I managed to install Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow on the Samsung Galaxy J5. I was happy to see that Samsung makes this possible. After all, not all smartphones are honoured with substantial OS upgrades – even Samsung fails to deliver those for many of its models. Marshmallow, by the way, is a substantial release with many useful new features – check out Ars Technica’s ‘Android 6.0 Marshmallow, thoroughly reviewed‘ for a serious overview.
One of those new features is of particular interest to users of smartphones with limited internal memory, like the Galaxy J5 which has only 8GB. Android 6 makes it possible to install apps on a supplementary memory card, since the memory card can be formatted in such a way as to be recognised as internal memory. Currently I have to uninstall and install apps in function of what I want to do during the days to come, like when going on holiday. Having more memory at my disposal would be a lot more comfortable, and I hoped Marshmallow would offer me that.
But unfortunately the Galaxy J5 does not support “adoptable storage” out of the box, and none of the hacks mentioned on the internet were able to change that situation. In the end, all I could do was transfer a few apps to the SD card, just like it was possible in a few older Android versions. Here’s how to do that:
- In the Settings, choose “Applications”, then “Application Manager”;
- Click on an app to see its “Application Info”;
- Click on the “Storage” section.
For those applications that can be transferred to the SD card, there will be a an indication of which storage is currently in use, in combination with a button that says “Change”. When you click on that button, you should be able to choose either “Internal storage” (that’s your phone’s internal memory) or “SD card”. The change takes some time, depending on the size of the app.
Unfortunately, none of the really big apps can be transferred, and neither can you uninstall or transfer the standard apps that Samsung finds essential (but that I have never used in all the years that I am using Samsung devices). I guess my next phone will not only have more internal memory (and an SD card slot!), but will also be running an Android that is much closer to AOSP Android, the basic Android version without the bells and whistles of Google and Samsung and Huawei and others.