Using the SD Card to store Files

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John Spitzer

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Aug 8, 2021, 12:22:57 PMAug 8
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The user manual seems to not be very specific about how to configure the Application to store files away from the internal storage.  I did read the FAQ where it mentions a bit on how to set it up but when attempting to do so on the tablet I found that the location was NOT used - files actually went to the internal storage.  On my Tab 8.4 pad I did fiddle long enough with the back arrow after selecting "Try using external folder" under Charts storage that I was able to get to a path called  ""extSDCard"" and then I could chose Android/Data/ and then the com.ds.avare folder I had placed under SDCard/Android/Data showed up.

However I just acquired a nice Samsung S2 8.0 pad and in setting this up here I cannot locate anything called  extSDCard............  only   SDCard .......  and when I choose that as  SDCard/Android/Data  the com.ds.avare file I placed in that location does not appear in the app choice list.      This tablet is Android v7.

Also what's the distinction between the Two app choices for location of CHART Storage Folder and User Data Folder?

Need some wisdom here

Thanks

John

John W SBA

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Aug 8, 2021, 2:52:28 PMAug 8
to John Spitzer, Apps4Av Forum
For many reasons, mostly quite technical, it's difficult and often
impossible to get Avare and/or its files to store reliably on an SD like
the ones so many of us enjoy on Samsung devices. That said, persistent
people have found ways to get it working. I have in the past, yet with
an Android update it would stop working.

After that happened a few times, I just gave up on it. Instead I moved
everything else possible on the device (phone in that case) to SD so as
to maximize room on Internal Storage available for Avare. In the years
since, I've found that even with enough charts for an oval route coast
to coast trip it was easy to have Avare and all needed Downloads on
Internal with room to spare for many other apps.

This question comes up fairly often here on the Forum, so searching
carefully with any keywords you can think of will probably yield some
answers on different approaches. Not having even tried in in several
years, I'm no expert. Just wanted to share my own "solution" (basically
I gave in and submitted to Google's vision of Android).

Good luck, and to help other current and future users please share your
solution whatever it might be.

Happy Flying -j

Up Blue

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Sep 9, 2021, 10:03:58 AMSep 9
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I am reworking the solution to this at this moment.  As I recall, it was necessary to install 8.1.3, create the com.ds.avare, and then install the current version and download the charts.  Well I didn't remember the right stuff.  So now I am experimenting as to how to access the SD card.  

The new platform is Moto G Stylus 5G, and I have had Avare working on a Moto X2, Z2 and a Samsung Tab A, using this technique, which of course I have lost track of the details on.

Blues

Timothy Adam

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Sep 9, 2021, 12:26:38 PMSep 9
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Good day John:

FWIW:  I don't consider myself an expert on Avare file structures etc. but I have enjoyed using Avare for many months now, both:
•  IRL, flying VFR in Florida and the northwest Caribbean;
•  and also on my flight simulator (previously I used P3D up to v5, now I'm using MSFS 2020 on which Avare works fine too).

So for my phone storage optimisation, here's what I did to get my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 to use the SD card for most of the storage requirements of my Avare app:

Click:
{the Settings gear icon on top right of screen} then:
Scroll down and click:
"Apps"
Then wait while it loads up all the app icons, then:
Scroll down and click the icon for:
"Avare"
Click:
"Storage"
That will display a window titled "Storage used"
In grey font it will display "Internal Storage", so
Click:
"Change"
Click the radio button for:
"SD card"
That brings up a window titled "Export Avare" with some brief instructions etc. and then
click on the button:
"Move"
That brings up a progress bar window "Transfer Avare".  Wait until that closes.  It will return to the Apps listing.
Click on the app icon:
"Avare"
and verify that now in the "Storage" panel it displays:
"xxx MB used in external storage"

If you get that result, then you've achieved your objective!  Most of the Avare data etc. is now stored on the SD card, freeing up main storage capacity in your phone.
And, it's a lot quicker and easier to do than it might first appear reading the foregoing, because I have given each little step in detail but really each subsequent step becomes pretty much intuitive once you get started.

Please note however:

(1)  Thereafter, within the app when you click on:
"Menu" --> "Download" --> "Update"
the app will continue to use the SD card storage as you had selected.

(2)  HOWEVER!  Each time you Update the Avare App (best to do updates manually, using the Play Store), you will need to repeat those steps above to get the data transferred to the SD card; and within the Avare app you will also need to:
Click:
"Menu" --> "Download" --> "Update"
But, as with most challenging things, after you've done it once, all of these steps are a lot more intuitive and easier to do!

(3)  My Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is running Android version 9

(4)  Those same steps also work fine on my Samsung Galaxy 7 Edge running Android version 8.0.0

(5)  BTW, those same steps also work fine to use the SD card storage capacity for many more of my apps, on both of those Samsung Galaxy phones. 

(6)  It will be helpful if other Samsung (and other phone/tablet types) users running other versions of Android can comment as to whether the foregoing steps work for them too.

I hope this will be helpful!
Fair skies & tailwinds,
Tim

Moto X

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Sep 9, 2021, 3:43:51 PMSep 9
to Timothy Adam, Apps4Av Forum
Tim,

That appears to be clear instructions for someone with the right Samsung device.  The device I am currently trying to get running is a 2021 Moto G Stylus, which organizes storage a bit different.  First, it does not allow Avare to store the application or the application data on an SD card.  (It does support data storage on the SDcard with apps like Amazon Video and Netflix.)
Second, it does not permit the SDcard to be integrated with the internal memory, otherwise I would do that.
Third, I have been unable to establish a folder I can point the Avare configuration to, for chart storage.  That is the method I used on a Samsung Tab A, a Moto X2, and a Moto Z2 (actually two of those).  So I could do it in the past, but apparently cannot now, or have not figured out the correct incantation yet.

