Android KitKat Update – My SD Card No Longer Works! – It Broke All My Apps!

I made a mistake and updated my Anrdoid phone to 4.4.2 KitKat. I knew about this “enhancement”/bug but let it update anyway. That was a mistake. Now I have to root my phone if I want my apps to work correctly.

Google changed the way “write to external SD card” works in apps. The android specs actually said that the “write to external storage” permission lets apps write in THEIR SPECIFIC DIRECTORY on the external sd card. However, most phone manufacturers implemented it so that this permission lets an app write ANYWHERE on the external SD card.

Google cracked down on the phone manufacturers, and insisted that they change it so that apps are only allowed to write to their specific directory on the sd card.

However, this breaks almost all the apps I use. Apps like text editors and emulators were written to assume that it could write anywhere on the external SD card. Unless the app is specifically rewritten to conform with the new rules, the update breaks it.

I understand the twisted logic behind the change. If each app is only allowed to write in its specific directory, that makes it easier to clean things up when you uninstall an app. However, most people upgrade phones every 2 years, which means that they really aren’t polluting their phone with old apps.

There’s a more evil reason for the change. By breaking sd cards, Google can force people to store their data “in the cloud” instead of on their phone.

It would be nice if there was an option to allow users to switch to the old behavior. The only way I can fix everything is to root my phone. I was trying to avoid doing that, but Google forced me to do it.

I’m looking forward to the day when I can ditch Android and use a real open system. The Pyra (the Open Pandora successor) is looking more attractive. I do miss the keyboard on my Samsung Galaxy S4. Maybe I should just get a cheap phone with a wifi hotspot and get a Pyra? Or something else?

One Response to Android KitKat Update – My SD Card No Longer Works! – It Broke All My Apps!

  1. Good to see another post FSK. Watching Silver Linings Playbook. Have you ever seen it? It made me think of you just now. I totally mean that in a good way. I know you’ve had some struggles but you’re a smart guy and a good guy. I sill haven’t forgotten about you buddy, you have contributed a lot on your blogs that have a lot of meaning. Have a good one man.

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