Android 5.0 Lollipop changes the way your SD card works — and that's a good thing

Google brings new developer tools to allow for more access in Android 5.0 Lollipop

Google has brought a new set of tools for developers to leverage the SD card on your phone or tablet with Android 5.0 Lollipop. Using a new intent, applications can now have read and write access to directories on removable storage — even directories they do not own. Google at its developer conference this summer announced it would be addressing this issue, and today things were made more official with an announcement on the Android-platform Google group.

Here's what you need to know.

Hey all, in KitKat we introduced APIs that let apps read/write file in app-specific directories on secondary storage devices, such as SD cards.

We heard loud and clear that developers wanted richer access beyond these directories, so in Lollipop we added the new ACTION_OPEN_DOCUMENT_TREE intent. Apps can launch this intent to pick and return a directory from any supported DocumentProvider, including any of the shared storage supported by the device. Apps can then create, update, and delete files and directories anywhere under the picked tree without any additional user interaction. Just like the other document intents, apps can persist this access across reboots.

This gives apps broad, powerful access to manage files while still involving the user in the initial selection process. Users may choose to give your app access to a narrow directory like "My Vacation Photos," or they could pick the top-level of an entire SD card; the choice is theirs.

OK. If you're not an Android application developer, that looks pretty complicated. In fact, it is pretty complicated, so it's a good thing that Google did most of the work. But we can try and simplify things a bit.

Using this new method, a developer can now declare a permission on installation (that's part of that list of items we usually gloss over) to do "things" on device storage — including removable (read: SD cards) storage. One of the things they can do is allow you to choose what folder(s) on the SD card you want the application to be able to change. This could be one folder — like "Music" — or the top level folder. Anything inside this directory can be read, written, and possibly deleted.

Simply put, this means that an app like Poweramp can now edit tags on the songs you have in the Music folder. Or a photo editor can save to the Pictures folder, and not just its own folder. Or a file manager can move files around on the SD card. All the developer needs to do is update the app with the new methods.

There will be issues with some apps. We can count on that. And you'll need to allow for a new permission that gives an app almost unfettered access to your device storage — both internal and external. But this is a (mostly) safe way to allow applications to have access to the storage on your device that bypasses standard filesystem commands in favor of a document model.

Now who will be first to implement it, and when will a device with an SD card see a Lollipop update? We'll just have to see.

Source: Android-platform

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.

  • That would almost be clever, if it wasn't so overused in high school. You should really stop asking your kids to help you with your insults on the internet.
  • Is something wrong bruh?
  • Thank god for that :) Posted via the Android Central App
  • This made my day. Now I can't wait for the update
  • Can't wait for rogue apps writing wherever they want on my SD! Posted from my TARDIS!
  • Same and I'm not being sarcastic because idgaf about those things it's doesn't affect me Posted via Nexus 7 2013 or verizon Galaxy S5 or maybe one day through my moto 360
  • The app has to ask the user first, so any damage caused would be because the user trusted the rouge app twice. First by installing, second by telling it what folder it can access. Posted via Android Central App
  • ^^This is truthful testimony! ^^ Google is giving two step authentication to apps that want access to the external sdcard. The first step is on the developers in the permissions when installing.
    The second step is on the "User" when granting access to specific folders. Beautiful.....!!! Now stupid users can't complain when they give rouge apps permission to screw with their sdcard storage. (Apps not from the Google PlayStore). Posted via my "Material Design Modded" Rooted Sprint LG G2. (Rooted Sprint GS3
    (Stock Hisense Sero 7 Pro
    (Stock Galaxy Note Pro 12.2
    (Stock T-Mobile Galaxy Note 3
  • And reporters will still whine that rogue apps still exist and are screwing with storage. Posted via Android Central App
  • Just like every version of Android prior to KitKat allowed? KitKat broke so many apps because of this it was ridiculous. As for rogue apps, take some responsibility and look at the permissions an app requests, and decide if you want it on your device. It's your call, not the developer's or Google's. And that's how it should be.
  • @heyjohnnybravo Your solution is therefore to throw the baby out with the bathwater, al la Apple and their "You will use our device the way - and ONLY the way - we deem acceptable" mantra? Sorry, I'm an adult, I don't want my devices crippled to save me from having to exercise a minimal degree of responsibility for the apps I choose to run on them.
  • Going to say the same. Full access to internal and external their is going to be plenty of naughty pics being swiped. Haha Posted via the Android Central App
  • I've owned an Android phone in some form or another since Cupcake. I've side loaded a shit-ton of apps. I've yet to have a "rogue app" affect me. Ever. Thanks for the FUD, bud.