If on Avare, one could select external, and back down to the unique identifier for the SDcard, then it appears things would work.  Why that is not possible, I am not clear on, and I have not attempted to look at the source on to get any ideas.

So from my perspective, it appears that if Avare had the same abilities that apps like Netflix have to designate and access sdcard memory that would work, and probably be ideal.  Not having that capability, it would be nice to be able to get to the root of the sdcard with the right permissions to establish a folder that the app could read and write.

Again, Tim, your write up appears to be very nice for the cases where a Samsung supports using the sdcard.  Not all phones and tablets have that same capability.  Thanks.

Still blue

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Moto X

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Sep 9, 2021, 4:46:27 PMSep 9
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As I play with this issue more, it appears that I may have made a mistake.  Over the weekend, I will try a few more times, to make sure that what I just had work is correctly working.  If that is the case, I made an error.  I will update this after I can try things a few more times.  Thanks.

John W SBA

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Sep 9, 2021, 6:59:38 PMSep 9
to Up Blue, Apps4Av Forum
> now I am experimenting as to how to access the SD card.

I use the open source OI File Manager app on my Samsung S7, and it's
able to show directories my other file manager app doesn't. Maybe you
could try installing it to try on your system. If it works, please
report back.

M F

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Sep 9, 2021, 10:40:11 PMSep 9
to John W SBA, Up Blue, Apps4Av Forum
I'm using the latest version of Avare and everything is still writing to the SD-card. Somewhere around version 9.0.3 the directory listing in Avare quit displaying folders when navigating around. The SD-card is listed but with no subfolders. There doesn't seem to be any permission issues using the SD-card location. So as long as you can get a valid path to the SD-card in the master database Avare will work fine.

I also have other apps that navigate both internal and external (SD-card) folders with no issue. Maybe a temp fix would be a field in Avare where you can type out the full path to the SD-card folder for chart storage so it can be saved in the master database.

I have over a gig of Avare chart files on my SD-card and 9MB on my internal storage. I don't have enough space on my internal storage to have chart data stored here. 

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Mot Back

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Sep 10, 2021, 5:26:43 AMSep 10
to M F, John W SBA, Apps4Av Forum
The ability to enter the full path would certainly solve the problem from my perspective!

I am just trying to find a way to make it work the way it is, but I am not having a lot of success. Entering a fully qualified path should solve the issue.

Is there the ability to edit a configuration file which would give me that functional capability?

Moto X

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Sep 10, 2021, 9:49:28 PMSep 10
to John W SBA, Up Blue, Apps4Av Forum
John, 

OI File Manager does not properly access the SD card on my Moto G Stylus 5g (2021) model phone.

Normally I use Total Commander, which does access the SD card and show its path eg /storage/A9F4-B6C6

Blue

Moto X

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Sep 13, 2021, 8:42:42 PMSep 13
to Moto X, M F, John W SBA, Apps4Av Forum
After extensive testing over the weekend on three different phones and two tablets, I stand by my position that the ability to define in path which will allow (all) systems to effectively store charts on an SD card is not operational in the test platforms that I used.  

The conclusion that I come to is that the suggestion of M F where Avare would accept a full path typed in to define where charts are to be stored would be the best interim fix.  

To that end, I am happy to help, either with dedicated testing, a test phone loan or whatever is necessary.  

The objective is to be able to define a storage location, in the form of  /storage/A6B5-C4D3 to define where the SD card storage is located, and then allow a path from there such as ../Android/data/com.ds.avare or some other arbitrary location.  Since a file navigator may involve more code (bloat) perhaps it might be best to permit the user to define a full path, such as /storage/A6B5-C4D3/Android/data/com/ds/avare or even /storage/A6B5-C4D3/flycharts

Does anyone envision a better approach?

How might I help make this happen?  Beta testing?

Blue

Jeffrey Ross

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Sep 13, 2021, 8:53:13 PMSep 13
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I believe Zubair had commented a few months back about the issues with using the SD card and how Google is making more difficult to use based upon how Avare stores its files.

I had to move the charts off the SD card previously even though I had it working in an older version of Avare.  Because the SD card is formated as FAT32 which is an MS-DOS filesystem, Android honors the reserved filenames and you cannot load the instrument approaches for the states of New Hampshire or Alabama because of CON Concord, NH, and PRN Greenville, AL as the extraction of those states will fail.

Jeff

Zubair Khan

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Sep 13, 2021, 9:02:51 PMSep 13
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Sdcard access is going to be very difficult. Any apps that need access to sdcard folders that is /* will need special permission from Google. Hence apps like file browsers will be able to show the folders after permission but others apps will not.



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Moto X

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Sep 13, 2021, 9:53:31 PMSep 13
to Zubair Khan, je...@xyzzy.bubble.org, Apps4Av Forum
A topo map application I use supports SD storage of the topo maps.  It works nicely. 

What does it take to have google grant approval?  

From my perspective, it would be very nice (device flexibility and selection)  to have smooth SD support for charts.  

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