Android Marshmallow ‘Adoptive Storage’ Missing From Samsung Galaxy S7 & LG G5

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Well here’s a thing. One of the cool new features of Android Marshmallow is known as ‘Adoptive Storage’ a neat little trick that allows the operating system, and therefore a phone using it, to use microSD card space and treat it as if it’s internal storage. Apparently, despite all running Android Marshmallow, Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge, and the LG G5, all lack this capability.

The word comes via ArsTechnica, which cites a report from Android Central regarding the LG G5; AC reportedly tried accessing the feature on a unit at MWC 2016 but found it missing. ArsTechnica questioned Samsung over Adoptive Storage and was told:

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.”

Adoptive Storage works by allowing a microSD card to be formatted and encrypted as if it was internal storage – the software “will then merge the microSD card and internal storage into a single storage pool, allowing you to seamlessly install as many apps as you want, or load it with media,” says Ars.

Samsung elaborated further, adding, “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.”

However, the original feature did allow users to choose between using a microSD card in the normal way Samsung describes as a portable storage device, or formatting it to become internal storage. What Samsung (and apparently LG) has done is to limit user choices seemingly arbitrarily. LG is yet to comment on the matter, but we’re sure it’ll pipe up soon.

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