LG G5, Galaxy S7 orphans Android 6 Adoptable Storage
If you’ve ever looked at a Nexus and what Google’s been doing with SD cards, you might think that the Googs just hates cheap expandable storage. That might be the case but for the most part Google wants everything locked, secure, and otherwise useless in the hands of others.
So take the cheap 128 gig SD card, grab yourself a Nexus, now throw that card away because it’s not supported. Take any other device running on mostly stock Android and you might be able to use it for media, but not much else.
Adoptable Storage is an Android 6 feature which hints that the next generation of Google devices might decide you’re not willing to pay $200 extra for what you could buy for $30 on sale. Basically what adoptable storage is is a method where Android treads a micro SD card like more storage. Oh, you only bought a 8gb Nexus Eleventy? OK slap a Micro SD in and you can install 30+ gigs of apps without hacking.
The downside of it is Adopted Storage is secure. And that’s what LG and Samsung don’t like. No, not that they hate security, it’s that Adopted Storage only works if secure, and doesn’t work if it’s not encrypted.
Samsung’s take on the Micro SD is that it’s useful for transferring data between your phone and a card reader or camera, and that the card might be erased the instant it’s put into the device. Might be erased sounds kind of iffy, seems like there could be an option of “do you want to use this feature or not?”
Anyway, once the storage is adopted by the OS, it’s completely encrypted, and you can no longer use that Micro SD in another device without reformatting it. If your last action on a dying phone is to transfer your memories to the SD card, well, you’re probably out of luck getting them back. That card’s gone man.
It’ll be interesting to see how many phone manufacturers go to save that 11 cents to drop from 64 to 32gb internal chips, or lower, when people will simply have the ability later on to slap a huge Micro SD and extend the perceived internal storage way on out there.
It’s almost as if LG and Samsung were doing this so they could sell multiple sized smartphones (32 and 64gb,) capitalizing on the fear of running out of app and photo space.
Actually, as snarky as I sometimes feel, I think LH and Samsung probably made the right decision initially to not support it if there’s a danger you could lose everything if say a toddler barged in right as you inserted the card, grabbed your phone, and tried to play the kitty game and ended up wiping the card. That is *if* it’s as easy as it sounds to kill a card.
It also seems like Google could just encrypt the hell out of one folder and store everything there and not void the ability to transfer large amounts of media. Eh…
Thanks for pointing this out to me Daniel![Ars Technica]