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Old 07-03-2014, 05:39 PM   #1
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seeking 'droid (KitKat) file and folder details

Can someone help me understand how 'droid KitKat dances with files and folders?

I recently received and applied the KitKat (v4.4.2 AT&T) update over the air. Previously, I was using JellyBean (v4.3.1 AT&T). After the update, I'm having all sorts of troubles
  1. my content does not go where it used to go during download, save attachment &c
  2. all sorts of folders have appeared on the phone for apps that already had folders elsewhere
  3. apps cannot find content in the old folders
  4. the 'camera' and 'gallery' app have serious troubles. (eg -- I now have three folders named "camera" that get used for new pix in a random way.)
  5. the file picker seems blind to parts of the /storage/ folder tree
  6. apps can't seem to write my SD card
Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled with a lot that is much better with KitKit. I believe there is a method to this madness. I hope my LQ colleagues can help me sort out my confusion.

Thanks in advance,
~~~ 0;-Dan
Old 07-04-2014, 10:58 AM   #2
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I assume you have an external SD card to increase storage. Write access by applications to external storage is now not permitted under KitKat except for applications that came installed by the device manufacturer or that are otherwise authorized by the device manufacturer. You can still store data to external storage and applications can access that data but only authorized apps can write to external storage. That's probably accounts for the problems you are experiencing.

On my tablet, I still have the option to move some, but not all, applications to external storage which can free up space on the limited internal storage. But the only way to get write access back is to root the device. If you google around on the internet you will find lots of people complaining about this change which was supposedly done for security reasons. You will also find instructions on exactly what system changes you have to make on rooted devices to restore write access.
Old 07-04-2014, 11:10 AM   #3
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i have a gingerbread era galaxy-s2 (which runs unnamed rom). old android fones had a normal file tree and would mount as regular usb flash drives when connected to a pc.

there is a weird filesystem emulation that is created on newer versions of android (and cyanogenmod for that matter) which makes it confusing as to where everything is (such as downloads/nandroid backups/...). a program like file-expert mite reveal parts of the hidden file system and help make things more evident -- i am still confused how to navigate my nexus-7.

i think their intention is to obfuscate it so much that people forget about local storage in favor of their cloud services.

Last edited by schneidz; 07-04-2014 at 11:12 AM.
Old 07-04-2014, 03:21 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by schneidz View Post
i think their intention is to obfuscate it so much that people forget about local storage in favor of their cloud services
... and I hear there are plans to squash the SD card feature like that fruit-named phone OS ...

As a long time Linux power user and an Android user since early Gingerbread, I don't understand why Android discarded so many of the existing *nix file system features, especially those in a LAN environment.

I'm not asking for NFS or SAMBA support, but the *nix file system has power in the way and end-user can tailor things in ways that make sense to them rather than having someone else's organization imposed. Given that I have a phone and tablet that are most often used as a pair, would it be too much to have something like 'rsync'? The cloud-storage apps move things from device to cloud and back taking all sorts of time and requiring a data path (cell or wifi). I used to be able to sync two Palm-OS™ folders across the room. What is so wrong with that idea?


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