Owning a Google Play Edition Android device has several perks one of which is having the latest software updates. Owners will no longer need to wait from carriers or the device manufacturer to release the latest Android build. Samsung’s Galaxy S4 google Edition is one such device that has been recently updated to Android 4.3, which is the latest version of the OS. One problem about this update is that apps no longer have the ability to write data on the SD card.
While this may be a minor issue and does not affect the overall performance of the device it is annoying since you will constantly get an error message when an app tries to write to the SD card. The reason as to why this is happening is a bit technical however it has something to do with how the device handles write permissions. The Galaxy S4 has a special group where apps belonging to the group can write to the external storage. The problem is that most apps have not been updated yet to the changes.
There is a temporary fix to the SD card writing error which involves the use of a root explorer app to access system files. Your device must be rooted first for this fix to work.
Use an app like ES File Explorer to access the system files. This app works since it is one of the few apps that is given permission to read and write to the SD card.
Go to system/etc/permissions folder, then edit the platform.xml file on the phone or copy the file to your PC and edit it there.
Search for the line that says name=”android.permission.WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE” >. Under this should be the line <group gid=”sdcard_rw” />.
Under ”<group gid=”sdcard_rw” />“, add <group gid=”media_rw” />, then save the file. See image below for details.
If you used your PC to edit the file copy it back to your phone and overwrite the original. Make sure to make a backup of the original file first before overwriting it.
Reboot your Galaxy S4 for the changes to take effect.
The apps will now be available to write to the external storage. While this may not be the best solution, it is what’s working right now. We are hoping that Samsung will come up with a permanent solution to this issue soon.