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(MacRumors)   Seven years ago today, Steve stood on stage, whipped it out, and everyone's jaws dropped. The world hasn't been the same since   (macrumors.com) divider line 111
    More: Cool, iPhone, touch user interface, original iPhone, communications device, jaws  
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4543 clicks; posted to Geek » on 09 Jan 2014 at 4:38 PM (41 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-01-10 11:57:49 AM  

mark_bert: Dragonflew: likefunbutnot: The Windows Mobile 6 phone I had in 2006 is more functional than any iOS device that has ever been released. It can actually download files from the web and save E-mail attachments.

You can $ave attachments (in addition to pictures) by purcha$ing Document$-to-Go ($10).  To download file$ from the web, you need Google Chrome plu$ an exten$ion ($2.00)

Dropbox is free. Works for all of the above.


Actually, it doesn't. You can't copy a .mp3 to the device from it, nor can you Share it to any other application from Dropbox. Dropbox will let you stream it, but it can't be made available to the standard ios music player.

And Dropbox is a huge farking crutch to make ios minimally functional. Pretty much every iPad how to starts with "first, get a Dropbox account..."
 
2014-01-10 01:04:17 PM  

Far Cough: Oh yeah, and their vendetta against both SD cards and mass-storage mode.  What's up with THAT?

I wanted to try a lower level undelete on someone's Jellybean phone and found out that mass-storage mode is gone!  There's a dinky kludgy limited "media transfer" mode in its place.  That you can no longer mount Android devices as a drive is a minor travesty.


Just hooked up my JB android phone to check this.  What functionality do I no longer have that I had before?  As best I can tell I have complete file access to both the phone and the microsd card.
 
2014-01-10 01:12:31 PM  

You're not able to access the actual file system any more -- anything you're doing is merely a file transfer.  I'm also not sure whether or not you're seeing as much as you could have in mass storage mode.  I certainly could see far less than I expected, even though the phone wasn't rooted.


Further, it requires separate software to attach to some versions of OSX, and I don't know if it has any official Linux support at all.


The whole point of USB mass storage mode was that you really were mounting the device as a drive, and it worked on many different platforms, whatever could use a USB drive.  For example, while I haven't tried, I doubt the newer Jellybean/KitKat phones could be attaached as USB drive to something like home NAS or router...


I hope I'm wrong about all this.

 
2014-01-10 01:35:36 PM  

Oh, and say goodbye to your accidentally deleted photos and other files forever thanks to Google's "you will use our cloud and like it"  Applish edict and removal of USB mass storage mode.


Can't use something like http://www.datarescue.com/photorescue/v3/android-data-recovery.html  (or its more trustworthy open source counterpart at http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/PhotoRec  ) any more for a quick recovery from a mistake.


Didn't leave time for the "synch" to get your stuff back to the cloud?  Too bad.  It's gone forever.  It's still there on your phone, of course, waiting to be recovered, but you won't be able to get to it... because we thought making the device available as a USB drive was just too useful a feature to keep it available to you.


(They apparently have their purported "reasons" because mass storage mode could lead to file locking and removal issues, but that's BS for anyone who's ever figured out how to use a USB RAM stick.)

 
2014-01-10 02:39:02 PM  

Far Cough: You're not able to access the actual file system any more -- anything you're doing is merely a file transfer.  I'm also not sure whether or not you're seeing as much as you could have in mass storage mode.  I certainly could see far less than I expected, even though the phone wasn't rooted.
Further, it requires separate software to attach to some versions of OSX, and I don't know if it has any official Linux support at all.
The whole point of USB mass storage mode was that you really were mounting the device as a drive, and it worked on many different platforms, whatever could use a USB drive.  For example, while I haven't tried, I doubt the newer Jellybean/KitKat phones could be attaached as USB drive to something like home NAS or router...
I hope I'm wrong about all this.


That's actually device dependent. The device can optionally communicate via USB Mass Storage protocols (like a flash drive) or by one of two different media transfer protocols a la some Mp3 players. Which one or ones your device supports depends on how the manufacturer chose to implement the connection and what OS options they expose to you.

