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Samsung S21 Gallery App

(Topic created on: 31-08-2023 11:39 PM)
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wolfnowl
Apprentice
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Hi There:

I have a Samsung Galaxy S21 and it's worked fine until the last month or two. Here's the challenge. Let's say I open an app - e-mail, IG, Mastodon or whatever, and I want to add an image. I have several Albums in my Gallery, but it used to be a simple matter of choosing to add an image, going to an Album, selecting the image(s) and I was good to go.

Not anymore. Now when I do that it opens up a window that says, "This app can only access the photos you select."

Under that it says Photo (recents) and Albums - BUT - the only albums that show up are Camera, Screenshots and Downloads. If I have an image in any other Album, too bad. The Album isn't shown.

Now, on SOME apps there's a three-dot menu, and if I click on that I can navigate to Browse... (brings up Downloads) - then I hit the hamburger menu in the top left and click Gallery and NOW I have access to my Albums. NB: I have to do this for EVERY IMAGE, and some apps don't provide the menu option. The only way to attach an image from those apps is to open the Gallery app, go to the album, select the image(s) copy the image(s) to the Camera folder, go back to the app and select the image from the Camera album.

This is seriously screwed.

I went into Apps and discovered that there's not one but two Gallery apps installed. One is 7.38MB and the other is 44.24MB. I initially discovered that the first Gallery app had the Photos and Videos permissions turned off (for some inexplicable reason) but I enabled that and no change. I tried force stopping the first Gallery app - no change. Doing a hard boot makes no difference. There has to be some obscure permissions bug but I have no idea where it is. I'm tempted to copy all of the Albums onto my PC, uninstalling both Gallery apps and reinstalling one to see if that works.

Thanks,

Mike.

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1 Solution


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Solution
wolfnowl
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Okay... after reading @Mellowbubble 's question, I went back to the reply by  @LogiG502OpticalMouse and especially the linked article. I believe I've discovered the why this is happening, but only Samsung can resolve it.

As I mentioned in my first post when trying to access images from the various apps on my phone, I get a message that says, "This app can only access the photos you select."

According to this article: https://www.xda-developers.com/android-14-photo-picker-forced/ Android 14 (and retroactively to Android 13 in some cases), allows the user to specify which apps have access to which images, as shown here (image from article):

Samsung.png

 

Now, as I understand it, Google provides the Android OS, but in so doing it allows other companies (like Samsung) to write their own software that sits on top of it. In this case it's Samsung UI 6.0 If I go to the Apps permissions on my phone, what I see is this:

Screenshot_20231229_140319_Permission controller.jpg

 

So what's happening is that Android has created a granularity for the user to choose which images are available for which apps, but the Samsung software that sits on top of Android isn't making that option available to the user. By default, then, the Android OS is only allowing access to the system default folders because nothing else has been enabled.

So far as I can see that's what's happening, but as I say, only Samsung can edit their Apps Permissions to give users access to the level of permission required by Android.

Mike.

 

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5 REPLIES 5
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That sounds like it is the new feature from the Pixel phones. It enables more privacy by only letting the selected apps access only the photos you select. https://www.xda-developers.com/android-14-photo-picker-forced/
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wolfnowl
Apprentice
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Thanks for the reply, but I believe this is different. Currently running Android 13, One UI 5.1.

If no one has  any suggestions I'm going to move the images off my phone, uninstall both Gallery apps and try reinstalling one. See if that helps.

Mike.

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Mellowbubble
First Poster
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Did you resolve this issue? I've been experiencing the same and can't select files to upload. It shows document, photo and video pages as blank white. No selections unless they're my latest camera roll or screenshots. So frustrating when trying to upload files to websites.
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wolfnowl
Apprentice
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Unfortunately it's still the same. What I can do is this (depending on the app):

For example, let's say I want to embed an image into an e-mail. I click to add the image and it opens a window with Photos and Albums. Almost all of the Albums are missing. To the right of Albums is a three-dot menu. Tap that and tap Browse...

That opens to the Downloads folder, but I don't want Downloads. In the top left of the screen there's a three-line hamburger menu. Tap that and go down to Gallery. Tap that and it opens my Gallery where I can access the Album I want and the image I want. That's WAY more complicated than it needs to be, and some apps (like Mastodon) don't offer the Browse... option. For Mastodon (for example) I can start at the Gallery and share to Mastodon, but with e-mail sharing an image will attach it but won't allow inserting it into the e-mail body. Something seriously screwy with Samsung's OS build, even after updating the UI to 6.0 (Android 14).

Mike.

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Solution
wolfnowl
Apprentice
Options

Okay... after reading @Mellowbubble 's question, I went back to the reply by  @LogiG502OpticalMouse and especially the linked article. I believe I've discovered the why this is happening, but only Samsung can resolve it.

As I mentioned in my first post when trying to access images from the various apps on my phone, I get a message that says, "This app can only access the photos you select."

According to this article: https://www.xda-developers.com/android-14-photo-picker-forced/ Android 14 (and retroactively to Android 13 in some cases), allows the user to specify which apps have access to which images, as shown here (image from article):

Samsung.png

 

Now, as I understand it, Google provides the Android OS, but in so doing it allows other companies (like Samsung) to write their own software that sits on top of it. In this case it's Samsung UI 6.0 If I go to the Apps permissions on my phone, what I see is this:

Screenshot_20231229_140319_Permission controller.jpg

 

So what's happening is that Android has created a granularity for the user to choose which images are available for which apps, but the Samsung software that sits on top of Android isn't making that option available to the user. By default, then, the Android OS is only allowing access to the system default folders because nothing else has been enabled.

So far as I can see that's what's happening, but as I say, only Samsung can edit their Apps Permissions to give users access to the level of permission required by Android.

Mike.

 

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