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voice_of_reason
Token Ring
Posts: 79
Registered: ‎01-13-2016
Location: England, UK
Views: 449
Message 1 of 8

Marshmallow 'Portable' storage

In readiness for my update to Marshmallow, I want to understand something...



Currently, in Lollipop, if I install a large game (e.g. 1Gb), I can move it to SD card. So maybe something like 900Mb of the app's data will move to the SD card.



In Marshmallow, if I choose to keep my SD card as 'Portable' storage (i.e. I do *not* format it as 'Internal' Storage), will I lose this ability?



Using the same example as above, does that mean the entire 1Gb of data has to stay on internal storage? If so, I will quickly run out of space if I install any new apps.

Moto Sr Moderator
Moto Sr Moderator
Posts: 12,467
Registered: ‎02-02-2016
Location: US
Views: 449
Message 2 of 8

Re: Marshmallow 'Portable' storage

There's a lot of great information about SD Cards in Marshmallow here.



The short answer is that you can't move apps to the SD card when it's formatted as external storage.  But there are limitations to formatting it as adoptable internal storage, too.  Read the post by Matt, Forum Manager, carefully, and then think carefully before you make a choice is the best advice I can offer.

voice_of_reason
Token Ring
Posts: 79
Registered: ‎01-13-2016
Location: England, UK
Views: 449
Message 3 of 8

Re: Marshmallow 'Portable' storage

Thanks. I think that's the same post from Motorola's customer help portal, which I've read before. It's useful though, and quite detailed. I just wanted to confirm my understanding because I think it's a strange approach.



I don't think many articles make it clear that 'portable storage' under Marshmallow is *NOT* the same as it was in Lollipop, because you can no longer move apps to SD (albeit only a portion of the app - but you can't even do that in Marshmallow, right?).



I don't honestly like either approach. With portable storage, any apps previously moved to my SD card will continue to work, but I can never move another app to SD going forward. Not even a portion of it. The ENTIRE app has to stay on my internal storage. So that rules out ever being able to install large apps or games if your internal storage is running out - which *was* feasible under Lollipop.



The only option is to format as 'internal' storage, but then there are major issues with that, like Google apps not letting you store their offline content on the SD card - which is a particular problem with Google Play Music, as your internal storage will quickly run out once you've downloaded a few albums. That's not to mention the potential performance impact of relying on an SD card for almost everything.

Moto Sr Moderator
Moto Sr Moderator
Posts: 28,186
Registered: ‎02-02-2016
Location: US
Views: 449
Message 4 of 8

Re: Marshmallow 'Portable' storage

SD card support under L was a custom thing by the OEM. 



Formatting the card as internal, encrypts the card, and extends the internal storage. I would expect that Google apps would use this storage space. How do you know that it won't, I haven't read that anywhere. 



But there will always be a trade off. In the L method, there are huge games with lots of app data, that would stay internal. And for many users, moving the app to SD card, only made some space free. 



With a 16GB phone, if you keep all your data on the external SD card, are your apps causing you to run out of space?  



This is stock android, and google's implementation. 



 


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voice_of_reason
Token Ring
Posts: 79
Registered: ‎01-13-2016
Location: England, UK
Views: 449
Message 5 of 8

Re: Marshmallow 'Portable' storage

It's discussed on Google's forums here...



https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/play/CgNiUtLjC1I



You have to use external storage to store offline music on the SD card. Adopted storage forces the offline content onto your phone's internal storage with no way of moving it. Same thing happens with Google offline Maps apparently.



I would say yes, apps alone could cause you to run out of space quite easily on a 16Gb phone like the Moto X Play, if no portion of any app can be moved to SD any more. I have about 4Gb storage remaining, and that's only with a few apps installed after a clean setup (after all, there's only about 8Gb of the available 10.5Gb after you consider all the pre-installed Google apps take up a fair bit of space).



Perhaps I should move as many apps as I can to SD before I upgrade to MM.

Moto Sr Moderator
Moto Sr Moderator
Posts: 28,186
Registered: ‎02-02-2016
Location: US
Views: 449
Message 6 of 8

Re: Marshmallow 'Portable' storage

Thanks for the link. It appears Google needs to improve the implementation to cover cases like this. 


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voice_of_reason
Token Ring
Posts: 79
Registered: ‎01-13-2016
Location: England, UK
Views: 449
Message 7 of 8

Re: Marshmallow 'Portable' storage

Yeah, it's a bit of a botched implementation if you ask me. Having read on forums, people seemed to think that adoptable storage was going to be the answer to all their problems - a true extension of internal storage, that you just switch on and forget about, and you suddenly have a phone with masses of storage. It's far from that.



I think I'll stick with the default portable storage for the time being when I update to Marshmallow. I suppose I do still have a reasonable amount of space left, and until I run into problems I don't want to live with the other sacrifices I'll have to make by switching to adopted storage. If I hold out for long enough, Google may fix some of these issues anyway.



 

Moto Sr Moderator
Moto Sr Moderator
Posts: 28,186
Registered: ‎02-02-2016
Location: US
Views: 449
Message 8 of 8

Re: Marshmallow 'Portable' storage

Yeah, i think there are areas that were overlooked - especially around how the phone decides to fill storage - which is first, what control does the user have, etc. 



I tried adopted storage with a 2GB card, when it was filled, I could not record movies, and found no way to move data to internal - it just didn't exist as an option for what I wanted. 



So good first try for some, but not good enough for me. I  still use my card as portable/external


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