KitKat and SD cards — what's fixed, what's broken and what's misunderstood

Why your SD card doesn't work the same in Android 4.4 KitKat, and the reasons for the change

"Curse you, Google! Your KitKat update broke my SD card!"

Poke around the Android section of the Internet and you'll hear something similar. Users like you and me are in an uproar because they updated their phone to Android 4.4 KitKat, and now the SD card support has changed. Apps no longer work, folks have problems with cameras and music players, and while everyone else is saying "Oh, yeah. That's how it works now," nobody warned them in advance before they grabbed that update.

There is a lot of push against these changes, with petitions and threats of grassroots movements that threaten to show Google the error of its ways — even a very popular developer that I won't name has their PR people sending out requests for blogs to write about evil Google.

But, as always, there's a method to Google's madness. Let's discuss.

What changed in Android 4.4 KitKat with SD cards

App management

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.

Google made things neater and more secure. Some apps have worked with that, many others are just broken.

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.

This means that Jerry's Awesome Photo Viewer app can still scan your entire system for images, build a thumbnail database of them all and save it to a folder on the SD card. But it can't move or save the pictures themselves to folders — including the Pictures folder — on the SD card because it does not "own" those folders. If programmed right, it could save copies of the pictures to Jerry's Awesome Photo Viewer's own folders on the SD card. The folder is part of the app, and if you uninstall it, the folder goes, too. The old method of putting anything anywhere you want is gone, forever.

The other side of the coin is that Jerry's Not Awesome App that steals your data no longer has write access to every file and folder on the SD card. Yes, previously any application that declared permission to read and write to the SD card was allowed to write files to any folder — including your system folders, and any folder something like a banking app might have made. Any type of file, too. That includes files that could be read when another app starts up and affect the settings or way that app works. It was a complete and total security nightmare, and why a lot of people — including yours truly — did not want phones with SD cards.

Do you want it easy? Or do you want it secure?

Android file permissions

One of the reasons things have to change so drastically on the security-front is because of Unix-style user and group permissions, and the file system of your SD card. You expect an SD card to just work when you plug it into a computer. Any computer. Because something like 96 percent of all the computers out there that aren't some sort of server run Microsoft Windows, you need to make sure your SD card will work with them.

If you want removable storage that can be read anywhere, understand that it's not going to be secure.

FAT-based file systems — that's what your SD card is formatted to — are universal on Windows, Apple OSX and (most) Linux machines. Makes sense. What good is a portable drive that can't be read, right? But there's a catch. FAT-based systems don't support file and folder permissions. If I'm an app, I can't say "This is my folder. I will allow you to look inside, but you are not to put anything new in there or change any of my stuff!" on this sort of file system. It's an all-or-nothing mess, and one that even Microsoft has moved away from in its newer versions of Windows. But FAT still needs to be used, because anything else will require a lot of finagling for people using legacy versions of Windows, and that is a large number of people.

Note that this has nothing to do with accessing your phone storage — internal or external — via a cable attached to your computer. That uses a completely different protocol and method, that has nothing to do with the actual file system of a removable piece of media.

If SD cards were set up with the same file system as the rest of the partitions inside your Android (EXT, for those of you keeping track at home), none of this would matter. Third-party apps could be given permission to individual folders, other folders could be marked "hands-off," and everyone would be happy. But they are not, and can not be without modification of a lot of computers, or a stand-alone program you run on your computer just to access the SD card you pull out of your Android.

This is a mess that nobody can fix right now.

So what do we do?

Apps to your SD

First off, you stop and think before you take any update to KitKat. Any apps installed to the SD card will lose their data when you update and need re-installed, and some of the apps you use probably will stop working because they have not been updated. The good news is that other apps have been updated — PocketCasts, for example — so you get to try all new apps.

Forgoing the KitKat update is an option, but not one we'd recommend.

You could also never update to KitKat, which I see a lot of people claiming they have planned. I think that's a bit crazy, but it is an option and it will keep things working like they always have — both the good and the bad — in regards to your external storage.

Or you can install a custom ROM that "fixes" the issue. It's a fairly easy thing to change, but the folks who make your phone aren't allowed to "fix" it or they can't retain their Google certification for Google Play and the rest of Google's apps.

Or you can huff and puff, and start a petition.

Remember, Android — whether we like it or not — is a work in progress. Google could very well have some sort of magic fix for this whole problem planned, and we'll see it in a future version of Android. Or it could just not care and take the stance that SD cards should only be used to store media, and should be kept seperate from the operating system.

We'll just have to see.

