New feature Android 11 was a headache for developers

Android 11 is a fairly large update. Google plans to show it as early as May this year, and the update itself will begin rolling out in September. The main innovations will be an improved dark theme, simplified file transfer similar to AirDrop, and a new way of organizing the memory of ScopedStorage applications. But let's get down to business. Voice Aloud Reader has over 5 million downloads on Google Play, but the future of the app is now in question due to Scoped Storage . What is the problem? Let's figure it out.

New feature Android 11 was a headache for developers

Scoped Storage? Pain or not pain?

In the description for the next update, he said that if another attempt to implement Scoped Storage is not successful, he will simply remove the application from Google Play and leave development under Android. This is a serious statement, and what exactly the application integration problems are related to is still a mystery. Voice Aloud Reader is a program that can read text aloud, quite useful by the way. And his disappearance from Google Play could be a kind of bell for Google. What was the reason: not a professional developer or a bad API for working with Scoped Storage?

New feature Android 11 was a headache for developers

@Voice Aloud Reader App Update

What is Scoped Storage?

Scoped Storage was originally supposed to appear in Android Q, however, the developers probably did not have time to adapt their applications, so Google decided to postpone the release for a year. Scoped Storage is isolated chunks of memory allocated to each application, however, this can even be understood by the name. Currently, in Android applications work with memory in a similar way to Windows – they access the entire file system. Scoped Storage will allow you to isolate certain memory cells for specific applications.

A similar principle of operation is observed in iOS. And Chrome tabs work approximately the same way, although in this case they are isolated to processes. This isolation will improve the security of the system, and applications will not be able to access sensitive data on the smartphone. Google suggests using the Storage Access Framework API to interact with the file system. And the developers don't like it very much due to the slow work and poor documentation. The screenshot below shows how slow the new API is. On average, SAF lasts 25-50 times longer with files.

New feature Android 11 was a headache for developers

Scoped Storage

But this is not the only problem. In Scoped Storage, application developers need, when working with a file, to first copy it into their own scoped memory area, and only then manipulate it. Imagine some kind of video editor. You open a 5 gigabyte video and the application will need to make a copy of it in its storage area to be able to modify it. In addition, the fate of thousands of file managers on Google Play is now in question. How will they work with the entire phone memory if they have limited access to it? This is still a mystery.

Why Scoped Storage isn't so bad

With the arrival of Scoped Storage, the system will undoubtedly become more secure. Some applications will not be able to access data from other applications. Now the application will need to get confirmation from the user to access data outside of its own Scoped Storage. This is undoubtedly convenient. In addition, the developers Android promised to fix performance problems for the release Android 11. And regarding the need to copy files to my own Scoped Storage, I asked one of the developers Android – applications, who replied that it was convenient, and for working with large files it is better to use InputStream.

In addition, some developers have been working with SAF for a long time and have not experienced any problems. Probably, problems will arise only for developers of file managers, where access to all files of the system is required.

I took it a step further and studied the developer podcast Android (from 24:42 min), which explained why Scoped Storage is needed.

I will try to briefly retell what was discussed in the podcast. In Scoped Storage, each application has a separate folder that can be accessed without any permissions. Without Scoped Storage, an application with access to the file system can view the user's personal data, which is bad. As we wrote above, the developers noted that some applications cannot see the files of other applications and have access only to those system files to which the user himself has given access using the dialog box. As such, Scoped Storage is probably the biggest update to happen to Android in recent memory. But at the same time, developers will now need to tinker with development longer, which, of course, coders do not like, but for users this, of course, is a plus.

What do you think? Share your opinion in the comments and don't forget about our Telegram chat.

Rate article
Everything for Android and not only | Tips, instructions, root, news and app reviews.
Add a comment