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hiornsi
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Joined: 10/07/2016 - 01:47
Android Q will kill V3.2???

Ouch.. So Android Q will bring major changes to the way apps can access files.

'Android Q gives each app an isolated storage sandbox into an external storage device, such as /sdcard. No other app can directly access your app's sandboxed files.'

Sample packs anyone?  Android Q will be a lot more restrictive in general regarding how apps can access files which is going to be a real headache. 

I don't imagine Google would completely block Android Q users from running older apps but whether they would all still be able to function as intended is questionable.

I'm not clear on all the fine details and I don't think there's going to be any issues in the near term but I think there's cause for concern.

mike
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Joined: 12/18/2011 - 15:53
If you do not compile at Q

If you do not compile at Q after Q is released, Google will put up nasty popups saying you don't use the new file model and ask the user if they want to continue with this highly dangerous operation.

So no, apps will still work, they will just be viewed as outlaw apps. I am sure eventually Google will just raise the required compiled SDK in about a year or 2, then you either update your apps or well who knows at that point. :)

pquenin
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Joined: 07/30/2013 - 17:47
I think it's time to go back

I think it's time to go back to the PC for making music :-(

mike
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Joined: 12/18/2011 - 15:53
Well Android has always been

Well Android has always been a pain in the ass for developers.

Yeah we had this "one" kewl thing with the file system but, pro audio dev on Android? hahaha

Even just trying to get MIDI going the last 5 years...

TheRektafire
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Joined: 08/27/2014 - 10:45
Great so now Android is

Great so now Android is becoming even more of a locked down shitfest like iOS? Ugh, I hope custom rom devs will come in to save the day here because it is sorely necessary in this case

mike
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Joined: 12/18/2011 - 15:53
So if you have a custom ROM,

So if you have a custom ROM, how do I cheat the system?

If a dev has to follow security procedures with a proigraming API, having a custom ROM is not going to help you with this problem.

hiornsi
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Joined: 10/07/2016 - 01:47
Well it's not like it would

Well it's not like it would be technically impossible to do Caustic under the new restrictions. I've been speaking with another dev who says they're going to have to completely rewrite their file handling system. That's a serious investment in time and patience. Whether that might ever be on the cards in this case I don't know. 

I think the first causality will be new expansion packs. I can't see how that could be done given at some point new apps would be required to comply with these new measures. Same goes with any updates. Whether it might be possible for a Q user to just keep bating away tiresome system popups, well maybe, but again who knows? For how long?

At the moment it seems to me the most viable option is to hang on to an older device running everything as now. Kind of sad, I think Caustic made a little bit of history and even if it is a legacy product I'd of hoped it would always be there for new users to discover.

Android was always going to be a marginal contender for music production. Really the main thing in its favor being that a heck of a lot of people already have an Android device.

Personally I'm looking toward small dedicated hardware like the new Nanoloop and stuff by Twisted Electrons to fill the need. Though that's maybe not for everyone. There's something about making music when the option to tweak a zillion parameters and route signals in infinite combinations isn't there that inspires a different approach and turns out to be quite creative as well as productive.

TheRektafire
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Joined: 08/27/2014 - 10:45
@mike yeah, you're right :(

@mike yeah, you're right :( My reaction on learning about this was a bit kneejerk though to me not unwarranted since when I made the decision to use Android over iOS while partially being price was also because of the features Android offered over iOS like shared filesystem access, I didn't "sign up| per se for a worse version of iOS for people who are too poor to afford iPhones and a horribly watered down and fragmented ecosystem. At least Apple had the "decency" to point out form the beginning that phone and tablet computing isn't the place that you go to if you want any rea "options" and "control| and the only things you are going to be allowed to do are specifically what we want you to be able to do which isn't exactly a whole lot, whereas google essentially just used the opposite approach  as a marketing gimmick for the past decade to get people to buy Android phones and not iPhones until they decided they were ok with taking those things away as well and reeeeeallly annoying poeple like me who went with android over ios in the first place because of the things it offered that ios didn't. So basically I guess the thrust of my frustration comes from what I percieve non-laptop mobile computing *should* be like VS what it is in reality, I guess this just reinforces the notion that phones and tablets aren't "real" computersw and they are just for super casuals which definitely hurts some markets like music and gaming, although I guess games themselves would be hurt the least with this change, but music apps on the other hand..........

 

Also after doing some more reading on this it doesn't seem "quite" as bad as I first thought it was, apparently, at least according to the android developer site, apps can still access files in the Downloads folder but you have to use the "system's file picker app". So I guess the Downlaods folder te3chnically won[t actually be the Downloads folder at all and it will become the "files that I want to be able to use with some app but google won't let me put them anywhere while letting the app i want to use access them so I just put them here" folder... which ironically goes against the "giving users more control over their files" and :limit file clutter" that they supposed say they want to do in that same article because depending on how difficult it will be to make shared subdirectories in there it could, you know, just be filled with a bunch of clutter. 