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

  • Well updating to KitKat (custom roms) I have damaged 2 of my SD cards, what could I do to retrieve them or are they damaged for good?
  • Thanks Jerry......! Posted via my SPARK enabled Sprint LG G2, that's constantly laughing at my wife's T-Mobile Galaxy Note 3 with borked sdcard support on 4.4.2...
  • This whole post would have been unnecessary if Google had been truly transparent and explained Kit Kat updates in STUPID PEOPLE language. But if they made it that easy for techies to see fault in Kit Kat it might hurt their open reputation. Wrong...!!! The fact that this wasn't explained thoroughly hurt Google's and Nestle's reputation, while leaving a bad candy taste in our mouths. Time to change my signature. And only buy high internal storage phones. I feel SICK, HURT, and BETRAYED. Thank you Google for helping me lose TRUST in my once great overlord. Posted via my SPARK enabled Sprint LG G2, that's constantly laughing at my wife's T-Mobile Galaxy Note 3 with borked sdcard support on 4.4.2...
  • I wonder what's going on at WPCentral. Posted via my SPARK enabled Sprint LG G2, with 32GBs of internal memory and no sdcard. (Bring on 4.4.2, I can handle it.)
  • Who exactly are you talking to? ಠ益ಠ
  • +1 I was wondering the same thing. Isn't replying to your own comment the same thing as talking to yourself? I'm related to somebody who does that... Lol Posted via Android Central App
  • But, wait! There's more. Sorry, just couldn't help it. I love it when people are concise and to the point. Posted via Android Central App
  • I like all of you in the comments section, so please try not to nit-pick. From your long time forum member DWR_31. Posted via my SPARK enabled Sprint LG G2, with 32GBs of internal memory and no sdcard. (Bring on 4.4.2, I can handle it.)
  • Not nit picking, just confused. No offense intended.
  • Moto e 4.4.3 SD card format hack and get apps on mine no root or anything people if u wanna no how research it Posted via Android Central App
  • Pfft. 32gb is nothing. give me a 128gb sd! Without paying exorbitant prices for the higher storage models! This is one reason I am extremely disappointed in samsung for their s6, because previously they were my favorite hardware manufacturer.
  • I hope they realize the error of their ways. And yes, I am talking to myself as you guys call it.
  • Oh, just having a little fun. Didn't mean to sound over the top. Feel free to send some of it back. :-) Posted via Android Central App
  • I'm just as curious. Let's split up, gang.
  • We're waiting for WP 8.1 to be release that will allow apps to be written to SD cards...
  • Maybe you should go check it out then. Get a windows phone... its a great idea.
  • That's hilarious
  • They make special phones for STUPID PEOPLE, they even come in cute clamshell designs. Stupid people shouldn't be using smart phones LOL
  • Now now...
    My mom uses one of those clam shell things, but she isn't dumb... just stubborn...
  • I'm amazed people's intelligence are now measured by what kind of phone they have... Posted via My Samsung HTC LG Megadroid Optimus Primus Nexus5
  • Aren't you kind of quick to judge people, using the system that you do? You must be from the younger generation that really hasn't got a good handle on life yet. Wake up. You might be judged the same way by your pears
  • Pears, being fruit, tend to be fairly non-judgemental.
  • Say that to the pears sitting on my kitchen counter. Whenever I turn my back, they snicker and make faces at me. They think I can't hear them, but I do...
  • It's not really Google, it's the OEM who made your smartphone who didn't inform you.
    Google has made it's stance on SD cards very clear for years in it's nexus line, it wanted them to go away. OEMS and users choose to ignore this and google had to finally do something at the operating system level to clear up the security problem. Apps will be updated to handle this change, just like with any operating system update that stops certain things from working, It's not really the end of the world. It's just a temporary problem.
    Apps makers who decide not to update apps to handle this change properly will rightly simply die off. That said, I'm very happy to have my nexus 5 with no SD card which works perfectly the way google intended it to on Kit Kat ;)
  • You are kidding, right? Google doesn't really have an issue with SD cards due to security; Google has an issue with SD cards because they make large storage affordable. People use Android devices because they want to add storage or change out the battery...things Apple will not allow. Want all of your music on your iPhone. No problem! Just be willing to shell out an exorbitant amount of $$ for the 32GB model. Whereas on a Droid, just buy a $50 SD card and pop it in. Google wants to monetize storage. Get us all using Google Drive, i.e. "The Cloud" and then when everything we need and love is stored on "The Cloud" bend us over and empty our pockets. The OEM manufacturers are merely giving Droid users what they want. While Google, the supposed gods of open source, are trying to lock stuff down and build a monopoly. Don't get me wrong, I love my Droid. You will never see me with an iPhone. But you are just as bad as the worst Apple fanboy if you think this KitKat lockout of SD storage is truly about Google trying to protect us.
  • Dude you need to calm down,
    This won't make SD cards permanently useless, app developers just need to change their apps to work within the new framework.
    As happens with many operating system updates.
    Myself I don't need an sd card and lucky for me it makes my life easier.
    But Android isn't just about removable battieres and sd cards.
    it's about the flexibility of the entire OS to me.
  • Yes, it has made SD cards permanently useless. Files are best handled by file managers, not mis-coded media management applets like those on our phones. Being able to load up music files on my phone's SDcard just like I do on a portable hard drive is the very reason I have an Android handset. Google play, or some other bad file transfer and transcoding software to emulate I-tunes ? Count me out. WinPhone or UbuntuPhone, here I come. Google never released, or hinted at the release or making of a CHMOD utility. If I can't control my files, I might as well have a cheap WinPhone or flip. My phone was slowly replacing my PC's functions. Google just threw a wrench in my plans. If they don't implement a switch, or a CHMOD utility, there's going to be a flood of newbies with rooted, and very exposed phones disseminating malware gotten through pirated junk from P2P networks. It will be a security nightmare. Cloud be damned. If WinPhone allows traditional access to SD, I expect a huge surge in popularity for MS gear.
  • Dude, you can *still* upload your files to your SD card just like before. This change only stops apps from *writing* anywhere except their predefined folder. They will still be able to read files from wherever you put them on the SD card. The only thing this really has any serious impact on is file managers.
  • Yes you cab, through a physical cable connection. However not everyone wants to sit down next to their computer and shove a cable into their phone everytime they want to add something when before all you needed to do was copy and paste over wi-fi before. I don't want to get up out of bed just to upload a few songs or videos to my phone when previously I could have had a copy operation run overnight and be happy to see it all in the morning. This is a stupid change and makes sd cards a complete hassle to use on the android now since file managers were a big part of many people's phones. It wouldn't be a problem if there was an option to change this somewhere, but alas there is not without voiding your warranty, this only ends up restricting power users which are a core demographic of android phones, since iPhones don't allow for such people.
  • I agree with you completely. I am thinking of returning my new S5 BECAUSE OF THIS STUPID KIT KAT. When an OS starts telling my how or what I can put on the SD drive I bought. Arghhh. Where is the petition.
  • I can still upload files to my SDCard like before??? Really??? Please show me how I can work "just like before". I never had to carry a laptop with me before KitKat to connect to file or ftp servers and download my media, books, and documents to my device (in the directories I saw fit to organize them in). I would just open up my file manager and copy the file where I needed it, use the two or three best of breed apps to modify my files (YES, I want to edit my documents with multiple tools .. STUPID ME), and sync them back. Now I have to carry my 7" tablet AND my laptop. It was nice when my tablet could do everything, now its its a 9oz slave to my 7lb PC. The way I work, and the ENTIRE reason I bought an Android tablet in the first place was to lighten my load and be more mobile. And as an admin, managing and moving files with a FILE MANAGER is an absolute must, and one of the reason I chose the specific android devices I did. Sensless... Or maybe Google thinks I'm just too stupid to understand. If I could return all my KitKat devices I would in a heartbeat. I am extremely upset that my Android devices are useless for the functionality I bought and used them for over a year for.
  • No, you cannot do it exactly as before. If you could, no one would have noticed a thing. I use a file manager to sync files with dropbox, and this is now broken.
    I used another app to play music from those synced folders, and this is now broken.
    I'd play video files that had been synced, and this is now broken.
    So no, this is not at all working as before.
    If I wanted a walled garden without extra storage, I would have gotten an iPhone.
    I'm now trying to decide whether to go with Windows Phone or iPhone for my next device, because android just became worthless...
  • If you're not able to play the audio/video files from your SDCard, then there's something wrong with your SD card. No change has been made to *reading* files, only writing them. I'm not sure what problem you're seeing, but Dropbox still works just fine for me.
  • And how do you suppose my player keeps track of where I am and what I have been listening to? That's right, it doesn't when it can't write to the SD card.
    Yes, I'm sure Dropbox works fine, but I don't use that app.
    As I wrote: "I use a file manager to sync files with dropbox", and unless there is a way to sync entire folder structures to where *I* want on the SD card, then it is entirely pointless whether the dropbox app works or not.
  • But your player *can* write to the sdcard. At least, it should be able to at this point. If it still can't, contact the developer or use a player that's actually being supported. This argument is getting tiresome.
  • Except it cannot, although to be fair, I can't create the folder in the first place or copy my music to the folder...
    I realise that you are probably happy to use your device the way you're told to use it, but I like to be able to use it in a way that is actually useful for me. And you are right, your argument that you are right, so everyone else must be wrong is exceedingly tiresome, and also very reminiscent of how Apple used to be about their iProducts. It's almost ironic.
  • My argument is not that you are "wrong", only that your overstating things. You *can* still create a folder anywhere you want on the SD card and place whatever files you want in that folder, you just have to either use the file system manager that came with the device, or a USB connection. And any app will be able to read those files. I agree that it's not ideal, but it's a different scenario from one you are arguing. And, if it's really a major problem for you, it takes very little effort (on most devices) to root and re-enable global write permissions. And before you bring up the warranty issue, I have personally had to return phones after rooting without any problems, and you can find a plethora of similar reports online. I have yet to ever hear of someone being denied a warranty replacement for a legitimate device defect due to having rooted their device.
  • Does rooting the phone solve this? Is their not work around that is easy?
  • If you are rooted, it is very easy to fix. I believe there are even some apps in the play store which will do it for you, although the fix listed here just involves editing a text file.
  • Hey TenshiNo, you're giving some nice support here so thought I'd ask you my query. Firstly I'd like to root to solve file management app issue but rooting my phone will mean apps like Sky Go won't operate so that isn’t an option for me. So as you've mentioned to a few times and from what I've read elsewhere an app can have a personal application specific folder that it will be able to write to on the External SD? Is there a way of manually setting this specific folder? For example, similar to on Windows PCs making a folder called Public on my external SD and that folder being the "application specific folder" of the file management app? At least for me that would be an adequate work around to then be able to move files from that Public folder into the folders I desire them in.
  • Unfortunately, without root I don't believe that there is any way to define the folder. As far as I understand, the folder gets created automatically using the app's namespace. (ie:
    If you're willing to out the time in to uproot if it doesn't work, you can always try rooting and then using Xposed with the module called "Root Cloak" which can hide the fact that you're rooted from specific apps. Only downside there is that, if it doesn't work, you'll have to spend the time to unroot after.
  • Thank you! So this is on my Samsung S4 and the file handling app that I use is ES File Explorer. Using your info I looked for the apps namespace folder. It had an automatically created folder in the internal Android/data/ directory but not in the external SD one. So on the external SD, path; /storage/extSdCard/Android/data/ I named a folder "" (the exact same name as automated one on internal). Using ES File Explorer the folder is acting just as I wished a 'public' folder to. I can copy music over WiFi into that folder on the external SD, and from there move them into my music folder. Only tested a couple things so far, but all has worked. Yes its one extra step from pre-4.4 but its happy days, thanks again.
  • Np. I thought it would create the folder automatically, but I'm glad I could help.
  • Sir, Thanks for your encouraging comments and reply. As I am sailing in the SAME boat and using ES file explorere, I am curious to know how did you make this app default writing disk. I am interested in knowing how to make it default for WhatsApp and telegram, both are messenger services. Please guide me step by step. Would be obliged if reply be sent to "" , too. I could not follow last lines of your comment, that's why I have to ask you. Thanks.
  • If anyone on here has not seen the Windows 10 release video, sigh, it will make you wonder where Android will fit in anymore, seriously
  • Not if you want to store all your huge video files on your huge SD card, right? That's why, I think, my video keeps killing Google camera on my 4.4.2 ROM. Sure, I could redirect it to store several minutes of video on internal while I have that big SD card sitting there. : (
  • I haven't checked personally, but I would be pretty surprised to discover that the Google Camera app had not been updated to store files on the SD card according to the new write rules. And it's only an issue if you've downloaded the app from the play store and it didn't come with your device. You *might* be making an incorrect assumption here. I say that only to recommend that you research to find out if that's really the cause, because it could indicate that there is a problem with your SD card itself.
  • The Camera app does save to the SD card if you have it that way.
  • For pictures yes, but Kitkat does not allow you to save video files to the sd card. So if you are like me and bought a phone with only 16th of internal store because I could but a 64gb sd card to throw in the back, your screwed unless you record low res or shoot short clips
  • It's hard to believe that we're still having this conversation, but here goes. Kitkat does not prevent you from writing certain file types to the SD card. What it does is limit apps to o KY be allowed to write to a specific folder on the SD card. That means that, if you have an app that gives you an error about writing to the SD card, you need to contact the app developer and ask them to update it. Quit all this "but I can't write 'x' kind of file now!" because you're wrong and it's simply not true. At least, not as a result of the upgrade to Kitkat. Apps *can* still write whatever they want to the SD card, but only in a more structured way.
  • I know it's been awhile since you made this comment but I just recently got a new phone and now have this issue with the sd card. so I'm late to the game. but my phone allows me to save the video and pictures it takes (factory installed camera app) to the sd card. my understanding is you HAVE to use the stock camera app to store the media to the sd card.
  • Still it's been months now that kitkat was rolled out.......I bought a high end android smartphone in order to have the latest geekest stuffs (MC4,MC5,Asphalt 8, TOMTOM Europe.....) and all those app made by serious companies aren't able to catch up and now I have already my internal storage full ! plus I travel quite a lot so cloud is a non option. Now it means for me to carry a laptop along with as I can't use anymore my highend dumphone to make, let says, camera backup !! So you can tell whatever reason about everything is like before it isn't. Why can't you stick to your valid argument and admit that there is some serious problems for the others ?????
  • No you can not.... That is what brought me to this forum, looking for what went wrong. Good luck pulling up file and folders on you PC that are on the phone (such as audible files) those are all in locked areas and you can only now download the files again to the phone even if you have them on the PC, you can not just push them over as in the past. I got the update OTA last week.
  • This "protective Google" smells a lot like a walled garden to me. I tried iTunes once upon a time on a Windows computer. Then I discovered that if I managed my music files the way I saw fit.../Music/Artist/Album/Song...and then used iTunes to search my computer for mp3 files, I ended up with duplicates of everything in some Apple prescribed folder. No thanks. I got rid of iTunes and vowed to stay away from iTunes and Macs. When I started with smartphones, I had PalmOS, then Symbian, then Android. If I don't find a workable solution to this Android file system mismanagement I don't know what I'll do when my contract with VZW expires, unless it is to find a
    phone that's not bootloader locked and lets me run custom ROMs.
  • And just ***WHO*** gets to define the "predefined folder"??? If I do not have control over that on MY OWN hardware, then KitKat and later are BROKEN. If I want a file manager to import and place documents, images, music, etc in particular places on my SD card, then it is ***MY*** choice on where they go. They want "security"? Then we should be running EXT3 filesystems. FFAT32 be damned, and MSWin as well if it can't handle adding a EXT3 driver (it should be able to, it's called an "Installable File System").
  • Holy zombie post :) If an app wants direct file-system access to the SDCard, then it is limited to writing to a folder that matches the apps namespace.  A namespace is kind of like a web URL for code.  For the Android Alarm app, for example is  Yes, it's backwards from how it is on the web.  And, no, it doesn't actually have anything to do with the web itself, it's just a unique name for each app to refer to itself as. Apps *can* still write to the SDCard, then just have to do it through the Google Media Accessor API.  This means that apps must explicitly declare permissions to read/write to the SDCard.  Most apps, at this point, should be updated to where this is a non-issue.  If you still have a problem with it, just root and add the permission back to the XML file to re-enable open read/write to the SDCard and accept the consequences of the security risk.  It's ***YOUR*** choice :) I agree with the comments about using EXT3 on the SDCard, but I can also understand the reasoning behind why they are using FAT32.  Sadly, it is what it is.
  • Yes, most apps may not need to move files from every place. But I need that function because I have my own order in my files. I don't have a lot of space in the internal storage and because I need to manually manage files so I can create the folders what I want, and I can move, copy, delete the files what I want with the APP what I want. Examples:
    - A folder containing pictures, I need to zip all that folder and copy it to some other place to share it with a friend or family member. When I use internal storage to take the pictures, I can use some other app to copy the zip from internal storage to sdcard.
    - My sd card is shared as backup. I use it to make some backups and all content is shared with my computer (I manage it in a USB card reader). So I need full access to it from some apps.
    - I need to make a backup of my data from the tablet, from the internal memory to some other place. So I use my sdcard to do that because the adb backup method is broken (it always stops before the backup is complete, I am testing it from Android 4.0 to 4.2, so for me that is not a warranty, that is a big risk instead, it always fails doing the backup. The only know thing that does not fail is using a file manager app to copy all the content of the internal memory to the sdcard, now I cannot do that so no backup with adb and no backup with a good working file manager).
    - I don't want to use root in any app, it is more risky than deny an app everything but sdcard (If an app cannot go far away from the sdcard and internal storage that is great solution for me).
    - There are not good native file manager or image gallery. All that we have are like "we made native apps but don't expect a full working one", we (the Android developers. Google employee) did that but don't expect it be the best in the Store, just expect it to be like example apps (that is what is the included file manager for example, it is like an example app of how to do a file manager, but it is not a real file manager). There are better 3rd party file managers. I don't understand why the Google guys does not develop a real, full functioning, full working, full tested file manager for Android. That is the reason why I need to use 3rd party ones. The same apply to the Gallery. A broken gallery software that includes access to remote images (I don't know why, you can have some other kind of service to access remote files, don't need an app to do that by itself) but does not do a good job managing images because it freeze (trying to do remote work) and sometimes crash too (because I am sure there are still bugs because the developers lost their time developing not useful functions). So, Google decided to make a more secure filesystem hierarchy? I don't think so. I guess they just saved some time in what they seriously must take more time to plan and improve they own apps (the file manager, hangouts, the gallery, etc). The default included apps are not useful or in good level of use. For now I will try to apply the "Samsung patch". An affected poweruser.
  • If I read correctly.....
    Please email me a link, or directions to save all my documentary "YouTube" videos to SD card via my Lenova A10-70(f) tablet with version 5.0.1. What do I need to do to force mp4 files on SD card with or/ without root. I have SD maid app, which I thought is all I needed. I'm no developer, please HELP!......
  • by INSISTING on removing :P the removable batteries and SD card support, they are in fact REDUCING the flexibility of the entire system.
  • Who is "insisting" on removing support for removable batteries or SD-Card "support"? Both still work, even if so cards don't work in exactly the same way. This change doesn't prevent apps from writing to the SD card, it only limits *where*to they can write.
  • Hi, you seem to know of the new way to write on SD Cards, can you please share?
  • i want to use my sd has a spot for it..i have using it now..WTF...time to root
  • YOU don't need an sd card? It's about flexibility? It's about the entire os to ME.
    Hmmmm. Me me me.
    Well, unfortunately, most of us use their sd card. Glad it doesn't effect you. But the majority can no longer use apps paid for or otherwise the way they were designed. Your right though. It is about flexibility. The flexibility we no longer have. Thank God Google gets to decide what WE do on our phones. We would be lost without their guidance. We's nit smart enuff ta figure out by r selfs
  • Evidently Google/Android's own developers need to learn to work "withing the new framework" as well since their own file manager cannot copy contebts from one micro SDXC card to another. I purchased 2-128gb cards for my new Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2 which when I bought it, worked so that I could save files to the SDXC scards. This is my primary device. Then an update happened at build 90 I believe and access to my own data was taken away. I hear what you are saying yet somehow allowing ANYTHING to be saved to the coud but not on my local, removable storage reeks of beeing shoved into the looming business model in the works for over a decade - get the data on server farms, where engineers for AT&T, Verizon, et all are singig from the rooftope they are installing bifurcating switches that allow ALL data to be tapped. You don't thing the NSA Is building storage facilities 7x the size of the Pentagon for kicks, do you? And I fail to see how allowing me to store my data on a removable SD card, in a hierarchical directory structure with the highest order directore being "Userdata" is causing a "mess" all over Google's precious locked down Linux kernel. If you cannot see the social revolution occurring around you don't be surprised someday if your door gets kicked in because of some titty picture you have "in the cloud," if that is you taste. Those who fail to see the patterns in history are destined to be doomed by them. We are now living an a corporate oligarchy. Are you honestly so naiive that you think this is about developer conformity? Sorry. but the guy you tole to calm down was not NEARLY strident enough. I have no idea how old you are or what your educational background is (not saying Harvard or Yale or Princeton, but how much you read multifaceted views of an issue) but you would do well I think to study some history, particulrly before WWII, back a little further just before the Incorporation of the "United States" and follow some of those leads out to see who was in power positions and who was under boot heels. It is never the "just calm down crowd." Look at Tibet. We are no longer in an age where peaceful civil disobedience is an effective tool. Do you read the Congressional Record? What abut Executive orders? How about the Patriot Act, National Defense Authorization Act, U.N. Agenda 21? Do you know what posse comitus, codex alimentarius and extrtaordinary rendition are? What about FISA? Are you aware FISA warrants are ot being obtained an "analysts" for the NSA are free to pore over your personal phone conversations in their entirety just by filling out a webform. So, how on earth could you begin to think this invasion of our privacy is okay? If you knew the real reason these relational databases are being populated with seemingly inane statistics you would be likely to not believe it until they come knocking for you. So, whicil it is about the "flexibility of the operating system to you" on that count plenty of Linux developers would argure with you vehemently about that one. Google/Android has taken an open source kernel in the public domain and made is just a nefarious as the others. And for mem it is about the first 10 ratified amendments to the Constitution that comprise the Bill of Rights and our Constitutionally guaranteed right to privacy and the right to "abolish the cause to which we are accustomed," which is becoming an increasigly corporratist oligarchy. It is about Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Harvey Milk, the Suffragettes, the Stonewall riot, The American and British aristocracies brokering a deal with the Nazis so no one would find out that Prescott Bush, Alan Dulles, Fritz Thyssen, the Holland American Trading Corporation, Union Banking, the Carlyle Group, Hallliburton are now closing ranks upon us. It is more thatn an OS. It is a means of free speech with a reasonable expectation of privacy. Having my data vulnerable on a server farm or internal storage of a device that can get enought ambient energy to be manipulated remotely. They cannot keep our passwords safe and we are going to ust trust them with our data, which is intellectual property? Sorry, do not mean to insult you and I am ot a nut. It just amazes me how naiive so many of my countrymen and wome are and that is why America is going to the dogs - because people do not educate themselves to see the patterns of history, No offense intended, I just watn you to think about this because unless you are as old as I am, it is going to effect your and your family much more than I and I put my neck out there on the chopping block regularly so younger people have a smidgen of a chance at freedom. Don't be fooled into thinking information is not powerful and you needn't be aware of it. Thank you. Ed S.
