Android 4.4 KitKat Update Is Here: Samsung Galaxy S4 (GT-I9505) Receives New OS; Beware Of Changes To MicroSD Card

 @FionnaatIBTf.agomuoh@ibtimes.com on February 25 2014 12:32 AM
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Android 4.4 update for Galaxy S4 GT-I9505 SamMobile

The Android 4.4 KitKat update for the Samsung Galaxy S4 continues with the international LTE GT-I9505 model now receiving the new operating system.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 featuring the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 chipset is updating just days after its international 3G counterpart received Android 4.4. As of Monday, the update should be hitting Galaxy S4 GT-I9505 in Germany.

The Galaxy S4 I9505OXAFNB8 build software is also available over-the-air and through Samsung Kies, but does not include a change log at this point. Users can prompt the Android 4.4 update manually by accessing Settings > General > About device > Software update on their Galaxy S4 GT-I9505 handset.

Update features will likely not differ much from what has already been seen; among the Android 4.4 enhancements are a new phone dialer and Camera features, Hangouts and text integration, always-on capability with Google and a full emoji keyboard.

In addition to the Galaxy S4 GT-I9500 (Exynos) model, the Sprint and U.S. Cellular Galaxy S4 models have also updated to Android 4.4.

Android 4.4 KitKat And The MicroSD Protocol

Reports indicate that the Android 4.4 update for Samsung devices brings with it changes to the Android API, which affect the functionality of micro SD cards. Samsung is currently cooperating with Google to implement these new specifications onto Samsung devices. The protocol will make it so apps cannot write or modify existing files to a microSD card. Since microSD cards are considered secondary storage, apps will not be able to use them for such primary functions. Google has detailed the new protocol in a newly published document.

[For secondary storage, if it exists]

The WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE permission must only grant write access to the primary external storage on a device. Apps must not be allowed to write to secondary external storage devices, except in their package-specific directories as allowed by synthesized permissions. Restricting writes in this way ensures the system can clean up files when applications are uninstalled.

According to Android Police, under this protocol apps are allowed to have a folder on a microSD card dedicated to their unhindered functions. “The WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE permission still grants unrestricted access to public folders on primary storage, but writing anything to secondary storage - outside of the designated folder - is totally off limits to all 3rd-party apps,” the tech website explains. Apps likely to be affected include alternative cameras, image editors and GPS loggers.

Many believe Google is pushing this new protocol so that consumers will favor Google-based storage options like the cloud, Google Drive and Google + over microSD cards. Notably, manufacturers have worked around Google’s stock protocols in the past, but Samsung has a new stake in abiding by Google’s rules now that the two companies are in a cross-patent deal with one another.

One of the stipulations of said deal is reportedly that Samsung has agreed to stop creating its own brand versions of Samsung apps. Many expect to see the implications of this agreement within the updated user interface of the recently released Samsung Galaxy S5. Keep in mind that the Galaxy S5 runs Android 4.4 natively, and therefore includes this microSD protocol natively.

Are you a Galaxy S4 GT-I9505 owner? Has your handset begun updating to Android 4.4 KitKat? Let us know in the comments below.

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