Android KitKat Blocks Some Access to Micro SD Cards

Android KitKat Blocks Some Access to Micro SD Cards

While many Android phones have done away with expandable storage, enthusiast site Android Police has discovered that Google is pushing to limit the ability of apps to write to certain portions of SD cards altogether as of Android 4.4 (KitKat).

The changes (which you can read about in-depth at the source link below) now mean that apps by default get their own private folders on your phone’s built-in storage, but must request permission to write to the SD card. Even with that permission, the app will only be able to read public folders on the SD card. It can’t write to anything on the SD card outside of its designated sandbox.

The implications for the change aren’t fully clear yet, but for certain devices with an SD card slot and Android 4.4 (including the popular Galaxy S4), some apps may simply be unable to do anything but read data stored on the SD card. While root users may eventually be able to get around this, it’s also unclear what would be required. It may be possible for a root app to request the access required, or it may require changes to the ROM itself. For right now, though, if you need to dump some files on to your phone, it might be best to stick to your phone’s internal storage.

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Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat Update: What You Need to Know

Although Samsung did not announce anything about the Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update just yet, a number of reasons point out that an update is on the way to users already.

In September, Google announced the Android 4.4 KitKat update but the company revealed too little information about it.

In November, the update started rolling out for the Nexus devices and since then, it has arrived to other devices, until the Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat update last week. However, although the Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 update started rolling out already, Samsung kept silent about the Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update and its plans remain unclear.

Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat Release Date Window

Although early rumours suggested that the Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 update will mirror the Galaxy Note 3 KitKat update release date, apparently that is not the case now. According to a French carrier, SFR, the Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 KitKat update will roll out between January or February. On the other hand, SamMobile , a Web site famous for insider leaked software information, reported that the roll out will be in February or March. Furthermore, the Web site reported that at least one Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 update has just entered testing.

Galaxy Note 3 Release Date Should Mirror Galaxy S4 Release Date

Galaxy S4 owners who are waiting for the Android 4.4 KitKat update might want to look at the current state of the Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat update roll out as the process might be quite similar.

Samsung is known to roll out major updates in stages, which means that updates are done slowly. Currently, the Android KitKat 4.4 update for the Galaxy Note 3 is confined in Poland but it is expected to roll out to the rest of the world pretty soon. Carriers are known to have the updates a little bit behind, so we expect the U.S. carriers not to push anything out just yet.

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Galaxy S4, Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat Updates: What We Know So Far

While many companies have announced Android 4.4 KitKat updates and release date details for those updates, one company in particular remains silent about its plans for Android 4.4 KitKat. Unfortunately that company is Samsung, maker of popular devices like the Samsung Galaxy S4Samsung Galaxy S3Samsung Galaxy Note 2, andSamsung Galaxy Note 3.

In September, Google announced its latest version of Android, Android 4.4 KitKat. Initially, it did not say what would be on board the update and instead, it waited until the end of October to release details regarding the replacement for Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. Unsurprisingly, the Android 4.4 KitKat update was not a major overhaul but an incremental update aimed at building on the foundation left behind by Android 4.3.

What was surprising was that companies like HTC, Motorola and Sony came out of the gates with a ton of information about updates for specific devices. HTC even went as far as to confirm release dates for some of its HTC One variants. In the world of Android updates, this is virtually unheard of. Historically, companies have remained silent about specific release dates until much closer to the actual date.

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How to Find a Phone Number in Android 4.4 KitKat

phone app lead

The standard phone dialer has essentially looked and felt the same since the introduction of the smartphone; with a list of contacts to scroll through as well as a numeric dialer. With Android 4.4 KitKat, Google has reimagined the dialer for a smartphone world, embracing Google’s powerful search engine to help users find phone numbers. The new Phone app lets you search your contacts to call those already in your contact list, or the web to find contact information for businesses using Google’s extensive database. Here’s how to use the new Phone app to find a phone number for any contact or local business.

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How to Save Files to Google Drive in Android 4.4 KitKat

Google enhanced the document saving functionality in Android 4.4 KitKat, creating a more system-wide approach to file management. In previous versions of Android, you needed to edit a document in the Google Drive app in order to save it to Google Drive. Now, more apps can access your Google Drive and other cloud storage accounts directly, letting you edit these files in the Android app of your choice. Follow these steps to save files to Google Drive from QuickOffice, Google’s productivity suite. However, saving from another app such as Polaris Office should work the same way.

