Skip Android 4.4 KitKat, Google May be Working on Android 4.5 to Break Root Apps

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By Precious Silva | January 24, 2014 2:19 PM EST

While many Android users just started getting the hang of Android 4.4 KitKat, it seems Google has the Android 4.5 in the works already. According to recent reports, the Android 4.5 update may break a range of root apps many Android users love and know. This will happen if Google maintains the existing code. The current code limits an area a lot of root apps work with.

Reuters
A Google Android figurine sits on the welcome desk as employee Tracy McNeilly smiles at the new Google office in Toronto, November 13, 2012.

According to recent reports, the next Android OS verson can break a range of root apps. According to Chainfire, developer of StickMount, SuperSU and similar root apps, a recent peek of the Android code suggests breaking ability of the OS.

Although Chainfire has warned users about the consequences of Android 4.5, he also pointed out that he is pertaining to the follow-up version of Android. This may be Android 4.4.3 or even Android 5.0. It is also not clear yet what Android version will create "much breakage for root apps." The major concern for many root app developers is the number of problems they can run into if such will materialise.

It was Pulsar and Justin Case who called Chainfire's attention to the commit. According to Chainfire's post in Google+, people can expect a range of things for their root apps with either Android 4.5 or Android 4.4.3:

"A recent commit to the AOSP master tree prevents the unconfined domain (everything you run through su by default) from executing files located on the /data partition.

A lot of root apps (though by no means all of them) include binaries or scripts that they extract to their app-specific files or lib directory (located on the /data partition) and execute from there as root. This will no longer work out-of-the-box, and generate an access denied error."

But Chainfire did identify different ways for root app developers to bypass the restriction. "For now it appears that a fair share of root apps will need to be updated to work with Android '4.5′," Chainfire warns.

There are many popular roots apps. Examples include Root Explorer, Titanium Backup, Juice Defender Ultimate, ROM Manager, Android Tuner, Tasker and other similar apps. This is an important lead because root developers can start creating changes to adapt to what Google may offer next. People will have to wait for Google's next announcement.

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(Photo: Reuters / )
A Google Android figurine sits on the welcome desk as employee Tracy McNeilly smiles at the new Google office in Toronto, November 13, 2012.
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