  • Oh yeah, this is really big on conspiracy thinking.
    As a german with expierencies of primitive Stasi and by stories from my parents and grandparents from Gestapo, I am sure You cannot be paranoid enough if a seriouis moneymaking company is concerned about your safety or wellfare but does urgently try not to mention how they benefit from their ideas of doing you something good.
    And a goverment or govermental agencies legalizing acts of invading your private area and circumventing the normal legal ways and so bothersome things like judges and their annoining ways (USAPATRIOT ACT) are seriously trustworthy. So, I see the technical problem for handling with the SDCard on FAT filesystem. So just change that, Windows users can access the files through the USB Connection or by filemanagers on the phone, Linux users ( and I would guess MAC users also) are capable to manage EXT filesystems. But is my phone or tablet, it is my responsibility to handle it right.
    If I am too dumb too handle it, I would have to buy a new one (Galaxy S4), or an iPhone, where I am protected from myself. It is my money. Thanks for this discussion. It is sorely needed.
    Sorry for the English. MS
  • with the announcement of the card reader database from tag readers on all police cars in America going to a db the dea and other government functions can accurately try to know what people's driving patterns are, and the other file made public about police being directed to drive their tag reading cars through the parking lots of gun expos, anyone in any forum with any mentality can argue with this. It is a definite move from Google for a definitive reason, cowtowing to the feds to make another database that can be trolled to add to profiles of innocent citizens.........
  • You do realize how much of a "crazy conspiracy theory" that sounds like, right? Google has numerous problems with SD-Cards, but most of them revolve around the fact that fans of "other" devices use the inherent problems with SD-Cards as ammunition to try and give Google and Android a bad name. As the previous poster said, eventually apps with be updated and we will all look back on this and realize how silly we're being. Just like has been done before when Google made major changes to Android.
  • Gonna have to agree with you Tenshi
  • Conspiracy theory? Like Planned obsolescence? You can still believe in kind-hearted, benevolent, and misunderstood big corporations if you wish, but the facts are that apps are becoming bigger and bigger, already reaching 2GB and more. Changes that Google implemented are making almost all low-end and mid range phones with small internal memory unusable.
  • Which are the "fans" of "other" devices that tries to give the inherent problems with SD cards to try to give google and android a bad name? :P Certainly never heard of that. Would love a link to the source materials.
  • Just comments I've seen are on different sites. All the claims that Android is "riddled" with malware, even if it is based on ignorant assumptions and misunderstanding of the facts. That sort of thing.
  • Yeah and a huge user base that dawrfs their's. Why because we can use our phones the way we see fit, not the way some spoiled children say we have to in California. The idea Google is protecting us is foolish. How's this make am option, check, and I bet you will find most phones with that option to use sd checked. If this stays, I am not buying another android anything period.
  • This sounds like wishful thinking. Once something that worked has been taken away, it won't be returning.
    Once people are used to having less functionality, they will not suddenly get it back.
    Google wants Android to be a walled garden like iPhone, and this is another step in that direction...
  • Google's not stupid. They know that they have "conquered the world" because they're *not* Apple. They'd be shooting themselves in the foot to go the "walled garden" route. The loss of functionality, here, is not nearly as bad as people are making it out to be. Granted, there may be some apps that never get updated to properly write to the SD card, but that's on the app developer, not Google. Changes to the OS are *going* to happen as Android matures, and some of those updates are going to be momentarily painful. It's the nature of software development.
  • Except they are now taking the walled garden approach of Apple.
    Given how they've broken SD cards, I can genuinely not think of a single reason to pick Android over iOS.
    This bug is not nearly as bad as it sounds like for people who didn't use the functionality that's lost. For people like me who were heavy users of their SD cards, it's absolutely massive, and means that Android has become pointless.
    Google just went the Apple route, and I wonder how many of the people making up excuses for Google, are the same ones who would call people doing the same for Apple mindless fanbois.
    And no, this is entirely on Google to take such basic functionality away for no good reason.
    Security you say? Why didn't they do it to the internal storage where all the real gold is?
    The SD isn't likely to hold anything that isn't available on torrent sites anyway.
  • The internal storage *does* work this way, and always has. It's actually a lot more restrictive than what they've done to the SDCards. The difference is that the apps were written with this in mind. And no other reason to choose Android over iOS? Really? How about data sharing between apps, being able to choose default apps, the fact that we *can* still access our devices file system. Should I continue, or are you done being a drama queen?
  • You must have had a different type of Android from mine. All my Android phones, HTC/Samsung/Sony, and tablets, Nexus/Sony, have allowed me to do what ever I wanted to do with the internal storage. I haven't even needed to root them. Now *that* is a security hole. Preventing users from writing to their SD cards is a bug, not a feature. And no, there are plenty of reasons to pick iOS over Android now, and few, if any to pick Android over iOS.
    You're the one who is being overly dramatic in your defence of Google. If you have ever accused anyone of being an 'Apple Fanboi', I hope you can see the irony...
  • All your prior phones allowed you to do whatever you want with the emulated sdcard mount, which is stored on the internal storage, but is not the sake thing as internal storage. The data partition of the internal storage, where apps store settings and such, is more restricted than the sdcard is now. You can't even directly access that data without root. And it's always been that way and nobody thought that was a problem.
  • Then why is 128GB micro sd cards a HOT item. This makes Google look STUPID and a lot more like APPLE.
  • I'm sorry, but I'm presently stuck running Kitkat on my phone, which clearly demonstrates that Google is, in fact, that stupid.
  • Yes, for me, Google IS STUPID. I bought an android phone with 1 GB and 4 GB and still cannot install any application because it is always "not enough storage space". Yes, again, GOOGLE is STUPID.
  • What kind of person can fit *ALL* of their music on a 32gb phone? Someone that has a very small amount of music and/or very shitty quality mp3 files, I guess.
  • Soooooo true. This is exactly what I was thinking. Again, all about greed.
  • I rather think Google has an issue with removable storage because with extSD you can choose to effectively remove information from nosey Google.
  • That is why I went Android, despite owning three Macs. And now its why I'm leaving Android. At least when Apple rips me off incredibly for for extra memory, they let me USE it. I'll keep my Shield Handheld as its an emulating BEAST! But I came to Android to get AWAY from expensive, non upgradable storage. And Root Kits and Unlocked boot loaders are not the vistas of freedom Android users promised me for switching. In the end, a Fanboi is anybody defending a system that is not meeting their needs. I have given Android three tries, and in the end between lockdown and its use of a proprietary Windows protocol to load files, its not doing it for me. Whats wrong with letting it mount as USB storage? I've been an iOS user since it started. And I know what lock down is. Google trying to be Apple Junior and lock me down to its ecosystem is really sad. I thought Android was supposed to be freedom?
  • "Google wants to monetize storage. Get us all using Google Drive, i.e. "The Cloud" and then when everything we need and love is stored on "The Cloud" bend us over and empty our pockets." This is the most important thing and people must take note. Power is how many people you can control, and through history humans are power - control freaks. Stay independent, use the cloud carefully or not at all.
  • Quite right. Now that I've upgraded I see no problems with my music player (PowerAmp), ebook reader (CoolReader) reading things off the card. Those apps were obviously updated. I'm assuming from what I've read that the same is true of MX Player Pro, advertised as being able to delete files from SD Card under KitKat, but haven't tested it yet. I do see issues with some File Manager programs moving files on the card. They can search--but nothing else. Really, this is an annoyance, but I assume app makers will work with it and things will get better.
  • If apps can't access anything except for it's own folders, 3rd party file manager like ES File Explorer will become useless, unless they create a closed echo-system of folders it "owns and shares" to other apps and external connections (PC via USB or OTG-connected storage). Google just turned all it's phones into I-phones without I-tunes. Life without my Jelly Bean device will be hard, but I'll never do KitKat as it is.
  • sigh .. partly true. I hated the app centric file system of the iOS and I hope Google don't continue down this route.
  • Apps can still *read* from anywhere, but can only *write* to their own folder.
  • I don't think you seem to grasp the gravity of the problem. WRITING FILES IS WHAT WE WANT AND NEED TO FREAKING DO. the primary problem here is its my damned property and they are stripping me of command and control of my own property. That is not acceptable. I wont even buy a note 4 if this issue is not corrected and by corrected I mean this cripple ware function summarily removed. Period.
  • Dude this article is more than a month old, give it up. If you dont want to buy any more android phones because of this small change then don't.
    We really don't care.
  • I think you misunderstand. I have no problem with this change, personally. I'm just replying to comments that I'm still getting notified about this subject because I think a lot of people misunderstand what's been changed and think that this is going to cause far more of an effect than it really is.
  • Well I guess it depends on how you use your device. I use mine as a full featured pocket computer that is a computer first and a phone second. For users like me this change is rather significant. Sure. Right now I can change a line once rooted to undo the crippling change but what happens when this crippling is so Integrated that we can not change it.? Its bad enough that I can no longer plug my phone into the computer to manipilate my files because of mtp. Now I wont even be able to manipulate my files on device without hacking it and hoping they dont close the hack? I will be forced to dismantle my phone on a near daily basis to get to the sd card? This really sucks for people like me.
  • nerys,
    what you don't seem to understand is that this isn't a change to android as a whole and it's not Google trying to take away normal filesystem access from us, Normal write anywhere access still exists on internal ext filesystems, because they can control access via's not an attempt to lock us out of the filesystem like iOS does.
    On my internal storage of my N5 with 4.4.2 I can move and copy files anywhere I like on the virtual internal sd card, because it uses a filesystem that can be properly permissioned and sensitive information can still be kept secure. It's a kludge fix that applies to sd cards only to the security issues that sd cards present because the type of file system they use fat or fatx doesn't support any kind of permissions so apps can't protect sensitive information that you might want to store on the sd card. Their really is no other way that Google can ensure that apps can protect any sensitive information they store on the sd card, because the filesystem used by all sd cards doesn't support permissions, which was chosen partly due to the fact that sd cards can be used between different systems an filesystems with permissions don't work well in that environment. No other Mobile OS provides the amount of control and customizability of Android, this really is just an attempt to address a huge security hole. Not a conspiracy.
    Also because it's a fix for sd cards only and not a change to how android handles all files and android is open source you should always be able to get a custom rom.
    even if it has to be AOSP based, that opens up this huge security hole for you.
    But it's at your own risk.
    Google wants to be taken seriously by business's and addressing this security risk was the first step.
  • what you don't seem to understand is I don't care about access to internal memory. its largely useless to me except to install program. its physically insecure and too limited crippling when full. I don't USE internal space. I let my program use it but I myself don't use it. I mean I only have 32gb of internal memory paybe 24gig available to me. that amount of space is so small its of no concern to me. I USE MY SD CARD. of which I have 128gb I consider 64gb to be way to small I REALLY wish they would start install dual SD slots. I would really like to shove two 128gb cards into this thing. I don't know what's hard to understand that security is simply not a major concern for the SD card to me. I don't care. at all. not even a little. My security is my brain. GIVE me an option to disable such a stupid feature. I WENT with android because it respected my property rights. little by little google is stripping my property rights from me. MTP has already rendered PC access to my phone all but utterly useless. I can't even work with or view files on the phone AT ALL any longer without first copying them to the PC and of course that takes 3-4 times longer. with my note 2 I could hack UMS back in for at least the External SD card (which is all I care about) I have yet to find a successful way of doing this on the Note 3. any idea how hard it is to dismantle a Zero Lemon equipped Phone to get access to that damned SD card? I have tried OTG solutions but they are abysmally slow. Grrrr. No offense but the N5 is junk to me. no space. "Also because it's a fix for sd cards only and not a change to how android handles all files and android is open source you should always be able to get a custom rom." In case you have not noticed google and samsung are making custom roms "nicely difficult" to use lately too and you fail to understand I REALLY DON'T CARE how the operating system handles its own files. google can lock that up or whatever and I don't care that is between then and the devs. the problem is this change screws with the files "THAT MATTER TO ME" ie MY FILES. Who said anything about a conspiracy? I simply recognize that GOOGLE recognizes that a walled garden more locked down system once they have everyone hooked is more profitable. that is not a conspiracy. that is SOP for corporations. How about implementing that programs use a specified segment of internal memory only for "sensitive" information and then LOCK DOWN THAT memory and leave my damned SD card alone.
  • ...and gimme back my adb push to SD...I'm not cracking open that ZeroLemon case either. If it's just to rein in apps, why lock out shell?
  • If you were happy before KitKat don't upgrade switch back to a previous version of Android. Google's not stopping you. Use Jelly Bean or Ice Cream or ... there all still out there.
  • TenshiNom, it was supposed to be a comment in response to nerys
    I think we've hit a maximum amount of nesting in this forum or something.
  • lol. I see that. Sorry :) Nice summary on your other reply, too.
  • Thank you!
  • Thank you very much for posting! Two of the apps that you referenced (Power Amp and CoolReader) were what concerned me. I have the majority of my mp3 music collection (40 GB) loaded on my S4's SD and access it via PowerAmp. Verizon just announced the update for these phones & it would be a huge loss if I could no longer access my music files. Thanks again!
  • I also use powerAmp. And no, it most certainly does not work properly any more. Having the option of deleting files from card was huge. Now we have to go into file mngr to delete. First, search for album to delete, next search for album art to delete. Then pray that every time you delete, there's no leftover files, which will add up over time.
  • You only read with those apps. It's write that's broken.
  • Try to edit file tags with PowerAmp. You can't. Unless you go through a ridiculous, convoluted and time consuming process involving the moving of files to and from where PowerAmp can write to. If you have a very large music library, as I do, this situation really, really sucks, and I knew nothing about it until I had paid for the phone (S5) and redownloaded the app. I'm just waiting to see what else is crippled.
    What I see is people on one side who just use everything in the most basic, prescribed way, defending this mess, & any kind of power user feels like their right arm was amputated while they slept.
    I hope you're right, and app devs respond & Android becomes useful again. Otherwise....
  • Problem is it's not just phones that it broke. Tablets are affected also. I understand the lifecycle of hardware/apps. Google initiated the update knowing it would break use of sdcards. It would have been nice if they at least provided a file manager that worked with the update so you could at least move files around.
  • Read through the wall of comments and a lot of conflicting comments about "Openness". Windows Mobile had do what you want or what you can with your device. (Most limited Windows Mobile Phone I ever used was the heavily locked NEXTEL i930/920
    Microsoft was " too" lax on Device requirements and standards causing huge Fragmentation and leaving any innovation up for grabs.(HTC worked wonders re-skinning WinMo to be Finger friendly -moving away from Stylus dependency -Or adding Capacitive multi-touch to a single touch OS) Microsoft took a more consumer friendly approach loosely shadowing Apple by making Windows Phone far more limiting than the previous Windows Mobile. Many, like myself, when forced to move off Windows Mobile went to the next most "open" OS - "Rooted Android". I have never used un-rooted Android for more than 6-hours on my personal devices. Android without Root is like a soon to be unsupported Apple Device - runs smoothly for so long and then no fix as the device is no longer supported. I use a Nexus Device, Nexus 5, and do not have the Sd-card issue. I do use USB OTG (my music files and movies will not fit on my 16GB phone model.) I am able to download media onto USB storage devices and play playlists from these devices with ease. I am assuming that without " root" access I would have run into an issue trying to use USB-OTG storage with the normal File manager drag/drop-read/write; which would have yielded a similar "broken" experience I see many complaing of. This brings me back to the conflicting comments about "openness" - If you do not have "root" and are complaing about Google locking you down with a Walled Garden - then yes you are correct. But if you are really wanting to be free to use your device as you want, then you should have "root" access in which this sd-card permissions can be worked-around as that is the purpose of having "root" to alter the device operation to tailor to your needs. P.S. - Those that mentioned being able to access System files without "Root" on a late model Samsung, have me scratching my head. Samsung with their implementation of "Knox" is one of the least "Open" big name Android Phone Supplier; aside from the Google Play Editions. Bootlocked Note 3's were not what I would call "Open" and I don't think the Note 4's will be more "arms-open" for root or OS tweaks than its predecessor.
  • I totally totally agree with you bro. .
    It's seem Google is trying to become another Microsoft in shoving it's product inside our throat forcefully. . it seem it had become a norm for companies,developers to become arrogant once they perceive themselves as umbero uno in the market. . They forget that we have no dearth of geniuses today who will come out with better alternatives tomorrow and once they comes it will be bye bye android and Google. .. It will of coarse not happen today or in near future but rest assure this type of arrogant attitude towards the respect and trust we gave Google will , in a decade or two, obliterate Google from the IT field. .
    As a protest i am un installing Google search , hangout and Google plus from my mobile and lap top. .i appeal to every one else to do the same. .Aldo As soon as i have done money i am going to replace this android mobile with a widow one. .
    Go to hell all the developer team of Google Android because moving audio,pictures and video file to sd card was the only way i could have saved so many precious moments of my life. .
  • HI, Just adding my voice to this unwanted KitKat update. I understand the reasoning, however there are other ways of fixing it. Google could probably have allowed programs to take possession of folders on external SD and used cookies to control it. In other words, if there is no cookie to a folder registered in the programs INI (or whatever Android calls these control files), then it doesn't get to write there. Then allow the user to right to assign permissions. IMO. I REALLY hate this new restriction in KitKat! Incidentally, I don't eat their chocolate bars either. =D
  • And thank you for responding to someone's question without a second thought of actually answering it. Sent from my phone that nobody cares which phone it is.
  • Dude, your signature is 24 words long, your message was TWO. Be a nice guy to those of us on mobile browsers by leaving out the signature when it's longer than your comment. I'm sure your wife's phone wouldn't mind.
  • mmm that is strange. Samsung is the only OEM that still support moving apps to SD ... you do know that? Unless t-mobile version actually disable the support.
  • But...your music purchases don't go to the sd card right? Since Google wants us to upload to the so called cloud. Posted via Android Central App
  • Unfortunately no, in fact i still cant find the data on a non-rooted phone. They need to give the option to download it (not just pinning). Posted via Android Central App
  • Pinning does download it. It just goes into the app's data folder in the root folder, so you can't access it. Also they download it in a format that won't let you just move it out of there to somewhere else. So you do download it, you just can't access the download except through the app.
  • At least on jelly bean, I found the location of that pinned music. It can be moved, I did it. However, it is not filed with the file name of a song but rather with a number. So, good luck trying to figure out which song you're looking for. It would be quite an arduous process. Posted via Android Central App
  • I tried that with a Google Play movie a while back and managed to find it on my N7gen1 without root. Whole reason was so I didn't have to download it again (and again...) on another 'droid running the same account that the movie was linked to but no dice. Despite managing to wifi it outta the N7gen1, I had no luck getting it to play on another device with the proper account. Haven't tinkered with the issue since so the requirement that movies be launched via the Google app is very likely, perhaps more so since I fiddled with the issue.
  • That's why I just buy from Amazon MP3.. That pinning stuff is for the birds. Google Play music reminds me of iTunes.. yuck.
  • Without the snob factor. Yuck in-bloody-deed.
  • When you purchase from Amazon MP3, can you move that song to your SD card?
  • Why should it remind you of iTunes? Unless it has changed in the several years since I used it, in iTunes you purchase proper AAC music files with no DRM.
  • Actually, you can now tell your music where to pin (download) to. Either internal or external (SD card) storage.
  • I use a program called diskdigger to retrieve deleted photos. If the card is still readable then it might work. It's free too. To a certain extend. Caution though, it will retrieve ALL pics and video.
  • Try this: -Using a microSD adapter, insert the SD card into a computer
    -Click start (on Windows), type "cmd", right click and run as admin, or press control+shift+enter
    -Find which drive the SD card is using in Computer
    -On the command prompt, type, "chkdsk X:\ /f" then press enter. Also run the command "chkdsk X:\ /r", where X is the drive letter.
    -Gold? This technique has saved many SD cards that I've worked with, though I haven't linked the issue to KitKat, but rather just random errors detailing the state of the card, that being corrupted. Worth a try though.
  • A lot of what you said is pretty erroneous, but your last statement is ridiculous. Samsung and T-Mobile may work great for you but not for everyone else.'s the best part of Android. Posted via Android Central App
  • That's just his signature. It has nothing to do with anything ever.
  • .
  • He's serious about this guy/gals. So pay attention folks!
  • You can tell because it's almost all CAPS.
  • Yeah. I was wondering how long it would take to see this post. I swear he has a custom keyboard where he has to hit the Shift key for each letter he wants lower case. Lol Posted via Android Central App
  • That's right, you tell'em. You is so smart and articulate. Wow. Posted via Android Central App
  • Utterly useless comment, Habiib.
  • Lulz Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.
  • I thought it was funny being that most of Richard's comments are useless. Lol
  • I think you might be overreacting. Just an itty bitty little bit... just maybe? ಠ益ಠ
  • Is he? They are strong words, but, the locked down user experience for SD cards is really 1990's. No flexibility at all.
  • Yes. Yes he is. ಠ益ಠ
  • Of course he is. DON'T YOU USE ALL CAPS WHENEVER YOU TYPE, TOO? /s Posted via Android Central App
