Android M will finally allow users to move app data and APKs to microSD cards

Android M will finally allow users to move app data and APKs to microSD cards
For a long time now, Android users largely expressed their desire to be able to move apps between the internal storage and the microSD card. While Google was a bit slow in reacting to what seems to be a general consensus among Android users, it looks like the upcoming Android M will finally come with enhanced support for microSD cards.

The new feature is called Adoptable Storage Devices. Although the company didn't talk about this new feature yesterday on the Google I/O stage, references to such a feature can be found in the online documentation for the Android M developer preview. Adoptable Storage Devices will allow the user to move both the app data and the APKs to the external storage, but only if the app developers specifically allows this in the Android app's manifest. 

Although Google did not integrate the ability to move apps to the microSD card in previous Android builds, some OEMs added this feature int their implementation of Android. With Android M, however, it looks like proper microSD card support will be built right into the operating system. This is part of a larger initiative at Google, as Android M will bake in support for multiple features that device manufacturers previously integrated in their products, such as fingerprint reader support, custom quick settings, or themes.

The official documentation says that adopted storage devices will be encrypted and formatted to behave like the internal storage. Since the microSD card will be encrypted by the phone, other devices will not be able to see the data on the card. One question that arises is how Android M will manage the scenario in which the user pulls out the microSD card slot. Most likely, the app will no longer be functionable until it is reinstalled on the internal storage or a new microSD card that has been adopted by the phone.

In an interesting twist, Android M's Adoptable Storage Devices feature will also be applicable to external USB sticks. Android M will come with built-in support for USB OTG, but chances are that you're not going to keep an USB stick permanently connected to a smartphone or a tablet. On the other hand, this could be a most welcomed feature for upcoming Android TVs or Android game consoles.

source: Google via SlashGear



1. bugsbunny00

Posts: 2267; Member since: Jun 07, 2013

allow SD cards to nexus devices too.

3. neela_akaash

Posts: 1239; Member since: Aug 05, 2014

Greatest news for hardcore Android fans....

8. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

You can use an sdcard with any Android phone whether it ha a internal port or not. Geez!

14. theguy2345

Posts: 1216; Member since: Jun 24, 2014

But you would need an adapter plugged in all the time. That's not ideal at all, especially when you put apps on there. All my apps save directly to my SD card, so that isn't an option for a lot of people.

19. waddup121 unregistered

cool cool!

24. BobbyBuster

Posts: 854; Member since: Jan 13, 2015

And when will Android finally allow users to use their brains? I think it won't, cuz no one would stay with Android then. ROFL.

26. ARTE.8800.

Posts: 192; Member since: May 27, 2015

Apples customers are mainly hippies, zombies , cults and brainwashed, uninformed users. Androids are all techies and smart geeks. Lmfao.understand eyeboy.

27. Hitokage

Posts: 103; Member since: Mar 01, 2015

As an android user, I can say not all of us are techies and stuff. I had a friend that didn't even know his Galaxy was a smartphone. Yeeaaaah...

41. vergil9

Posts: 517; Member since: Apr 06, 2015

Intelligence has nothing to do with smartphone OS choice, I know gifted people who use Android phones and iPhones too. So if you are concluding that all Android users don't use their brains, then you just confirmed that you aren't using yours.

2. majp89

Posts: 182; Member since: Jun 18, 2013

The return of the SD card. Hopefully this means that faster speeds on SD cards will be supported by future android phones. I know the S6 most likely excluded SD card support (other than the unibody construction) because of their new flash storage.

22. bur60

Posts: 981; Member since: Jul 07, 2014

Which didn't do much for daily use on the S6. I have a Samsung EVO pro Sd card with random write and read speeds up tot 90mbs, which is twice the amount needed for 4K video, and yes, my Z3c films 4k perfectly direct on the sdcard. Just an fyi :3

38. j2001m

Posts: 3061; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

Then you do not have the s6, it's only fast due to the ufs 2.0, it makes the note 4 look slow, I have both

4. Ordinary

Posts: 2454; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

This is good for non-root users. If you are rooted you can easily install Link2SD and do the same from Android 2.0+


Posts: 86; Member since: Apr 03, 2015

If you rooted you can easily install custom rom and you don't need to install link2sd and partition your sd card + you have privacy control to your apps like on the android M

16. Ordinary

Posts: 2454; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

Its easier to install an app than flash a rom

28. yourmom

Posts: 82; Member since: Feb 21, 2015

Its way easier to flash a ROM with lots of other features than trying to configure link2sd and move stuff

30. Ordinary

Posts: 2454; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

Not for average guy

32. epdm2be

Posts: 830; Member since: Apr 20, 2012

yeah but on some devices you break some things e.g. Samsung KNOX & warranty counter or Xperia's camera etc... by installing custom ROMS. So flashing ROMS in the wild isn't the solution! Manufacturers MUST adhere to what clients want instead of pushing their own stuff unto customers. Besides who's stupid idea was it to call that missing line in platform.xml (to enable r/w access on SDcards) a "security feature"? Google, you f**ked up with 4.4.x and you f**ked up again with 5.0! THAT will inevitably kill Android and drive people away.

5. Robert235

Posts: 70; Member since: May 30, 2010

I'm confused wasn't this feature available since android 2.2 w/o rooting

9. Awalker

Posts: 1986; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

It was a available then they took it away and now it's available again.

33. epdm2be

Posts: 830; Member since: Apr 20, 2012

... and so yet another corporation is playing with our balls :-(

46. mrmessma

Posts: 271; Member since: Mar 28, 2012

In the bad way!

13. diehardnokian

Posts: 148; Member since: Apr 27, 2014

you could move the app data and not the app itself!

6. DRS1977

Posts: 680; Member since: May 27, 2015

Now where is my GS6 Pro with an SD card slot and 4,000 mAh battery and Android M?

18. Neo_Huang

Posts: 1067; Member since: Dec 06, 2013

Maybe the Note 5 will have that.

25. BaffledTruffle

Posts: 523; Member since: Dec 07, 2013

4,000 mAh? You must be living in dreamland.....

39. j2001m

Posts: 3061; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

Why them adding sd card slot will not help you at all , under there new system, all the data will have to be decoded so can not be used out side of the phone, so part from cheap slow loading times you get nothing, on top of having a lagging phone as Samsung will have to remove ufs 2.0 as it does not work with sd cards, same goes for there CPU, so they have to remove that also and put an sd808 in it Just to be clear you will not see any phones with sd cards using 7420 and ufs 2.0 as motherboard does not support it, same way as it does not support ddr3 ram

7. Tuxedo

Posts: 356; Member since: Mar 19, 2013

Now all we need is a Nexus 5 2015 with dual SD cards! Thanks Google.

10. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

I never understood why Google never added backing up application data on Android. That never made sense t me especially since it was avail on iOS with iTunes from day one. Loving my S6 Edge ad I am still using my 128Gb microSD card with it.

11. JoshN

Posts: 202; Member since: Apr 01, 2015


Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless