Google Photos messed up by Android 11’s scoped storage

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Android 11 Scoped Storage Google Photos

Android 11 has introduced the Scoped Storage system. One noticeable effect of this is the challenge in loading non-Google Play apps. We first learned about this update when the Android 11 Developer Preview was released by Google in early February. It is one of the many privacy and security improvements the Android team has worked on. It’s something that is not often discussed by app developers but we recently learned that Viber already migrated to scoped storage for better app and user data protection.

We have no idea about other apps’ responses to the change but for Google Photos, the experience is ruined by Scoped Storage. This is noticeable, especially on non-Pixel phones. Our source said it is best to use your Android phone’s default photo gallery app. Using Google Photos may stress you out because some of the features are not functioning properly.

For one, when using Google Photos and you want to delete the pictures and videos, the app may be messed up a bit especially if you are using several devices. Out-of-sync changes may surface on either or both phones. The system will still ask if you want to remove photos but may do so again on the other device. It’s not clear why this is happening but it has something to do with the scoped storage that uses the MediaStorage API.

It is mainly the effect of a new permissions structure for apps. We understand its importance because it allows access to different levels of system storage. This offers better security.

Not all apps may experience this as not all are subject to such rules. Every app can execute privileged tasks like write data on a disk in the background. Users are still allowed to change the apps they want to use in their system settings.

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