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Android 5.0 Lollipop brings SD card access to third-party apps

Google’s Android 5.0 Lollipop brings a slew of features. It comes with Material Design, improved security features, and better notifications among many others. But as you would expect, there are ton

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Google’s Android 5.0 Lollipop brings a slew of features. It comes with Material Design, improved security features, and better notifications among many others. But as you would expect, there are tons of things going on behind the curtain which the company hasn’t detailed. One such feature is enabling third party apps’ access to removable storage, as mentioned on company’s website and recently pointed out by a Googler Jeff Sharkey.

Over the years, Google has changed its stance several times on how it lets third party apps interact with the content on SD card. While moving from Android Gingerbread to Android ICS, the company chopped off third party apps’ access to the removable storage. However, it did add the Storage Access Framework function with Android KitKat, and while it improved the interaction between the third party apps and removable storage, a vast majority of functionalities were kept limited. The company is now bringing most of those features, and more back to the operating system.

Some new APIs have been added to the Developer Preview of Android 5.0 Lollipop that the company seeded out earlier this year. Sharkey asserts that the company has improved those APIs and has included them in the final stable version which it started rolling out yesterday. According to his post, apps now have full access over SD card. Furthermore, once a user has allowed the app’s access to the removal storage, he won’t have to enable this feature every time.

The post also claims that apps that produce huge files, could be prompted to move their data to the SD card. This feature was also employed with KitKat release, however, the operating system because of programmatic limitation, couldn’t handle it effectively. This feature will finally get users to stop using separate file managers, as media apps will have the ability to let users navigate inside any folder to grab the file.

  • Published Date: November 5, 2014 4:17 PM IST