Google introduced the "Adoptable Storage" feature with Android Marshmallow back in May, 2015. However, there is still a bit of confusion regarding how the option works exactly. Let us try and clear the smoke here.
What is it?
The Adoptable Storage feature allows you to turn a micro-SD card into the internal storage of your phone. Once you do this, the memory card will well and truly be adopted as a non-removable part of the smartphone, after being reformatted as a 128-bit AES encrypted EXT4 drive. Imagine the 16GB internal storage of your smartphone which had previously kept your app installations at check, replaced with the 64GB memory of your SD card.
How to do it?
As soon as you enter your memory card into a device that is running Android M (Some devices do not support the feature), you should see the following prompt, "Set up SD card." Tap on it, select "Format as internal storage" and select "Erase & Format." Remember to read the warnings just as a precaution.
Can I switch back?
Yes, you can switch back to using your SD card as an external storage by reformatting the card in the same way as before, but this time as "Portable Storage." Do it from Settings >Storage >Select card >Format as external. Remember though that in doing so, all applications and files on that SD card will be lost.
Should you do it?
It depends on your needs really, but if you do choose to try it, make sure that the SD card is at least a Class 10 or UHS. There is a small possibility of your card failing and a rather large one of your phone becoming slower than before. Most cards were not built to handle the high rate of caching, reading and writing data that an internal storage drive must handle. Even though Google has taken measures to prevent this by reducing the indexing operations, the load will still be heavy. Therefore, the advice is, do it if you have low in-built memory, but if you already have sufficient space on the internal storage, it might not be a bad idea to avoid it for now.
Author: Saikat Kar (Tech-journalist and enthusiast)