  • Can't wait for you to install some rogue apps of your own choice.
  • Welcome back ES File Explorer and Quick Pic.
  • All that I really want is to have about 5 to 8 movies in my SD card for whenever I need to give my kids my phone. That's it. Posted via my Xperia Z2
  • You already can
  • "..for whenever I need to give my kids my phone". *shudder"
  • I'm starting trouble right then and there. Bad parent. Give them a pen and paper to draw.
  • Mind your own business.
  • +1! Agree! Don't lecture people! Posted via the Android Central App
  • HAHAHAHAHAH!!!!! Don't Lecture People! AWESOME lecture yourself there Jay. You just made my day. :-D
  • You never had a Gameboy or other portable electronic device as a kid? If not, okay. If you did, how is this significantly different?
  • I had a Gameboy. A gameboy is made for children. A smartphone is not. A gameboy didn't cost $500-$700 to replace. A smartphone is not a toy.
  • So you never bought an xbox? How about a computer with educational games? Posted by my soon to be retired Note 3
  • What? with a non removable battery & SdCard crippled S6? Maybe Samsung has worked out that all the power users are already on the Note series... bring on Q3.
  • You realize this comment is 3 months old and was in no way related to or taking into consideration the S6 right? Although, I do agree that they probably omitted these features on the S6 due to most power users opting for the Note series.
  • I see you're getting modded down, which is not surprising. There's no shortage of idiot parents out there. These are probably the same kinds of people that sued Apple and Google when their kid bought $1,000 worth of smurfberries.
  • They got smurfed.
  • I don't have kids, but this is a lame excuse. Your parents probably didn't already carry game-boys wherever the went. Not all smart phones cost $500 - $700 to replace. From what I read, Gameboys were about $100 when first released.. Probably around $175 - $200 in today's price. Games were probably around $25. Between the price of games, the gameboy and batteries - it adds up pretty quick. You can buy a decent smartphone for $200.
  • IE Moto G
  • So, having raised children that you are comfortable trusting with an expensive device makes you a bad parent? I mean, I have a two year old, I don't give her my phone because that would be idiotic. However, is it really so hard to believe that a 6 or 7 year old can be trusted to sit there and watch a movie or play a game in a waiting room?
  • My 2 year old picks the youtube videos he wants to watch while sitting quietly on the sofa, using voice search like a Champ. My only regret is waking up with mushe mushe mushe mushe monsters monsters rolling round in my brain. Some say trusting there small child to not behave like they are being taught to is bad parenting, I say not teaching them to listen and behave, and showing them no trust is bad parenting.
  • My daughters first Gameboy cost much more than the last smartphone I purchased, and more than most of the current tablets on sale.
  • I never did. I had books. But then, the only electronic devices from my day were those lame-ass football games with blips, so I might not be the best use-case.
  • Jonathan Leduc Stop being an internet douche and take a look at the stupid crap you do in your life before you judge others and go spouting off nonsense on the internet. You idiot.
  • ^^^Prick!!!^^^ Posted via the Android Central App
  • Agreed. Mind your own damn business. You don't know someone else's kids and letting them watch a movie once in a while doesn't make them a bad parent.
  • The beauty of Lollipop is alternate profiles.
  • Yes, because your personal data should be your FIRST concern, when handing a child your $700 smartphone.
  • My smartphone was $400. But you're making a pretty big leap of assumption there about the age and responsibility level of your child. I wouldn't hand my smartphone to my 6-year-old, but my 12-year-old, quite possibly. See, there's this crazy thing about humans where they're individuals and can get judged accordingly. We, as parents, get the ability to determine, across the years we've known each individual child, what we can and cannot trust them with, and can decide that "yes, this individual human child of mine is someone I trust with my smartphone, while that brat over there I wouldn't trust with my shoe." So in this case, my assumption indeed is that said parent knows their kid well enough to know the hardware isn't the problem. At that point, yes, my personal concern would switch to data. Sensitive information, private photos, work emails that they might accidentally clear, etc. Stuff that's more precise and easier to screw up even for someone I feel confident won't drop or throw my phone. Which is why I suggested the profiles, since they solve the only actual problem that remains for a responsible parent who knows whether they can trust their kid with their phone.
  • The person I replied to has a Z2 (as denoted in the signature), which is not a $400 phone new. Honestly, I don't care how much your phone cost you, it's not really something you should be handling your child. Everyone thinks their child is some kind of special snowflake and exception to the rule, but the fact of the matter is, they're not. And when they break/drop/drool/grease up your phone, that would cost hundreds of dollars to replace, you have no one to blame but yourself. So, nice speech, I guess. In the end, all I have to say to you is, "cool story, bro".
