Google introduced a feature with Android 4.4 KitKat which restricted apps from accessing other folders on the microSD card. This created quite an uproar in the developer community, especially from developers of file explorer apps who ultimately had to find ways to bypass this restriction. But these days will soon be behind us according to a release issued by Google.
Starting with Android 5.0, Google will apparently lift these restrictions thus giving applications easy access to read and write content on the entirety of the SD card rather than just the parent folder. The apps will need a one time permission from the customers before going ahead with this, so it won’t happen without user consent. Google originally had the limitations in place to avoid cluttering of the SD card with multiple folders.
Google’s Jeff Sharkey had this to say about the changes with Android 5.0 – “We heard loud and clear that developers wanted richer access beyond these directories, so in Lollipop we added the new ACTION_OPEN_DOCUMENT_TREE intent. Apps can launch this intent to pick and return a directory from any supported DocumentProvider, including any of the shared storage supported by the device. Apps can then create, update, and delete files and directories anywhere under the picked tree without any additional user interaction. Just like the other document intents, apps can persist this access across reboots.
This gives apps broad, powerful access to manage files while still involving the user in the initial selection process. Users may choose to give your app access to a narrow directory like “My Vacation Photos,” or they could pick the top-level of an entire SD card; the choice is theirs.”
Source: Google Groups
Via: Android Authority