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[Discussion] [DEVICE TEAM] [Must-Know] Adoptable Storage: Things You Need to Know in Detail!

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11:49, May-23-2017 | From PC
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Hello MIUIer's,

One of the features in Android 6.0 Marshmallow that hasn't gained many headlines is called flex storage or adoptable storage (Google uses both terms). It's a feature that lets you turn your removable SD card into a more or less permanent (and no longer removable) part of the device.Although it's added to the list of Marshmallow features (and included on the list on android.com), Google hasn't said much about it, perhaps because Nexus devices don't have a microSD card slot.

  • There are a few things to keep in mind so you understand how it works and what it's doing. You might read this and think it's a great idea. But when you go into the settings or insert a SD card you don't see the option to use it. You're not crazy and it's probably not there.

2.jpg

  • You can force any storage device (even ones connected via USB OTG) to be adopted using adb command But you probably shouldn't. Once a storage device is adopted, it becomes part of the system and is no longer removable. Sure you can physically remove it, but you'll be prompted to put it back while apps and services crash on your phone or tablet. It's adopted — taken in and loved by the system, and made part of the whole.

  • This means Adoptable storage is really only useful if SD card is placed in a phone or tablet and never to be removed.Once an SD card is adopted it has to stay inserted and working.No. The card must be kept in the device. Another device (laptop, camera) will not be able to view the content on the card. If an adopted SD card is removed from a device, the system will request that the card be reinserted; you will lose access to apps and data on the card until it is safely re-inserted.

  • IMPORTANT:  If an SD card set up as internal storage is removed from the device, it can cause card corruption. There is no guarantee that, upon re-insertion, the device will still be able to read the card as it contains a unique encryption key.

  • If you try to remove it, things go haywire. Your phone will throw errors until you are forced to factory reset it and you can't read the data on the SD card with any other device or the original phone once it's been factory reset. That means you either have to insert the card back in the phone and hope things return to normal or delete all your stuff and reformat the card. If an SD card you're using for adoptable storage fails, you are out of luck.

  • General consensus is that Google made this move because Android One devices all ship with limited internal storage, and users will need more space to install apps and their associated data.

  • There's also the bit about how SD cards have a limited number of times they can be read from and written to. Using an SD card the "normal" way means failures are uncommon. When you start caching data and reading and writing at a rate higher than a card was designed to handle, problems can arise. Android takes some precautions here with formatting and mounting options that reduce the indexing, but it can still happen. SD card manufacturers will soon start selling "class A" SD cards that have been designed for more frequent use with apps. But even then, a card that is in use a lot will fail before a card that isn't.

When you insert an SD card for the first time in an Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) device, the device will prompt you to choose to use the card as Portable Storage or Internal Storage.
Portable vs Internal.jpg

Which one should you choose?

There is no perfect answer, It all depends on your personal situation. Check the table below.

QQ截图20170523170424.jpg

When you choose as "Internal Storage", the first thing that happens is a process which will reformat and encrypt the card – anything on the card will be lost during this process, so you’ll want to copy anything on the card that you want to keep prior to heading down this road. This process formats the card as an EXT4 drive with 128-bit AES encryption that is mounted as part of the system and set as the preferred storage.

Pros and cons of using micro SD card as internal storage
Ad-dis.jpg

Advantages:
  • 1. Value for money for more internal storage. You can expand internal storage in an affordable way.
  • 2. Unlimited usage. you can save everything on the card. You just use your phone without worrying about insufficient internal storage.
  • 3. Simple to use after one-time setup.  It is not necessary for you to know where the files are physically saved; everything is in the phone.
  • 4. Security. All data in the SD card are always encrypted. Even you lose your phone, you will not worry about the embarrassing photos or videos unless the thief can unlock the phone. They cannot access the files on the SD card from any other devices.

Disadvantages:
  • 1. Formatting the micro SD card is required. The phone will ask you to format the SD card when you use it first time, or when you change it from portable storage. It can take a few mins or longer and you need backup files on it.
  • 2. Inflexible. The micro SD card is encrypted and only can be read by the phone on which you format it. If you want to use the SD card on other devices, you have to format it again. When you connect the phone to a PC, or check the storage on the phone, you will not see a separate folders for the SD card. It is “merged” with internal storage.
  • 3. Performance may be affected. The possible performance impact depends on 1). phone storage type, UFS or eMMC; and 2). your micro SD card quality/speed.
  • 4. Back up, back up and back up. After you reset the phone, NO device can read the SD card, including your own phone because the encryption key will be destroyed when resetting the phone. So, it is important to back up the phone before resetting.


Now, you may have better idea whether you should use micro SD card in Android Marshmallow as portable storage or as internal storage.

As mentioned, you can switch back and forth later. But it can take some time to switch.

How can I protect my data on the adopted SD card?
  • We recommend you make sure important content (contacts, movies, pictures, media) and apps are backed up to the cloud. The lifetime of an SD can vary depending on its manufacturer and class. We see a large variety of cards, each with different properties. If you decide to use an SD card for internal storage, it will typically have lower life span expectations than embedded device storage. Perform regular back-ups to the cloud to ensure you don't lose important data in the event of SD card failure.


Most high-end Android phones don't support Adoptable storage and that might not be a bad thing.


A byproduct of Android being distributed as free source code is that companies who make phones can alter it. And many companies remove the adoptable storage option or remove the user-facing portion so you can't enable it.


Share you views/suggestions regarding the Adaptable Storage.
Reading the above, would you like to add this feature in your phone?


Image Source: Google
Thanks to Admin @Candicesu for support.
Regards and Thanks
Muzamil Paray

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20:04, May-23-2017 | From PC
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This post was edited by Iyengar at 18:10, May-24-2017

Adoptable storage is a great idea but it does have some serious drawbacks such as read/write count for SD Cards (since it's limited and all). No fail safe for data stored in Cards. We will have to push ourselves to Class 10 (not class A) only. 99% of the time, card read/write speed varies to that of onboard internal device storage compared against.

It's "risk" which needs to be normalized with strong mitigation plan in place.

My 2 cents
Edit: Thanks to MIUIMAFIA for reference and advice on SD card type

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Could be a consideration

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I would like to have this feature in my phone

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17:42, May-23-2017 | From PC
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Have heard about this feature from a moto user earlier.

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17:43, May-23-2017 | From PC
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It's ok but I don't need it, coz there is a risk involve in it like loosing all ur data if anything goes wrong.

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17:45, May-23-2017 | From PC
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Reply Awards +3

Sounds really interesting...

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