  • You'd have nobody to blame but yourself if YOU dropped the phone, too, and adults do that all the time. It's not about your kid being a special snowflake, it's about knowing your kid, knowing the risk level, and accepting it. For some kids, that's no different than handing it to another adult. For others, it's BETTER than handing it to another adult. I know I was ALWAYS more responsible with my electronics as a kid than any adult I knew. I know a lot of kids like that. They're almost laughably mature and more responsible than their own parents. Seriously, whatever kids you have, or have experienced, have given you a universal impression that simply isn't valid. Judging another parents for deciding their own risks based on their own circumstance is ridiculous.
  • I have never dropped a smartphone. Ever. Also, I don't have kids and never will. Some people choose not to reproduce. Queue the tired, predictable "if you had kids, you'd understand" parental response. Because, yes, you have some kind of unique, wise perspective on the world, simply because you accomplished a basic biological function with another human.
  • I specifically avoided the "if you had kids" argument because it's awful. And I'm not remotely clueless that not everybody wants kids. Has nothing to do with this. But the fact that you don't have them AND don't want them should be evidence enough to you that you aren't in a position to know what it's like to determine whether or not you trust them, which makes you judging other parents for their decisions really, really dumb. No, being a parent doesn't make a person automatically wise. But it does provide them the experience of parenting THEIR individual kids, which makes them more qualified than you when deciding whether or not THEIR individual kids can be trusted with THEIR phone.
  • well, thank you Lord for not repopulating the earth.,.. whew..... IJS
  • Oh, you're welcome. I just wish the rest of you would stop. We really don't need idiots raising idiots.
  • +1 Posted via the Android Central App
  • You all seem to have gone off tangent here, I have a kids and I'm slowly taking the time to teach them important uses for devices, remembering phone numbers, use a phone in a emergency. I used a PC to teach my son, who has just turned 5 to read and write. Please, don't insult parents and parental choices, if you make comments like I don't have kids and never will, you have no say. If you can't control a plane, you have no right to claim that flying is stupid.
    As for what people do with their phones, a possession there paid for and own, (and in your case highly recommend) they can shove up there ass for all it matters.
  • While you are teaching your son to read and write on the PC, how about teaching him grammer there, their and they're. Look it up.
  • What if you can afford to replace the phone should your child break it? Surely it makes no difference then? Posted via Android Central App
  • People waste money on stupid crap all the time, so, sure, I guess. It's still a waste of a perfectly good smartphone, though and I still think there are much better options to keep them entertained.
  • Different strokes for different folks. There are people that will be OK with handing a child their phone and there will be others who won't. There will be some that buy an otter box and there will be some that won't. Who cares? Onto the SD card situation in lollipop please. Posted via HTC soon to be a moto 5.2 or 5.9
  • There aren't many worse options to keeping a kid entertained than handingnthem a smartphone.
  • I know. How are they going to learn that "handingnthem" is not a word?
  • "There aren't many worse options to keeping a kid entertained than handingnthem a smartphone." I get the feeling you don't have kids. There are MUCH worse ways.
  • Gravage...the poster child for retroactive abortion Posted via the Android Central App
  • The middle school insults are abundant today. Nice one, bro. You worked hard for that one.
  • No need to harras someone for their own personal choices. BTW, can you show me the rule that says not to hand your child your phone? Must have missed that rule. Posted via Android Central App
  • You're right. There's no rule to save stupid people from themselves.
  • Yeah all your comments are invalid now. No need for name calling. This isn't a place for that kind of talk. I just hope this isn't something you do all day to others. Cause its sad. Posted via Android Central App
  • All of my comments are invalid now? Yeah, okay.
  • There's no sense in personal attacks. And that's what you're doing. Posted via Android Central App
  • "Queue the tired, predictable "if you had kids, you'd understand" parental response. Because, yes, you have some kind of unique, wise perspective on the world, simply because you accomplished a basic biological function with another human." Not a unique or wise perspective on the world, but a unique and wise perspective on children.....based on you know, experience. That may be hard to understand, so let me explain it in more simple terms for you. You have been flipping burgers daily for 10 years. You have a huge amount of experience flipping burgers. You have the perfect flipping know just how long to let it cook before can tell the exact thickness of a patty with one glimpse. I, who has only flipped burgers occasionally (when cooking for my kids), don't have the best flipping technique....I might overcook it slightly. Why? Because I don't have the same expert experience as you flipping burgers.