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Gmail for Android gets a vacation responder, attachment support for all file types, and printing on KitKat


Google today updated Gmail for Android, adding a vacation responder, attachment support for all file types, and printing on Android 4.4 KitKat. You can download the new version now directly from Google Play.

The vacation responder is rather timely, given that it’s right before the holiday season. If you forgot to set or update your message before leaving the house for the next few weeks, this one is for you. Just create or update your auto responder message right in the Gmail app on Android.

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Five Ways to Increase Battery Life on Android 4.4 KitKat

Android 4.4 KitKat is officially here. Well, it’s here if you’re a Nexus 5 owner. Nobody knows when the rest of the Android world will be getting the latest update, but let’s hope it’s sooner rather than later.

Today, we’re going to show you how to easily increase battery life on your Nexus 5 by implementing five easy tips today.


gps battery savings android

Android’s default GPS feature is useful if you use a lot of location tracking apps – like Google Maps or business finding apps. Thankfully, Google realized that GPS wasn’t very battery efficient, which is why they created a GPS mode that uses less battery life and implemented it into Android 4.4.

This battery saving GPS mode won’t completely take away your location-finding features, but it will use fewer reference points to find your location.

In all likelihood, your location will still be fairly accurate, just not as accurate or as quick-to-respond as the default GPS mode. To enable this mode in Android 4.4 KitKat, go to Settings > Location > Mode and then check the box beside Battery Saving.

If you’re in a situation where you need very precise map tracking, then you can easily disable this mode. Until then, enjoy your longer battery life.


google now kit kat android 4-4


One of the biggest improvements in Android 4.4 is the feature where your phone listens for special hotwords like “OK Google”. This is useful if you’re in the car or hands-free mode, but many Android users will find it unnecessary.

Fortunately, you can easily disable this mode when you don’t need it. To do that, go to your Google Now app > Settings > Voice and then disable Hotword Detection.


android sync battery life

Android likes to keep you updated on everything that’s going on in the world. Unfortunately, keeping updated all the time burns battery life. By default, Android will sync all of the accounts you’ve added to your phone or tablet.

That’s useful for email and possibly Facebook. But most accounts are better off without being synchronized constantly – especially accounts you might barely use like Google Keep, Google Play, or your photo apps.

Photos can be particularly devastating to your battery life. Every time you take a photo, Google may try to sync that photo with the cloud or whatever other photo sharing/storage service you use.

The easiest way to change this is to go to your Settings menu and look for your email address under Accounts. Tap that account name to access sync settings for each service.

You can also remove photo syncing directly from the gallery app under the Settings menu.


nfc kit kat

I can’t believe it’s 2013 and I still have to remind people of this, but such is life. I’m sick of friends complaining about poor smartphone battery life, only to constantly see the Bluetooth and NFC icons sitting in their notifications bar. All wireless services burn battery life, but NFC is a particularly lethal killer.

You can disable NFC and all other wireless connections from the Settings menu under (More) > Wireless and Networks


kit kat battery life

Android has had a battery life monitoring tool for quite some time now. This app shows you exactly what’s draining battery life and how much battery life your apps are draining.

To access this tool in Android 4.4 KitKat, go to the Quick Settings menu from the notifications shade and then tap the battery logo. This will reveal a complete list of active apps that are draining battery as well as the percentage of battery life they’re draining.

Obviously, some app usage is unavoidable. For example, your Android’s screen and wireless connections are an important part of your phone/tablet. However, it’s easy to find a few surprising apps under this menu as well, such as that random game you once downloaded and now constantly bothered you with notifications. Uninstall that app or prevent it from running to boost your battery life.

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How To Enable Lock Screen Widgets In Android 4.4 KitKat

Lock Screen WidgetsLock screen widgets were first introduced to Android last November with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, but in Google’s latest KitKat release, they’re disabled by default. But don’t worry — they haven’t been killed off altogether; you just need to enable them again if you want to use them.

Here’s how.

  1. Open up the Settings app and tap ‘Security’
  2. Tap ‘Enable Widgets’
  3. Go to your lock screen, then swipe over to the left and tap the plus symbol
  4. Pick the widget you’d like to add to your lock screen

By Killian Bell
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