Search giant Google had in the year 2013 introduced Storage Access Framework (SAF) along with Android 4.4 KitKat that offered accessibility by the third-party apps to the files with the consent of the user for total SD card access to an application.
But the method failed to solve all the issues related to the storage in case of applications that dealt with media files, including images and video, and needed more space for storing files in the microSD cards.
Now, the search engine has unveiled new APIs in Android 5.0 Lollipop that offers full access to automatic media store, directory and also improve security problems.
With the support of the improved APIs, the developers can enjoy full accessibility to SD card files and directories with only one consent of the user, while the apps will have the ability to create directories for storage on an external SD card in a better way than KitKat.
In a post, the Android developer site notes, “Android 5.0 extends the Storage Access Framework to allow users select an entire directory subtree, give accessibility to apps read/write to all contained documents without requiring user’s permission for each item. Android 5.0 also launches new package-specific directories on shared storage where your app can place media files for inclusion in MediaStore.”
Jeff Sharkey from Google talks about the improved APIs in Android 5.0 Lollipop in a Google+ post:
“In KitKat we introduced APIs that let apps read/write file in app-specific directories on secondary storage devices, such as SD cards. 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.”
Earlier on Monday, Google began the roll-out of Android 5.0 Lollipop for its users across the world. The company has, however, not cleared the air about which region will first receive the update.
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