02:01:26
I need to logcat my nook color that has been nooted, because it will not allow android market access, however I can't get yr app via google apps as the nook is not recognized. I am in a loop!! Help. Can i get a zipped version that will install via the SD card?
Posted by storage on 02-05-2012 at 16:25:32
After applying update 2 on my phone, write to sdcard was successful but if try to delete photos from the gallery, reboot the photos reappear again.any specific reason?
Posted by @ba7rani123 on 29-05-2012 at 18:40:45
I actually wanted to ask about this, is shortcuts of apps installed in the external SD card disappear has something to do with these permissions ?

Nice topic !!
Posted by TC on 30-05-2012 at 15:16:18
The app "GL to SD"!
Posted by gregor on 08-06-2012 at 00:07:30
are you still on that topic, trying to get some statement from google.
Posted by gregor on 08-06-2012 at 00:08:36
are you still on that topic, trying to get some statement from google?
Posted by DC on 15-06-2012 at 13:13:52
Having just recently moved from Iphone after >2 years i love my Samsung S3, but things like this just smack of Apples all controlling attitude. I really hope this is a 'bug' and gets fixed soon!
Posted by MaDDaD on 16-06-2012 at 17:40:09
I realized this topic during the installation of a Navigation SW with about 8 GB card material for europe ...

Unbelivable, that´s like bullshit from the "Fruit Handy"

Hobe they´ll fix it soon
Posted by Omar on 23-06-2012 at 20:27:32
So is there any hope?? now i'm suffering from this problem and its driving me crazy, 3 games and their data was downloaded and now i'm all out of 16 gb internal, apps2sd or link2sd cant do anything about it... please do something or i'll destroy my phone :@
Posted by Farhan on 23-06-2012 at 20:34:34
the app gl to sd is now just a useless junky app, tho it meant so much to me
Posted by John on 23-06-2012 at 20:34:51
Oh please fix this issue, its getting on my nerves!!!
Posted by Jettubby on 03-07-2012 at 02:33:08
Sounds like they are backpedaling on the initial Android release of allow you to add more app storage without having to pay a premium for more hardware storage. This is what Apple has draconianly done since the beginning, and the one thing that has turned me off completely to them.

I wonder if another clue is not the fact that Google is not including an SDCard slot on their new Nexus tablet. Based on that clue I'd say waning us off SD store is on purpose and Google is trying to "slip it in" on the consumer.

For shame for shame for shame Google!
Posted by sebastian on 03-07-2012 at 21:35:01
hi chain!

pleaase, tell us about what you found out in the meantime.
Posted by locumotion on 16-07-2012 at 17:13:00
Thanks for this info, this has been driving me crazy too.
I didn't have the problem with galaxy tab 10.1 and galaxy sII but I have it with SIII and Tab 7.7
hope it will be fixed soon, it is unbelievable.
Posted by Chainfire on 16-07-2012 at 18:02:31
It doesn't seem like a fix from Google is forthcoming. They keep dodging my questions about it.

At least on the 7.7, the ICS update fixes the problem. Samsung is using the permission hack I described in the article again. It's a working solution, even though it's not pretty.
Posted by Shaggydabbydo on 20-07-2012 at 11:53:41
I'm currently conversing with Samsung about this.

Anyone tell me what stock apps could be moved from internal storage on the other Samsung phones/tablets to user-mounted SD storage via the Applications Manager move-to-SD button pls.

Also, some non-stock apps which could be moved/mounted on the user-mounted SD storage on Samsung phones/tablets.

I want to show Samsung that their product (S3),at the moment, is *not-fit-for-purpose*, ie, the taking away of the ability to mount apps on user-mounted SD cards is regressive and unexpected by reasonable users of their devices.
Posted by Morten on 23-07-2012 at 15:03:26
None of the apps can be moved to the user mounted SD card only the camera can save data there.. :(

And with navigation maps and games that have sizes around 1-2GB,11 GB is not much.

I have never seen the move-to-SD button on my S3.. :( and i have a 32gb card in it that only the camera uses..
Posted by digi_owl on 24-07-2012 at 00:15:18
Best i can tell the original hack was to use claim a partition of the internal storage as external to allow for random files (images, audio, movies) to be stored there.

The original Android design seems to be that all internal storage should be dedicated to apps and their related data, while removable media was to provide bulk file storage. But this changed once it became fashionable with high internal storage devices (hello iPhone), and the OEMs hacked around it via the "internal as external" move.

Then later came the "move to SD" as a response to the earlier hack reducing the app capacity, a feature that seems to be limited to whatever is designated as "primary external".

