More on Android and SD Cards

Jerry Hildenbrand, writing for Android Central:

It’s simple, really. Prior to Android 4.4 KitKat, applications — provided they had permission to access the SD card — could read and write to any area on removable storage, including the system folders like DCIM, Alarms, etc. That has all changed, and now third-party applications — as in ones you download from Google Play or elsewhere — can only write to files and folders that they have created or have taken ownership of.

This keeps things “tidy.” Apps aren’t dumping files everywhere on the card — something we’ve all encountered — and instead have one central location to put all their files. There also are some serious security concerns that were addressed by not letting an app write files just anywhere.

I’d venture to say this change is a lot more about security than it is “tidiness”.

Worth noting: 97.5 percent of active Google Play Android devices are using Android 4.3 or older.

Update: Also worth noting: with the READ_EXTERNAL_STORAGE permission, apps on KitKat can still read the entirety of the SD card.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014