Android 5.0 improves SD card handling

Android 5.0 Lollipop is the latest mobile OS Google has just released alongside the new Motorola Nexus 6 and HTC Nexus 9. While one of the most remarkable features of Android 5.0 is the heavy Material Design, the OS brings many improvements to smartphones and tablets alike. Among these improvements, we have been familiar with 64 bit support, revamped notification system, improved performance and various other new features. One of the new things that Android 5.0 developers have detailed is SD card support. Many Android 4.4 KitKat users have been complaining about the unsatisfactory ways in which Android handled external storage and Google has responded to these complaints with Android 5.0.

Android 5.0 extended the API in order to allow full directory access, automatic MediaStore and improved security. These features primarily affect app developers, but do make things a whole lot easier for users as well. Policies that were put in place earlier this year limited app access to external storage, but Google has already tried fixing these issues with Android 4.4.4 KitKat. While it did improve SD card access a bit, the company admitted that it probably wasn’t enough to make the Android experience as smooth as possible. Android 5.0 is the culmination of Google developers’s efforts to fix the issue of SD card access and handling.

We have already seen some of the traits of the new API in the Android 5.0 developer preview, but the final version of the OS has brought some improvements. With Android 5.0 apps will have richer access ti secondary shared storage devices, meaning SD cards. Developers have added the new ACTION_OPEN_DOCUMENT_TREE intent into Android 5.0, which can be launched by apps in order to pick up and return a directory from any supported DocumentProvider, including the SD memory. Apps can now create, update and delete files and directories anywhere under the assigned tree without requesting user interaction. Android 5.0 will permit apps to access and manage files and will allow the user to select how comprehensive this access can be for apps. Users can choose to give apps access to the whole SD card or just a selected directory of their choosing. With this function, the apps that you choose to have access to your directories or the entire SD card will continue to do so during their operation, without having to request access in the future.

Another change in storage management that Android 5.0 brings is that apps will now be able to store large media files directly on your SD card. That means that apps that work mostly with pictures, music and video files that tend to fill up internal storage pretty fast, will now be able to push their content directly to you SD card without requiring any user interaction on your part. The process in Android 5.0 is now simplified and apps can generate a folder that is open to the public and the apps can use it freely. This public folder on your SD card will be available to other apps as well, aside from the one that was initially using it.

With these new improvements in Android 5.0, life will be made just a bit easier for developers and users as well. Users should now be able to manage storage easily, media apps will be able to access everything they need, no matter where the data is located and the users will be rid of the hassle of giving repeated permissions and developers can design their apps with more user-friendly functions. Overall, the Android 5.0 Lollipop mobile operating system is turning out to be the best from Google and possibly the best OS there is at the moment. Way to go!