I was reading about the read external storage permission on https://developer.android.com/reference/android/Manifest.permission#READ_EXTERNAL_STORAGE. It says:

This is a soft restricted permission which cannot be held by an app it its full form until the installer on record whitelists the permission. Specifically, if the permission is allowlisted the holder app can access external storage and the visual and aural media collections while if the permission is not allowlisted the holder app can only access to the visual and aural medial collections. Also the permission is immutably restricted meaning that the allowlist state can be specified only at install time and cannot change until the app is installed.

Am I correct that An app without this permission can still Access photos on the external storage? Or what does allowlisted means? What are the medial and aural collections?

1 Answer 1


By design*, the application cannot access the external storage if it does not have the READ_EXTERNAL_STORAGE permission granted.

Allowlisted means that the permission is granted to the application.

Probably medial and aural collection are the defaults medias for ringtones or notifications (IS_RINGTONE or IS_NOTIFICATION) as no special permission is needed to be accessed.

By design*: Supposing that the application does not exploit a vulnerability on the Android system.

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