  • But his frustration is real. Why not vent it in text format. I am thinking of wasting some time going back to Verizon to take back my S5 because of this issue. Its nonsense to have a short and memory and be held hostage by Google. That's no joke. If people stop buying phone if they come with kitkat maybe that will give people a hint.
  • Normally I would say "go fuck yourself Richard" or something similar but the guy has a point. I haven't seen anything positive come out of kit kat other than less RAM usage. Google has been busting some shady shit with Kit-kat and taking privilege from us (the user). The whole reason I switched from IOS is the "freedom" that is slowly being taken away. LG G2 running CM = PERFECTION
  • Closing a huge security hole isn't "anything positive"? That's what the loud, mildly inconvenienced buttheads like Dick up there ignore. This was a pretty serious security problem. The fix isn't perfect, but as jerrypinted out, short of abandoning FAT, there isn't going to be a perfect fix.
  • exactly ... ironically i reshared this on g+ where he's King Troll abs mentioned him by name since he's been spewing this error ridden pile of nonsense for weeks now ... yarrell is so ungodly clueless to how things work Posted via Android Central App
  • It doesn't matter security reasons or not they should give you the option to do whatever the hell you wanna do Posted via Android Central App
  • If you want that, you can ROM your phone. Google has a responsibility to their users to provide a reasonably secure ecosystem. This was a BIG hole. Now it's closed.
  • What?! You mean companies are responsible for their products? /s "Yeah, let me do what the hell I wanna do!"
    Few weeks later: "What! My phone is completely fucked up! What the hell happenned? I'm gonna sue the hell out of you!"
  • I would prefer they abandon FAT. I want a journaled FS. I want a CHMOD utility. I just can't rely on the F-ing cloud, 32GB is way too small, and storage should be removable at all time. It's time phones started to be made with a universal, standard, removable SSD with a file system which can be unlocked and decrypted by any other device as long as the user and logon is correct.
  • You could make your SD card exfs, if you want, but then you wouldn't be able to read it if you plugged your phone into a pc. Your idea is Joe, but you're talking about every software OS developer suddenly deciding to hold hands and sing kumbaya. Probably not going to happen. The SD cards use fat by default because it's so old, that's it's universally readable.
  • closing an allege security loop that can be easily mitigated in such a heavy handed and hamfisted way is NOT something positive. and really, Google should have sought more consultation and realised that SD card support is still highly valued by users. The way they go about it is really high handed and akin to a slap in the user's face. and really, this is too reminiscent of iOS's stupid app centric file system and it really is not reassuring to see Google go down this route as well.
  • All this does is prevent apps from writing over each others data. They can still read from anywhere on the SD card, just like they always have. And if it's *really* a problem for you, root and you can fix it with a minor modification to a text file. You people are going off the damned deep end about this thing, and it's really not that big of a deal.
  • So what you are saying is that this is, in fact, NOT a security related feature? I mean, thank god Google still allows data mining instead of overwriting my Angry Birds backup save data (A little devil's advocate here, as I do see some security reasons for it. But it does not fix the gaping hole completely). Do not get me wrong. I am not going to raise a pitchfork and torch or anything. But this "Security" argument is fairly moot if they can still read data unrestricted. Key loggers only need to read data. A security hole is still present. (But if they get rid of read rights as well, then SD Cards are completely useless). Sadly though, I feel the same way about Microsoft as I do about Google and this situation. Leave everything up to me. I specialize in hardware and software. I understand risks and know how to mitigate them myself (for one thing, people need to learn to read permissions and weigh the "Which ones does it REALLY need" versus the "Which ones does it NOT need". It pretty much spews intentions when your RSS app wants to access your call log...). Not everyone can be given complete freedom of choice and know how to use it properly, which is where corporate concern comes in (ask Hitler. He had complete freedom and made some bad choices). So I guess part of the blame falls on the users. If everyone knew how to spot malicious apps for themselves, Google wouldnt have to attempt to "fix security" (even when they fail fairly miserably).
  • Oh, and that comment was aimed more globally than at you, Tenshi. You just gave an amazing segue into my counter-argument against the "Security" claims being spouted. No ill intention towards anybody. It would be naive of us if we did not understand it was a shoddy security fix that also aligns nicely with Google's profit margins (Though by no means am I saying that was the reason for the change). And to those screaming, "Google is taking our ability of choice"... get real. Only you can give that away. If it was that easy there would not be any iPhone users. They choose to use iPhone. If it was only about the bottom line and Google was able to take your power of choice from you android devices would be completely locked down and provide even less freedom than they do now. You have a choice still. Exercise it. Move to another type of phone. Root your device. The only difficult decision in the matter is, "Should I trip Knox?" Go ahead. Make the choice. :)
  • I do agree that it was definitely not a "perfect" solution. The "security" aspect of it was that an app, with just a permission to write to the SD card, could potentially crate a file on the SD card and then "trick" another app with greater permissions into executing some code. Again, how this works is not terribly different from how internal storage works. Not the "emulated SD-Card" on internal storage, but the actual internal storage where apps store data like saved games, high scores and login info. You can't access that data without root, either.
  • Between you, Tenshi, and Khai, that bright spark at Google that thought locking down removable, "universally accessible" file systems was a good idea must be in fear of their job. Given the amount of work devs would likely need to commit to fiddle with permissions in order to use the SD card as they have previously, you'd think it'd have been easier disable Move-To-SD and then tell them to keep all their sensitive information on the internal storage, including any "executable" code files and treat the mass-storage SD card as storage rather than some god-send swapfile's pseudo home.
  • I call crippling my ability to access my property a security problem.
  • Do you really think it's for our safety? CMon. That's a laugh.
  • Agreed "How'd you get the beans above the frank?"
  • Classic.
  • Or, we could have some civility and not use profanity for no apparent reason. I would like to think that everyone one here is intelligent enough to get their point across without having to resort to this type of language...I mean come on, we are not a bunch of Apple fan boys.
  • Aside from the jab at Apple fanboys (justified or not ;) ), I completely agree.
  • Its the sad tragic ending of what started to be such a COOL OS. Now its broken and if you are a verizon user (as I am) and can not root without tripping the knox your phone you are hosed. Its a sad day for me when it was supposed to be such a happy one with a new S5. Now I just regret upgrading.
  • STFU Richard.
  • What? Couldn't hear you bro, can you speak up please? Period.
  • Who let you out of the loony bin?
  • I have to agree with you this time. I understand that they really want to sell their cloud business. I mean, look at the pitiful amount of storage space on Chromebooks. The c7 was the only sensible option though that was later "improved". But they shouldn't be allowed to force this unto consumers. This move should have been obvious since the release of ICS.
  • this isn't some attack on sd cards and intention to force users into their cloud.
    It's a massive security issue that they are addressing and google's stance on SD cards has been clear for a very long time. There are so many ways OEM's can address this. Include larger internal memory or maybe reformat sd cards to ext. It's been long documented that users very rarely if ever remove sd cards. Again this isn't about attacking sd card users, it's a security issue.
    But all SD card zealots hear is your attacking me and trying to force me to use the cloud.
    It's a really sad victim mentality that sd card lover's have adopted.
    they interpret everything as an attack.
  • This does not in any way address the risk that all your content stored on internal storage is exposed to if your phone dies or breaks. I store all my photos & videos on my microSD card add well as all my app backups. If for example I dropped my phone and broke it I can simply pull the card and get all the data off it or put the card in a new phone and be back up and running within minutes. If that was on internal storage it would be for all intents and purposes lost to me. Also having all my important stuff on a microSD card makes it much easier & faster to set up my phone when I flash a new ROM.
  • No one said it addressed issues if your phone breaks. I addresses security issues from malicious code. SD cards can fail just as easy as a phone. Sd cards aren't a replacement for backup. I backup all photos videos and contacts to the cloud when on WiFi
  • Exactly. I learned this the hard way myself a few years back. Thankfully, there are plenty of options to have things like photos upload to a cloud storage space automatically. So, hopefully, I will never again lose hundreds of photos of my kids.
  • Which means your either filtby rich/lucky you have your own servers and I sanely fast network connection or yoj dont actual make stuff with your phone. Today alone I added over 12gig of pics and video to my 128gb sd card. Want to take a WILD guess how long it would take me to copy that to the "cloud" something I would never do even if I could do it fast be ause I can not own or control the "cloud" If google wants to make it an option? Great. Do it. Want to turn it on by default? Great. Do it. Give me the damned option to turn what I see as a stupid crippling function off. I will handle my own security just fine thankyou without destroying functionality. I consider nexus stuff to be junk nearly as bad as icrap. No sd no remv battery.? Automatic junk in my book.
  • The update *doesn't* prevent you from using the SD Card. It simply prevents apps from writing to areas of the SDCard where they haven't been granted explicit permission. There is *zero* reason you can't still use the SDCard to store your photos and videos. Now, if you've got 3rd party apps that want to store photos on the SDCard, they will have to be updated to write to the SDCard properly, so you might see some of those apps break temporarily, but it hardly prevents use of the SDCard.
  • Couldn't you technically CMOD the folder to be open access to all..??
  • No, because the SD card is fat32, it has no permissions. That's a big part of the reason for this change. What you can do, if you're rooted, is open up the platform.xml file in your system folder and re-allow apps to write anywhere. The full instructions are in xda. It takes less and two minutes, if you're already rooted.
  • btw won't this create unnecessary duplication of files just like iOS forces the apps to do? And I always hated how some apps created their own folder to store photos, and thus fragmenting all the photos in the gallery app when it is viewed using folder options.
  • Why would this create duplicates? I guess if you downloaded the same file twice or something, but apps can still *read* from anywhere on the SD card just fine.
  • Because if you install 5 camera apps like I have and I use all 5 now I cant combine all those images into one dcim folder. I would have 5 dcim folders. No thanks. Thats bs and thats just one minor annoyance.
  • What's the matter RY? Your precious Samsung still on jelly bean?
  • Buuuuulshiiiiit Posted via Android Central App
  • Hasn't anyone told you shouting in forums is just plain rude? plus your just plain wrong on so many facts. It's not really Google, it's the OEM who made your smartphone who didn't inform you.
    Google has made it's stance on SD cards very clear for years in it's nexus line, it wanted them to go away.
    Google isn't making users rely solely on cloud storage, my 32GB nexus 5 serves me very well.
    I use the cloud for some things and internal storage for other more frequently accessed things like music OEMS and users choose to ignore this and google had to finally do something at the operating system level to clear up the security problem.
    the problem here is poorly written apps that paid no attention to upcoming kit kat changes and a long overdue security fix. not some horrible injustice done by google. Apps will be updated to handle this change, just like with any operating system update that stops certain things from working, It's not really the end of the world. It's just a temporary problem that will be addressed by app developers.
    Certain apps breaking and having to be updated to support a new operating system is very common on all platforms.
  • I didn't bother reading your comment for two reasons. 1) It's in ALL CAPS. When I see that, I think this person doesn't know how to turn off his CAPS Lock key.
    2) It's in ALL CAPS. When I see that, I think this person thinks he has all the answers and is try to convince everyone that he is RIGHT! "Everyone else is stupid so listen to ME!" Yes, I felt the need to post this.
  • Love my unlocked boot loader. I'll try it, see what happens, and worse comes to worse, TWRP myself back to my previous ROM.
  • Yyyyyeeeeeeaaaaa... Right or wrong, that T-Mobile statement invalidates whatever is above it. T-Mobile has been a POS in place I've been to & every interaction I've been involved with it. Also, typing in all caps isn't a good look.
  • No carrier is going to take back your device because of an update you didn't like something about and there's no reason they should. Before you update your device there is a warning that updating is your choice & they lay out the changes and usually a link to a change log which it's your responsibility to read and understand before installing said update. This is the case with all 6 devices I've updated to kit Kat since it's release with more to come that I'm sure will be the exact same. There's ways to work around things and you just have to learn them if you care about doing things the way you were prior. I really don't get what all the fuss is about.
  • Thats just not true. First, I literally just got my replacement note 3 (brand new, in the box, still sealed) from tmobile. My stated reason: I do not like the update; it crippled my SD card usage which was the main reason I purchased the phone. Took all of one day to have the new device on my door step. There are numerous threads on tmobile support forums of hundreds of other users who are doing the same, or claimed to have done so already. My advice to those going down this path: be firm, polite, and persistent. If they wont cave, ask to be transferred to retentions and go through the motions of canceling your contract (I highly recommend the wherewithal to follow through: make it hurt the carriers as they have a louder voice than you do.) Back on point, I read people detailing two main solutions:
    1) the developer needs to update their app
    2) just use the built in file explorer to move files around. responses
    1) All the developer can do is update their app to write to a specific folder. This does not solve the problem of allowing a third party app to access that data. For example, if I wish to use adobe photoshop to edit a picture, it has to take the picture from the gallery folder, and any change I make to it is now stored under a new file that the adobe owns. I have now doubled the foot print of that one file, cluttered my gallery, etc. Going to a wider view, this means that any app that wishes to modify any file on the SD card, must first duplicate it to own it, before it can make any changes. Thats not a fix, thats a band aid. 2) The built in file explorers are ok, but usually limited in functionality. Furthermore, I don't like the extra step that's now required of opening yet another app to do something that used to be automatic. Navigating an entire new app just to do such a mundane action is asinine and really uncalled for. Which brings me to my next point: this is a strawman scenario. I have never read one story of an app running amuck with the SD card. Anecdotally, both my card and my wifes card are very clean with no random files being placed around unannounced by any app. Nothing has been modified by a third party app that wasn't user induced. The "security" hole they are claiming to patch is weak to non existent. If they are claiming that this access leaves SD cards messy and unreliable my response is, first "so", and second, what about internal storage? Its downright chaotic in there. Uninstalling apps leaves remnants all over the place there. No,it appears that their main concern is stopping piracy by limiting the sd cards capabilities (pirated APK's), and forcing a transition to the cloud. I know people want to yell paranoia at this point, but unless you back that up with google's efforts to offer a non cloud alternative, I see no basis for such a rebuttal. Their answer has always been, "just use the cloud dummy!" Combined with their attack on local storage, it leaves no alternative theories. Lastly, why does my unhindered use of the SD card vex others so much? If 32 gigs (or rather 26 gigs in most cases) is enough for you, great!! If you trust the reliability of both the cloud and your connection, great!!! I am truly happy for you. I, and many others (obviously) do not! We like to back up to the cloud for emergencies, but prefer the reliability of local storage. My use of local storage, and the ability to access it in a logical and unhindered way, does not hinder your ability NOT to use it at all. In fact, you can simply pretend you have no SD card slot and it would in no way affect your use or security. The opposite is not true for many of us: the removal of an SD card, its unhindered use and access, will greatly affect us. The qualitative, quantitative and logical choice then, would be to leave it alone and satisfy the largest segment of your market base. The opposite is not logical unless there is an alternative motive for that action, such as monitizing cloud storage in some form (farming, or charging). This is why we believe google is pushing for its demise and the growth of cloud storage: to remove local memory is simply not logical. I understand that you are passionate about how I choose to use my device; I do not understand why though.
  • You are absolutely right. "Security" is a pretext for this change, but definitely not a reason.
    If a had a reason to assume that an app might modify or destroy files without my consent, I would uninstall that app. Thinking that limited access rights on external SD cards improve security (while apps can do whatever they want on the inetrnal storage) isn't just wrong - it's insane.
  • Unlike the SD card, the internal storage does have permissions, so I can't believe that apps have unfettered access to the internal storage. They might have unfettered access to the data storage segment in internal storage, but I would have to look into that one.
  • If Google really didn't want anybody to use external storage why would they give you the option in Google Play Music to save pinned music to an SD card? Paranoid much?
  • I really with I had come across this information before. I had been too busy and had been putting off the 4.4.2 update until I could see what to expect and what was changed (I had been burned on previous upgrades). The upgrade notice kept jumping up full screen randomly and eventually, it popped just as I was pressing that area of my screen; less than 30 seconds later, my device was rebooting and installing the update. Now I don't know what to do about it; paid full price less than 5 months ago and now I'm not sure if I can use this piece of s***.
  • My PHONE the S5 came with this INSANITY and since its VERIZON you can not ROOT it.
    I am thinking about returning this thing and my wifes as well until this issue is addressed. HOW STUPID I feel for supporting google as OPEN and easy to work with.
  • I am new to android with a tablet I love (two weeks now). It came with jelly bean 4.2 and immediatly came a request to update to 4.2.2 which I surely did, immediatly after came a new request to update to kikkat 4 with a unusual long list of instructions I surely took care to read before hit update and the last ítem on the list was a warning I didn't fully understood, bit certainly enough for refrain myself from jumping into KitKat. My tablet has 16gb infernal storage and accept a microSD up to 32gb which I soon will get. That's enough form me.
    I usually don't read comments un CAP's but I made an excepción here and if I don't commend you for it I truly appreciate your comment. I think it is wise for me to stay away from KitKat and enjoy my jelly bean 4.2.2 (no option to update to 4.3, bit I al the only user here).
  • I wish i'd read this article and this exact comment earlier in the year before I went to KitKat :-(
    This SD card 'problem' has caused me no end of issues. Photos not saving, apps not working after update ( cos they were on the SD card before ) - It's been a bl**** ball ache, quite frankly. I must have wasted the best part of a week of my life trying to figure out if it was me, the phone, the OS or the SD card. moving stuff around, deleting stuff, re downloading apps to see if it works this time, now I am trying to free up enough space on the internal Storage to allow the Lollipop update on my 2013 S4 (UK), that needs 3GB (WtAf ??) of free space internally to run the update, which will apparently allow SD card access again. I have seriously considered going back to Apple cos of this. Such a ROYAL PAIN.IN.THE.ARSE. Thanks Google.
  • After having SD cards lose all my data several times in the past on several different devices, once I obtained my Galaxy Nexus, I personally have never looked back and can do without an SD card. But as a result of these SD cards failing I ended up backing up my cards data on a regular basis. You may be able to use a recovery tool but only if the card is readable.
    Hence why SD cards. I can take or leave them.
  • I have never had a SD card go bad on me, unless I actually "abused it". The SD card to die for me was the card in my tablet, that had come from my Galaxy S2/3, which died after continuous "rounds" of writing loads of movies to it, watching them from the card and then delete them again. Which obviously wears out a card sooner or later.
  • Yeah I never had an SD card die on me. My current one has even gone through a wash and dry cycle twice. Im not saying it wont die on me, but thats what my cloud back up is for. My local storage is there for instant access regardless of data connection. Plus, my data usage is very limited now (I have unlimited data plan up to 5 gigs, and then its slowed way down).
  • Not sure how you can fix it after the fact. But it's always a very good idea to back up your SD card onto your computer hard drive. It's a very easy thing to do, simply create a folder specifically for SD card backups, insert your SD card into your SD drive (if you don't have one you can obtain an SD/USB drive adapter for very cheap), and copy/paste the entire content into that folder. As a rule, I always back up my SD card before inserting it into a new phone, before installing any custom ROM, etc.
  • you can use SDFormatter programm . and you can fix them
  • Damn it Jerry! How will you win the Internet if you keep writing articles with logic and reason? Posted via Android Central App
  • lol
  • This is a classic case of "damned if you do, damned if you don't." Posted via Android Central App on my T-Mobile LG G2
  • Exactly.
  • The best option would have been to allow the user to format the card with a real, proper filesystem that Linux understands and can fully utilize- ext2/3/4. Then you could have full permissions. Few people ever pull their card out of their phone to use in an MS-Windows computer, anyway. And there are ways to get MS-Windows to understand ext2/3/4 (although it isn't simple). Most people just want the SD option for expandability and extra on-board storage, not for file transfer to computer (for that you can use Airdroid, or a cable and MTP, or a flash drive and OTG cable).
  • Our, how about an option of keeping the SD card formatted FAT, but having a virtual partition, like VirtualBox does on the PC, that Android can "safely" move apps into? Just a thought. Posted via Android Central App
  • That is "sort of" how Android used to handle moving apps to the SDCard. I think removing that feature had more to due with performance. Moving an app to the SDCard could cause performance and stability problems that your "average" user didn't understand. And, when those problems occurred, they would blame Android/Google, not their decision to move apps to the SDCard. That, I believe, was a PR move.
  • It (getting ext on Windows) is pretty simple actually. There is a nicely packaged, real driver I've been using for years on Windows. Install it. It 'Just Works'. I said, exactly what you said, minus that bit, to the minute in another post.
  • +1 I think this sums it up beautifully. I have my smartphone so I can be untethered from a desktop. If the price I had to pay for making it all work well on my phone was to not be able to read the card (or to be able to read it by jumping through some hoops) from my desktop computer, then I would choose that option every time. So who needs to make that happen? The Carrier? The Phone Maker? Google?
  • From what I know the S3 already does this. I haven't tried removing my SD card from my phone and attached to my computer. But I read about it when Samsung talked about "unified" storage as in that all storage is combined into one mass that can be used for anything, rather then segmented into userstorage, app storage etc.
  • What would happen if i'd format the MicroSD card to Ext2 myself? Would that fix things the permissions?
  • "Or it could just not care and take the stance that SD cards should only be used to store media, and should be kept separate from the operating system." I think this is how they feel. They make certain unpopular decisions and stick with them because they want us using our devices a certain way. It kind of reminds me of how they will not give the option of disabling the stupid conversation view in the Gmail app. An option that is standard in every single email app I have ever used and even in Google's web gmail. But, they feel they know best.
  • +1
  • Well if I wanted someone else dictating how I could use my phone I'd have bought an iphone.
  • +1
  • +1
  • +1
    That stupid conversation view is confusing sometimes. I want it off.
  • It's also possible that they haven't seen enough people wanting the ability to turn it off to justify the time and expense of re-writing GMail to support it being off. May sound a bit harsh, but the reality is that stuff like that costs big money, and runs the potential of "breaking" the system for others who are perfectly happy with the conversation view.
  • I don't have an SD card and I would love me some Kit Kat Posted from my Lg G2 over Sprint in Orlando
  • +1 million..! Posted via my SPARK enabled Sprint LG G2, that's constantly laughing at my wife's T-Mobile Galaxy Note 3 with borked sdcard support on 4.4.2...
  • MmMm Kitkats...
  • Personally, all I need is 32GB.
  • That is great for you, but no Android phone (that I am aware of) HAS 32GB. At most, maybe 28GB *usable* space. And I would greatly prefer 48 or 64...
  • Oh yeah no doubt. 32GB should be the absolute least on any phone.
