LG G5 and Galaxy S7 don’t support Marshmallow’s adoptable storage

by: Rob TriggsFebruary 24, 2016
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galaxy s7 vs lg g5 quick look aa-6

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 marshmallowDelve deeper: Android 6.0 Marshmallow features49

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?

  • Johannes Werner

    That was 100% predictable

  • blackjackit

    Absolutely not. I love Link2SD features and even if currently is not supported on Marshmallow I hate that “adoptable storage” option for the same reasons used by Samsung. For the first time, even if Samsung is famous for putting a lot of bloatware into their phones and I always use CM instead their roms, I agree with them.

  • Good call. That’s like making your hard drive only work with Mac.

    • Jake

      I agree. But I would have liked the option to enable that feature on my phone just in case I wanted to do that in the future

      • True. It should at least be an option but I’m assuming it’s not as simple as adding a simple switch like Doze for example.

  • khaled alsayyed

    I’m sure developer’s well find a way to make it work using xposed or something I don’t wanna bother my self

  • jeron vanhoose

    I NEVER expected Samsung to support adoptable storage, but had hopes for LG to do so. I absolutely love the adoptable storage option, in theory. However, I’ve actually used it in my Moto X Pure Ed. (2015), and as far as I’ve been able to tell, adoptable storage may not work precisely as advertised. Even though I selected the adoptable storage option, every app I download goes straight to the internal memory. I ALWAYS have to go through settings and change the storage option from internal to SD. At first I thought I had picked the wrong option when I first inserted the SD, but that turned out to not be true. So the adoptable storage works only as the manufacturer implements it. Or it always worked in the following way, the internal memory fills up, THEN the SD gets used as internal memory. However, once the internal memory is filled, systems begin to not operate just like every other iteration of Android before Marshmallow. Needless to say this is super disappointing.

    • neonix

      Maybe it only starts to default app installs to the SD once the internal storage has been filled?

    • Mike Connors

      Completely not true i have the same phone and a moto x play. The initial os install (from factory set up) does got straight to internal memory (this allows the phone to operate if the sd fails) then all apps installed after inital set up go to Sd adaptable storage (othet then app updates that were included in the factory install). The only time it does not work this way is if you upgraded to marsallow and did not factory reset your phone the apps go randomly wherever (in between sd or internal)

      • jeron vanhoose

        Well sir, I have no explanation as to why yours and mine would operate differently, but mine does not do as yours does. I never upgraded to Marshmallow, it came out of the box with it. Other than that I see no differences in our devices. However, precisely how I described it is how apps have been since I opted into adoptable storage when I inserted the device.

  • lu99ke

    test

  • lu99ke

    my experience with adoptable storage is different… Z3 on the Marshmallow concept ROM…. Sd card space was used immediately for apps whilst still plenty of internal left…. the problem was how SLOW apps were that were saved on the Sd card….. even with a class 10 card… unbearably slow… so I changed back to normal storage..

    • Zero McLannary

      Are you sure that’s legit class 10? My microSD is faster than the internal memory of the phone itself.

      • lu99ke

        Yeah it’s legit – Toshiba one bought from a bricks and mortar store…But just looked and it was only a 30mbs… Will try a quicker one.

    • Mike Connors

      Class 10 is meaningles, what you need to look for is write speeds. I ran into the same issue and thought the same. Buy a card with high read and write speeds. Look for something class 10, UHS 1 with over 80meg transfer speed. Huge difference !

      • lu99ke

        So just checked and it was only a 30mbs card… Tested the speeds with an app and it was about right.

        Shall go and invest in a high speed one and check it out! Thanks for the tip!

  • Владислав Алексиев

    Ha ha ha! Because their users are stupid. Who uses SD for file transfer? In what century they live. Cloud structures will die with those users. And it USB-C is fast. I have not done it. I have to worry about delays on OS.

  • Paul

    Sensible

  • Kanoosh

    i agree with everyone else, this was definitely expected for BOTH tbh.. but it would of been nice for them to sneak the option somewhere deep into the settings where the casuals never dare venture into.
    But this is android after all , i’m sure XDA community will have something within the first month or two to fix that. :)

  • Bob F

    Wait, so can I still move apps to the SD with the new phones like I can currently on my S5? That’s all I really care about.

    • Richard Riker

      No, because adoptable storage is disabled. Since 6.0, this only works with adoptable storage enabled.

  • OlayTerry

    In that case they should have released 64gb and 128gb internal storage options. 32gb is grossly inadequate for some of us who require large apps.

  • Faizan

    flash a cm ROM and enjoy that feature

  • zigomatic

    I can use airdroid or tools to access content.
    It’s reasonable to give or propose option when inserting SD card, not to force a choose for customer care.

  • Wardroid

    how hard is it to make it an option? dont make it enabled by default (that would be horrible), but please make it available!!!

  • Person Dude

    Not a big deal to me, as long as that internal storage is 32GB or more. I use my SD card only for pictures, videos, documents, and other media anyways. I always leave apps and system files on internal storage for better performance and so they won’t be deleted if the SD card fails.

    That said, offering the option to use adoptable storage would’ve been nice for the people that do want to utilize it. Just bury it in the developer settings so the average joe who isn’t tech savvy (the type of person most likely to accidentally erase his SD card) won’t be able to accidentally turn it on.

  • Rman87

    They disable the feature then decide to only sell the 32gig version of their phone in the US market.. sigh. My original plan for my next upgrade was to buy the largest memory version available like 128gig so I would never have the problem of running out of internal memory like I currently do with my GS5. Sealed GS7 phones so you cant replace the battery after a couple years when it goes bad and starts to swell some, no wireless charging on the LG5… I think I’m going to just stick with my GS5 and hope I get the shared memory feature when 6.0 is pushed to it.

