Google warming up: searching for help/developers for Android SDcard app storage

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by Mike
Posted November 4th, 2009 at 8:34 am

Well stomp on frogs and shove a crow bar up my nose. SD app storage, a feature that has been requested across many platforms to alleviate space issues when meager amounts of device memory are concerned have been around for several years. WindowsMobile, a widely panned and criticized as “old” mobile OS has had this feature for years. So why does a modern OS such as Android miss out? Since Android has been levied against Apple and Microsoft as a legitimate contender, being limited to at most 256MB for apps (especially considering the iPhone’s 16GB/32GB app storage capacities and WinMo support — ‘nough said) has so far hurt in some respects Android’s ability to attract hardcore developers and apps. Those who routinely root their Android devices often make use of a handy little app called Apps2SD that allows storing applications on the SD card. While not perfect, it’s relatively failsafe with your obvious bugs that come from the app being “unofficial”. Google thankfully is listening — at least it seams — as a new posting in the Google Android Group blog calls out for developers knowledgeable with Apps2SD as well as those familiar with web storage w/source/patch management. A blurb that highlights the goodness we’ve all been craving:

“At the android-platform group, we’ve been hashing out a scheme for adding in official apps-to-sd support to AOSP. We have a couple of google engineers following along/helping out and are now at a state where the initial testing implementation (we’re using an incremental development approach) steps are defined in a fairly simple manner and we are ready to start at it from an actual implementation details/start coding perspective.
The actual thread is located here: http://groups.google.com/group/android-platform/browse_thread/thread/bf0709c157451cd9
Basically, if implemented, it will do the following;
1) totally obsolete current hacker apps2sd approaches by allowing actual sdcard removal from device.
2) ultimately ship with devices stock (when in a state where it is easy to use, stable, and at least as secure for non-root users as internal storage currently is).
3) keep application data on the same device as the actual application with no side-effects (like internal apps being broken while waiting for second partition to mount).
4) allow MULTIPLE sdcards containing apps to be swapped on the same device.
5) allow sdcard containing apps to be swapped between DIFFERENT devices.
Note: 4 and 5 are not in the initial implementation, first proof of concept and working system, then enhancement with additional features. 4 and 5 are not requirements for inclusion in AOSP, but they are cool features that ultimately should be implemented.
What we need:
Several good developers, web storage w/source/patch management, etc.
Anyone interested, please read the thread to get an idea of the current state of thought, and please don’t pollute that thread with nonsense. There is a current state of organization, and though not set in stone, it should be considered as NOT open for major architectural changes (i.e., the google engineers don’t have any major problems with the proposal that we can’t work through). Minor glitches and implementation details will be handled along the way. If you must pollute a thread with nonsense, use this one.”

The eagerness in all of us wants to see this implemented as soon as possible. But with the announcement above, it’s clear that we still have some time before such functionality becomes officially supported within Android. Perhaps Android 3.0 will bring this highly sought after feature. Perhaps sooner. Looking forward to Friday and my switch to the Moto DROID, I as well am anxiously awaiting the day SD app storage support becomes official. With SD cards dropping in price and rising in capacity constantly, the number of apps you can store is virtually limitless via hot-swappable means. *salivates* I can’t wait…

Phandroid > AndroidSpin

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