  • Raising a kid doesn't make you a good or wise parent. Raising 20 kids doesn't make you a good parent. Experience doesn't mean squat except that you have experience. I've met plenty of parents that I wouldn't leave alone with a cat for 30 minutes because they're such complete dipsticks.
  • "Raising a kid doesn't make you a good or wise parent. "\ OTOH, not having or raising kids pretty much guarantees you're not going to be a good or wise parent. Just as not having experience with smartphones makes you a poor judge of the "best" smartphone, not having experience with children sort of limits your ability to judge what is good or bad parenting technique, and the reasons a parent might choose a particular approach. I, too, cringe when I see people had their expensive smart phones to very young children. I also understand why they might do so.
  • Then in that case I can't save you from yourself. Posted via Android Central App
  • My 2 year old regularly uses my Nexus 10, Nexus 7, and once in a while my Moto X. All those devices are naked. She has her own restricted profile on the tablets. The horror! Why don't you stick to worrying about your own kids if you have any. ...And there it is. No kids. Obviously.
  • I know it's hard to comprehend, but some people choose not to reproduce. Some people have other ambitions in life. And don't get me wrong. I'm not worried about you or your kids. I don't care whether you live or die. I just think it's a shame that people hand a $700 electronic device to their child.
  • I think it's a shame that you worry about what someone else does with their $700. We square now?
  • Well, I wish I could say that I care what you think, but considering your hack articles and pathetic attempts at videos, I'd be giving you way too much credit. Thanks for your input, though, Jerry. It's cute that you felt the need to jump in.
  • You're welcome.
  • not only tell a parent what to do with their phone but now you are criticizing Jerry and this site? You are quite the troll aren't you? If you find this site so bad, you can take yourself and your parenting advice somewhere else. Posted via Android Central App
  • Boy, you sure told me. Did that make you feel like a man? Telling someone off on the internet? Kudos.
  • Actually, yes. Calling out trolls on their BS always makes me feel good. Did telling off Jerry make you feel better? Posted via Android Central App
  • Damn I was interested in reading about SD support on lollypop and I end up getting an episode of jerry Springer!
  • Except we still don't know who the father is.
  • You jump in and give someone shit, and you gripe when someone else jumps in and gives YOU shit? Seriously? Are you twelve?
  • "I think it's a shame that you worry about what someone else does with their $700." It would appear we've become a world of busy bodies who seem to think we have the right to enforce our beliefs and opinions on everyone else.
  • I can't figure out what on earth is a shame about that at all. If it impacts you in no way, shape, or form, and they know the phone will be fine, how has the world been impacted negatively by this occurrence?
  • My 3 year old uses mommy and daddy's devices too and they are naked. Ya see, we taught him early on that the device can easily break and how to use it. It took some time but now I don't worry at all when my son is sitting on the couch getting his nexus 7 on. He also loves to go through both phones and look at pictures. But I'm stupid and apparently have been for about a year now. Wouldn't you know it that no device was harmed during this year of stupidity. Posted via HTC soon to be a moto 5.2 or 5.9
  • And there's the Oh so healthy "we'll do with our kids as we like" mentality. As if kids were a piece of property.
    What you fail to consider is that the rest of the world has to deal with the adult consequences of whatever you raise. Smart, dumb, spoiled, deprived, saintly or depraved, the kid you raise doesn't live in a vacuum and isn't some toy to do with as you please.
  • +1 Posted via Android Central App
  • That still doesn't make them a "bad parent". If someone is willing to take the risk of their child breaking their phone, yes that is on them. However, it doesn't make them a bad parent. Yes most people think their child is special, and obviously they can't all be correct. However, implying that every child is an irresponsible monster who is going to break everything you hand them is equally incorrect. Maybe this child can be trusted with the device. Maybe this person has their phone in an Otterbox type case. You don't know. And either way, letting your child use your cellphone to watch a video does not automatically imply you are a bad parent. You may think every child is a terror, but that is because you only notice the ones that are. You are not likely to notice all the children you pass by on any given day that are being well behaved. Buy you will notice the few that are behaving poorly and/or making a scene. I went to a store shortly after reading your comment yesterday, so I made a point to watch kids. I saw about 15 families with kids there. One family had kids that were running around, yelling, and being ill behaved. The other 14 or so you wouldn't notice unless you were watching for them because they were behaving fine and doing nothing to draw attention to themselves.
  • Not sure which phone you have, but my new Note 4 comes with a privacy setting where you can password protect sensitive data, like private pictures or other things you don't want others to look at. I thought this was part of Kit Kat, not a TouchWiz enhancement...although I could be wrong, I am still learning about my new phone...
