One of the many interesting new features introduced with Android 6.0 Marshmallow was the option for “Adoptable Storage”. This feature formats and essentially merges microSD card storage into a single memory partition, allowing for the OS to seamlessly install apps and media onto the card as if it was part of the regular memory.
After some testing on models at MWC, it appears that neither the new LG G5 nor the Samsung Galaxy S7 will support the feature. However, there might be a good reason for this. Responding to questions about Adoptable Storage, Samsung says that it doesn’t want microSD users to be stuck with cards that cannot be used to transfer files between other devices. Here’s the full quote:
Samsung decided not to use the Android Marshmallow “adoptable storage” model. We believe that our users want a microSD card to transfer files between their phone and other devices (laptop, tablet, etc), especially the photos and videos they shoot with the camera.
With adoptable storage, first of all the card may be erased the first time it is inserted into the device. This behavior may be unexpected by many users and we don’t want our users to lose their files. Second, once Marshmallow starts using a card for adoptable storage, it cannot be read by other devices, so it loses this ability to be used for file transfer. Adoptable Storage is also primarily targeted towards emerging markets where devices with only 4-8GB of onboard storage are common. We think that our model of using microSD for mass storage is more in-line with our owner’s desires and expectations for how microSD should behave.
Android 6.0 Marshmallow features
Samsung’s argument certainly seems quite reasonable. However, the default Marshmallow implementation does allow users the option to treat microSD cards either in “portable” mode, allowing them to operate as regular removable storage, or the “internal storage” mode, and some users would surely have appreciated the choice.
Unfortunately for some, LG and Samsung have both disabled the internal option, lopping off one of Marshmallow’s most promising features for heavy storage users. Were you planning to make use of Adoptable Storage with your new G5 or S7?