Android L
Android L hdgnews

Google is reportedly considering adding customisable Quick Settings and SD card access rules in the final release of the Android L update.

Google introduced a few changes in Android 4.4 by which user-installed apps were no longer allowed to access the entire SD card but were only given access to files and folders of their own creation. This behaviour in the SD card was to improve both security as well as SD card tidiness.

In all other Android versions before Android 4.4, apps were allowed to write to the external storage.

Recently, a developer filed a report at the Android L Developer Preview issue tracker about the aforementioned SD card behaviour change introduced by Android 4.4.

This particular issue has been acknowledged by an Android Project Team member, who said that the suggestion will be passed through the developer team, reports XDA.

In every Android version before 4.4, apps were allowed to (unofficially) write to the user's external storage. Due to competitive pressures, users demanded this feature from app developers, whom were expected to provide this feature.

In Android 4.4, this was changed so that only system apps continued to have full access to the external storage, and other apps did not, unless they used new URI-based APIs.

My concerns:

- I don't see how these APIs are usable from Java or Native code that expects to work with Files, not URIs.
- It places all 3rd-party app developers at a disadvantage versus system apps.
- Users expect apps to offer them full access to the SD card, and are not asking for this restriction. This has been my experience based on user feedback.

I don't currently see how the changes in L will improve this situation. Am I missing something? If the situation's not as dire as I see it, perhaps Google can consider a migration guide so that it's more obvious how to transition to the new APIs and provide the same feature set as the current / POSIX File APIs?

Please reconsider restoring this access, even if tied to a new permission.

Although this does not indicate that the SD card access feature will be changed in Android L, it does suggest that Google is considering taking a look at the SD card access policy.

* Which Android build are you using?
* What is the desired behavior of the feature?
Possibility to rearrange quick settings and possibility to choose which quick settings show or not. This is a feature very old in other AOSP based ROM (like CyanogenMod, Paranoid, etc) but this isn't already present in AOSP. With L there is the possibility to add the invert color feature to quick settings but only for this!
* If relevant, why are current approaches or workarounds insufficient?
Quick settings are very useful but every user have different needs and so not all the quick settings are necessary to all.
* If relevant, what new use cases will this feature will enable?
More order and the user can customize the quick settings panel only with the needed quick actions!

It is also possible that we might get to see a customisable Quick Settings interface in the Android L. This information also comes in courtesy of the Android L Developer Preview issue tracker. The issue has been acknowledged and accepted recently.