    • Yeah, I would have no problem with it if they had a 64GB model. I don’t know why they OEMs keep releasing 16GB or 32GB models only.

      • Rman87

        I agree they should be 64gig minimum and offer the 128gig version.

      • skyelm

        You have SD Card, use it. it’s cheaper than going 64gig

        • Reed

          Read the article.

  • Rman87

    Out of the GS7 and LG G5 I was looking at the LG because of the removable battery but now I think I’m just going to keep the phone I have.

    • Reed

      That’s me.

  • Lik-chung Li

    Yes, it’s pretty stupid not to give people the option. Hopefully people make enough fuss over this for them to add an option in a firmware update. Having a Sony xperia Z2 with 16gb internal I found the SD card slot useless quite quickly as initially it stopped apps from being put on it. It was later unlocked to allow apps, however, only partially as some app data stays on internal. Now thisspace has run out due to the amount of apps I have! 20gb effective internal memory (after android OS etc) will run out very quick and pretty much makes the return of the SD card slot useless if it can’t be used for apps too. Samsung, please at least give people the option as to how they wish to use it!

  • xtriker360

    They should have at least have a 64GB version, lots apps have close to a gb in size. That’s the only thing keeping me deciding.

  • samlg

    Samsung Galaxy S8 & LG G6 will fix this mistake….

  • TheNash

    Honestly… I’m OK with this. with faster 32GB internal storage for apps I really will only be using MicroSD for general file storage only.

    Obviously choice is always better since we all use our phones differently, but I think Samsung are right to say that Adoptable Storage is mainly for devices with low internal storage. They might as well focus their time on more needed features

  • skyelm

    Bull… People complaining just for complaining sake. Do you have adoptable storage on N5, N5X, N6,N6P, G4, Note 4, Z3, Z4, M8 or M9? Have you ever even used adoptable storage? Yeeerrrr man. It’s like sissies all over the comments section.

    No SD Card, you cry SD Card you cry. Bigger battery you cry. It seams most people are just a bunch of moaners and cry babies.

    • Adrian Vovk

      If the device has an SD Card slot, then it sure as hell should have the option. It is like having a camera but removing video. (Yes, I know camera without video is a greater issue then this. I was just proving my point)

  • whacko

    Samsung is basically lieing. This feature wouldn’t “confuse” users especially since all the specifics are explained to the user when an AD card is inserted into a phone with adoptable storage. On top of that, practically no one uses an SD card to transfer data to other devices these days, those tasks are better handles through services like Google Drive or Dropbox.

    All Samsung is doing here is reserving their opportunity to launch higher-storage phone models in the near future at premium prices. That is the ONLY reason to block one of Android 6’s most important new features.

  • Sami Cooper

    Their research shows… bla bla bla. Give us the option!

    • TessellatedGuy

      Custom rom creators might make it possible to get the option without even changing much, it just remains when.

      • Sami Cooper

        Good point. Let’s hope so

  • AndroidDev123

    I was looking forward to having enough room to support all the Gear VR apps and videos I want, which unfortunately are also locked to the internal storage. They should either allow moving Gear VR apps/videos to the SD card (yes, I know app developers need to opt in), or enable adoptable storage. I still have hope they’ll get enough pressure and enable it in an update, or someone will find a way to turn it on without breaking Gear VR support (I think that leaves out custom roms). Maybe if pre-orders drop off a cliff or enough people start canceling their orders it’ll send them a message.

  • Brian Richards

    IF they had made a 64GB or 128GB model available in the US this woldn’t be a problem for me, but cropping it off at 32GB AND Nixing adoptable storage is a head scratcher.

    • Exactly. Plus, the sd card id slow and unreliable. Can you imagine anyone spending 700 euros/dollars/whatever on a shiny new flagship and having to reinstall the apps because the sd card has become corrupt? A 64gb version is mandatory in a 2016 flagship. The sd card, with or without adoptable storage, is not a viable alternative to fast and reliable internal memory.

  • They disabile useful android options and yet they fill the phone with bloatware…

  • Reed

    This is actually the thing killing these two phones for me. Neither come in 64 GB (at least in US) which is incredibly stupid, and now they won’t let you expand your internal partition for more app space.

    My V10 has 64GB + micro SD. I have almost 350 apps installed. I know I’m one of few, but I don’t know why they couldn’t just include this one feature for people with lots of apps like me. Guess I’m just staying with this, unless the modding scene blows up on either one and custom Roms fix this.

  • TessellatedGuy

    Don’t worry guys, I’m sure custom ROMs out there will bring back adoptable storage as an option :D

  • Richard Riker

    On the LG G4 it was disabled with the M update, but at least there you can force enable it via adb. If it’s the case with other phones like G5 and S7, that would be fine.

  • Lik-chung Li

    Well it turns out there is the option to move apps to SD card even though some of it still stays on internal memory. This is fine with me. My worry was the Sd card could only be used for media like music and video.

  • Corey Keyes

    This stupid decision is not limited to the G5 or S7, I have the LG G Stylo and the option is missing from the phone as well. With an 8GB internal storage and only 3.7GB usable, the adoptable storage would have been a GREAT help. To have this feature yanked from my phone is stupid. To have the adoptable storage is a choice and LG and Samsung took the choice away.

  • rustygh

    research ADB method of turning on Adoptable storage, with out root. Even though a manufacturer or carrier left out the option in a menu doesn’t mean you can’t use it. That said you should consider buying a phone with more internal first, Adoptable storage sucks.

  • Ian Bell Russo

    I would haved liked the option at least

  • Iconoclaster

    LG V10 owner (same as LG G5 limitation).
    Shame on Samsung and LG. We are not free to decide.