  • No, John, he's not worried about data, he's worried about the fact that apparently all kids are destructive monsters, but he doesn't have kids and doesn't want them (which is TOTALLY fine, seriously, I'm actually very much on his side there despite having two of my own who I love), so doesn't actually have any perspective on what it's like to decide whether or not his kids are trustworthy, but he's still quite sure he knows that every other parent is wrong about this.
  • Is there a reason why you must give your youngster your phone? Children toy manufacturers make great tablets designed for them. Leapfrog, just to mention one. I gave my grand son my old HTC Evo loaded with all his favorites to keep. You can buy a Nook, or an inexpensive tablet, put controls on it, so as not to expose the child to vile activities, and language too early in the developmental stage of his life. No one can ever say "he knows his child". Just look at the news each day. You parents on this forum are angry, and insulting each other over the right to choose how to raise your child. No one has the perfect solution. It is a work in progress. Those of you who accept that there is a God, and the Bible as a guide, Might find the newly formed website:, a source of direction.
  • Oh, FFS.
  • What the hell is wrong with people, what your do with your stuff is your business. My 10 year old has her own phone granted it's my wifes old galaxy s2, but it's still her phone. There are protection plans, otter box cases, profile management and all kinds of ways to make a smart phone safe for children. Tech is here and it isn't going away ever. My 10 year old knows more about her phone and how to use it than 50 percent of adults with smart phones. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Cool story, bro.
  • Gravage.....all pissed off because he just found out his dad is a closet fag, and his mom was sold for " booze" money. Now that is a cool story bro Posted via the Android Central App
  • Hey, your parents know you're on their computer?
  • Kid....I'm old enough to be your that's a scary thought.....if I was your dad, you are the load that your mom would have swallowed. I'm Barack Obama and I have approved this message Posted via the Android Central App
  • So, no? They don't know you're on their computer? Got it. Thanks.
  • No bueno with the "fag" stuff señor cubano. Appreciate you keeping it away from here :)
  • Best use of my time all day. reading these comments
  • Jerry....ok your right, I will say " turd burglar " then...... thanks :) Posted via the Android Central App
  • *you're
  • Are e-cigarettes ok? Posted via the Android Central App
  • But no mention of the same jerk calling gravage's mom a whore?
  • My 5 (yes FIVE) year old has his OWN tablet as well as my 9 year old. They have had their own tablets for over a year so he was 4 when i first made my old Fire all his. With in the last year, both me and my wife have cracked our phone screens but the kids tablets are still just fine, The tablets my kids use are in better physical condition then our phones. The only thing my kids have ever broke on an electronic device, mine or theirs, is the micro USB port on my 5 year old tablet is a bit loose and so the charging cable needs to sit just right to charge it. Bottom line, i taught my kids how to use and respect expensive electronic devices because as a parent i think it is important to teach my kids everything they will need to learn in their life and we use our phones and tablets from everything from communication to education.
  • MY 2 kids have been using my electronics since they were 2-3. THe only thing I had broken was on key on one laptop. Bit of a PITA but nothing that major either to deal with or to fix. Every kid is difference and every parent is different. As a parent it is your job to know what the kid can handle, what he can be taught to handle, how to go about teaching them to handle it, and overall if they cannot handle it. It depends on the kid and the parenting.
  • Oh happy day!
  • Just start pushing 5.0 already so we can stop talking about it and start USING it!
  • Unless you want us to have a situation like iOS users had with iOS 8.0.1 I'd suggest you quit bitching and be patient. Posted via Android Central App
  • That escalated quickly
  • I know! I was just making a joke. Honestly I'm all about having the kinks worked out...if indeed that's what is happening. I would rather wait a few weeks for a working product than get 80% today. The internet is serious business.
  • Shots Fired!
  • Android central brawl Posted via the Galaxy Note 4
  • Or we had with 4.4 and Google rushed out 4.4.1 and .2 to make it usable.
  • THIS Posted via Android Central App
  • Shield tablet will probably be first.
  • Good call! They just announced it right after you said it :p
  • YAY!
  • Everyone happy now? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Nexus 9 2015 with wireless charging and SD card support FTW ☺ Posted via Android Central App
  • I doubt it. If they didn't put an SD slot in this years (when the change occurred) I don't see why they'd introduce one next year. I hope they'll stop with the 16gb storage and just move to 32 and 64 like they did with the Nexus 6.
  • Google will never put an SD card slot on a Nexus device, They'd have to pay royalties to Microsoft to provide full support for the SD card. What good is an SD card slot if it can't read/write your FAT32-formatted cards anyway?
