Android 4.3 breaks SD card writing ability of apps on Google Galaxy S4 Play Edition

If you own Google’s version of Galaxy S4, we would recommend you not to upgrade your handset to Android 4.3 as of now as those who have done so are reporting issues whereby apps are not able to write to the SD card for storing information – showing an annoying pop-up message every time a write fails.

The issue seems to be a Unix one as from the looks of it applications aren’t been allowed to write external storage as they haven’t been placed in the right group – a Unix write permissions issue. Neither Samsung nor Google has provided a fix for the issue as of this writing.

A couple of missing permissions in the platform.xml file located under system/etc/permissions/ are the culprit. The correct group ID that allows apps to successfully write on media cards is missing. If you are too bothered about the annoying pop-ups and are not able to use apps properly, we will point you to a work around but, this is not an official fix.

You would either need a rooted phone or ES File Explorer to pull this off. ES File Explorer works somehow to we would recommend you use that instead of rooting the phone. Navigate to the platform.xml file and search for the line name=”android.permission.WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE”. Just below the line you will find group gid=”sdcard_rw” with the <> brackets. Below that add group gid=”media_rw” within <>. Save the file and reboot your S4.