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Old December 4th, 2013, 02:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Question About Moving Apps

Can anyone answer the question in this thread about whether the Samsung S4 actually moves apps to the microSD card?

A question regarding storage
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Old December 4th, 2013, 03:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodspike View Post
Can anyone answer the question in this thread about whether the Samsung S4 actually moves apps to the microSD card?

A question regarding storage
I'm glad you raised this question, because I generally find no apps or .apks on external storage.

I'd also like some clarification on the various storage options:
  • ext SD (microSD),
  • "emulated",
  • "SD",
  • "0", and then
  • "internal" w/sys and system.
There's a fair amount of redundancy, however even though the folders and directories look comparable, there are differences in content. I also have found it impossible to find Apex and other apps and/or their components (themes, wallpapers, etc.).

Never had this confusion on my HTCs.. Anxious to see the responses here!
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Old December 4th, 2013, 11:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm really surprised no one has chimed in on this yet. Yes, to answer your question. Go into your setting and applications manager and go to the "On SD Card" tab. from there you can check which apps you want to remove from internal storage to your SD card.
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Old December 5th, 2013, 12:53 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by itsallgood View Post
I'm really surprised no one has chimed in on this yet. Yes, to answer your question. Go into your setting and applications manager and go to the "On SD Card" tab. from there you can check which apps you want to remove from internal storage to your SD card.
No sure about anyone else's S4, but my S4 (GT-i9505G) does not have that tab.
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Old December 5th, 2013, 09:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by itsallgood View Post
I'm really surprised no one has chimed in on this yet. Yes, to answer your question. Go into your setting and applications manager and go to the "On SD Card" tab. from there you can check which apps you want to remove from internal storage to your SD card.
The question is though, whether that really does what it says. Per the person in the other thread I linked it does not. Thinking about it today I don't see how that could be true, but I would like an answer.
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Old December 5th, 2013, 10:06 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I Googled around about this and found an article on "How To Transfer Apps To Micro SD Card On Updated Handsets"....

It said, "The Samsung Galaxy S4 has received a system update on the AT&T, Sprint and Verizon networks that primarily allows users to install and transfer apps from their internal storage to a micro SD card. This function is usually disabled on devices powered by the Android operating system because Google discovered that micro SD transfer often causes certain apps to malfunction."

What network are you using?
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Old December 5th, 2013, 10:22 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm on Verizon and my phone has the feature to transfer the apps to MicroSD.

Here's the posts I linked, but apparently need to copy to here so that people will know what I'm asking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lunatic59 View Post
As far as I can see it [the S4] is still only moving them to the /sdcard partition which is internal. It doesn't move apps to the external card.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hadron View Post
Yeah, as you may know there's a story to that. When they released the S4 there were a lot of complaints about it only having ~9GB available to the user, and Samsung would reply "you can move apps to SD". Except you couldn't, as explained above! It was after the mainstream media picked up on this that they suddenly announced that they would produce an update which did allow you to move apps to SD (i.e. they patched the feature back into the OS).

Not sure how many of their handsets they did this with though.
Now maybe I'm misreading all of that, and the phones that cannot transfer are like Retrah's and don't have the tab to do the transfer. But they do seem to be claiming that at one time the transfer feature was there, but didn't really transfer anything to microSD.
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Old December 5th, 2013, 10:46 AM   #8 (permalink)
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So then the issue you're having is that the apps don't really get moved to your SD card?
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Old December 5th, 2013, 10:57 AM   #9 (permalink)
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So then the issue you're having is that the apps don't really get moved to your SD card?
That's what I'm trying to determine. That first quote suggests that they aren't, but I have a hard time believing that's true. The article you posted (thanks!) says they do actually get moved, and when you look at the place in Application Manager where you actually move them it reports the space available on the card, so I find it hard to believe that they wouldn't be moved. But I'm just trying to follow up on that post.
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Old December 5th, 2013, 11:03 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Can you take the SD card out and put it in something else to see if they are really on there? I mean, if you have something else with a card reader, that is.
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Old December 5th, 2013, 11:04 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Goodspike; I have no idea if this applies, but thought I would quote the post anyways just in case something was helpful. Someone asked about moving large apps to the external SD in another thread elsewhere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lunatic59 View Post
Android is very specifically designed to put app data in the /sdcard partition. Asking it not to do that, or to trick it into thinking it's there when it's somewhere else will require root. I don't think there's any way around that. If this is something you want to do, we can help with that.

I am not sure about stock 4.1.2 from Samsung, but right around that version there was a change in the way the volumes are managed. Prior to that, volumes were static partitions within the device memory, but after the volumes are virtualized and dynamically allocated making total device ram available to apps and storage. If that version is using the virtualized volumes, then DirectoryBind will not work. (You'll lose your links with any reboot.)

Instead take a look at Folder Mount to solve your problem. Of course, root is required here, too.

Now, personally I would try and avoid moving dynamic content like apps and databases to an SD card. They are slower and prone to failure when overtaxed. And when they go, there is little or no warning ... just *poof* .... gone. If you do move important content to an SD card, please be sure to clone the complete volume to either a PC or another SD card so if it does go south on you you have a working backup. (and don't forget to test your backup, too.)
From this thread here: Using large programs on a small Android device
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Old December 5th, 2013, 08:11 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Goodspike View Post
Can anyone answer the question in this thread about whether the Samsung S4 actually moves apps to the microSD card?
Yes and no. The entire app does not get moved to the sd card.
The data and other "files" get moved into the .android_secure folder as a single .asec file while the actual executable .apk stays on the phone.
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Old December 6th, 2013, 09:28 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Yes and no. The entire app does not get moved to the sd card.
The data and other "files" get moved into the .android_secure folder as a single .asec file while the actual executable .apk stays on the phone.
I still haven't tried removing my card and viewing it on a PC, but isn't what you describe what Android did back in the Gingerbread days? That's basically what my question is--did Samsung get Android to do what it used to do?
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Old December 6th, 2013, 03:08 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Goodspike - Lunatic59's explaination is pretty much spot on. It will move a LOT of the information to the SD card but a portion of the app will still have to be stored in your internal memory.
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Old December 6th, 2013, 07:00 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodspike View Post
I still haven't tried removing my card and viewing it on a PC, but isn't what you describe what Android did back in the Gingerbread days? That's basically what my question is--did Samsung get Android to do what it used to do?
I read about how apps to sd worked some time ago (probably during the GB era) but in my ignorance didn't know that the apps to sd method had been changed for the S4 so I did a quick test.

I determined how it is done on my S4 by formatting a 4gb card, checking for files (there weren't any files only two empty folders; .android_secure and LOST.DIR) and then moving several apps from phone storage to sd and then checking again. In each case an asec file was created in the .android_secure folder for each app that was moved to sd and the apps would not work if the card was removed. When I moved the apps back to phone storage, the asec files were gone from the sd card and the apps worked without the card installed. It may not be the most scientific way to verify the process but it seems to be the correct answer
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