  • htc one was available in 64 last year, no? Posted via Android Central App
  • Was there? I can't remember. If so, perhaps it was one of those "only on ONE vendor" type crap and, of course, it wasn't my vendor.
  • they weren't in stores i don't believe ... had to be ordered is my assumption Posted via Android Central App
  • Lets see. Pay $200 more for fixed 64gb built in or $119 for 128gb that I can move to any damned device I want. Cluing In yet? Crap I want samsung to put 2 sd slots in the phone so I can have 256gb of storage. 64gb was driving me nuts ALWAYS running out of space. It really irkes me that j have to dismantle my damned phone to access my data since this bullsh&# mtp Interface is both damned near useless and utterly insanely slow.
  • Go take a look at the content of you card or internal (whatever you have) and tell me do you access the majority of it on a regular basis. I have a 32 n5, 27 usable. 3gb apps 1.5 photos 3 for a backup (bout time for a new one actually) 3.5 cached play music and 6 in the misc. I have a couple movies and shows that I have yet to watch. ( I spend a lot of time commuting with the MTA). When I watch I delete cuz wtf I need it to stay for. And still have 8 left. So tell me how is it that you need 64 gb of data. You are hoarding on your phone and thats your problem Posted via Android Central App via the shiny new Nexus 5 and a half
  • I have a [so-called] "32GB" Nexus 5. First there are all the apps. Then my music collection would be 22GB. The remainder is my rescaled photo collection of 13,000+ photos. I want more space. And yes, I want my music and photos with me. And no, I don't think it is unreasonable to want it with me on my device. It all fit on my previous phone and with room to spare, an EVO LTE, which had something like 16GB internal storage and a TRUE 32GB card so I had perhaps 42GB (and I COULD have put in a 64GB card if I needed). And I could easily rsync it just like I do to backup and my laptop. Now with 27GB, it doesn't fit, so I CAN'T rsync anymore, and I have to have subsets of crap. Blech. It is 2014. It is not unreasonable to want more local storage. And it is also not unreasonable to not want to move BACKWARDS to lesser storage than what I had on my last THREE phones. (Otherwise I really love this Nexus 5).
  • With this security hole plugged, it's possible that Google might start being more open to the idea of an SDCard on future Nexus devices (although I doubt it, but who knows). That said, you can still store whatever you want on the SDcard. This new change only restricts *writing* to the SDCard, not reading.
  • I think I have 7.21GB free on my 32GB card and yes I use just about everything. Yeah, I like my music high quality and am now in the process of converting most of my songs to at least 320kbps mp3, m4a/mp4 or OGG vorbis or yes sometimes even Flac (much higher bit rate) . I use neutron media player coupled with my v-moda m80 headphones and I can tell the difference in the way files sound. They sound the best in FLAC of course. I was planning to buy a 64gb card but now I'm not so sure. The only other platform that has Neutron is BlackBerry and they are pretty much done. Any way, my point is that I use more space than you do, and would never use Google play music because it is too limited in features and is not capable of 64 bit play back. I also plan to get a portable day at some point to truly enjoy my music especially on my daily commute. Do you understand how different you and I are? Do you understand how different people's interests can be? Now you should just be more understanding of other people's interests. One size fits all doesn't apply here. Who are you to make such judgement and tell people that they are hoarding? When I look at what you say I could simply conclude that you are just compromising. You only have 3.5 GB of music, you use play music which is no where close to something like Neutron in terms of features, you use way too much data streaming. Oh, and sometimes Tmobile's network might go down, heck, sometimes Google's go down. What do I do then? I like having control over my media, not saying I don't use Spotify and Pandora, I just don't like my choices being cut off.
  • I'ts a personal choice to want a 64GB or 32GB phone..there's nothing wrong with that. I hate when people make arguments against more storage in favor of a person just minding their lower storage spaced phone instead. That's why we have options. I know for sure Samsung is going to screw people with the 16GB S5 and carriers will screw people over more with pricing of a 32GB model for those that want it because of how low the storage space will be on the 16GB model. Stop arguing against choice. It's not harming you in any way. If someone wants more internal storage in their phone, it's not your decision to make as to what is convenient for them as the user. It's not your phone.
  • I have a 128gb sd card in my note 3. I "move" on average 60 or 70 gig of data on and off my phone on a weekly basis. It drives me mad that it wastes hours of my life dealing with the god damned horrible mtp interface they shoved down my throat. I freaking want ums back. Really badly
  • Yeah my 32GB is almost used up smh..
  • yea it's been working out pretty well for me too Posted via Android Central App
  • I use my SD card everyday for storage of photos taken with the camera, and also to store my music on. I had loads of trouble once Google Play Music updated a few months ago, and ended up purchasing a 3rd party music app that has no trouble identifying ALL music stored in the path I designated as my music directory (unlike Google Play Music, which still has this issue). Does anyone know if KitKat will break applications which allow us (users/owners of the devices) to specify target paths, or does it allow the app to "lock in" the path we specify, but block all other paths other than its own installation directory? As for apps, I don't install them to SD, and don't plan to. I know the use of SD cards with Android has been problematic for some of us (often dependent on phone manufacturer/carrier), and this sounds like we're possibly going to take a step or two backwards in terms of managing our own storage space. Any advice/guidance on this is welcome...
  • Any app should be able to read all music on the SD card, though, only the owner app of the music can manage it. Which is the big problem with this solution.
  • The problem is that any photo (or sound) editing application will become unable to save back (or copy) modified media files in their original folders. Imagine that you need to use different apps of this type: storing all your pictures files in a single folder structure and still being able to edit and save them back in the same place wont be an option anymore. (and I assume that the "owner" of the files is myself, not an application, BTW).
  • Interesting, but I'm still confused. Does this mean office applications will not be able to open and change files in other folders?
    Currently, on my Note 10.1 2014, I have a folder that is synced with Dropbox through Dropsync (Dropbox Autosync). I can open and annotate PDF files using EzPDF, and when I close the EzPDF app, the files are saved and synced back to my Dropbox account (and the computer). But that means both EzPDF and Dropsyc have to have access to read and write the same folder. Currently, this folder is on the internal memory, but does this mean that I won't be able to move the folder to an external SD with KitKat?
    Also, why is it safer to give these two apps permission on all folders in the internal memory, but not on the external memory?
  • Google has API's to treat the files you mention as a content type. Both EzPDF and Dropbox can be updated with these new tools to share the folder if it were on the SD card. Of course, Google doesn't force developers to update their apps, so this may never happen.   The internal memory is different. A folder can be set for both ExPDF and Dropbox to have write permissions, be world readable, or private all while not allowing any apps or code to run that's inside that folder. This is because it uses a different file system than the SD card does.   One is not "better" than the other when it comes to file systems for storage. Both have very good points. It's just that the type of file system used on SD cards is unable to set permissions on a per app or per user basis.
  • Great, thanks for the help! Just one last thing: is it possible to see (and change) each folder's permissions on Android, like we can on Windows?
  • That's a change that only root should be able to make. When you edit something that affects any other app, it's a system-level change and shouldn't be open for just any application to do.
  • Makes sense... Thanks!
  • killing it Posted via Android Central App
  • but it should at least certainly be open for a user with admin right to see, isn't it?
  • Users don't have "admin rights" in Android. You're still thinking like it's Windows. Understand that newer versions of Windows don't use fat32 anymore, largely because of the problems we're dealing with right now. That's why you can set folder and file permissions in a newer version of Windows. As for "admin rights" in Android (or Linux) that's called "superuser" (often just referred to as "su"). You get superuser permissions on an Android device by "rooting" the device. Instructions on have to root most devices can be found on Understand, though, that rooting your device can open you up to far more security threats and should jot be done lightly, if you don't understand what the potential consequences are. If you do decide to obtain root, there are instructions, also on xda, that will explain how to re-enable apps to be able to write anywhere on the SD card. The change itself is actually *very* simple.
  • Knowledge... you has it.
  • Heck yeah he does! Jerry is the man!! Thanks for all the great info Dude.
  • They should just ditch the SD card ... internal storage is more than enough #nexus5
  • #foryou
  • # spot on
  • digital hoarders Posted via Android Central App
  • Only Google would put out phones andtablets without sd storage capability.aka anything nexus or moto. then do this with kitkat
  • You remember the fiasco about Apple dropping optical drives to push their cloud storage and Mac app sales? Oh yeah they did. So no, Google is not the only one that would do this.
  • Yeah..oh my..they have stuff they want to keep on their terrible...shut up.
  • you two read Jerry's article up there? the cards still work ... the devs need to change a little code ... it was done for security purposes ... follow along kiddies Posted via Android Central App
  • You're telling people they're hoarders for wanting more storage in their phones..far cry from the content I read in Jerry's article.
  • i'm specifically referring to the phenomenon of people storing everything they come across in a physical space ... dont argue just to argue ... i told you to read the article ... all of it ... to understand that the sd cards still work yet you come back accusing me of saying people are hoarders because they want more storage ... if anything by saying "digital hoarders" i'm accusing people of filling up storage because its there ... compulsively ... if they didnt have it they'd work with it and move on like most everyone who's left the sd card universe ... and from what i can tell its worked out fine
  • I beg to differ, if it wasn't available it would annoy me senseless and I would be looking for alternatives all the time, so the second an alternative was presented I would jump ship right away....
  • Yep. 8Gig is more than ample so we are told. Posted via my Motorola Startac
  • Only on the Nexus 4 -------------------------------------------
    You really should see the crap I don't post. Sorry if honesty offends you
  • My 16GB Nexus 4 begs to differ. Why don't you troll on some other board?
  • Umm... Trolling would be saying something incorrect to get a response. The Nexus 4 came in an 8gb model -------------------------------------------
    You really should see the crap I don't post. Sorry if honesty offends you
  • I totally agree with ditching the SD card slot altogether, but it has to be done by a company courageous enough to mark up storage options directly proportional to the amount it costs them. If they want a 100% markup on storage then the cost difference between 16gb and 32gb should be about 20.80. That’s after the markup! The premium on a 64gb model should be, post markup, around $85. Until a company is willing to actually compete instead of following the apple status quo for storage markup, SD cards are necessary. Imagine the goodwill (and profits) a 64gb HTC One or GS5 might garner if the markups were even $50 for the 32gb and $100 for the 64gb.
  • +1 We need MORE LOCAL STORAGE and they should not be raping the consumer for the cost. It doesn't cost that much to up the storage.
  • +1 "How'd you get the beans above the frank?"
  • Perfectly said. "How'd you get the beans above the frank?"
  • Typical stupid Nexus user comment. Why are you here,?????? (Plain and simple NOTHING beats SAMSUNG or TMOBILE PERIOD Posted from my 4.3 Jellybean Galaxy Note 3 via Android Central App)
  • Is funny when YOU criticize someone for having a narrow point of view. ಠ益ಠ
  • I was thinking the same thing!
  • +1
    Really wish you could hide people's posts in the comments.
  • +1 Or permanently block them. Posted via Android Central App
  • True but i think a good number if people agree with him, yours truly included
  • Typical hypocritical moron. As if a "nexus user" can't comment wherever he/she likes. Get a life
  • big fan of your work squiddy Posted via Android Central App
  • give him a break you guys ... he's only 48 ... just got his first gray pube ten years ago ... he'll mature and figure it out in a few years Posted via Android Central App
  • I have a 32GB CD Card, with 6 available. I need an SD Card because the phone makers don't provide you with enough internal memory. They charge you a ridiculous amount for anything more than 16GB. If they plan on doing away with SD Cards, they need to make 32 the new 16. I find it to be amazing that these companies have been stuck on 16GB as a standard.
    "How'd you get the beans above the frank?"
  • Unless your phone breaks or dies between the time you take photos or videos and the time those are uploaded to the cloud. In which case you've lost those forever.
  • Ever try uploading 4k video to the cloud? Hi t its about 1.8gb per minute.
  • I learned my lesson with my S4 Google Edition, when 4.3 broke the SD card writing thing etc. Real leary about having the SD card again. Would rather have the internal storage. Was surprised to see the HTC One with an SD card slot.
    Sent from my Moto X!
  • What are you using that shows those SDCard option in App Data? I'm using an S4 Google Play Edition (running 4.4.2) and I don't see this.
  • That's on the stock Note 3 running KitKat
  • First world problem for SD card users lol
    Good thing I don't have to deal with this but great reading tho. Posted via Android Central App
  • Thanks for the informative post Jerry!
  • Ok, now write an article explaining why Bluetooth volume is screwed up in KitKat ;)
  • Excellent article, Cowboy. Thanks for clearing up many issues.
  • My concern is with new "flagship" phones with only 16gb internal memory. I hope the Z2 has at least a 32GB option. Posted via Android Central App
  • i have music on my sd card, will i still be able to access and listen to music stored on my sd card with a device that runs 4.4? and does this break the save photos to sd card?
  • Your music player should be able to read your music with a small update to the app. If you use a music player with system level permissions — like the Samsung music player or Google Play Music, for example, they have none of these problems.   The device camera app will still have access to the pictures/DCIM folder on the SD card. Third party apps can create their own folder to store images in, which any gallery app will pick up during a routine media scan.
  • thanks jerry , that cleared up alot of concerns i had, great article btw
  • But said camera apps will delete all the pictures you took with them when/if you choose to delete that app sadly.
  • Using internal storage is fine if you have a 32 GB phone, but if you have 16 GB, you really only get 8 GB storage space. The SD card is something of a necessity. Does KitKat remove the ability for the camera to store photos to microSD? Are we still able to move our own files to microSD, even if third party apps no longer can?
  • See above for photos. Apps *can* write and move files to the SD card. They just need coded correctly to use content types. Total Commander with the SD or USB plugin is a good example.
  • I'm thinking about file explorers. Do they still have permission to write on external microsd?
    Posted via Android Central App
    Edit: never mind, looked it up
  • I can't see that plugin anywhere. When I look in the Play store there is no SD or USB plugin.
  • Thanks for the writeup Jerry. I'm betting lots of people (myself included) have been looking for something like this. Posted via Android Central App
  • In a little confused. How does astro file manager still function then? Posted via Android Central App
  • They have updated the app to treat SD card items as registered content types instead of files. All developers need to do this, and there would be little issue.
  • So it comes down to the app developers making the change? "How'd you get the beans above the frank?"
  • That's what I want to know. I use ES File Explorer and I move around files on my external SD card all the time. Some of those times include moving files from the onboard (limited) storage to my external storage. Or creating new folders. Or messing around with the music on my external SD card. When AT&T pushes my KitKat update for my Galaxy S III, will my portable computer be slightly less usable and I'll have to plug the wee beastie into my desktop PC to manipulate the files?
  • Good luck with the horrid mtp interface they shoved down our throats. Zero real time edit ability on the sd card.
  • If Google wants to limit my app purchases because I cannot expand storage for them, so be it...
  • Great article Jerry. -------------------------------------------
    You really should see the crap I don't post. Sorry if honesty offends you
  • +1 ಠ益ಠ
  • +2 Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.
  • +tres Posted via Android Central App
  • -"There also are some serious security conrcerns [sic] that were addressed by not letting an app write files just anywhere."- If the new system is designed to limit apps to only write/modify their own folder, but can still see/read all SD content, I fail to see how this is really all that helpful for security. Yes, it stops an errant app from trashing the data used by another app, but it does nothing to keep a malicious app from stealing data. -Suntan
  • Baby steps. But you're absolutely right. See What's App as an example.
  • Can't download to the ext card using the Dolphin browser anymore. Therefore I'm forced to use my stock browser for downloads. Annoying! Posted via Android Central App
  • Oh! So the stock browser can still save videos directly to the memory card! Posted via Android Central App
  • I'm guessing this applies to USB thumb drives too? I was about to pick up one of those Sandisk dual drives which have a micro usb port built in. Does this mean I won't be able to transfer files from the phone to it now?
  • Actually, you can because I transferred my music from one sd card to another using the dual flash drive. No need to plug it in the pc Posted via Android Central App
  • It doesn't. You can even put your SD card in a USB adapter and apps can read and write, etc. I don't know if Google intends to hobble USB as well.
  • It sounds like I need to move apps (that I have moved to my SD card) back to device memory to prevent losing data if I upgrade to KitKat. But what if I don't have enough space? I also won't know which ones won't work with the SD card properly after the update? Is there an easy way to tell? Posted via Android Central App
  • So for example, if I download a song from AmazonMp3, it won't get saved on to the sd card? Or will it? Posted via Android Central App
  • Jay, the amazon mp3 app doesn't support sd card right now for android because I emailed and asked them but they claim sd card support will be in an upcoming update .there's an app called amazon mp3 mover that will automatically move music to your sd card but you will have to enable it. Posted via Android Central App
  • How bout using NTFS on the extsd?
  • Royalties
  • EXT or EX-Fat.
  • EXTs work ok and are fast but I don't currently have a windows reader.
  • There's an easy fix for this, stop buying any phone with less than 32 GB of internal storage whether it has an SD card slot or not. Want us to use the cloud, fine but don't continue to decrease app storage space by making the OS bigger and not give us more internal storage options. On my note 2, I HAVE TO use my SD card for all media storage because by the time I put a few apps, then some games (some of which have 1 GB or more of extra data they download now) I'm almost out of internal storage and I've not put any pics or music on it yet. I use Spotify for music but I play in offline mode the majority of the time to conserve data usage and because I'm not always in an area with good signal (and even when I am it won't always stream except on a good LTE connection) so I have to a streaming app that has offline cache for music and the ability to put it on the SD card. If Google wants to eliminate or restrict what SD cards can be used for that's fine. But then the manufacturer's need to step up and offer bigger than 32 GB internal storage options. Give me 64 GB internal storage and I'll throw my SD card in the drawer happily. I won't buy a phone without 32 GB internal and an SD slot again or 64 GB internal. Posted via Android Central App
  • they don't sell 96GB or 128GB Android phones though.
  • +1 million Posted via my SPARK enabled Sprint LG G2, that's constantly laughing at my wife's T-Mobile Galaxy Note 3 with borked sdcard support on 4.4.2...
  • Rather, don't buy a device which does not take an SD. If Google has its way no phones in future will have SD slots - so don't "upgrade" to a lesser device. You seem to miss the fact that SD cards are removable and swappable. So you can have movies on one or more, music on another, photos on a third etc, And if you take the card out when you don't require it you aren't giving away all your data if you lose your phone. On the other hand, if all your data is on an internal 64GB of storage you lose the lot - probably with a lot of personal information too. INTERNAL storage is the real Security Risk.
  • full ack... Even worse, the apps can still write into the folders on internal space!
  • Google will soon realize what a huge mistake this is. I can still use my SD card storage. I just have to manually transfer files. When I download a file via Dolphin, I really don't want that file on internal storage. It's easy enough to move. What pissed me off about this was googles complete lack if information prior to the update to KitKat. Along with telling the average user about the cute new icons and transparent this that and the other thing, why not add, Your SD card will never ever ever function like it did? I took a good 20 pics of my Pregnant wife yesterday using a 3rd party camera app and imagine my surprise when not a one of them saved. Maybe a little warning for the average user Google. As one80oneday stated... I'll just buy less apps. I won't fill up my internal memory if apps.
  • +A Gajillion
  • Your statement. I love it. LG G2 running CM = PERFECTION
  • Plain and simple GOOGLE is definitely a very sad conclusion.
    These are the same people who bought Motorola against their partners loosing 400 million every quarter for over 1yr then dumping them like a bad habit.
    As far as I can spit I wouldn't trust Google at all this proves and excellent point.
    If they really cared about the end user they would've been straight forward about what users would be facing with the Kitkat update
    But of course not GOOGLE cares most about its silly Kitkat 4.4.2 update numbers.
    Rest assured android users aren't as stupid as they treated us or thought because many many people aren't updating period.
    When they see their precious numbers didn't add up with kitkat then they will name that tune in one Note.
    It will be a dark day in hell before Google will tell me what to do with my handsets.
    (Plain and simple NOTHING beats SAMSUNG or TMOBILE PERIOD Posted from my 4.3 Jellybean Galaxy Note 3 via Android Central App)
  • If your device runs android.. I hate to tell you bud, google has been telling you what to do with your device for some time now. This change you just happen to disagree with.
  • You must have the first Tizen Note 3. Because Samsung dictating your life is fine, as long as it's not Google. Posted via Android Central App
  • Neither should -------------------------------------------
    You really should see the crap I don't post. Sorry if honesty offends you
  • Owned. ಠ益ಠ
  • #pwned Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.
  • Hey Richard I heard WP central is looking for a village idiot. Move along and don't come back. PERIOD Posted via Android Central App
  • Enjoy your next Tizen device troll.
  • Ummm you're using an Android phone you idiot lol.
  • 1. As it was reported among all the tech blogs at the time of the Motorola acquisition, it was purely for patents. This is backed up by the fact that, besides a few specialized subsets of Motorola (Project Ara), Google kept a majority of the patents when it sold Motorola to Lenovo. Yet another horribly wrong claim by the delusional Samsung fanboy.
    2. Before Google acquired Motorola, the latter was bleeding even more money than the "400 million" you quote above. Despite what goes on in Richard's World, Google actually helped Motorola.
    3. You say "As far as I can spit I wouldn't trust Google at all", and yet you have a phone based on Android, which is Google's. Do you use Maps, Search, Youtube, Gmail, or Hangouts? Then you use Google's services, but claim you don't "trust" them. Why use them if you don't trust them? What a joke.
    4. "If they really cared about the end user they would've been straight forward about what users would be facing with the Kitkat update" Blame that on Samsung not Google. Google has been trying to get it this way for years. The code was put forth way back in 2011 with the first Honeycomb devices. Now all of a sudden, Samsung is playing ball with some of Google's wishes. Again, check your "facts".
    5. I can't even address the rest of your comment because it is fraught with misspellings and makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.
  • oh something we've not heard yet ... change the vinyl already cuz we're tired of this broken record don't you get tired of never making a change and everyone calling your bs at every turn? go away Troll King ... take your samsung flavored lips with you ... they're not subsidizing your custodial work to shit talk all things not samsung fool you're a know-nothing propagandist ... this whole SD card issue is based on security and can be fixed when devs change some code ... nothing to do with google trying to force their hand in getting rid of SD cards ... grow up old man #DontBeADickYarrell Posted via Android Central App
  • > this whole SD card issue is based on security and can be fixed when devs change some code Then please tell me how an app can move files from one folder to another and do a sync with Dropbox on ext. folders like "DCIM", "Pictures" and "media" under Kitkat.
    And please explain how I can use my several photo apps to modify my pictures in my ext. SD card folder without creating copies everytime.
    How can I make it possible that different camera apps store their pics in the same ext. folder? All this is not longer possible.
  • Bet you can't wait for Tizen.
  • Possibly the saddest thing about you isn't how much garbage you spew, which is a lot, it's that you don't even write it very well.
