Google restoring SD card functionality in Android 5.0

Google restoring SD card functionality in Android 5.0
We know how much you guys tend to enjoy your SD cards (probably more than the general public, but that's no big deal). Of course, it has appeared for a while as if Google has been trying to phase out SD cards for a long time by not including them in Nexus devices and continually removing functionality from Android. But, that looks to be changing with Android 5.0.

Google started to bring back some SD card functionality with Android 4.4, but has admitted that it didn't go far enough. However, with Android 5.0, Google has added new APIs designed to allow easy access to SD cards in a secure way. Basically, developers will once again be able to fully access SD card directories and files. Users will have to allow access one time for an app, but afterwards, everything should work seamlessly. Apps will also be able to create directories to store media on an SD card much more easily. 

At the end of the day, if you are a hardcore SD card user, Android Lollipop should allow developers to bring back a lot of the functionality that you may have been missing. Now, you'll just have to wait on developers updating their apps and manufacturers pushing out the Android 5.0 software.

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48 Comments

1. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

This is a good sign that Google isn't going to completely flush "the beauty of Android" down the drain. The only thing in the way of Android's complete domination of mobile OS space is Google themselves.

12. dimas

Posts: 3343; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

If only they could stop acting like Apple forcing people to buy devices without SD Card, I could have bought their whole Nexus models.

40. psigate

Posts: 25; Member since: Sep 24, 2012

Amen. Im a Samsung fan but actually considered going for the Nexus 6 if it werent for the lack of expandable memory. shame.

44. bizwhizzy

Posts: 51; Member since: Aug 04, 2011

Forcing? It's not like Nexus devices are your only choice for Android, or even the only choice for stock Android. Google doesn't "force" you to do anything.

2. corporateJP

Posts: 2458; Member since: Nov 28, 2009

Removable SD cards and batteries are a win-win for consumers...

9. LionStone

Posts: 1048; Member since: Dec 10, 2010

Removable battery is not a win for consumers, perhaps 1 or 2% of die hard power users (gamers). I'll take a solid built phone instead. Of all the people that I've seen with a Sammy phone, NONE bought the extra charger and battery, they all just charge the same battery. Also I'm still getting 16 hours a charge on my almost 2 year old stock DNA.

13. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

And the logic for removable batteries=poor build quality? Galaxy S5 and Note 4 have great build quality and have survived drop tests too, both have removable batteries.

27. buccob

Posts: 2963; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

The removable battery certainly is an advantage but IMO it is not a deal breaker... Today we have tons of options like External Battery packs, Battery cases and the ubiquity of USB ports also help.. Anyway 2 years ago I made the choice of going non-removable but with water resistance and I have never looked back. Got a nice 7000 mAh battery pack with 3 ports and Im gold. I know there are phones with both removable battery and water protection, but like I said... it is not deal breaker... What it is deal breaker is the lack of SD card slots... So I am glad google is giving this option some love.

36. Slammer

Posts: 1515; Member since: Jun 03, 2010

---"The removable battery certainly is an advantage but IMO it is not a deal breaker... Today we have tons of options like External Battery packs, Battery cases and the ubiquity of USB ports also help."--- Please think of other issues that affect the operation of your device other than shortened battery usage. Things like battery packs and other bandaids that do not fix the fickle nature of thirty year old battery technology. All these accessories are excuses to side step the failure rate of the common Li-ion/po battery. And many of these manufacturers have vested interest in these items to pretend that no problem exists. To force the consumer into a service center for a repair that a simple battery replace would fix the issue. Example: A shorted internal battery will not allow an external battery pack or other accessory to properly supply the power needed to safely use the phone without further damage. This scenerio could not only damage thd device but also the battery pack you spent money on to get around the problem. What about broken charging ports? How would an embilica product solve this issue when out of warranty? A swappable battery would allow you to remove them and charge in a dock charger to compensate to until the end of contract. The most important issue is that even though you find no issue with non-removable battery, there are plenty of others that have expressed an extreme concern of the omission of simple serviceability to solve our own battery issues for much less cost rather than taking time out of our busy schedules for 25 mile treks into a center just to be told the battery is toast and then fork over money to have it repaired or a complete handset replacement for a device that really didn't have a problem in the first place except the battery. We, as consumers, need to think long term on repair costs that are dumped on the consumers of this industry. Filing an insurance claim for a failed battery? Who pays for this? The more difficult it becomes for mainstream users to repair simple issues, is one of the things that raise insurance rates. The manufacturers love this and so do the insurance companies. In the 27 years I've witnessed in the wireless industry, the exiting of removable battery and SDCards is the most anti-consumer move I've never been so angered over. The cloud is not perfected yet to be trusted and the battery technology has failed to move beyond the basic anode/cathode fail rate to warrant a sealed environment. John B.

43. uzimafioso

Posts: 469; Member since: Jul 15, 2014

I dont mind removable batteries as long as the phone is a unibody...