 

That's just my take anyway. Also I might be kind of biased since i'm a very liberal person at heart and so any action that removes some freedoms or options definitely rubs me the wrong way even though I know they had good intentions when they did it like for security reasons.

TheRektafire
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Joined: 08/27/2014 - 10:45
Oh yeah, and I didn't even

Oh yeah, and I didn't even think about how this will hurt *developers* as well, there are a lot of apps which are wroking under the old FS assumptions that will just be straight up broken and unusable unless the developers take the time to rewrite their entire file reading and writing code. And this will effect apps that have shared ecosystems with other apps as well because it will be way harder for those apps to share files with each other.

mike
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Joined: 12/18/2011 - 15:53
You have it right, devs are

You have it right, devs are at the eat or be eaten stage.

Seen it many times before in technology, it's growing pains, wether you really believe it's growth or not is opinion.

Personally I think people should RTFM before reacting because there is something called Roles that might interest you.

 

TheRektafire
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Joined: 08/27/2014 - 10:45
Just read the article on

Just read the article on roles and I can't say whether i'm less or more confused. So there's no role for a general "file browser/explorer" but there is one for music and photos. But in the article about the android q privacy changes it says that to access the Downloads folder you need to use the "system's file picker", but how can you have one if there isn't a role for it? I can only assume that by that it means the OEM provided one which most of the time those really suck so I would prefer not to use those and use a better one like RAR, but it looks like the only way to do that is put it in the music or photos folder and then have an app assign itself as the default "music player" or "photo viewer" so it can access the files, which is kind of janky and annoying but I guess it would work.

mike
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Joined: 12/18/2011 - 15:53
The roles should allow audio

The roles should allow audio devs to share "virtual" file systems.

I have not had the time to do my OCD review of this from a developer perspective, when I know exact facts I will write a post here describing my impression based on technical facts I have read.

TheRektafire
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Joined: 08/27/2014 - 10:45
Ok

Ok

Oh by the way I mentioned similar thoughts on a post in the androiddev subreddit and someone said that developers "should have been using the Storage Access Framework since android 4.4" and they wouldn't be in such a worrying position right now had they done that but since I don't know a whole lot about andorid development I'm not sure how truthful that is

planeth
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Joined: 12/21/2013 - 13:05
Oh by the way I mentioned

Oh by the way I mentioned similar thoughts on a post in the androiddev subreddit and someone said that developers "should have been using the Storage Access Framework since android 4.4" and they wouldn't be in such a worrying position right now had they done that but since I don't know a whole lot about andorid development I'm not sure how truthful that is

This is correct, but it's only the half truth. At the time of the initial release of the storage access framework, using it instead of the regular file system access was just a recommendation, no more. Nobody ever mentioned before that the file system access will be completely blocked at some point.

However, I think Mike is absolutely right in his opinion. Going that new way (even if painful) will open a lot new possibilities. And it's strongly recommended to get the recoding done before the Android Q targeting gets mandatory. Otherwise there will be no more way to migrate existing data;).

mike
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Joined: 12/18/2011 - 15:53
Nobody ever mentioned before

Nobody ever mentioned before that the file system access will be completely blocked at some point.

This is totally true, if I would have known this I would have at least stubbed this in. My apps are completly file system and luckly I just have to move my root and figure out how to use a file requester.

It does mean all the time I spent on my internal file browser is toast in it's current state.
 

planeth
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Joined: 12/21/2013 - 13:05
 My apps are completly file

 My apps are completly file system and luckly I just have to move my root and figure out how to use a file requester.

Not sure if this is enough for additional sample packs.

It does mean all the time I spent on my internal file browser is toast in it's current state.

I was asking myself the same question regarding my filebrowser...

I think this cannot just be answered by yes or no, as there are many influencing aspects.

Generally, after moving the root folder to the isolated storage, you can just browse it as usual, as the File IO api is still working in isolated storage.

When you accessing files over the Storage Access Framework (e.g. to load samples from packs, or to load patterns from your lildrummachine), then I think you have to replace the backing code of your file browser, but you can keep the UI. However, most of that is speculation, as I just started to drive first tests using the SAF.

Also in my apps, it's just moving the root. But as always is the devil in the details.

planeth
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Joined: 12/21/2013 - 13:05
Just a quick update here to

Just a quick update here to answer the initial question.

The answer is yes, Android Q will break caustic (or at least all of its add-on packs) as well as many other apps (including every single file manager).

And it will happen to all apps, not only those who target Android Q. I just drove decent tests with Android Q beta2, and all apps that access the external storage can automatically only access files that were created by itself. So in short, this breaks the whole add-on pack concept (also the one of my apps, as I'm using a similar concept).

In either way, if you target Q or not, every app that uses the external storage today will automatically use the isolated sandbox in Q. The only difference between targeting Q or targeting P or older is the fact that apps that do not target Q will use a compatibility mode, which simulates an external storage within an isolated sandbox for that particular app.

So I'd really recommend every dev to get a solution soon, as this will affect your apps, and it will affect them this year, and not (as initially expected) when targeting Q becoming mandatory in 2020.