The change to media seems to be linked to the change to MTP as the transfer protocol between device and computer btw. I have seen some scattered references that apps should move to using the MTP protocol internally to interact with external storage media, but nothing definitive.
Posted by Sebastian on 28-07-2012 at 13:27:25
hi chain!


do not give up on this. at least we would like to know, WHY google changed this.
Posted by shaggydabbydo on 02-08-2012 at 12:03:51
Indeed, any other updates on this issue?

I've got 10 days left to return my 16Gb S3 to Amazon as "unfit for my intended purpose". I think over the 2 years I think I'd be wanting to keep it, 11Gb for Apps will not be enough so I'd need at least the 32Gb version
Posted by Snoopy on 02-08-2012 at 13:06:04
First - many thanks to Chainfire for the detailed insight. I, too, also discovered this only this week and am somewhat frustrated (S3 user / previous S1 user)- however, still happy with my S3 (quadcore and the more precise GPS is great!!)

However, on a positive note here is an navigation App that supports the "external" SDcard for its offline maps ===> Osmand / Osmand+ (Settings - General Settings - Storage Directory).

And for those of you who think that 16 GB internal memory is enough - I can tell you that offline maps can take up infinite GBs of memory.
Let's hope that Samsung releases a "fix" for the topic - as I think Google have something planned for "our" futures :-(

regards and thanks
Snoopy
Posted by Abolkhattab on 18-08-2012 at 06:46:21
There is no problem at all on My galaxy note int. (ics). I can Move My apps to ext. Storage throu app2sd. But also i Face the problem with My 7.7 I cant Move My apps
Posted by Totem on 25-08-2012 at 11:12:02
Compliments and thanks toe Chainfire on the pursuit of this. Much appreciated as the issue is annoying. As the issue is nog only happening on the Samsungs but also on a lot ofother devices, solving thuis would serve a huge community of users of tablets hand phones.

Google should see that this is not benefitting anyone and is seen as a huge dissatisfier.

I will keep following this topic...
Posted by gregor on 08-09-2012 at 21:47:04
hi chain!

i have the impression you have given up on that topic. is that true!? did google just refuse to supply an explanation for us?
Posted by Ogri on 09-09-2012 at 22:04:36
Well if it is a move to enforce 'Cloud' use, they are going to seriously cripple their market imho.

No business owner/manager in their right mind will allow customer details, product data, transaction information, and who knows what other commercially related sensitive database content, into an environment such as a Cloud.

All that needs to be heavily restricted to and from removable storage for reasonable security (wifi can be disabled in a split second if necessary, and a card pulled), and preferably with the applications drawing from them too.

To me Google (and Apple) seem to be eagerly slashing their own throats (I know several people already who have abandoned ideas of buying a Nexus 7, due to the lack of such essential features, and I for one will never consider buying such a device).

The 'killer application' I need for an Android tablet, still isn't available, and if this nonsense carries on, even if it is developed, it will not be possible for those that really need it, to even consider buying it.

Google have now had at least 5 months to resolve this inexcusable situation, and that's at least 4 months too long to be waiting for the solution. If this is a demonstration of how borked in the head their approach to business and their customers is, then sorry, but my present tablet and phone will be my last Android devices.
Posted by Bas Loubert on 16-10-2012 at 13:08:05
Thanks Chainfire for your topic. Just bought a Samasung Galaxy S DuoS GT-7562 dualsim smartphone with I.C.S. 4.0.4. Within 24 hours this external SD card issue occured to me. I almost send the phone back to the supplier, because of this. It's a huge dissapointment that Google and Samsung didn't do anything about this issue up to now. I strongly support your crusade, and hopefully there will be a software update soon to resolve this issue.
Posted by Zolt100 on 17-10-2012 at 07:10:19
Virgin Mobile, US, Samsung Reverb, Andriod 4.0.4, bought 32 GB external sd. Tried using sdk to set-install-location 2 etc. The move to sd button does not display in app manager screens. Tried apps from app store... they don't see the extsd. Reverb has just 2 GB internal so this phone is going to run out of internal space in very short order without the ability to migrate/install apps into external sd. Sad.
Posted by wkkan on 19-10-2012 at 07:43:42
I am having MK802 ICS ver4.0.4. After changing the Platform.xml, the problem still occur. I want to use directorybind to extend my SD card. Can you please let me know what is required?
Posted by Mondo on 20-10-2012 at 00:49:52
Great topic
We collected 4 [heavily discounted] new Proline Mirage 10.1 tablets that came with 3.2 Honeycomb.
We too found that we cannot set the camera to save on the Micro SD cards. Also some of the file managers, Bluetooth transfer utils and FTP clients will not recognize the Micro SD.
I found one FTP app that allowed me to edit the default path, so result.
Another strange thing is the file manager I found will not create directories[folders] or write to the Micro SD.
It's all a little frustrating after the excellent SD support we enjoyed in Gingerbread on the Galaxy Tabs!
Posted by Mozsafa on 16-11-2012 at 14:04:23
Thanks for the details, now I won't waste my time trying.
Basically this means that the secondary sd is reserved for media and only for that. Fine example how to render a technically possible thing to unusable by some overconfident policy decision.
As I have a company-issued phone, I am forbidden to re-flash it to cyanogen...

