Do not install Widget apps onto the SD card

Apps like my Swidget, which are apps whose entire purpose is to provide a widget for your home screen, may have issues with being installed on the SD card. Android 2.2 introduced the ability to install apps to the SD card if the app allows it. This works great for many applications, but for some widget apps, it can be problematic.

As I only have one widget app that I am able to move onto the SD card, I will speak only of my experiences with my own Swidget app. I decided to move all my own apps to the SD card to try them out and experience first hand what it’s like and see if there is any “real world” difference between having an app installed on the card vs internal storage. To my dismay, though, every so often, I would find that Swidget just disappeared off my Home screen and wasn’t even listed in the Widgets so that I could place it back onto the screen either. After days of testing and research, I have found that more often than not, if I use my phone for tethering to my laptop, upon disconnecting the cable, Swidget will disappear from the Home screen and Widget list. Moving the app back into internal storage fixed the issue.

Considering that I am not the only developer to have witnessed this issue with widget apps being installed onto the SD card, I do not believe it is a problem with the app itself, but something to do with the OS either with tethering or with SD card app installs (or both). Debugging the issue is extremely problematic because it only occurs when I disconnect from the phone while using it as a tether… which prohibits debugging while being used as a tether — not to mention that removing the cable will break any debug connection even if tethering did allow it.

If anyone else is having trouble with a widget and you have it installed on the SD card, my suggestion to you would be to move it to internal storage.

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