Android 4.4 update for Samsung Galaxy S4, Note 3, likely to cause microSD problems
posted by Maxwell R. / Feb 23, 2014, 2:55 PM
The new specifications in the Android API pretty much makes your SD card useless. Since Samsung is following this specification, expect to see problems emerge when apps attempt to write or modify existing files to a microSD card.
In plain English, that means your microSD card is secondary storage and apps will not be allowed to use it. If you want to see it in "geek speak," Google’s own language about the specifications says it equally plainly to developers and partners:
There are legitimate arguments that have been made in favor of, or against, microSD card or secondary storage in mobile devices are far from settled. Flash memory on SD cards is not the most reliable, though the name branded storage cards tend to be higher quality. Data transfer speeds are not the fastest either.
However, this feature set, the ability to write, modify, remove files from secondary storage has been part of Android since the beginning of Android. To take it away poses some real inconveniences for a lot of people.
Some folks may simply chalk this up as Google’s desire that people use the cloud, most notably Google Drive, Google+, and other Google-based media features. Regardless of what you hear, officially or not, that is definitely a significant driver behind Google’s calloused approach to secondary storage.
The problem is that for a large part of the smartphone using world (of which Android owns the vast majority), relying so much on cloud based storage solutions is not always economically feasible. Wireless data plans (not to mention network performance) are not always friendly to such a set-up. Then there is Wi-Fi, data plan friendly, but not ubiquitous in emerging markets (or in developed markets for that matter) and even then, the bandwidth may simply not be there.
Samsung made a distinction with its hardware in that one could expand storage capacity with microSD cards. Since Samsung just signed a big understanding with Google that covers a whole range of issues, it will be interesting to see where that leaves future hardware offerings. The same thing happened with the Android 4.3 update to the Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Play edition not too long ago.
Samsung makes just about everything, including flash memory, we find it hard to believe that the company would willingly give up such a significant portion of business. The introduction of the Galaxy S5 may reveal some idea where the conglomerate goes with this. While we are pensive about writing off microSD cards for good, we are not so sure their future is assured either.
One thing is certain, if this does prove to be the death knell for secondary storage in Android handsets, 16GB Samsung devices are simply not going to be enough.
sources: Tod Liebeck (Google+) via GottaBeMobile and AndroidOrigin
Posts: 1654; Member since: Jul 10, 2013
Now that's a kicker
posted on Feb 23, 2014, 3:04 PM 2
Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013
It isn't too well explained in the article and the reasoning is chalked up the some very stupid reasons. There is no conspiracy style emphasis on cloud storage instead the reason they are advising against easy access to SD cards is for consistency. Largely copying and pasting to SD can be quite slow and apps that do that can cause crashes and slow downs very easily (the most time consuming thing in an app is reading and writing to the internal SD, external SD is a whole other problem when it comes to timing). So they are making sure that only the internal memory is used for app operations and the external SD memory is there for only expansion purposes. So I can keep my movies and music and pictures on it, but not saved to it from an app dynamically. The OS will largely only save things to the internal SD to keep things more consistent and hopefully change the image of android crashing and what not because people buy cheap SD cards with low performance and then complain about crashes caused by that. You can move things on and off the SD manually if you must.
posted on Feb 23, 2014, 3:21 PM 3
Posts: 218; Member since: Sep 20, 2012
Those issues you bring up are certainly valid, but can also be abated as SD cards get faster. Outright disallowing the feature altogether is akin to amputating a foot over a hang-nail. Of course, a company (Google) that makes its money throught ads targeted via granular data mining of customer information would never be a driver (yes, that is sarcasm).
posted on Feb 23, 2014, 3:28 PM 1
Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013
Well that is the thing, some manufacturers won't follow this anyway, and that is the beauty of the Android system. The ones that do stick to guidelines will of course be a hindrance to their customers, but this is designed to make it easier for those who aren't so tech aware.
posted on Feb 23, 2014, 4:21 PM 0
Posts: 18; Member since: Dec 27, 2013
on my s3 i have a 32 gb card with music on it, if i try to transfer my card to a phone with 4.4 or my s3 gets updated to 4.4, will i still be able to listen to music from my sd card?
posted on Feb 23, 2014, 3:08 PM 0
Posts: 902; Member since: May 08, 2013
And that's why Samsung should learn with Motorola or Apple how to successfully update your devices.
posted on Feb 23, 2014, 3:08 PM 1
Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012
... neither of which sports an SD card slot in their latest flagship, so well done saying something silly.
posted on Feb 23, 2014, 3:17 PM 8
Posts: 1656; Member since: Jun 06, 2010
Read the damn article and the source links. If at all it's the fault of Google. Comment later, you will avoid lot of embarrassment.
posted on Feb 23, 2014, 3:44 PM 1
Posts: 156; Member since: Mar 20, 2012
They can call it Kit Kat, Big Mac, Jim Beam, whatever. It is and will be the same piece of bad copy of iOS. Until Samsung uses that buggy OS, I will remain not one of their customers.
posted on Feb 23, 2014, 3:15 PM 1
Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012
Who let the troll out?
posted on Feb 23, 2014, 3:28 PM 3
Posts: 1; Member since: Feb 18, 2014
Just root your phone install a custom 4.4 KitKat ROM that has the SD CARD permissions set back. Problem solved.
posted on Feb 23, 2014, 3:16 PM 1
Posts: 109; Member since: Feb 07, 2014
stupid...if they do this...my next phone won't be note4...it will be the 5in. iphone
posted on Feb 23, 2014, 3:27 PM 0
Posts: 867; Member since: Jun 19, 2013
Yeah, I was puzzled to notice that on my Note 3..tried moving apps to SD but nothing happened. SD cards having to settle with media files only isn't that much of a problem for devices with 32GB of internal storage (or 26GB more precisely) I guess, but for 16GB it does start to be a problem for anyone who likes to have a lot of games on the device.
posted on Feb 23, 2014, 3:30 PM 0
Posts: 1032; Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Who said android is open when Google is constantly locking it up and forcing OEMs to abando MICRO SD support. Gawd knows I'm never going to buy a phone without an option to expand memory with even if the phone comes with 64 gigabytes of internal memory.
posted on Feb 23, 2014, 3:43 PM 2
Send a warning to post author
Send a warning to Selected user.
The user has 0 warnings currently.
Next warning will result in ban!
Ban user and delete all posts
Message to PhoneArena moderator (optional):