apps2sd removed from Jelly Bean? Google WTF are you doing?

Posted Jan 14, 2013 at 7:33 pm in Threads > Opinions

I recently acquired my Galaxy Note 2. It’s only 16 Gb memory but no matter, I’ve got this sweet 64 Gb SD card so why should I care if it only has 16 Gb memory. I’ll have plenty of room on the 64 Gb SD card.

Disappointingly Google has removed apps2sd support in Jelly Bean. I can’t install apps on the 64 Gb SD card in my Note 2. Google wants you to use the “Cloud”. The Nexus product line has no external SD card so we see where they are going with this.

This development is very disturbing to me. I don’t like it at all. I’ve read where Note 2 users have to remove programs if they want to install anything new. I’ve downloaded Need For Speed: Most Wanted and a major chunk of my memory is full now. And my 64 Gb card sits pretty much useless since I can only put data on it.

So being extremely disappointed with the missing apps2d I am searching for a ROM that will support it. Is anyone else disappointed with this?

  • jerrbomb

    Yes.. very

    • SGB101

      A very dumb move IMHO! But if your not offering an sd slot (nexus) you don’t need to support apps2sd.

      Would be nice if it could be enabled from within the ‘storage’ settings, for power users.

      Then you have the best of both worlds, simple storage* for non tech folk, and greater options for those able to understand it.

      *that was goggles reasoning for removal of apps2sd.

      • Matt

        Great reasoning that – “simple storage”…

        Previously if you ran out of app space you could move things around to make more room.

        Now if you run out of app space there’s nothing you can do, at all. You’re f***ed.

        Well to be fair it is much simpler!

  • redraider133

    It was gone in ICS as well.

  • pliu.2014

    This is an attempt to make you guys use their products more

  • MC_Android

    That is the unfortunate trend for Android. It was an indicator with the Nexus S and since then other OEMs followed this path. Sadly, don’t be surprised for the day that Samsung releases the Galaxy S “X” with no expandable storage.

  • Diabsoud

    Disturbing trend…it would really suck if other OEM’s follow this trend…!

  • ranwanimator

    IIRC it has to something to do with the new-ish unified file system. Apps2SD was a Band-aid in the Froyo Gingerbread era due to phone storage being partitioned. Only a small bit was reserved for the OS this led to issues with phones being able to be upgraded to the next version of Android. By unifying the file structure all internal storage is accessible and can be used for upgrading to newer/larger versions of the OS. The downside is, of course, app installs being limited to whatever the storage size manufacturers decided was appropriate for users. My Transformer Prime has a MicroSD card slot, but I am unable to install apps there and from what I understand ASUS had to specifically add code to get it to show up in the file system.

    Feel free to correct if I’m off base.

    • SGB101

      Problem is the one X only had 2gb of the 27gb avalible for apps, this did worry me, as the only reason I was forced to upgrade from the desire, was it had, wait for it 157mb avalible for apps.

      Apps2sd,help a lot, but after 27months ,even with a2sd, a lot couldn’t be moved and 157 wasn’t enough.
      So 2gb may be enough now, in 18 it will be tight.

      My not has 16gb (give or take) i think it will still be fine in 24 months time, especially cos, any media, can be put on sd.

      That being said, if you like hight end games, it will be tight. As I don’t think the additional game files, can be moved to sd, well not with out root.

    • Matt

      Yeh that’s my understanding too….

      … but it’s absolute b*llocks!

      The unified file system has only served to complicate things further. It was much simpler when you just had internal memory and SD card. Now you have internal memory, internal memory emulated as external, and SD card.

      If you have loads of internal memory then great, but the beauty of apps2SD was that if you ran out of internal memory you could upgrade it.

      Even the users that say “I’ve got 16GB I’m fine”, they might be fine now but you never know what’s in store several years down the line! More pertinently tho, most phones still don’t have anywhere near that much, so the ability to upgrade and utilise your SD is essential.

      Incidentally the unified file system is another reason we have to use sh*tty Media Trasport Protocol not good old reliable Removable Storage.

      Massive fail Google. It’s a step back not a step forward.

  • Jeremy Sheehan

    Why should it matter when you have 16GB worth of space internally? How much space does N4S take up on your phone?

    • SGB101

      The Bards tale THD version is over 5gb in all.

    • Derek

      The person behind this sinister policy is head of Android development, Matias Duarte. You can tweet him directly @MatiasDuarte.

  • gmaninvan

    It has to do with the fact they consolidated the storage similar to their competitors so that you can use the full internal storage for apps and not a partition. The partition was misleading in that a 16Gb phone only had 1Gb or so for usable app installation. This makes more sense.