45. simple24061986

Posts: 16; Member since: Nov 05, 2014

Forgive me for saying this: You are confused between both ends. Though I do not disagree with what you actually mean: you'd want a solid , ruggedly constructed phone WITH a battery that's removable somehow. But then , how can it be unibody ?? Unibody means single body or made of a single block of metal.

15. xfire99

Posts: 1205; Member since: Mar 14, 2012

Fully charged extra batteries in long flight/trips, no need to worry running out of battery and no need for finding outlet to wallhugg on, like iUsers does. :)

17. rallyguy

Posts: 620; Member since: Mar 13, 2012

I'm sure if Apple offered an iPhone with a removable battery there would be people buying it. I love being able to use my phone as much as I want all day and into the evening knowing that I don't need to bring a charger, just extra batteries. Show me one charger that can recharge a phone to 100% in about 20 seconds. There isn't one. That's about how fast I can recharge my phone.

38. fwinst

Posts: 64; Member since: May 08, 2010

Absolutely. I'm also sure that if Apple decided to offer a device with a removable battery, they would advertise it as a triumph of Apple ingenuity, and innovation.

21. Astro551

Posts: 46; Member since: Dec 18, 2011

I'm pretty sure LiPo batteries lose capacity over time. 1 or 2%, strong statistics -> hard power users (gamers)? Try people who need to go more than a day or two without a power point. Living with a sealed battery on a 2 year old HTC One X the capacity has gotten significantly worse. The options are to replace the battery by opening up the sealed phone or get a new one, both are more troublesome than if the battery was replaceable.

25. Slammer

Posts: 1515; Member since: Jun 03, 2010

Please cut the crap. You're obviously a jockey for design over functionality. Why not have both? As we fight to regain consumer control, people like you prefer to give all the control to the manufacturers. Do us a favor and rethink your position on this. You're not doing yourself any long term service in retaining ownership of an expensive product. John B.

34. SonyFindOneDroidple

Posts: 865; Member since: May 11, 2013

i actually had some experiences where my phone hang long enough and removing the battery was the only thing that brought everything back to normal

41. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

First off, just because someone buys a Samsung, doesn't mean they need a removable battery or sdcard support. What does that have to do with buying the phone? Maybe they buy it because Samsung devices tend to have better cameras vs many other brands. Maybe because they like TW and the features it offers. Do you think everyone buys a Samsung for removable options? I like the fact I could change the battery if I needed too. Yes so far I have not needed to buy a 2nd battery. So that means I am suppose to buy another brand simply because I don't need or use this feature? What about the features I do use that other phones don't have? I am curious, just because YOU and YOUR small array of friends don't use or need these features, do YOU and YOUR friends represent the whole entire planet? Its amazing how you guys think everything revolves around you.

48. tacarat

Posts: 854; Member since: Apr 22, 2013

Most folks don't buy replacement batteries until they see a need. I just replaced my battery because it was bulging. My battery life is better, my pocket feels safer and a rebooting issue I had miraculously cleared up. Point 3 was of special importance to me as I never thought that could be a root cause of headaches. Unibody phones of all OSes would pretty much require swapping the whole phone out to fix the issue.

26. Slammer

Posts: 1515; Member since: Jun 03, 2010

It certainly is. While there are some disadvantages to SD cards and removable batteries, the downfaults are minimal. The overall advantage for having access to both is the consumer control to augment their needs and serviceability. The long term results in financial restitution are plentiful. John B.

3. wilsong17 unregistered

Ty very much now I don't have to root just to fix this dam sd card

4. gaara6775

Posts: 738; Member since: May 20, 2014

If they could've added sd-card slot in n6 & n9 then this would be sweeter than lollipop.

46. simple24061986

Posts: 16; Member since: Nov 05, 2014

In that regards , the first nexus was still good till 2012.

5. gigantos

Posts: 63; Member since: Jul 25, 2013

This should be a 'featured' article. This is really a big good news for many users, with 16GB or below phones.

6. gziegfrid

Posts: 33; Member since: May 20, 2014

This is really good. Specially to low-end devices

7. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

Great move, I hope they make apps2SD available again too, atleast the huge games.

16. Krjal

Posts: 425; Member since: Dec 19, 2013

Me too. The sd card problems with recent android releases have had me holding off on a hardware upgrade. At least with these permissions large games will have the option to store asset archives on memory cards. With some of these permissions restored maybe it'll be easier to develop app2sd workarounds?

8. tyger11

Posts: 290; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

This is huge.

10. dimas

Posts: 3343; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Android supervisors should go out of their expensive cubicles and do little surveys before cranking things up. Don't touch the old SD card options and people will be ok with their android devices. If it ain't broke don't fix it, just improve it. This might be one of the reasons why most people didn't update to Kitkat.

11. gigaraga

Posts: 1454; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

Excellent! I've been missing SD card access from apps on my phone so this great to hear.

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