  • What about thumb drives though. They work on Nexus devices.
  • That's over USB, an open standard. posted via HTC M8 with Android L keyboard
  • The issue is with the FAT32 file system most SD cards and thumb drives use. Microsoft owns the patent on it. That's why you can hook a game pad or keyboard up to a Nexus 5 but not mount a thumb drive. All the third party apps and root hacks do is add FAT32 support back in. Posted via Android Central App
  • Good to know, thanks!
  • Huh? I have no problem reading FAT32 cards.
  • so, will massive game files be able to store data on the sd card given that the dev pushes out the update?
  • As far as I'm aware, they already can, and many do. It's just that many are lazy and don't.
  • That is already an option. In Kit Kat, apps already have the ability to create app-specific folders on the SD card and then write to that folder. The restriction (in Kit Kat) is that they can *only* write to that folder. Lollipop gives apps (assuming that they are written to take advantage of this new permission) to write to any folder, provided that the user gives permission.
  • With this new permission, as I read it, the app requests access on first run, or when it feels it needs it, and the user can grant access rights to whatever level they think is warranted.
    For example, when I install a new gallery, on first run it will pop up a dialog. At that time, I can give it access to my entire photos folder, or, if I have one folder within the photos I want to use it for (say, a "to be edited" folder), just that folder while it won't be able to r/w anything else in the Photos folder. I assume that there would be a way to change or add/remove those folders from the app, either through the SAF or with via in-app settings. All in all, this change puts the control, and more importantly responsibility, precisely where it should be: shared by the developer and the user. More transparency is always a good thing!
  • I read it differently... I read as when you install the app it will ask for a specific permission to read/write at a certain folder (level) in the file tree and you chose yes to allow, or no to disallow. I suspect lazy devs will just go right to the top and ask for permission to the whole SD card, but who knows. I don't think--as you've written it--that you'll get a choice of what level you want to give permission at. I think it's give them what they ask for or not. Maybe somebody with better knowledge of the intent can chime in. ...Joe K.
  • All apps have to declare what permissions they need to use. That's what the Play Store shows. On top of that this new API requires the app to ask the User when appropriate to designate its access level before it has said access. So no worries as long as a user isn't stupid and installs and then gives a malicious app access blindly. Posted via Android Central App
  • Google S4 Google Play Edition update please.
  • Good change. While the kitkat support was barely acceptable, this will be better than any support before it. Safer and potentially just as functional as the original "anything goes" SD card support. Posted via the Android Central App
  • +1
  • FINALLY!!! ES File Manager needs to implement this as soon as it's available. I never liked what Google did in reference to limiting access to the SD card.
    Now just waiting for LG G3 to give me Lollipop! Posted via Android Central App
  • +10,000
  • I wish Google provided this (via Google Play Services) to Kit Kat devices that will never see an update to Lollipop.
  • They can't. This is a change in the OS and not Play Services. Posted via Android Central App
  • this new app permission will be coming this fall to a Facebook app near you! Posted via Android Central App
  • It will have to if users want to save Facebook pictures to their SD card
  • i hope mx player implements this soon, i want to be able to delete shows off my sd card after watching them instead of waiting to get to a pc or trying to use different file managers to do it
  • While I'm not a fan of SD cards in devices (I would rather have the storage built in) this is probably the right decision by google. The only thing that I don't like about this is that it will mean that more companies will still try to justify including only 16GB of built in storage and making users buy an SD card. The actual cost between 16 and 32GB of storage to companies like Samsung is literally pennies per device and there is no excuse not to have 32GB be the standard, or for them to charge $100 for the privilege of what should be the minimum storage option going into 2015. I really don't hate this change, but I do hate that i'll mean at least another year of the inadequate 16GB of baseline storage.
  • It doesn't help that google with its devices still think it's OK to release 16gb versions which have no sd slot to begin with. Posted via Android Central App using galaxy s4
  • ^this Posted via Android Central App
  • The thing about SD cards is that you can put a couple of movies or music for a trip on an airplane and not have to use up your internal storage. It is also a handy way to carry many movies on multiple SD cards.
  • Does this mean I can buy more games?
  • Thank you, this no doubt has something to do with android one devices that need a sd card to take pictures to begin with. Lollipop just got even more exciting for me. Posted via Android Central App using galaxy s4
  • Finally!!! Posted from the one and only... Note 4...
  • .... And who will be the first to sound an alarm of about the "OMG! Apps are invading your privacy even more???" Excellent move though! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Does this potentially mean I could use my SD card for apps like Spotify or Google play all access I offline mode?