    I really don’t see the issue with it. It is pretty hard to store 16Gb of just apps. Just offload all of your other media (pictures, videos, etc.) to the SD and it should be fine. They also changed from mass storage to MTP to make it more secure for the contents. Some complained because it isn’t true USB mass storage but it still works fine for me.

    • Daige

      The issue is that those who have phones with small internal storage (4 gb) will run out of memory almost immediately and their phones turn to utter crap. I really, really hate Google now…

  • nivekkev

    Yes, i am in the same boat. I am once again watching very closely what I install, checking the size and if any extra data needs to be downloaded also(although I am not sure it that extra goes to the card or not). They need to figure out a way to get this back.

    Most of the better games that I would like to install are all over 1gb in size, so I have to pick and choose again instead of installing all that I want and have them with me where ever I am with no need to uninstall something to try a new app.

    Ok, I don’t get the part I keep reading that “they want you to use the cloud” , how do you use the cloud to install and run an app?

  • Frank Rizzo

    Dude, I’ve been running apps off my 64GB card for months. All you have to do is goto XDA.

    • McLovin

      Rooted on stock ROM ? Is that correct?

      • Frank Rizzo


  • Teebor

    My understanding is that external SD card storage is not actually a function of Android it is something that was added by 3rd party vendors. Hence why the nexus devices don’t have SD cards storage but other vendors do.
    Could be wrong though, but I’m pretty sure I read that somewhere (possibly here?)

    • Bpear96

      Google did however add official apps2sd in android ICS 4.0, previous to ICS Apps2Sd was a popular mod for rooted phones, when most phones had as little has >1gb of storage for apps. But since they officially added it to ICS, they have no removed it from JB. I think a MicroSD card should be a viable part of a smartphone, kinda like a extra harddrive/ssd on a PC. Even when 5G LTE+ or whatever is available everywhere im still going to what to store some stuff locally.

  • Erica

    Omg I am overly emotional about the whole new SD card issue (as you will see if you read my following rant :-P) ever since google decided to leave out the SD card on the nexus phones and then other manufacturers following this ridiculous trend. First of all I have to point out that when Android was making a name for itself & pointing out reasons it was better than ios devices the main benefits of getting Android devices over Apple was flexibility & customization, a removable battery was high on the list so the devices were easier to repair & open up if need be, & the SD card- having the opportunity to add more space to your device whether it came with 512MB or 32 and being able to save and share data on your SD card for easy managing of files between devices, it’s especially great for when you get a new phone. Our phones & tablets now a days come with plenty of space & ram so you can run hi-def games with no problem but if you’re like me you can never have enough space so the apps2sd option was the best idea they could’ve had for mobile devices. If you’re a fan of games I’m sure you have noticed how ridiculously big they can get, if you have a few gameloft games you’re using up over a GB of space just for those few games. Now add a few more games to that, a shit full of music, ebooks, & of course pictures seeing that my phone has as many megapixels as my camera & add that to your apps you use for customizing your device, apps for entertainment, system apps etc. you’re gonna be pissed because a lot of those games you spent money on & have gotten so far on are gonna have to be uninstalled because you are out of storage space & that data of all of those saved games is going to be thrown away cuz it’s on your “internal SD card.” You have an option to make a nandroid backup but that’s ridiculous for 1 game & you don’t have enough space on your device for a nandroid backup anyway!!
    Google says we don’t need SD cards because it slows down our devices, it’s better to have everything in one partition but I say let me make that choice myself. Google says we don’t need external storage because we can use the cloud, I say that’s BS and google knows it. I have what I want on the cloud & google has good cloud service but it’s not doing me any good when I don’t have an internet signal or I’m not in a wifi area with my wifi only tablet & it doesn’t let me save my game & app data on it. Doesn’t google notice how big these apps & games are getting? I remember when a 25MB app seemed huge but now we have apps & games that are 1GB before you even use them.
    I wonder when SD cards on Androids will be forgotten, it’s already starting with all of those new Android users who add their 2 cents talking about it’s no big deal & they don’t need a SD card because we have plenty of space on these new phones but they obviously have never had a phone with a SD card with apps2sd or if they have they don’t use many apps. It’s kind of funny when you read reviews for certain apps & they get low ratings because there’s no app2sd option but now our phones & operating systems don’t even support it after all of those developers figured out how to add it to their apps.
    This is the most backward thing I’ve ever heard. Why would you take away a feature that was a huge part of what Android is? It was so great to read about Android has these great options that the iPhone & iPad never will have & now google just threw that away. I can’t imagine what their reason could be for taking such drastic steps. Even trying to force Android users to use their online cloud storage can’t justify this because people would still use it especially the way they have it already set up on your phone. I like that my pictures can be automatically uploaded to picasa & docs to google drive, I LOVE google music, & the way they have books & videos set up on google play if you buy them there you have to play them on the google play apps so they already have it set up so that most people are using their cloud from their phone and everyone with the google play store has their apps stored in it. It’s nice the way your files don’t have to be on your device with the books & videos. I use these options even though I use my SD card. They don’t have to take them away.
    Ok I’m done… :-X *-:

    • Derek

      @ Erica, you have expressed my exact same sentiments and more. The main reason Android was a helluva alot better than Apples IOS was flexibility in having an SD card slot. Now they have removed this option to force users to use the cloud services like Dropbox etc which is completely insane and wrong!! The person behind this sinister policy is head of Android development, Matias Duarte. You can tweet him directly @MatiasDuarte. Perhaps everybody who is against this policy should tweet him.

    • Jon

      AMEN Erika. If google is going to start pulling this crap, i may as well go back to ios devices since they at least come in higher storage capacities than any android device I’ve seen so far. I was looking forward to the jelly bean update for my first gen note, but now that i know app2sd is gone, wont be doing the update now. I am currently running ICS and have the app2sd feature, (not rooted)so will stick with it. Great post and you are not alone in how you feel.

    • Dino Dubravcevic

      I hear u man. I hate that policy of Google too. When i think of it, they might be pushing users to something like: “If u don’t have enough internal space available, buy our new phone with double that size.” But not all of us can afford or want to buy a new one. If that trend is behind it, we’re screwed.

  • spidremann

    With the price of storage decreasing, and the size of most apps increasing, there is no reason Android phones shouldn’t come in larger storage capacities. I never found the App2sd solution to be a very good one, especially when you’re trying to migrate to a new phone.
    I think that Google should do the following:

    1) Allow app data to be backed up to the cloud without needing to Root. I know that was the main reason I got into rooting.

    2) Increase internal storage on phones, especially if there is no sd card. My guess is that the Nexus line is still looked at as a predominantly developer phone, do they don’t see a need for external storage. That brings me to…

    3) Require Nexus branded phones to accept an sd card, and require them to have the premier, flagship worthy hardware.

    So endeth the sermon.

  • ankit

    What is cloud..and how to use it..?

  • steve

    Well. Some people don’t have internet connection 24/7 and everybody including Google knows this. They’re just up to their own BS at the moment. What if you don’t want to use Google cloud, what if you don’t, and never do use googles services but you only want the phone. You are being forced into using their shit. Now can Google fucking elaborate on how we are supposed to defeat apple in the smartphone battle when we are following apples tracks? Sooner or later apple will be gone and Google will be facing the same fate as apple because they’re getting shitted on by another company.

  • poo

    Stuck with a borrowed phone while mine is getting service, I absolutely HATE this decision from google. Seriously. My temporary phone has 300MB free after system reset. For apps and data. There are 16 free, never to be used, GBs available on the SD card, but since no apps can be installed there, I’m pretty much limited to installing chrome and setting up my mail, and possibly installing some small scrabble-ish game. Why tf not allow me to at least choose where to put my apps?

    Worst decision ever to remove support for apps2sd.

    • SGB101

      You could always root and put an ics rom on.

      I know I sounds mad to downgrade but would make the device more usable.

      My one X only has <2gb for apps, may of been enough 12 month ago, but not really now.

      My old desire had 175mb iirc, was fine at launch, but 12 month in was getting very tight. After 27months even apps2sd,wasnt enough. That was the only reason I moved to the X. Until then I always went back to that Desire. Great device.

    • Derek

      The person behind this sinister policy is head of Android development, Matias Duarte. You can tweet him directly @MatiasDuarte.

  • Christian Ellis

    The answer is simple. Google who headed the consortium has gone into the business of making hardware. As a result the sd card is disappearing. I have been an android supporter from the moment I un-boxed my first generation android. I have never owned an I-phone and have long touted the superiority of the android. Up-gradable storage was a HUGE part of that superiority, and with it’s loss and the skimping of memory in it’s place the I-phone is looking more and more palatable each day. I hope Google figures it out before they completely turn the android into a cheap I-phone.

  • Daige

    I hate Google so much now…my old phones are next to useless because of this, I won’t be able to use my apps, I don’t want to be forced to root my phone or buy a new phone…

    Maybe I should buy a Windows phone instead…

  • Daige

    Sh*t…forgot to subscribe…

  • keyur


  • Richard

    My 4.2.2 jelly bean tablet has a nixus slot…Can’t use my 16G SD…

    Pretty stupid move…Android loosing credibility