    "Dark day in hell"? Don't you mean cold day in hell?
    "Plain and simple GOOGLE is definitely a very sad conclusion."? I think you're missing a verb in that last one. Do yourself a favor, Dick, just shut up.
  • Or you simply root your device and bring back the functionality. Rooting is no rocket science anymore. :-)
  • May I please have a link or instructions on how to properly root the Sony Z Ultra C6806 Google Play Edition? I can't seem to find the instructions for it. I can only find the one for the Xperia version, and those specifically state that their instructions won't work for the GPe
  • How are you moving the internal storage files to the SD card with 4.4.2? I can no longer use my phone- internal storage is full and it won't let me move any files to SD (write is prohibited).
  • Glad someone finally wrote about this to shed some light on it. Many thanks. I have yet to update to KitKat because of all the complaints about the SD card. However, folks are experiencing other issues as a result of updating to KK, so I've decided to hold off so those "secondary" issues can be sorted out.
  • KK has some audio issues with some games and music apps. Best thing I ever did was go back to 4.1.2 on my note 2.
    Another reason to run a custom rom.
    Posted via Android Central App
  • "IF YOU WANT REMOVABLE STORAGE THAT CAN BE READ ANYWHERE, UNDERSTAND THAT IT'S NOT GOING TO BE SECURE." If you have something on your device that you think is secure, you are delusional. This change still make no sense to me. There were other ways to achieve so called security.
  • Yeah. They don't realize how easy it is to get info from a phone. Not to mention steal the phone itself. Anything that is on the internet or any device is bound to not be secure. LG G2 running CM = PERFECTION
  • I don't care about security. The only thing I have there are music files. I want usability, not a prison OS. Google is the new crApple.
  • If Google were the new Apple, you would have no SD card at all, and you would be completely unable access your phone's file system. All this does is require apps to treat the SD-Card files a little differently. It in *no* way prevents use of the SD card.
  • My data is perfectly secure to my satisfaction. 99% of security is posession. Lose posession and all your security goes poof.
  • Removable storage is the securest form. lose your phone / tablet and you lose all the data on it. If your IMPORTANT data is on removable storage you can REMOVE it until you need it.
  • Thanks for clarifying what happened. Google probably should have had this restriction built into one of its early versions.
  • This is the problem.. If it had always done that then apps would work and no issues. Instead app developers got lazy and started writing all over the place instead of the correct folder for their app. iOS had this restriction from pretty early on. I also think it should be an option to format the SD to ext4 then apply standard permission rules to it. Maybe in a later release they'll do that. Posted via Android Central App
  • And then when you move the SD card to a new phone after updating the apps on the new phone new phone may not be able to read/write/execute those files because the Linux user may not be the same on both devices (even if the app is the same ). Posted via Android Central App on my daily driver, the Droid MAX
  • Good point. I think a lot of people don't realize that a "username" I really doesn't mean anything to the computer and that, even if you create a new user with the same username, it's still a completely different user as far as the computer is concerned.
  • iOS doesn't allow for SD cards.
  • And it doesn't allow to transfer music files with a normal file manager either, which is why it sucks.
  • Which is why i dont understand Google's recent update to Google Music that allows certain devices to save that downloaded buffer info to your SD card. I have the G2 so i didnt really affect me at all but I did find it weird that after drawing their line in the sand Google now seems fine why being hypocritical
  • Just format your sd card to ext4, and make windows users use a driver.
    Then permissions work like a real file system. Problem solved.
    The only real issue with this is that until windows users have the driver, it will ask them if they want to format it. I imagine that would cause a lot of angry users as they blow away their data. Silly windows.
  • all i got out of all of that was "blah blah Linux....blah blah Ubuntu.....blah blah Open Source biyotches..."
  • Just a poor design choice that Windows, by default, blows away anything it doesn't understand. Ext drivers (and yes, they are open source) have been available for Windows for many years which would solve this issue. I use them myself, on Windows, to mount my media server external drive, which is formatted ext4. The solution is simple, but implementing it is impossible as it would require MS to sign on. Given they have a vested interest in limiting support of a competitors product... not gonna happen.
  • I formatted the SD card to ext4 and as soon as I put it into the phone (S4 Active) it said it didn't recognized it and forced me to format it. The format you ask? goddamn exFAT again. (It took 40 mins to format to ext4)
  • Looking at the situation, it looks like a mess on the phone side. I understand that Google is trying to plug potential security holes by forbidding third party apps from writing on any folder external cards but to a designated folder. Can't they instead find a solution to format external sd cards to ext file system and people mount the storage through usb? Or have a desktop application available to mount, browse and r/w ext file system?
    Posted via Android Central App
  • ...or devs could just try writing their apps well and updating them for the new OS. But that's expecting too much isn't it?
  • I guess the best way to get rid of Richard yarrel is to ignore his retarded ass comments Posted via Android Central App
  • I'm pretty sure his knowledge of phones is pretty restricted to Samsung only. Lol. Matters like these takes brains to be honest. LG G2 running CM = PERFECTION
  • Yeah that's why you fools updated and are walking around with handsets that are restricted. My Note 3 does exactly what I want it to do when I want it to do it without restrictions. Oh please show me how bright you are missy. (Plain and simple NOTHING beats SAMSUNG or TMOBILE PERIOD Posted from my 4.3 Jellybean Galaxy Note 3 via Android Central App)
  • So your Note 3 has NO restrictions whatsoever????? Hmmm your BS meter is full for the day. ಠ益ಠ
  • 1. Based on your usage of the word "restricted", you clearly do not know what it means. Go get a dictionary you retard.
    2. As is stated in the article, pretty much any custom ROM does not have this problem, as the devs have reverted the changes. So why don't you "show [us] how bright you are missy"? What a joke.
  • Please stop calling Richard a "retard", it's extremely denigrating and insensitive to the mentally challenged. They're much sharper than Richard is and don't deserve to be lumped in with him.
  • ouch.
  • Did you ever hear of KNOX? Did you try to root your phone and then send it in for repair if something is broken - not because of root, but because of a production error? I had an email fight with Amazon here in Germany for months because of that.
    Did you try to get rid of the gigabytes of bloatware without root?
    I think the Note3 is a very good phone, my friend has just bought one. It is not yet rooted so she cannot use the full power of it but that will happen soon.
  • You are a (ahole) face reality GOOGLE MESSED UP ON THIS SO BAD IT'S PRETTY COMICAL. At the end of the day it's the carrier who has to clean up Google's bullshit cause I wouldn't pay for a device that's not working properly. Great way to leave a paying customers out in the cold. Plain and simple GOOGLE SUCKS MONKEY BALLS PERIOD. Plain and simple. Go shit on yourself my frie (Plain and simple NOTHING beats SAMSUNG or TMOBILE PERIOD Posted from my 4.3 Jellybean Galaxy Note 3 via Android Central App)
  • Samsung makes Windows phones. Maybe you should give those a shot. If I thought a company "sucked monkey balls" I would not use their OS at all. Do you enjoy punishing yourself? ಠ益ಠ
  • You have fun replying to Richard Yarrell's comments, huh? Posted via Android Central App
  • Its like yelling at brick wall. But yeah I enjoy it. ಠ益ಠ
  • It's like yelling at a man-child Posted via Android Central App
  • We like to poke at the village idiot.The good news is that Google did us a favour with the kiktat update that Richard is so angry hence the above caps in his comments that he might jump ship and join the Windows phone team . I feel sorry for them already. Like Yarell on his PERIOD
    Posted via Android Central App
  • Well, technically, they all do. He just hasn't figured that out yet. I'm pissed at Google, but I new it was coming, and expected no less than the proverbial backstab. It was written on the wall that Google wanted to push it's cloud and kill removable storage. The sign on the wall was "Google music" Microsoft will most likely do the same, if they haven't already killed removable storage already. I can see being a boon to the Winphone though, if they keep access to removable storage open.
  • huh?
  • Lay off the caps lock, Trollmeister.
  • you really should get a dictionary out ... learn some new words and phrases ... you're like a retarded parrot ... Posted via Android Central App
  • Your logic is so flawed, children could recognize how poor it is.
    1. A vast majority of smartphone users don't know or care about this. All they want to do is make calls, texts, emails, IM's, video calls, play music/videos/games, look at pictures, etc. All this you can still do, even with a "gimped" Android device running KitKat. Maybe not (yet) as freely as it was previously, but still possible.
    2. Following on from 1, the carriers won't notice much of a difference in sales (if at all). Also, the carriers have no way to "clean up Google's bullshit". They don't put any code into a given Android device except for carrier specific apps and/or radio firmware. All the actual work on code is done by Google or the manufacturers.
    3. If "google sucks monkey balls period", then why are you still using that "pimp slapping" Note 3 that is powered by Android, which is owned by Google? What a joke.
    4. I find it hilarious that you tell people to "shit on" themselves, and in the same sentence, attempt to call them friend. I say "attempt" because you apparently couldn't even be bother to finish the word. Try harder troll.
  • To people saying you don't need an SD card, that's fine until you need to reformat the device. I have nearly 32gb of books, comics and videos on my SD cars and I don't want to have to copy them back over each time I restart my device. That's why I use the SD card and I won't update to kitkat of I'll lose that convenience.
  • Google, Carriers, and OEMs don't want you to reformat your device except for the most crucial of circumstances. (factory data reset)
    (MTP) is in Android for this specific reason. If reformatting your device is necessary all your data can be transferred to another storage device without compromising the main system. Posted via my SPARK enabled Sprint LG G2, with 32GBs of internal memory and no sdcard. (Bring on 4.4.2, I can handle it.)
  • MTP is slower then a donkey going uphill pulling a massive cart of rocks >_<
  • Oh god I hate mtp so much. I cant even browse my pictures anymore. I have to dismantle my god damned phone to get the sd card out to gain "real" access to my own data. To understand my problem. I enjoy the bliss that is zerolemon batteries. Until you have to take the damned thing apart. I want to shove mtp so far up googles rectum that my fist comes out there mouth.
  • :D funny analogy
  • All I use my SD Card for is putting music on, will this affect apps like Poweramp from playing of the micro sd card. If someone could let me know as I plan on getting S5 or HTC ONE M8.
  • No. It affects writing only (currently). Posted via Android Central App
  • Depends. Poweramp also has a tag editor. That may fail.
  • Cheers for the reply.
  • I have read "most" of the posts, and am just sooo incredibly frustrated. Most of my Androids have just recently been updated to KitKat. I bought every one of them with the SDCard in mind (for many reasons). I specifically use these devices for programming and administration on a daily basis while away while mobile (I am on 24 hour call). I am just so frustrated that I have to ROOT my devices and void warranties just because Google thinks I'm too much of an idiot to properly manage my own files.... and wow!!! Who would ever want to share files between programs???? Oh wait.. .I'm thinking of my Android device too much like a windows device ... Sorry, I use my androids to admin both Linux and Windows systems. I fully understand rights on a Linux box. I understand there could be issues with security... But you know what???? Its my device, its my data, its my documents, its my decision how I want to move data around... This isnt just about needing more GB on a device. This is about me being technical enough to use my device the way I see fit, and the way I have for the past few years. Now my devices are basically useless for administration. Rooting is the only option, and while I am a techie, rooting a Samsung S4 ATT from NC1 to MK2 to NB1 back up to NC1 ,,, making sure to do everything just perfect seems like a recipe for disaster (Please, if anyone knows a surefire method to do this... please please please let me know). I travel heavily on bicycle in the evenings, and carrying just my Tegra note 7 and my GS4 in a small backpack was all I needed to do to keep customers happy. Now I am relegated to either not riding, or lug a massive Laptop. Oh wait.. I'm sure I should not have been using Androids in that manner for the past two years.. I'm thinking too much like a Windows guy.
  • Didn't really affect since I use a G2 but I used to have a galaxy s4 and could feel the pain of these restrictions. Why not simply let the people choose what they want and don't want? Wasn't that the plus side of android? LG G2 running CM = PERFECTION
  • LgG2 running CM Sucks shit far from perfection looking as stupid as you do. (Plain and simple NOTHING beats SAMSUNG or TMOBILE PERIOD Posted from my 4.3 Jellybean Galaxy Note 3 via Android Central App)
  • Dude. You got issues. ಠ益ಠ
  • And a shitty phone.
    Posted via Android Central App
  • Oh BigDin! Come on man, don't let the one dude make you say things like
  • He's right. It's not a phone, it's a phablet that barely fits in your pocket and has to be used two handed. I love the stylus integration, but it's just too effing big.
  • A troll on a rampage, issues ?
  • Hahaha. This guy. Made my day. I ain't even mad uncle Phil. LG G2 running CM = PERFECTION
  • No, Richard, just no. If you want to get technical, a G2 running CM has better battery life than our Note 3s. Period. Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.
  • Richard, that was just mean. (NP. That is what friends are for.) Today's Hangout Posted via my SPARK enabled Sprint LG G2, with 32GBs of internal memory and no sdcard. (Bring on 4.4.2, I can handle it.)
  • And you would know because you have an LG G2? Oh right, you're the moron who claimed he "wouldn't touch [it] with a 10 foot pole". Also, how would you know CM "sucks shit"? You're the guy who claimed for *2 whole months* to be "looking into" rooting your Verizon Galaxy Nexus, after claiming months earlier that rooting was for "2plus year old devices". What a joke.
  • he won't ever root cuz he's just a wannabe and because he can't its obviously not needed and anyone who does it can't afford a real phone like a note 3 ... Retard Yarrell Math 101 Posted via Android Central App
  • you wouldn't know so close your rotted teeth please ... wreaks of gingivitis up in here from you yapping away Posted via Android Central App
  • What the hell has your network got to do with it - you are taking team sports to a dark place.
  • I honestly don't see what the big deal is. Use internal storage for apps, and SD for everything else. Phones come with so much storage internally now, there is no longer a reason to install apps to SD anymore. You really have more than 8 gigs worth of apps?
  • I just checked on Asphalt 8 - 1.65GB Not every app I have is that big, but if I didn't have a 32GB One I would be screwed when it comes to my pictures, Zoes, music and movies. Posted via Android Central App
  • Unless you have a Samsung that literally uses half of the internal memory with the OS and preloaded apps out of the box. But yes in general I agree Posted via Android Central App on my daily driver, the Droid MAX
  • There is the answer folks -------------------------------------------
    You really should see the crap I don't post. Sorry if honesty offends you
  • I'm forced to use internal storage for everything - music, downloads, photos taken, and apps - even 2 years after the fact. My new phone has a mere 32 GB of internal space and a 256 GB microSD card. The camera is capable of recording 4k video, but due to file system limitations cannot record more than a few minutes on internal storage, whereas I'd get more than an hour on sd. Some phones give the camera access to sd, but even those can't give downloads access to it, nor can I use an office suite ith the sd. Even development tools are restricted. This all together means that if you want to use the sd card you have to go to a computer and manually move them from internal on a regular basis - assuming you even know where the files are placed. However, that doesn't always work well with lock screens enabled. I once had to screen mirror a half broken phone onto a computer for a friend to save her photos because she was never allowed to use the sd card and tge lock screen couldn't be solved with a broken screen so she couldn't access her files. Granted, the counter argument is that sd cards have a higher failure rate, but that should still be for the end user to decide. I my have lost a few pictures due to an sd failure between backups on my rooted phone (rooted specifically to restore sd card access), but on my non rooted devices I lost opportunity to take pictures due to insufficient space, and have make the choice to stop buying apps all together to make sure I have room for files.
  • Okay I'm confused I'm using my Note 3 that is not rooted running kit kat and I have no issues with transferring music to my SD card and no issues with the Samsung music application playing music from the SD card either. And no problem saving pictures taken from the camera to the SD card either. Posted via Android Central App
  • That's because those apps have access(updated). Dcim and music folder are still good
  • yup ... it's on the devs ... dipshit yarrell doesn't understand that ... psst it's because he's dumb Posted via Android Central App
  • Great write up as usual Jerry! Thanks! On another note, I've a;ways been all in on Android but am I the only one that is growing very frustrated with Google's actions, whether it be not telling users what its Android updates will do to functionality to our devices or be it privacy issues/concerns. Google's "don't be evil mantra" was thrown out the window several years ago and is increasingly becoming more evil on a daily basis and is becoming more like Wal-Mart.... too evil, greedy, and big to touch.
  • I'm pretty sure Google expected OEMs and carriers to notify users about the consequences of the update before they pushed it and they haven't. Remember that Google does not sell any phones (other than the GPE GS4) that have SD cards Posted via Android Central App on my daily driver, the Droid MAX
  • I very seriously doubt that very many people are still using FAT on their computers.
    You can't even format a card larger than 32GB in Windows as Fat32 with out stand-alone apps.
    My microSD card is NOT formatted as FAT. I use NTFS
    I also very seriously doubt that very many linux users are using Fat.
    Most linux users are probably using ext3 or ext4
  • EX-Fat - real users don't use NTFS on SD cards.
  • I think Kitkat is better suited to 32gb and upwards phones, 16gb phones are fast becoming the new 8gb Posted via Android Central App
  • +1 Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.
  • Well, it has been always the same with google, instead of fixing something, they just hide it or remove it.
  • My kit Kay update is just sitting on my notification bar. After reading all this I'm hesitant to install it.
  • Awesome post Gerry! This summarizes one of the biggest topics in Android ever since most of us adopted it way back in 2009 / 2010.
  • There are alot of people who want ease over security, what about them ?
  • Maybe they can just not use an SD card - why should the rest of us be forced to stop using it because of paranoia?
  • I had an SD card on my OG Droid and it was a godsend. Then I got a Droid Bionic and I barely used the SD card because somewhere along the way I stopped listening to everybody on the interwebs who insisted you HAD to have an SD card and it was the only way to go and anything else was unacceptable. Instead of following the crowd I found an option that worked better for me. Now I have a Droid Ultra and it has about 7 GB of free space on it out of the 16 that was built in yet people are claiming that OEMs shouldn't even offer a 16 GB option that 32 should be minimum and even then SD cards should always be available.
    I'm sure there are plenty of people who legitimately need the extra storage space, but I think there are also a lot of people who just don't want to change or don't know how to step out on their own instead of following along with what the vocalists are shouting. Then again, I also think that phones could have 5 TB of storage and some people will still bitch about not having an SD card because some people just wanna bitch.
  • +9000 Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.
  • To me, it isn't only about the amount of storage, but the ease in which content can be transferred from one smartphone to another using an sd card. If it's all internal memory, the use of a pc will be an absolute must. I like being as independent as possible with my smartphone, without the need for a pc.
    Posted via Android Central App
  • I can definitely understand that. I've definitely been there. What you just stated is one of the BIGGEST weaknesses of my iPad Mini. I HATE iTunes, lol.
  • I transfered all my data from my HTC One S to my HTC One without a PC, in a couple of minutes with the HTC tool ('Get content from another phone' which also works with Samsung, Motorola, and other Android OEMs ). Still need WiFi though.
  • There's a good android app i used for this on rooted phones: titanium backup. It not only let me fully backup a phone to sd, it backed up all settings and even open tabs. Something that your standard phone upgrade features can't doeven with a pc. Really came in handy when it broke. Within minutes everything was as if it never broke at all. I may have later bought a phone I can't root for work reasons, but having to be stuck with these limitations again really struck home how good I had it. I was able to use the sony pc companion to re-download apps, but not much more.
  • If my phone had 5 TB it would be quickly used up because developers would be more willing to use big files and because my 4k video files would actually be of sufficient size to be useful. To give you an idea, a 4k video uses 2 gigabyte per minute. This means a one hour video of, say, an award ceremony or a birthday party, would eat up 120 gigabytes. It wouldn't take long for that to eat up all 5 TB of storage, so I absolutely would complain if there was a larger storage medium I was not allowed to access. These problems remained relevant 2 years later because usage expanded to meet the slightest increase in storage. My new phone has 32 GB of internal storage while the current microSD maximum is 256 GB. Technically though the internal could be as high as 128 GB, but NAND technology is far more expensive which contributes to the fact that few devices are even offered at such capacities. By the time 128 GB becomes as commonplace as 32 GB is today SD cards will have reached their 2 TB standard limit and microSD cards will likely be at 1 TB and you literally won't be able to do anything with a mere 128 GB because the technology to utilize it fully is already here. By the time NAND reaches 5 TB (which will likely come about through 3D storage technology) there would likely be a similar technology advance in sd cards and the standard would probably be around 128 TB, but video standards would have advanced even further. Possibly storing 3 dimensional videos the way photos can now be in 360 degrees for vr viewing which 3d storage would have ease of accessing, and at that point 5 TB will be nothing . In such a scenario these problems will still be relevant and I will absolutely ***** about not being able to use 128 TB. I still have a 2 GB hard drive from the 90's - back when that was a big deal. The thing is though it was only a big deal for the sizes of the files. Every time the capacity expanded the file sizes expanded with it. My desktop can support over 100 TB of storage and that's already far too small for my needs even though a year ago I never went over 5. Edut: well this is funny. The 5 letter word that starts with b is censored when i type it, even though it's used in response to someone using it the same way.
  • articles like this make me want to go to blackberry 10. Sorry...nothing is misunderstood. You say put up with it, get used to it. When Android/Google screw up you all say,"remember android is a work in progress". When does that stop?Through infinity? Android/Google has had MORE than enough time to get these things right. Come on!
  • Perhaps, but at least Google will still be around next year, and 2 years from now. Where as software support from BlackBerry? Very, very uncertain future. Posted via Android Central App
  • What about people who are glad these changes were made? I think this is the best thing Google has done to external storage since Cupcake.
  • bingo Posted via Android Central App
  • This is a good thing I believe, now that more is known about the change.
    But, what made this a bad kerfuffle is the lack of thorough explanation of what this change would mean to Android users. Posted via my SPARK enabled Sprint LG G2, with 32GBs of internal memory and no sdcard. (Bring on 4.4.2, I can handle it.)
  • +1000
  • Stop making sense Jerry! We want to rage against the man! Kidding, of course. I agree that it's a good move though, even if I have deliberately held off updating my Note 3, mainly due to many others on T-Mobile having battery drain issues.
  • Why? It's a seriously silly lack of features for a tablet.
  • "What about people who are glad these changes were made? I think this is the best thing Google has done to external storage since Cupcake." That, my dear Jerry, is because you're a tech geek. You will always favor and "OS security" even when such security constraints are not essential. Furthermore, you're a "Cloudy type". If I took you in the middle of nowhere in Alaska, you'd be glad to have removable storage and multiple SD cards.
  • I made a seamless transition away from SD cards when I got my current device, and so far I'm fine without it. (No more worrying about snoopers removing the card and popping it in their device to view my Gallery.) Still, it's interesting to read how important it is to some users. Posted via AC App on HTC One
  • If you are worried about people stealing your SD card to look at your gallery why not use an App like Vaulty to password protect your gallery.
  • I don't have these concerns anymore because I no longer have a microSD card slot, and I keep my phone locked. However, my crazy ex removed the SD card from my previous phone and placed it in his to view my Gallery. I think I was using Smart App Protector at the time, which he might have uninstalled from Play Store to gain access once on his device. Maybe Vaulty works differently, though. Nevertheless, I got rid of him and SD cards, and I haven't had any issues since. Posted via AC App on HTC One