Dear Google & Samsung: thanks for the 'feature'.
Posted by go7jg nhyt on 11-12-2012 at 05:31:25
Wwat the hell man inguess its time for something new
Posted by MartijnD on 12-12-2012 at 10:12:08
The only reason for this I can think of is to protect the market for Tablets/Phones with bigger internal storage. If not for this, everyone would buy the cheapest model and buy a cheap SD card in China for decent storage. Still sux though...
Posted by clever on 27-12-2012 at 04:57:00
from what ive seen (while trying to root my kindle fire hd)

media_rw is used to lock down /data/media so ONLY /system/bin/sdcard can write

that app then provides a fuse filesystem at /sdcard, forcing all files to be owned by sdcard_rw and simulates fat filesystems

in my case, i cant make a symlink to try and abuse things, because the fuse fs doesnt allow it, and i dont have media_rw
Posted by Ed on 31-12-2012 at 14:11:55

"The question remains - WHY ?! There doesn't seem to be any reason for this stuff"


There is a perfectly good reason for this, good for google that is. Is the same reason nexus devices don't have SD cards and chromebooks have crappy storage. They're tying to make it difficult even for OEMs that ship devices with external storage.

Google wants everyone to use their cloud services not local storage. Google music, youtube, gmail, docs, all these are in the cloud and that's where google wants you to be. That's where ads are too.
Posted by John on 10-01-2013 at 01:27:06
Thank you for this posting. I've got a Galaxy 7 and Galaxy 10. I wrote a program to write to the secondary external SDCard... worked on the 10, not on the 7. Based on your post, I took a look at /system/etc/permissions/platform.xml and you were right on.
Within the 7:
<permission name="android.permission.WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE" >
<group gid="sdcard_rw" />
</permission>
----- vs the 10 -------
<permission name="android.permission.WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE" >
<group gid="sdcard_rw" />
<group gid="media_rw" />
</permission>

That's it. Bad news for app dev. Who wants to make a legitimate app system requirement that the device be rooted.
Thanks again.
Posted by dentex on 07-02-2013 at 15:31:00
Hi.
I have a Samsung Galaxy S2 (GT-I9100) with CyanogenMod ROM 10.1, Nightly.
In /system/etc/permissions/platform.xml I have
Code
#
1
<permission name="android.permission.WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE" >
2
    <group gid="sdcard_rw" />
3
</permission>

Adding
Code
#
1
<group gid="media_rw" />
doesn't make any difference.
Trying to access the external sdcard throws securityException: “destination must be on external storage” anyway.
Is there anything else to change?
Thanks.
Posted by Joe on 16-02-2013 at 16:14:21
Any developments on this yet. An answer to why would be interesting at best. I don't care about why as much as that I want it fixed. An answer to why will likely be more corporate BS. In technology the reason for limiting capabilities, unless impossible, is ALWAYS about money. If you don't have enough storage then you have to buy more. If there's a technical solution consumers won't buy. ISPs are also good example. Your not payingmmore forhigher speeds... You're paying them to not throttle your speed back as much as they are. It's a built in price-point to make more money. Their biggest mistake was showing theppublic that moving apps to SD could be done. Don't bother asking why. Tell them it wasn't an issue before, it shouldn't be an issue now, and we want it fixed. I'm running SGS3's with JB 32x32... And want this feature back. And, yes, I tried 2 of the Android apps I used to use for this on my Thunderbolt (GB) and they no longer work on my S3. Didn't work on S3 with Gingerbread either.
Posted by Joe on 16-02-2013 at 16:17:53
Sorry, meant to say I couldn't move apps on the S3 when it had ICS either. I was hoping JB would fix that... But it didn't.
Posted by Nagaraju G on 29-03-2013 at 10:50:59
I cannot move the apps from Samsung Galaxy Grand Internal Memory to the ext SD Card... is this the reason for it ?
Posted by Francesco on 08-04-2013 at 17:51:42
Any idea?
Posted by Anders on 23-04-2013 at 18:15:28
Just a 'me too': bought Samsung Galaxy Xcover 2. Now April 2013. The device leaves me only 1GB of storage no way to install to micro SD-card.
Posted by khato on 28-05-2013 at 19:35:47
Thanks for the info. At first I thought my ex sd card was at fault. I was a Blackberry user and was getting very frustrated with their control in the name of customer security. Then I was told that Android and, indeed, Google were relatively laid back in giving the customer the freedom to make their own mistakes. To my utter disappointment the control freakery is there live and kicking. I am thinking of deleting all the Google related apps and widgets from my Note2 if someone will point me to alternatives. Thanks in advance. And thanks again for the excellent article-though a lot of it is beyond my understanding.
Posted by Aman on 11-06-2013 at 13:48:22
I am also unable to store,read and wright files in External Storage memory in my Micromax Funbook..
Posted by John on 05-07-2013 at 05:20:37
Very interesting thread... Helps make sense of an issue with my Samsung Galaxy 10 tab. Out of the box, I had no issues moving files back and forth to an external USB stick. Since I up graded the operating system from 2.3 to ICS I no longer have permission to write to the USB stick. I can only read from it. I hope that Google will do something about this. Don't believe it is fair to anyone that wishes to use there device for more.
Posted by Haggy on 08-11-2013 at 19:38:43
Their use of "external" for storage in that context actually makes the most historical sense. For those in the post PC era, we hear words like memory and storage as separate items and tend to forget (or not know) that real storage is memory, and everything else is peripheral storage. If it's on any sort of DASD, it's not real storage. On a mainframe, the "QUERY STORAGE" command had nothing to do with disk drives, tape drives or even punch cards. It had to do with real storage. Unless it was issued from a virtual machine, in which case it showed virtual storage. But it was virtually the same as real storage. With an SD card, or even with integrated "flash" storage, it's still treated by a CPU as peripheral storage, and is thus essentially an external (to the CPU) device.
Posted by V.Annoyed on 02-02-2014 at 22:30:30
Well I seems the new KitKat roll out from Samsung is implementing this - write access to SDCard is block. Seriously - W.T.F Google.
The support requests have started coming in now ALL my apps do not work when using SD (they NEED to access SD card). This is a MASSIVE F.up.

