Google’s new take on security improvement on Android Q comes in the form of Scope storage for Android apps, which will limit the app to access the file system and will only allow to use the file system via a new framework that Google has developed known as Storage Access Framework and it’s going to be a real pain for normal users as well as for developers.
What’s the Pain?
So, what SAF starting with Android Q intends to do is make a separate scoped storage area for each app just like they have on the iPhone’s iOS and then the user will be able to grant access to that app, when a pop-up opens up asking the user to select a root directory for that specific app and this process will be repeated each time an app needs storage access and you will do this twice if the app needs sd-card access as well.
Moreover, this doesn’t end there, the read and write speeds will also take a significant hit due to this. On top of that, whenever you uninstall an app, all it’s data will be wiped and you won’t get all your earlier data back for that file, like you use to get it back now.
It’s like really limiting to move around your file system and you might not be able to see some file types say for example an apk downloaded an external source, won’t show up as that file is not within the scope storage of that file manager. So, it must be within the file manager’s scope storage for it classify as an APK file.
What’s the Gain?
Just like the file explorer example above a bad app, just can’t access that media because the OS will ask it whether that’s within it’s own scoped storage, which that bad app won’t be having and thus limiting it to its own sandbox.
With this Google is funneling the apps access to the storage which as per the search giant could possibly steal your images, videos and other things, but at the same time also introducing new pain in the for everyone. However, the word is that the feedback to Google on Android Q’s beta for Scoped Storage is not positive.
It will help in reducing any theft of your files, as SAF will be enforced at some point in time when the Google Play Store will require an app to have it compulsory for the next gen Android Q and R devices.