  • Well any significant other would still be able to take your phone and swipe through your gallery. That said its pretty much a cardinal sin to do to a BF/GF. But most of the security apps I have seen won't uninstall unless you have the right security key to decrypt the data. Or in the case of my S3, I can actually pin protect my storage, so if you remove my SD card and put it into another phone you need to know the correct pin to use/unlock the storage, no apps required :)
  • Until manufacturers start adding massive internal storage, I have to have an SD card on my phones. The addition of the 128gb microSD is a godsend to me. I find it annoying that Google does move after move to deprecate the SD slot, while not providing nearly enough internal storage on their devices. The cloud is not the answer when data access is not even close to ubiquitous via cell or wifi. I for one am never buying a phone without storage expansion again.
  • I'm with you! It's really disappointing that this is 2014, and still 64GB's of internal storage is very scarce. Posted via Android Central App
  • So it seems KitKat was supposed to be the "spoon full of sugar" to get the SD card medicine to go down.
  • I have a TMobile Samsung Galaxy S5 which I just updated to KIt Kat 4.4.2. Everything runs OK and I am able to store some of my apps on external SD card just as in Jelly Bean 4.3. I am able to use the external SD card the way I did before the update. Why are others having problems? Did TMobile do the update to Kit Kat 4.4.3 differently?
  • Mr. Yarrell's going to take a weeklong vacation from commenting.  Apologies to those whom he might have offended.
  • +1 ಠ益ಠ
  • +1 Posted via Android Central App
  • Thank you Phil! Love you! Posted via Android Central App
  • Plain and simple, nothing beats a week of sweet love making with T-Mo and Sammy without having to endlessly comment on how much you love T-Mo and Sammy. Period.
  • Hey dawg, I heard you like T-Mo and Sammy. So, we gave you a week-long vacation to enjoy T-Mo and Sammy on yo T-Mo and Sammy. (I guess, that doesn't really work right there, does it?)
  • don't worry ... we'll take care of him Posted via Android Central App
  • Only a week long?
    What sorcery is this?
  • i was hoping for infinity Posted via Android Central App
  • +9000
  • any way we can do it permanently? Posted via Android Central App
  • Just a week phil? His comments are outrageous lol . Posted via Android Central App
  • Maybe it's just me, but I got over the whole SD Card issue rather quickly. I may not be able to download music to it, but I can still take pictures and video; as long as I can still do that, I'm good.
  • You can take them on the SD but you'll have to use a PC to put them there in the first place.
  • This change has really p1ssed me off! The S4 has crap storage space so I rely on my external card. IThis is important functionality I have had in almost every phone I've owned since approx. 2002. I now have a file manager that can't manage my files and a torrent app which can't write to the folder it created and 8+Gbs of data I can only modify via Pc. Bloody annoying.
    Is it part of Google business model to p1ss customers off? If they don't address this It's likely to be the last Android device I buy.
  • Again with my S5 on Kit Kat 4.4.2 with TMobile am able to store my apps on the external SD card just as in Jelly Bean 4.4.2
  • Yh that's still working but being able to manage your media on the sd card by using something like es file explore isn't possible. You won't be about to rename or edit a file on the sd card using a 3rd party app, using the built in my file app will still work. Another issue that arrises imo is you have to be careful before uninstalling some apps as with kit kat if you delete a app, it will also delete the folder of the app so for example if you use a 3rd party camera and later on decide to uninstall it, you will have to manually move those images taken with that 3rd party app otherwise you will lose it and for us who are informed we might remember but will two average person remember? Luckily Samsung provide there own file management app etc so it's manageable though not ideal. Just more work personally for me, I download a lot of wallpapers etc and I like to keep my media on my sd card but any media I download on my phone I will 1st have to download to the internal storage and then move it to the sd card where as pre 4.4 you could download directly to the sd card. Another thing I'm guessing is that music players such as power amps will not be able to edit id tags anymore as they will only be able to read the music files.. Google really wants to kill the sd card and is doing everything possible to make sd cards a hassle and want people using the cloud more but not every one has or can afford unlimited data or has fast data and also google should force 32gb as a minimum for flagship devices. Posted via Android Central App using galaxy s4
  • I read an article earlier tonight about Verizon and Netflix and who's going to pay to upgrade the servers to properly meet the demand of so many people streaming Netflix. The servers, or pipe or whatever, are apparently unable to keep up with demand adequately, and here a company is ENCOURAGING streaming our own stuff to ourselves?? Hell I find simple Google searches slow sometimes. Also, what if you fly a lot? Can't stream from the cloud on airplanes (unless you pay a huge premium maybe). I'm not commenting on how the KitKat update does or does not mess things up badly, but I am saying there will always be a place for removable storage and I don't understand Google's push to eliminate it. After all, it's supposed to be about choice, right?
  • I'll take the security. I'm glad I'm now aware of the change for if/when the Z1 gets the update. Posted via Android Central App
  • I usually use SD cards for things like pics, videos, Roms and backups. Posted via Android Central App
  • What annoys me about this is that google just gloss over these big changes. Posted via Android Central App using galaxy s4
  • This is just idiotic, most file explorer are not working properly anymore. I usually copy files from my NAS to my SD card via wi-fi. and I can't do that any more. I haven't root my phone, but I will just to get this functionality back. It's just convenient. if there were petition to reverse this decision, tell me where to sign.
  • MTP can read ext formatted SD cards as it is handled on the phone unlike UMS. I don't see how this is more secure, any app can change things on the internal storage still, (like SD cards were before)
  • I don't think ext3 or ext4 filesystems would help. The permissions are user based not process based. Does every app you install run as a different user?
  • Group permissions?
  • I realize a majority of the people who are complaining are sammy owners. Don't blame Google cuz Sammy made an OS that takes up 8 GBs of space. Take you fight up with Sammy not google Posted via Android Central App via the shiny new Nexus 5 and a half
  • I am a note 3 owner and I'm not complaining lol. ..well Richard probably is because he can't comment and will think his keyboard is broken. Lol Posted via Android Central App
  • SO missing the point.
  • So just checking my understanding... A stock or bundled app (like my files, google play music, etc) shouldn't have any impact from all this but third party downloaded apps (like flixster or third party file manager) can only read/write to their one app folder they create on the sd card and no other folder, is this right?
  • You're almost correct. Third party apps that are coded right can bypass all this as Jerry stated in an earlier comment. Posted via my SPARK enabled Sprint LG G2, with 32GBs of internal memory and no sdcard. (Bring on 4.4.2, I can handle it.)
  • DWR_31, you are wrong. Coding will have nothing to do with it. Their access will be limited to a read only status, and will no longer have the ability to do anything beyond that. All files an folders created by an app will be restricted to its own particular folder and the contents within. Drache713, this issue pertains mostly to "move to SD" capabilities where users would move a portion of an installed app to the SD card to save space in the internal memory of the phone (that 8, 16, 32, or 64 GB's of storage the device brags about having when you first purchase it). Once you move to KitKat any app, such as a game, that you moved to the SD card will essentially be broken from this point forward, until you reinstall it. Any previous information that was stored on the Sd card will be unaccessible from this point, as well. So for games that store local save files to the SD card, and not in the apps own folder will not save games properly until fixed.
  • FYI it's a phone got over it. SD cards need to b put out to the pasture. Posted via Android Central App
  • I guess your phone never died on you? If it had you would be praising the sd card. Without it, you loose everything and get to start over. I will not buy a phone without sd card. I don't care how much internal storage it has. It's an accident waiting to happen. ATT N3
  • Moosc has a point. With cloud storage, SD cards are pointless to a degree. Google+, Tresorit, Dropbox, SkyDrive, Box, etc all offer sync features to move photos and videos to an online cloud storage site accessible anywhere. If SD cards are nothing more than "extra storage" for videos and photos at this point, why bother. Now, granted, with the carriers limiting data on the go (I use Wifi access exclusively when available to save my mobile data for when there is no WiFi), this is a bad deal to have everything in the cloud, such as Music, Videos, eBooks, etc. And with manufactures still hell bent on producing phones with 8GB or less of storage, you are left with few options.
  • Nope SD cards are offline storage - how on earth would Dropbox replace that? Should we be wasting our batteries playing everything from the cloud - utter nonsense. OEMs want this so they can sell us built in storage.
  • I agree with you Fourth. Not only is it batteries for cloud music, but data. Unlimited data is long gone, and music streaming for a couple hours a day will kill that quick. SD Support is something we still desire, or at the very least larger storage internally than just 8, or even 16GBs.
  • Go to school.
  • And you are going to listen to a large music library while in an airplane? I think not.
  • If this is not changed my Note 3 will be my last Android device. Couple new OS coming out this year. I used Android when it was new and buggy and had very few apps. I'm willing to do that again to be able to use my files as I see fit. It's why I dropped Apple in the first place for Android. This is a really dumb move.
  • See my comment below yours. I also own a Galaxy Note 3.
  • I own a Note 3 also and I am VERY happy with the changes.
  • Me too. No more android to me if it is not changed.
  • One thing I've missed with this new update is being able to copy files directly from my NAS to my SD card using a third-party app. My workaround is to copy the files from the NAS to local storage using the third-party app, and then move the files to my SD card using Samsung's My Files. However, this requires enough available local storage space on your device. I hope Samsung (and other manufacturers) take the time to create better file manager apps because right now only the manufacturer's apps can write to any folder in your SD card.
  • I use ES File Explorer with no issues regarding copying from FTP, Cloud, PC, etc to the file system of my Moto G. Perhaps this is a different story with Samsung devices, but worth a shot. Also, ES File Explorer is free and no ads...highly trusted for the last couple of years. Well worth the use. **EDIT**
    I read an earlier post that I missed that mentioned that this may not work...Still, worth a shot since ES File Explorer gets updated regularly.
  • Quite possibly Motorola added code that gives third-party apps permission to write to external storage. That was what Samsung did in previous version of Android but they pulled it in the last couple of updates. Under KitKat, the write permission is now only given to Google apps and to the manufacturer's apps, that's why Samsung's My Files can write to the SD card.
  • Huh? The Moto G does not even have an SD slot.
  • I should have done a bit more reading on this before Cooldoods and Fourthletter58 point out, that this only works for internal storage. However, admittedly, I am surprised I have that much functionality to alter/add content in existing folders there.
  • I can confirm that ES File Explorer is able to write to my external SD card on my Samsung Galaxy Note 3. FX File Explorer still cannot do this.
  • On my LG 90 on Kitkat, ES File Explorer cannot write everywhere. Their site says that is the limitation of Kitkat.
  • I tried out ES File Explorer on my Galaxy Note 3 and it does work as you described. Thanks for that tip.
  • ES File Explorer will no longer write to my SD since updating my Note 7 to KitKat.
  • ES File Explorer will NOT write to the SD card on my Note 3 with 4.4.2. Only did the update to get the Kitkat boot loader to be able to put on a custom ROM. This will more then likely be my last Android device.
  • Great article. At least now I can see some logic behind the change other then just a self-serving push to the cloud. But, at least for now, I will be one of those who swears off KitKat. Personally, I could not care less about the SD card being compatible with my PC - it is tucked under my battery and heavy duty case, so I'm not going to pop it out if I can help it - especially with USB 3.0 on my phone. But I need a lot more space than the tiny 32gb that Samsung has given me - and I need all my apps to continue working. Google: change the SD format to EXT (or at least offer that add an option) - and from now on, tell people clearly in BOLD TYPE before you make such a big change again. Or I might be forced to give Apple another try.
  • Sorry to be so naive but what can be put on the SD card now.? Jim Lloyd
  • Any device with SD support (meaning a slot for it) can continue to use it as a method to store videos, images, and other media files that particular apps can access without effecting "read/write" to other files/folders in the phone/tablet. Apps and games can no longer be "installed" to the SD card.
  • please clarify for me, as i have been reading about this for the past week, i just bought a galaxy note 3, and i install the games/apps just fine and i still have the option to move all the data to the sd card, so far i have installed about 30 apps to the phone, and about 25 of them can be moved, including things like skype, google earth language apps, mobile tv, and various google apps, so im not sure what this new sd restriction is meant to affect
  • Check the app's SD Card usage after "moving" it to the SD. Some apps appear to move, but they really don't.
  • Can your music be stored on the SD card? I really just want to put music, photos and videos on it. Just want to make sure it will work.
  • Im confused so when updating do we have to remove the sd card to avoid damage Posted via Android Central App
  • This update effects apps that are moved to the Sd. In that, meaning any app that you moved to sd to save space with the internal memory of your device will no longer function until you reinstall the app. Any saved data left on the SD card will no longer function, and when talking about games (Gameloft games that are commonly well over 1.5GB's now) eat up a lot of space, and "move to SD" was a space saving feature for such apps. Now, you will have to be fully aware of any, and ALL storage space on your device with KitKat. The more apps, the less space. The less space, the less pictures/videos you will be able to shoot with the camera. Among other issues.
  • I don't have to worry about this anymore really. Even when I had phones with SD card slots, the only thing I stored on them was pictures. Anyhoo, I see how this prevents major security issues. Sure, people may lose convenience, but in this day in age, you can never be too careful about protecting information on your mobile device.
  • The thing that I don't understand is why Google doesn't create a built-in app that can write any file to any location on the SD card, asking for the user's permission every. Time. Say we're using Snapseed, right. We want to save to the SD card. So Snapseed "shares" the resultant file to the app, and the app then pops out a dialog box which asks the user where to save the file.. and then saves it. I think it solves a lot of problems while still avoiding the problems you mentioned. Apps don't get to sneak around and write files behind our backs.. but apps can still edit/write files from/to the SD card with the user's explicit and manual permission. The only added hassle is that the user needs to click OK each time.
  • The SD card change appears to have fixed a long existing issue when you install hundreds of applications, the phone eventually endlessly reboots. The old solution required you root and then you had to use the Link2SD application on the play store. Lame! Anyway, thanks Google for fixing that and now my Note 3 works *perfectly.* Very happy KitKat user.
  • All I use my SD card for is media. So all is good here!!! Posted from my Galaxy Note 3 or Nexus 7
  • The issue with this is almost silly. Ever since ICS came out, Google has been pushing to get away from SD support. Many devices that initially released with ICS had no "move to SD" support, even though there was SD capabilities. Samsung apparently "fixed" these issues with updates. My wife has the Galaxy Tab 2 7", and when she got it, there was no "move to SD", not until the update to 4.1.2 and 4.2.2. After that, 8GB of limited space (about 4GB user available) became a non-issue. Her 32GB card was finally "useful". My old Transformer TF101 that is stuck on 4.0.3 will never have "move to SD" support. Nor will my Galaxy Tab Plus 7", that is on 4.0.4 and also has SD functionality...but only for media. Considering that ICS has been around for a solid 2 or 3 years now, this all should not come as a surprise. Here is an article on that talks about just 2011! I have been expecting a full on cut to SD support since around that time. My ONE and only real argument here is storage on a phone that no longer supports SD support (i.e. no slot)...The manufactures need to get away from devices with anything less than 8GB of storage as a default low end device. It is time for a "Paradigm Shift" in storage space on mobile devices. Apps that were only a MB or two back a couple years ago are now in the teens, or MORE! With that, carriers still insist on prepacking bloatware on devices. Manufactures, such as..and especially...Samsung, also insist on packing in their own first party apps that have similar function as many features within Android itself. 16GB should be the bare minimum a handset should ship with if it is in the midrange, with options for larger storage space with incremental price adjustments.. 32GB should be the bare minimum for any device claiming "high end" status, with similar pricing structures we already are familiar with. Once devices ship with higher storage numbers, the lack of SD support will quickly become a non-issue for everyone.
  • I now have aproblem with PLEX - as they have not updated their app I can no longer download media to my SD card. Anyone know of a workaround?
  • No - Plex is no longer allowed to write to SD, you need to save to internal storage.
  • All I want to know is if Poweramp can read my music from the SD card. I can do without 3rd party apps writing files to my card as long as they can read them. Posted via Android Central App
  • As far as I know, it can read your music but you can't add to (or save) your playlist unless you move the playlist to your internal storage.
  • "IF YOU WANT REMOVABLE STORAGE THAT CAN BE READ ANYWHERE, UNDERSTAND THAT IT'S NOT GOING TO BE SECURE." no, since you can still read from it using any other desktop-OS .
    so your data isn't secure at all this way.
    in fact, the sd card isn't supposed to contain secure data unless you encrypt it. sd cards data should be available for all to read and write.
    what's weird is that the restrictions weren't forced on the primary external storage, where files do get into random folders, and apps don't remove them (because they can't) when being uninstalled.
    this doesn't keep anything neat. it's a limitation for no reason. now apps can only use the sd card for caches and temporary files.
  • "Jerry’s Not Awesome App that steals your data " Surely this app can still read your entire SD or built in storage and STEAL YOUR DATA anyway!
  • Thanks for this, maybe it will calm the waters. I think most of us don't want to raise a rebellion, just get things working for us in some way we can manage even if it's not the way it was before.
  • I have a Note 3. I stopped using external SD cards. Why? It has nothing to do with KitKat, my Note 3 is still using Android 4.3. The Note 3 destroys SD cards regularly. When I say destroy, I mean completely destroy. It won't work or format anywhere. Not on a phone, a tablet or a PC. It's just completely unusable in any way, shape or form. I've gone through 4 64gb cards now. That's a lot of money wasted. So, I just stopped using them for my phone.
  • Tabguy, I have the 64GB SanDisk ultra card and no problems. Posted via Android Central App
  • Assuming you aren't overusing the SD cards, it sounds like you have a faulty SD Reader. Maybe it's running a higher than usual voltage or something and frying the little chips?
  • What is it they're trying so hard to secure? Shouldn't private info be kept on internal storage, that's already secured with UNIX file permissions? Big SD cards are mostly used for lots of media - is the pain of figuring out how to manage media in this new environment worth making sure bad app can't swipe copies of grandma's photos?
  • Just sold my iPhone 5 as 16GB was not enough. I was looking forward to coming back to Android as some smartphones have Micro SD slot, but after reading this article I will likely not buy another Android smartphone.
  • one of the main reasons I stay with Samsung is the sd card. Its my phone and android has no right to try and protect me from myself like Im an infant or apple user. I wont be updating my note 3. It works the way I want it to now. luckily since Im verizon, it wont be an issue for a year or so. Its assinine for google to limit functionality based on a perceived threat. They should be trying to improve the system, not destroy it.
  • In the long term, Google is doing the right thing here
    I'm glad that they started enforcing something that was written long ago.
    Tnx for the article, Jerry. very informative. Posted via Android Central App
    VZW Moto X
  • So... Kinda like what Apple was doing to Flash...?
  • You say "only use the sd card for data storage" in the last sentence there. Well, how do I store data on the card if I can't write any files on it from my phone? What? Move everything i want on my card to my cpu and then put it on the card? Yeah, that won't be happening. Just one more reason to stay rooted.
  • Additionally, I know what is on my sd card. It's the same stuff that has been on it for years, except the new pics, music, videos, docs, and other things I keep on my card as opposed to my internal storage. Never once have I found something there that I didn't put there. This seems to be fixing a problem that doesn't exist, or does it?
  • The biggest problem is that Android has tried to make up for the lack of upgradeable internal storage by allowing SD cards to be used as an extension of internal storage rather than the removable, portable media drives they used to be. If you ask me, apps, their settings and any confidential data files they create should not be installed and run from an SD card. OEMs need to get their fricken act together and increase internal storage, plus allow for a way to upgrade it the way we can upgrade hard drives in traditional PCs. But I have an even bigger concern! Quoting from Jerry's post:
    ...If I'm an app, I can't say “This is my folder. I will allow you to look inside, but you are not to put anything new in there or change any of my stuff!”... I'm concerned this Kit Kat change can be used to facilitate vendor lock-in by not allowing one app to modify files created by a competing app. I want all the pictures I store in my SD card to be available to any photo editing app I decide to try, without any bureaucratic migration process to switch from one app to another, same with videos, spreadsheets, text documents or similar data files. I also want be able to transfer those files to and from any computer I stick the card into. Again, confidential files don't belong in removable storage cards, except maybe inside encrypted archives. Finally, if I want to buy a bigger SD card for a device, I should be able to reuse the old card and its data in some other device I have. Likewise, if I upgrade my device, I should be able to reuse my existing SD card and its data by sticking it into the new device.
  • I think Google made a big mistake not giving a transition path to Android users. Great, if they want Android apps to write ONLY to their respective folders, provide users the ability to take their existing data and move it to the appropriate folders. Why do the transition in a way where the online forums light-up with angry users? The problem is that existing users who have upgraded to KitKat are now stuck. We can't downgrade, and can't use the SD card now that we have upgraded! That cannot be a situation in which Google leaves users. I believe someone in the Android group did not put much thought into the process before giving the green signal to make the SD card more secure. I am for making the SD card more secure but not in the way Google's done it!
  • Cute are those who support this on the basis of security. I guess they don't use external hard drives either on their computers for storing their crap. There is a difference in preventing apps from storing their own data on the sd card and preventing users from moving their own files across internal and sd, or managing their own files on the sd. Security would have achieved by enforcing the first with proper application permission management, stupidity was achieved by enforcing the second. It would have been really simple, you choose the privileged apps that have access to the sd and that's it. Any other strange stuff without permission has no access.
    If I download a document from an email and want to put it on my sd card why on earth would google disable it and flag it as "protecting the user" without giving me any tools to decide that for myself. Irrational and stupid at its best. There is no bitter taste than giving freedom then taking it because security was not implemented properly. This just proves that by the end of the day, its just another phone operating system that won't go further than tablets.
    Hell, even xprivacy does a better job at providing the user with means to block apps from accessing the storages devices than this kitkat bullsh*t. Not even a half done job, when a single third party developer managed to provide better permission management to the OS than google itself...
  • Amen. Google makes the most infuriating and idiotic moves lately. I think there's a window for MSFT, but they seem to be parroting Apple to their own detriment. Sucks.
  • KitKat users are also experience crap battery life, espeically Note 3 and Nexus
  • I haven't experienced crappy battery life lol. Posted via Android Central App
  • So in summing up...KitKat no good? The preference is to stay on JellyBean?
  • Personally, I don't like SD Cards. They are a security hole. With that said, I've been enjoying Kit Kat since December on My Droid Maxx.
