Save file to public directory using Cordova FileTransfer

I need to download files on my mobile device and make them accessible for other apps (using Android and iOS).

I managed to download a file to the SD card (cordova.file.externalDataDirectory), but this only exists on Android and even then I cannot rely on every device having an SD card.

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  • When I download to the device storage (cordova.file.dataDirectory), the file is private to my app and therefore not accessible for other apps. The file can be opened in the InAppBrowser, but I would prefer to use the respective default app.

    Is there a way to get a path to a directory publicly available on all devices?

    The paths returned by the solution suggested in are both private on Android…


    I think I should describe my use case so it’s clearer what I’m trying to achieve: I want to open files from my in app chat using the respective default app (pdf viewer, image viewer etc.). Because the Cordova File Opener plugin only accepts files from the local file system, I need to save them first. But they don’t necessarily need to be accessible from outside my app afterwards…

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  • One Solution collect form web for “Save file to public directory using Cordova FileTransfer”

    On Android, external storage directories always exist; if the device doesn’t have a physical SD card, Android will emulate it. see getExternalStorageDirectory :

    Note: don’t be confused by the word “external” here. This directory
    can better be thought as media/shared storage. It is a filesystem that
    can hold a relatively large amount of data and that is shared across
    all applications (does not enforce permissions). Traditionally this is
    an SD card, but it may also be implemented as built-in storage in a
    device that is distinct from the protected internal storage and can be
    mounted as a filesystem on a computer.

    Therefore cordova.file.externalDataDirectory will always resolve. However, for sharing data between apps, you probably want to use cordova.file.externalRootDirectory – External storage (SD card) root. See cordova-plugin-file.

    This way you can store files in a place that’s easier to access from another app e.g. /sdcard/my_shared_data/

    On iOS, it’s more difficult to share files because apps are intentionally isolated from each other due to security policy, as Apple’s Inter-App Communication Guide says:

    Apps communicate only indirectly with other apps on a device

    You best bet on iOS is to share the data by synching it via iCloud. See the section Configuring a Common Ubiquity Container for Multiple Apps in iCloud Design Guide, which says:

    … perhaps you provide two apps that interoperate and need
    access to each other’s files. In both of these examples, you obtain
    the needed access by specifying a common ubiquity container and then
    requesting access to it from each app.

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