On the plus side, there's nothing stopping you from using SMB or NFS or FTP to talk to a file server and ignoring the USB file transfer cable entirely.
 
2014-01-10 03:09:12 PM  
Sure, but that doesn't help me get at the file system on the device, in order to do something like attempt to undelete a file, as explained above.  This was all news to me recently; I had been under the impression that all Android devices still supported plain old mass storage mode (my last Blackberry still did).  The Samsungs I've seen recently do not.

Thanks for drawing the distinction between OS and hardware restrictions.
 
2014-01-10 03:35:19 PM  

Far Cough: Sure, but that doesn't help me get at the file system on the device, in order to do something like attempt to undelete a file, as explained above.  This was all news to me recently; I had been under the impression that all Android devices still supported plain old mass storage mode (my last Blackberry still did).  The Samsungs I've seen recently do not.

Thanks for drawing the distinction between OS and hardware restrictions.


I do believe you can directly access the file system on the device itself with an app.
 
2014-01-10 03:51:06 PM  

mjbok: Far Cough: Sure, but that doesn't help me get at the file system on the device, in order to do something like attempt to undelete a file, as explained above.  This was all news to me recently; I had been under the impression that all Android devices still supported plain old mass storage mode (my last Blackberry still did).  The Samsungs I've seen recently do not.

Thanks for drawing the distinction between OS and hardware restrictions.

I do believe you can directly access the file system on the device itself with an app.


Most every Android device comes with a file manager. Samsung's is actually pretty similar to Windows Explorer.
I think the reason mass storage support is being deprecated is not a matter of end user control but to avoid having to license patents on FAT32 from Microsoft.
 
2014-01-10 04:24:49 PM  
That's nice and all, but the whole point of USB mass storage mode is that one no longer has to rely only on software available for the device.  Mounting it as a straight old USB drive has all kinds of advantages you can't get by accessing the file locally on the device itself.  The two I've mentioned are the ability to use 3rd party undelete tools and the ability to mount the store on devices and operating systems that aren't prepared to use the new "MTP" mode the new phones require.

If the point of the new mode were solely to get around FAT32 licensing, that would assume the device or SD card isn't already formatted in FAT32, so I'm not clear on how mass storage mode would expose them to further litigation.  (The translation software, at worst case, could present multiple FAT, not FAT32 systems, which as far as I know are not patent encumbered.)

Thanks for the responses....
 
2014-01-10 05:08:34 PM  

Far Cough: the new "MTP" mode the new phones require.


MTP isn't new and it is most definitely a standard (a friend of mine actually wrote and maintains the MTP library used by OpenSolaris and OpenIndiana and he's been doing that for at least four years now). No, it's not as flexible but it's supposedly safer for multiple data access (both the PC and device can be accessing the data at the same time) and it's still an open standard that allows some degree of access to common data formats.

For a non-rooted device, there are apps in the Play Store that can enable USB Mass Storage access to the SDcard directory structure if you really need it. There are also Android native data recovery tools, but I try to avoid putting anything on my device's internal memory other than programs and their settings.

In a way, this does kind of piss me off for much the same reason that iOS annoys me by not exposing a real file system, but since I use fast, expensive microSD cards that I can pull out of a device and access with anything I want if I really NEED to, it's not the kind of burning, urgent hate that I have for the inadequacies of iFruits.
 
2014-01-10 05:22:24 PM  
Yeah, well, you know, I made the (informed) mistake of getting a refurb Galaxy Nexus, the phone that led Google's charge to evilly mimic Apple and eliminate SD card slots.  :(  It was either that or an HTC with unremoveable battery, so I still think I picked the better of the two.  I never thought I'd make that compromise though.

Oh, are there mass storage mode apps available?  The only ones I've seen are requiring root; your links welcome.

But it may be a non-starter for me; it seems that these applications do NOT support the GNexus's fixed internal storage, which at least one developer claims is NOT accessible via USB mass storage mode, period.

Anyhoo, we've gotten geekily off topic, and thanks for your advice.
 
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