XC Analytics
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Published in XC News

About tracklogs' access on your device

When you are an Android developer, it is important to be constantly in line with the evolutions of this « operating system » (OS).
It is in permanent development, as shown by the history of versions that can be found here. The latest « production » release, meaning the most recent, is Android 11. It’s used by all devices that can support it. With each update of this OS, changes are revealed, concerning different elements of the interface. Since version 10, one of the main concern has been the safety of user’s data. This is what we will examine, because it impacts all applications, and a fortiori those related to our airborne activities.


Up to Android 10, XC Analytics was allowed to search for all igc files in the entire memory of the device, whether internal, or external (SD card for example). This is how you could easily found all the igc files in the list displayed on XC Analytics, as it appears below. The advantage was twofold : regardless of the location of the file, it was possible to see it, and a simple refresh of this list (by swiping down with your finger on the screen) made it possible to find new igc files recently added or created. The weakness of this flexible process is easily understood : any application with access to the memory of the device could "spy" on all its content.

igc files list

With Android 10, things changed. In order to protect personal data, each application can now only access the files it produces (excluding exceptions). This translates directly, at the device level, by creating a folder dedicated to each app, in the directory /Android/data. And the user can no longer see what the folders that depend on this directory contain. So, of course, applications cannot either. The data specific to each of them are thus partitioned, which has the merit of protecting what the user wants to grant as "rights", and therefore as information, to each application taken separately.

Of course, you guessed it, it is not without consequences. Tracklogs generated by flight applications, such as LK8000, XCSoar or XC Track, are, by default, placed in their directory, and thus inaccessible to others. As a result, some have recently noticed that their tracklogs were no longer visible in the list displayed by XC Analytics. Fortunately, solutions exist, and several glide computers have already begun to implement them. LK8000 will save the tracklogs in the /Download folder, which remains accessible to all. Others, such as XC Track in its beta version, have chosen to become "storage providers", that is to say entities that can be accessed, just like Google Drive in the screenshot below. The pilot will then be invited to explore the content of these "storage providers" to select the desired igc file, and use it as he sees fit.

storage provider

For XC Analytics, the solution is therefore dual : on the one hand, the files stored in the/Download folder will continue to be listed, on the other, the next update will include a button that will allow to locate others with the Android file explorer, and in particular those contained in the "storage provider(s)". Each pilot will always have the option, when connecting the device to a PC, to copy the visible igc files of other applications to the /Download folder in order to see them in the list. Finally, some applications will allow you to "share" tracklogs to a list of applications that can read igc files, including XC Analytics. But we will not stop there, and we plan to include a logger in a future version of the app. It will of course be a bit special, but we will have the opportunity to talk about it again.

This evolution of Android is therefore welcomed, as it allows each user a better grip on what information he wants to share, even if it complicates the task for many applications, including ours. Our policy, since the launch of XC Analytics, has always been to scrupulously respect pilots' personal data, and you can count on us to continue to do so in the future !

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