  • you already can in goople play all access. The ability to store offline music to an SD card was added 3 or 4 months ago.
  • Yeah, I can't wait for this to be implemented on 5.0. Because I can't even, move files within the folders when my sd car is connected to the phone. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Awwww Damn it!! Just spent 10 minutes reading a debate about kids and smartphones. Here is my opinion: smartphones aren't toys, parents need to do better, people should not tell others what to do, and lollipop SD card mumbo jumbo is cool!
  • About time they fixed the sh*t they did on 4.4. And no, Jerry, OEMs shouldn't move away from SD cards. And no, Microsoft did NOT move away from it, on the contrary. Most WP devices now come with SD card and Windows Phone 8.1 allows users to move apps and games INTO the SD card. Google is, from what I understood, half-way there. Good. Better this than the crap they did on 4.4. Now for Sony to bring back the moving of apps to the SD card on their flagship line as they did on their low and mid-range devices...
  • I assume you're referring to my comment that Microsoft is moving away from the FAT file system?
  • Jerry,gravage is a douche. Posted via Android Central App
  • Yes, indeed. Their implementation on WP seems to indicate exactly the opposite and I don't see anything on Windows 10 that points in that direction (though on W10 I admit I haven't dwelled too deep in it). Posted via the Android Central App
  • The issue people have with SD cards is that by default they all run an outdated and insecure file system patented by Microsoft. If the industry would just adopt a new file system standard most issues would be solved. But judging by how well the MP4/MP5-vs-WebM fight is going, I'm not confident the industry will settle on a standard before said standard is already obsolete. Posted via Android Central App
  • Well you hardly can ever get the industry to settle on any standard. Just look at the age old fight between GSM and CDMA. Same with mp3 vs apple's m4a. The only one that normally can set standards seems to be Sony, as they crushed the HDDVD in favour of their BluRay. On software though, Microsoft is still the one that pretty much sets the standards and when they don't want to change something it's hard to fight it. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Gravage is a douchebag. Posted via Android Central App
  • Not using an SD card atm Posted via...The One
  • Great news for Android. Now the sd-card will be used for more than just music and photos. Wont have to root to gain control over the sd-card.
  • Many thanks Google for giving users the ability to authorize applications to read / write to folders the application doesn't own.
    Note that the security is still available for those who want it..
    Best of both worlds. Posted via Android Central App
  • Choice. What should've been done in the first place. :)
  • Woo! SD cards are now even more useful again.
  • wouldnt really care about SD compatibility if phones/tablets stop making 16GB a standard
  • I hope FolderSync jumps on this ASAP. I use this app to FTP all new photos and videos to my NAS every night. On mine and my wife's phone. Not a big deal for me, the OnePlus One doesn't have an SD slot. But she needs something on her S4. Posted via the Android Central App
  • In real words: everything is being put back how it belongs, before the disaster known as Kit Kat was shoveled into the world.
  • How many of you have cartoon characters on your underwear?
  • Yay! I've refused to install KitKat on my tablet just because I'm always using MX Pro to rename things. It's about time this nonsense stopped.
  • Wow. I'm not sure I've ever seen an Android Central thread with so much mud slinging.
  • More like a pissing match than anything...complete with just about all the troll bait needed for MINUTES of mental masturbation. Posted with my trusty Galaxy S3 via the Android Central App
  • Have a general question about lollipop and android. Left the iphone franchise, started with the original. Got a note 4, tired of the same iphone every year. Love the new note 4, however I find it interesting that some phones in the android line don't even have the latest version of kit kat. This seems unacceptable to me. Why not give everyone the same opportunities. I hope that I have not made a mistake switching operating systems. Also, with the note 4 being a "flag ship", I would assume that would be priority #1 for Samsung? Can anyone explain this for an android rookie????
  • iOS was easy to throw around cause all the iPhones were pretty much built the same software & dare I say hardware wise, but with Android there is all this different hardware & chipsets around, even within the same manufacturer, that it takes ages to make software versions for all the different phones and test them all, and usually each country gets multiple versions again of each phone, as each carrier likes to pollute their offering with certain things.
    They eventually get an update provided the phone is not more than 2 years old. Updating is overrated and usually breaks things, your wifi can behave differently and drop out for no reason, same with GPS, poor battery performance is common too.
    It's safe to say that not as much effort goes into testing an update as the original software a phone came with.
