microSD storage is returning to flagship smartphones, but it looks like it will not be making use of a major Android 6.0 feature. Both Samsung and LG appear to have disabled Android’s Adoptable Storage feature, which allows phones to install apps directly to removable storage.
Adoptable Storage makes use of microSD cards by formatting them into internal storage. In other words, once activated, the phone thinks that the removable media is actually part of its hardware and will use it as such.
Samsung provided an explanation about the missing feature to Ars Technica; saying that it believes that users mainly want to use microSD cards to transfer files between devices. Adoptable Storage tends to format any microSD card inserted in the phone, which might surprise unsuspecting users.
This is a valid concern, although it wouldn’t be too difficult to imagine that the companies involved could solve it with a simply dialogue box asking people what they want to do with any inserted media.
That being said, we wouldn’t be surprised if nobody noticed it missing. This is not exactly a feature that people are crying for; since most phone storage is taken up by photos and videos, instead of files. It might matter for devices with smaller onboard storage options, but it’s a minor issue for true flagship devices.