  • The problem I see is that the Sprint / Samsung Kit Kat update seems to have broken Google Play on my Note 3. The permissions change is preventing updates to apps that have never been moved to the SD card. Even Google apps can no longer be updated such as Google Wallet. Samsung has stated they are working on a fix but what I would like to know is the ETA on that fix. My apps are waiting on updates and until that fix is available the waiting list is just going to get longer. Additionally it seems to have slowed the performance of the Samsung keyboard. Typing messages has become a painful chore of backspacing and rewriting because the keyboard misunderstood a quick tap for a long press. I never had WiFi issues prior to Kit Kat but now its just a mess. With Kit Kat and the phone next to the WiFi transceiver it now drop the connection in what seems like a cycle of about 180 - 1800 seconds then reestablishes the connection. It is behaving like the OS and apps us a temp directory on the SD card and can no longer use it so apps and the OS are pushing everything into RAM. I have seen the RAM utilization skyrocket. Additionally it looks like a lot of these apps and even the OS are not very proactive in cleaning up after themselves.
  • Not sure if it is the same problem I read about, but there was some post I read stating the dropouts with WiFi are due to some auto function where the WiFi receiver is told to check/look for a stronger/more stable WiFi signal. Also read that the dropouts stop once that function is disabled. I donut remember where it is, but it's probably in the WiFi section of Settings or somewhere.
  • not a problem...
  • I was wondering why TuneSync suddenly gave me a "cannot write to SD card" error message or something similar. Here is my answer. Feck me.
  • I also don't like the kitkat change In theory security is a good thing, but they have implemented it wrong
    applications should also by default also not able to read, execute outside of their folder (even when it is a system delivered application). on the device and external sd card There should be exceptions for media files (videos, music, photos, docs, maps ect). for this a user should be able to modify with apps, when you have authorized the application to access the media folders on the sd card. I think this would be acceptable for 95 %. Perhaps also a gamesdata folder, where games apps can store their data
  • Android is slowly following the philosophy of ios. Whats gonna be next? there will be no file browser on the play store?
  • Cool....but i'm using Moto G which has KitKat but no SD card support.. :D anyways....check this out
    Samsung Galaxy Beam successor spotted with metal exterior in China
  • Does this mean that WiFi File Explorer Pro and ES File Explorer will no longer work?
  • Isn't it about time we stopped bending over to Microsoft? FAT file systems should have died long ago. Google should just go with EXT4 and let microsoft worry about supporting Android.
  • This keeps up with Android and I may just switch to Microsoft. I do not like being told how to manage my files.
  • In my opinion, this was a poor choice by Google, or at least a poor execution. This change can severely limit the usability of any app that manipulates media on an SD card. Let's face it, people mainly use their SD cards to store their local media (music, pictures, videos). Any app that manipulates/edits/deletes/etc. music, images, or video is going to be handicapped by this change. For instance in my music app, Music Player (Remix), I've had to modify my app description to note that features such as lyric embedding, album art embedding, and tag editing will not work under KitKat if the media is stored on an SD card (assuming the SD card is the secondary storage on the device). There actually is a permission (WRITE_MEDIA_STORAGE) that an app could request to allow it to write to any file on the secondary storage device (i.e. SD card). However Google does not allow 3rd party apps to request this permission. It seems to me that they should mark certain privileges like this as "HIGH SECURITY RISK" (or something like that) so the user knows that they're giving an app this special permission. But it should be up to the users. If the app is a photo editor, it would make sense to have this permission. If it's a puzzle game, then the user may decide to skip over this app.
  • can someone explain this sd card issue with a typical user scenario? i left android for a few years and recently came back, currently using a nexus 5 so no sd card. wanted to get a note 3, because of the sd card option. if all i normally use sd card for is to augment music and picture storage, would this really an issue for me?
  • This just means 3rd part apps cant write or modify files on the SD card. A MP3 player can read your songs but you cant use that app to delete, change the tag or rename the file. You cant use 3rd party apps like ES file explorer to access your network to grab MP3s and write them to your SD card as well and if you store the MP3s in the 3rd party apps folder so you can delete, modify the file and you delete the app, all the songs will be deleted. Same if you use a picture app to say remove red eye and your camera is set up to save the photos to your SD card, that app will no longer be able to do so. You would need to save the pictures on the phones internal storage in a a folder inside the app you want to use to edit the picture. And if you do store the pictures to the 3rd partys app folder so you can edit them and you delete the app, the pictures will be deleted unless you remember to remove them first.
  • Yeah, it basically makes all of your files in third-party apps (everything that isn't part of the Android OS) write to their own folders that they create and own. And when you uninstall the app, the folders (and all your files) go with the app. This sucks. Like others have said, this is basically a bid to kill SD cards and force you to their "cloud" services for everything. I don't see any security threat here that is being snuffed out, at least not in the way I use my phone. I don't have apps that change system settings based on files on the SD card.
  • I now truly regretted the Kitkat update! My files previously hidden in SD cards are no longer accessible after KitKat! Just hoping the the App developer can help me to recover them!
  • Please name and shame app developer playing guerrilla marketing bs games that are attempting to push Google to going back to the less secure system, because THEY got it wrong I their app.
  • Hi all , i m abt 50 and main reason i got note 3 was the to use the fine display for navigation/gps (mountains) NOT with google maps etc crap but with apps that give maps etc ALL THOSE ARE STORED @MICROSD
    I ve been mixed in this mess without being warned and taken away thw right to use the phone for the purpose i purchased it ..who's responsible ? (samsung local service denied to rollback to 4.3) how can i get back the functionality i bought ? p.s.pls dont start stand for google , i dont care bout em , i didnt buy google stuff but samsung !!!
  • I was very disappointed when the Nexus 4 (and later Nexus 5) came out that it has such a small internal memory and no card slot. Since it's a Google device, we should have expected that Google will try to force their Android to follow the same path. It is obvious that Google forces people to use their cloud, so that they send a lot of data via their network provider, who Google gets very likely a share from. Google is now instituting a dictatorship ruling their customers, as well as Apple did years ago. Now the loyal customers who looked up to Google are getting the taste of it's real medicine. I hope the manufacturers will try to solve this problem and fight Google, because having a flagship device with 16GB internal memory for apps being unable to move them is really sad. Now I can plug my 64GB card in the God-forbidden place, because it lost the primary purpose for me. Second option seems to be buying an overpriced Apple device with 64GB memory, which will be of use probably as much as my SD card stuck in my ... (I really don't like Apple, but Google gives more and more reasons to be hated, too). The Nexus smartphones should have been a red flag Sony, HTC and others. How valuable is now a S4 over my bevoled Z1, since Samsung has foreseen Google's betrayal and defends their customers. I only hope Sony will do the same, but knowing their support, it would be a little miracle.
  • I want it easy. Pray tell what has happened in the years since the G1 to somehow make this a security issue? Still It matters not. I'll continue to root and apply the patch that allows me to use my phone AS I SEE FIT. Once Google/Android decides that rooting is a security issue [which to the world is a bigger security issue than SD cards but go figure] I'll test the waters with other than android devices.
  • Developers actually write apps that load settings from the SD card? I don't believe the phone OS loads anything from SD, right? I don't see a big security scare here - seems like this is overstated. If my pictures and videos on the SD card can be corrupted by some rogue app, that sucks. But it isn't really a security issue to fear or try to fix, is it? This is like the "menace" of side-loaded apps from a Chinese app store. Who does that and doesn't expect to get bad results? I always viewed the SD card as a sort of media extension drive. Why fill up my tiny phone, when I can have the camera apps dump all the videos and photos there in one location? Why have my MP3s hog up my phone memory? It seems to me that the impact for me here is that third-party camera apps will take my pictures and videos with them when they uninstall. And I will have to try to dig around to find my files now instead of them all being in the DCIM folder. That sucks.
  • I'm fine for using my sd card for storage. If I can save my photos, music and movies no biggie. But if sd cards are becoming less useful, phone manufacturers need to add more internal memory...Not 16GB (8 after touchwiz, etc) Posted via Android Central App
  • Well the rest that bought 64gb cards to function properly apps like navigators should throw them away and pray manufacturers to bulid bigger memories ...have we all lost it ????
  • This is just a heavy handed way to deal with this non issue. KitKat could have just changed the old permission to write to the SD card to this new method, and added a new permission to allow complete access for file manager apps, etc. This wouldn't help with older apps breaking, but it wouldn't ruin the functionality and potential of this OS. Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
  • For people that use third party file managers this is a nightmare. They should at least allow apps like, ES, x-plore etc to have full access. I always though that Android means more freedom for the user, at least more than IOS, but now i was proven wrong.
  • I read it, and I'd like to ask u all something.
    Is it possible to use a partitioned 128gb card at a unrooted 4.3 xperia z1? And at a 4.4.2?
    Which storage systems are supported?
    Could I use SDK to get apps installing at one partition, and use the other partition to media files?
  • So let me get this straight, so you can no longer use the external SD card for storage for appdata anymore?? I have OSMAndroid as well as a few other apps with massive storage requirements (Titanium Backup for one). If I am now FORCED and RESTRICTED to only being able to save that on my phone then I would be running out of storage quicker then anyone could say oh snap. As opposed to delegating that storage to the SD card.....
  • Whatever apps you have installed on your SDcard, just use your phone and move them all back to your internal storage. Then update to KitKat and then move them back? Is that so hard? All that ridiculous stuff you mentioned is just that, RIDICULOUS. First off the update wont even hurt most users because they don't even use SDcards. The ones that do, likely didn't install apps to SD as not all phones supported this feature. I had Samsung Galaxy devices which didn't support this function until 4.3. So now that I read your article, I know before I update to KitKat; I need to move my apps back to the internal storage and then move them back. This is what you who claim to be so tech savvy should be doing. Instead of bad mouthing Google for trying to make Android more secure, why not actually be helpful. Oh and while you are claiming Android is work in progress? All operating systems are always work in progress. Singling out Android is lame andstupid. #justsayin'
  • What I am trying to understand is why didn't google just apply the same security it has on the internal memory? What is keeping my apps from doing the same thing on my internal phone storage?
  • All I want to do is remove the videos I from my SD card. I went to delete them from the Video folder today and was told they were write-protected...I can't even watch the damn things. There's 13GB I want to free up and I can't figure out how. Suggestions or am I just as screwed?
  • The *real* problem with Kitkat's approach to external SD Cards is that it turns your mini-computer/smart phone into a plain old smart phone. Apps can no longer interact with each other and their data to yield a universal computing environment (except when interacting through the all too limited space of the internal storage, or unless they are Google or the phone manufacturer apps). This issue cannot be fixed by any amount of app developer modifications to their apps to fit in with the new SD Card policy. This is a *major* downgrade to Android; there's still a computer inside there, but Google decided that neither you the phone owner, nor app developers deserve access to it. Now, if you're happy with a plain old smart phone, you're ok. If, however, you wanted a real computing environment in your pocket, you are totally irretrievably screwed. Bad bad bad Google.
  • Google are you dumb? Is this how you deal with your fans? Ok now you have the chance to fix what you did or Android will be history soon just like other Phone OS before you :)
  • Question is, why wasn't this thought out from the get go?
  • ... They thought changing a variable in a file that is inaccessible without root was cost-effective vs fixing it with actual thought and work? Or maybe they wanted to kick their community in the jewels hoping for an actionable idea to fall out they can use for free and also exploit some free kudos that comes with "listening to the community" on the side?
  • Good news! Just upgraded my Note 3 to the latest Android release from Samsung and it appears that 3rd party software that couldn't access my external memory now can.
  • basically the moment Microsoft brings the installation of apps to MicroSD cards, Google takes it out of Android? Are they nuts? One of the reasons (and a very big one) for me to switch from my current Windows Phone to an Android, apart from the fact that Nokia will be gone, was that Android HAS flagship devices with microSD cards where I could install more apps, despite the way way too limited 16GB storage of the devices themselves (I'm thinking of Sony's Z flagships). If Google, meanwhile, doesn't find a way to securely allow apps to be installed on microSD cards, then I have very very few reasons to switch. I have no use for an App Store with tons of apps if I'll be limited by the ridiculously low internal storage of the devices. Meh, I might as well just stay with Windows Phone and hope the rumours about Sony's upcoming WP are true.
  • Why worry about the storage for your apps? Paid for apps can be re-downloaded from Play Store without additional charge and, of course the free ones are, well, free. You don't need every app on your phone at one time and it takes seconds to re-download.
    The big space killer is DATA. If everyone just used the external storage for data they could swap in and out whatever microsd cards they desired, giving an infinite external storage.
  • I use file managers often, such as the excellent Air Droid. I understand why Google wanted to make this change but it would be a great move on their part if Android OS allowed us to specifically mark certain apps, such as Air Droid to have full and unfettered access to all files on external SD card. My work around for this annoying blockage is to use ES File Explorer app which for some reason still has full access to all files on external SD cards. I am still able to delete any files on external SD cards with this app. (Phone used: Samsung Galaxy S4 under Sprint)
  • Does this imply that permissions will work as described if I format my external SD card in Ext? I.e. would, e.g. ES File Explorer be able to handle files and subfolders in folders it created? I wouldn't mind not being able to read the card on my PC (anyway, wouldn't it be readable through NTP by USB connection?). If yes, then how do I do that? On my Galaxy S5, if I use "Format SD Card" from the storage settings, I think it will format my "internal" SD card!
  • So, Jerry Hildenbrand how do I format my SD card to an EXT? Will my phone read the EXT SD card as an external volume or it would not realize the difference?
  • I am honestly very disappointed with Google, A company that appeared to see the end users needs and wants. For years I have been a Googlite. I have the New S5, I phoned Samsung and told them I need a fix or to know it will be fixed or not. if not I will be returning the phone for an S2X. sorry Samsung/Google be prepared for a drop in sales and customers moving to other platforms. Ill let you know what happened. I already can guess though
  • PS its almost a fruitless exercise phoning 1-800-Samsung however if enough people express this issue it may bear fruit as the manufacturer grows concerned with phone sales and may place pressure on Google to actually think about there actions. Just saying, if you got time....
  • Wow...all this time watching android slowly go from toy to tool...only to watch it go back to being a toy again. Screw the cloud. I'll keep my full file management capabilities, thank you. Seems odd that this (4.4) started about the same time Big Red jerked all the unlimited data packages.
  • I don't understnad Google. Why not to implement some shared folders on SD card where any application has read/write access? I have only media folders on SD card: photo, music, audiobooks and I want to have the ability to download some file and put it to music folder. Sometimes I needs to edit MP3's tags or edit my photos. Yes, FAT doesn't allow that but Android could control such folders. User need to set in UI that some folders are public folders and everyone will be happy, I think. Of course personal folders for apps in SD card should still work and allow apps to be placed on SD card.
  • Thanks, Cowboy, for your very clear always.
  • So I have a question. Will a 64 GB Micro SDXC Card work in the Galaxy S5?
  • Can someone explain this "security risk" Google is "fixing"?
    All the unrooted devices I've used won't let you run Apps from external SD. How can writing or deleting data be a security risk? If an app deletes my photos without permission it will do the same to other people's and won't survife long on Play store. Same applies if my photo app deletes all my photos without permission.
    The REAL security risk is in my data being STOLEN. Every app seems to need you to give it permission to do this if it wants in order for you to use it. My data is more secure on an SD card which doesn't leave my home and which I can REMOVE when accessing the internet than any form of "CLOUD" storage which every hacker and his dog will be trying to break into.
    If there IS a security risk why did Google not tell us for the past several years and why has it waited until now to address the issue? How many apps have maliciously or accidentally deleted data created by other Apps? As I see it two apps may use the same file name which may cause problems, but for DATA? I choose my data file names and every app I've used asks me to confirm deletion.
    Google should give the buyer a simple option to root / unroot their device and device manufacturers should supply a recovery image to return to the original device setup. Why should manufacturers care if someone has rooted their device if it is returned for a HARDWARE problem?
    My devices allow me to connect a usbdevice (which may be a usb card reader or hard drive). so what access do I have to those under KitKat?
  • "do you want it easy or do you want it secure" - that's a stupid way to pose a false problem. Why not both? I don't want absolute security or absolute ease. I want a reasonable compromise. What KitKat brought is not reasonable. Google could simply introduce some guidelines for apps that handle sensitive information, like a requirement to encrypt their folders. Google could have introduce a secure container on the internal memory to which all apps who handle sensitive information must write their data, each in its own folder without the possibility to read each others folders. For apps that don't implement this, a warning should be given that it may not be secure. Aside from inconvenience, the absolute biggest problem is that without interoperability between apps, there's no way to check what they do. If an app can't read another's app that, nobody can create an app to check on them (like a PC antivirus for example). When someone (and inevitably it will happen) hacks this system, we won't have a way of knowing it until after the fact. In PC world, apps can read each other's folders with some restrictions (the APP_DATA subfolders for example). There are fairly secure containers and restrictions don't need to apply globally. The potential compatibility between sdCard format and old versions of windows is ludicrous. FAT32-only for read/write exists only at Windows 95 level and older. Even Windows95 has at least one program to allow reading from NTFS. And I would stake 10 years wage that people using KitKat smartphones with Windows 95 and Windows 3.1 tend to be more like Yeti: people assume they exists but nobody has seen them. Is there even driver support for these systems?
  • I am confused, my i9505 samsung s4 had stock kitkat and now has Cynogenmod 11 and apps can write to the sdcard fine
  • It would be nice if they just gave you the option of how to format your card so it could use EXT (or another android supported file system). FAT32 is on the way out as it is because of file limitations, with more cameras recording in 4k that 4GB limit is a hassle. Just indicate during the process that this is android only & will not work elsewhere.
  • I'm with everyone regarding SD card , I was enjoying using my Note Tablet during meetings and saving the documents (using Polaris office) to my external SD card at each client folder. This ability is gone and tablet to me reduced to a mere play like iPad. I stopped carrying my laptop and stopped using pen and paper. .. now Google following Apple, I see a lawsuit from Apple coming now claiming Google file structure s same as iOS
    If Google stays this path then I'm done (after being Google fan for 6 years), time to check out Microsoft phones & Tablets
  • The Surface does alright with OneNote RT. Surface Pro running normal OneNote would probably suit as a replacement with the pen-stylus though it would probably be twice the size of a Note 8 or so.
  • Well to start with. If I had only wanted internal storage. I wouldn't have bought a phone with external storage. Next it's not up to Google who or why I share my data with. Every app ask permission to access your info. If you don't want them to. You do not OK it. Now we have phone with external storage that we can't add to or even use. I don't remember giving Google control over this. They have become like our president. Force crap on them without telling them what's in it. This is bs!
  • Your thesis about security is all fine and dandy but it addresses nothing about ME (THE OWNER OF THE PHONE) being able to access the SD card while plugged into my desktop computer.
    BTW, this wonderful new KitKat drains my battery 7X faster than the previous system. I'm sure Google thought THAT was an improvement to devices.
  • Since KitKAT I get as little as 3+ hours on my phone, unless I do nothing (standby time is still a couple of days).. Before, it always lasted all day or longer.
  • Wow, I feel sorry for all of those people who've forked out thousands for expensive camcorders and cameras, as they must be constantly getting problems with corrupt images/videos and sdcard malfunctions. As for security, I hope they implement this in Windows soon. Far too many people are puttings secondary or external hard drives into their PC's and allowing non-Microsoft apps to have write access to them. Just look at how unstable and virused up Windows gets!! And as for the various LInux distros I run where all the apps can access my secondary storage, well now, I barely even turn that on because within 3 minutes it either crashes or some app has stole all my data and emptied my bank account. I put googles reasoning into my BS meter to test it's logic and the meter just exploded.
  • I did not read through every comment, but can someone tell there a way for me to access the music on my micro sd card from my car stereo using the USB port like I did on my S2? I know I can access and play the music through the music player on the phone and through the headphone jack on the top...but can I access it and shuffle it through the USB port and my car stereo by possibly making a selection in the settings to change the USB format as I did on my S2 or did kit kat do away with that functionality?
  • Under KitKat I can add, delete move files on an SD card if I put the SD card in a USB adapter and connect via USB if that helps. My device is unrooted and I used a file manager downloaded from app store. The manager cannot delete the file when the SD card is in the external SD slot. This seems to make a mockery of the above argument in favor of the change, or is Google planning to apply v the same restrictions to USB? I still don't buy the security argument. If an app deleted or modified files without my permission it would not survive long on the App Store. Apps still have read access to files created by other apps which is surely how data gets stolen.
    I haven't read every post on this thread so If this has been explained earlier could someone point me to the post, please? It strikes me that the purpose is to force us to use Google Apps so that they have exclusive access to the marketing material so gathered and they can force us to accept unwanted advertisements in order to do anything under Android.
  • The argument of being "more secure " is rubbish! I have been powerusing Android devices for years now, tried thousands of apps that sound only a bit interesting from several "non Google" stores and even used "hacked" apps for testing purposes. I also use home banking on my devices. I use no antimalware apps. I install one every few months, do a check and uninstall it as there is never anything wrong. "brain.apk" works very good. I NEVER had any kind of security problem. Never did an app try to write into other apps space to change something. A malware usually wants to READ data and not WRITE data. At least I never heard of any relevant malware that does this. And reading data is still possible with Kitkat! Even worse: *Apps can still write into non system areas that they do not own on the internal memory!* With Kitkat I let all files from "Pictures/Screenshots" be moved to "/DCIM/Camera" without any problem. On the ext. SD I cannot do this anymore. Where is the logic? Here a threat scenery is constructed that does not exist. I know this behaviour from companies that sell security software. As well you cannot edit your pictures on your ext. SD with different apps anymore. It has somehow become like the Apple iOS, where you have no real file system and every app can only read and write to its own folder. You have to mail your pics to yourself and then open them with another app to use them there. *This is a nightmare user experience!*
    This is what will happen to Android users now (the data can be copied by the app, but still there will soon be masses of copies and originals in different folders) if they still want to use their ext. SD cards. The real reason in my opinion is that Google wants to get rid of Smartphones with ext. SD cards altogether, so they make it a pain in the a.... to use them. My advice is: Get your phone rooted as soon as you got Kitkat and use an app to change everything back to a useful setting.
  • Google chose to implement security in this Apple-like "we kn