  • If the big problem with SD cards is still the whole FAT32 thing, why can't we just use a better filesystem? I get that a linux filesystem would make them unreadable on windows computers by default, but wouldn't they be able to work properly in the phone at least? Stick a toggle in dev options or somebody hack it in. I don't keep that up to date on the SD card stuff since my only SD device for a while has been the Shield handheld, which is my only un-rooted device.
  • There is something comforting about reading a Jerry SD card article. I'd like to get them all together as a single "short story".
  • This is exactly the way it should be. Android already has the permissions system. Just use it to allow individual apps access to folders. I could envision a blanket permission for a particular folder, but I can do without that for now.
  • Took them long enough.. Sony Xperia Z2
    Nvidia Shield
  • Very Clever Idea.... Thank You to Share This.....
  • I like this site very much... bcos it always gives like these interesting news. keep going....
  • This is good. Too bad I'd have to wait for at least 3 months to get to Lollipop.
  • I hope this works out. When Google phased out SD card support I understood the issues and begrudgingly agreed with Jerry's assessment. However, 1) Carriers (in the US at least) declared a war on unlimited data plans making the "just stream everything from the cloud" argument less palatable and 2) Standard phone storage is still stuck at levels 16/32 which are restrictive for some people's use cases. If they just offered higher standard storages and offered reasonably priced storage upgrades this would be less of an issue.
  • It's nice for Google to bring back support of SD card.
    But the new Nexus 6 does not have SD card support
  • Love poweramp ! So basically this upgrade gives us PC functions ok
  • will you be able to install apps from sd
  • Awesome, now I only have to wait 9 months for Verizon to update my brand new Note 4 to the latest operating system, after they, you know, verify it for stability <sic>
  • Oh Please Google... Getting as bad as politicians. "We're saving you from rogue apps..." My aching rear, they want us to give up local storage for "The Cloud". Why can't they just come out of the closet on this one?
  • I just got the update for 5.0 on my LG G3 and after installing it, my phone cannot see my SD Card or any SD card. Any help on this guys?
  • Just got ahold of the Nvidia Shield Tablet with 5.0 and bought an SD card... The thing is that this device won't allow permission to put anything on the ext SD card.. I can't even put a song on my SD card! What's up with that? I don't want to root my device.
  • Well, heres my take. Android (on samsung anyway) has to be on its way to becoming the worst operating system i have ever used with the possible exception of win me. Sure it has all the bells and whistles, but for basic simple stuff like putting files from a computer to a sd card, its absolute crapola, What a joke android has become, stuffed with bloatware ,the o/s is like 250mb but stock rom is 1.4 gb of crappy baby monitors. The first thing you have to do is root it, bypass the knox crap , and thats to get the fabled 'android freedom to do what you want with your device'. Except you cant do what you want since the sd card may or may not show up on an attached pc, your clean install isnt so clean since factory wipe never seems to work on any any droid device ive used, and we supposed to be thankful that v5.0 google kindly allow us some access to the sd card , gee whiz' , well try making it show up at all would be a good start. Try making an o/s that isnt a buggy pos like some crazy experimental branch of sidux, stop filling it with google-own brand apps that monitor which way your dick is pointing and make it WORK
  • Yes! we can finally go back to editing song titles. I really found it frustrating in kitkat not being able to edit song info unless you go through the root tree
  • OR, You could just buy a phone with NO SD card slot and never have the possibility of an option. LOL.
  • Yet most new phones don't even have sd card slots.
  • l thik lollipop is amazing update .But I can't downland anything directly to the external sd card in my galaxy note 3 (sm-n900) lollipop 5.0 what to do ??
  • Lollipop sucks in several ways 1. No option select whole gallery once at a time to share or delete.
    2. No option to change Android Video Player default.
    3. No option to cut and paste images from file manager.
    4. Double tap to scroll the notifications panel in cyanogen OS.
    5. Lot of complications to Connect Mobile VIA USB to PC.
    6. No option to change browser download to external memory card.
    7. Images and videos stored in external memory cards cant been viewed in gallery.
    Ans Still lot more things.....
  • Still can't set any default storage locations to my SD card. Android still useless without root.
  • The whole file system of Android needs a big rewrite. It is a total mess and don't get better by patch-over-patch.
    Why didn't you copy the system from Linux where the user folders are separated from system folders ?
    The FLASH memories are so tiny in the tablets and phones that the internal memory should be dedicated to programs and all the user data should go to the ext memory.. Also parts of the programs should go to SD when the internal memory is getting full. Network is no solution as long as there s foreign countries, seas and backyards, where the net is too expensive. I'm waiting for a 7" tablet with at least 128GB of internal Flash and 4GB of RAM. 7" fits to your pocket.