Is it not illegal to sell a device with a feature, then effectively disable that feature after purchase (Their SD Card is useless for many people now)?
I really hope manufactures see sense and fix this for their stock ROMs - contact and complain to Samsung about this, hopefully they will listen.
Posted by uccoffee on 20-02-2014 at 22:58:34
seems like ES explorer can still write while most other apps cannot, are they already using the working around before the kitkat update?
Posted by Michal on 26-02-2014 at 12:33:26
Maybe Google does not know about this.
I filed a bug report:
https://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=66410
Posted by Myk on 01-03-2014 at 07:05:52
Tell me about i9500 4.4.2, why samsung realese kitkat upgrade most of apps not working, xplore, gta sa, rr3, camera apps.. My s4 is 16gb internal bt user available is only 8. Smthng gbs, samsung says there was software files installed, Wht samsung want They also uses 5gb of internal and Dnt want users uses memory card hws is this possible. I hv installed gta sa and real racing 3 and 4-5 nrml apps within 50-70mb. Nd free storage is left only 1 gb. Nw where you store ur songs, videos and other files. If any one ask me why I uses samsung? My ans is Cz of only external storage compatibility. My 64gb card is scrap now if they will not want user access their memory cards. Nw I m talk about India, there is not available highspeed internet in all areas, then how we use cloud storage. Is google developers are mad? Or they thinks users are mad? I m not agree with this thinking of Google.
Posted by Rob on 25-03-2014 at 08:12:05
Hit this problem when my phone and tablet updated to 4.4.2.
It broke near enough all my apps.
I installed Cyanogenmod on my phone, and sold my android tablet and bought a Bay Trail Windows tablet, unless this issue is fixed I cant see myself with another android device in the future.
Posted by aen3man on 02-04-2014 at 15:58:23
Well, it seems it's only depending on app developper's will :http://developer.android.com/guide/topics/data/install-location.html
Posted by GuitarPunkJack on 22-04-2014 at 03:28:29
The NSA leak has everything to do with this B.S.

Flash drives were apparently what Edward Snowden used to download the data and carry everything through. Big gov't doesn't want mobile phones + USB compounding that issue.
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Posted by John on 11-11-2014 at 10:41:13
Posted by tim on 11-11-2014 at 13:46:43
Samsung GalaxyNote models 2, 3, and 4 -- BUY them with a free-return policy, and RETURN THEM within this free return-period... let samsung know WHY you're returning them.. trust me.. they will QUICKLY get the message!
Posted by tim on 11-11-2014 at 13:57:52
NOW... in the meantime, we need someone who can make it idiot proof, for us dummies, with an easy way to temporarily root our phones, so we can take advantage of the apps that fix this issue, then again, unroot our phones back to normal. Now please all of you geeks, make it idiot-proof for us. Put it in simple language -- not with codes or abbreviations which us average folks haven't a clue.
Posted by Tj on 24-11-2014 at 03:08:42
Lets start a class action law suite!
This is removal of promised features and should be actionable.
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