Sony Xperia T2 Ultra update returns Apps to SD support

July 18, 2014
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Unless you actually owned an Xperia T2 Ultra or its Dual variant, Sony's latest Android 4.4 update for the devices might not have piqued your interest. However, it seems that the manufacturer sneaked in a little feature, or rather returned it, that changes the game entirely for these owners. Sony has apparently given them back the ability to transfer some apps from internal memory to an SD card.

This feature, called Apps to SD (or apps2sd), was a rather contentious issue way back. Google has practically removed all traces of it from stock Android and users might have become resigned to that fact, unless they switch to custom ROMs or their OEM allows it. Google's argument is the same one it uses to discourage the use of external storage entirely, that of data and operation integrity. Considering that users can easily yank out SD cards and that it runs on a different filesystem than the rest of Android, Google can do little to enforce security or make sure that the app is where it is supposed to be when you run it.

xperia-t2-ultra-apps2sd

The counter argument to this is that some devices don't have enough internal storage space to comfortably accommodate the dozens of apps users usually install on their phones these days, plus the actual media files they might want to keep in their pockets at all times. Some games, for example, take up more than 1 GB of storage. As mentioned, some OEMs, and definitely custom ROMs, go contrary to Google's ideal vision and include Apps to SD functionality. Sony used to but then pulled it out, perhaps to maintain compatibility with vanilla Android. Now, however, Sony is bringing it back, at least in this update, which is great news for the Xperia T2 Ultra as it only has 8 GB of internal memory.

Now the next question is "what's next?". Considering Sony was rather silent about this feature in its announcement, perhaps it won't be including that feature in other, more capable handsets. Scheduled for the next update are the Xperia E1 and Xperia M2, both with low specs and perfect candidates for this feature. One can only hope that Sony will also be pushing out the feature to the rest of its lineup in the near future.

VIA: Xperia Blog


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  • digi_owl

    Makes no sense, as it was never about moving apps to a proper SD card.

    Instead it was about moving apps to the pseudo-SD that OEMs created by partitioning the emmc, thus allowing them to mimic the Apple marketing of “large” internal storage capacity for music and movies (but with a very constrained capacity for apps and their data).

    The reason it has largely vanished is because 4.x introduced the option of having the pseudo-SD be a union mounted folder inside the existing Android file system. As such, there is no longer a true partition and so no need to move data across the divide.

    Never mind that many apps used the “external storage” permission to dump data onto that storage space anyways. Leading to the latest bruhaha as Google is locking down the utility of said permission over “security risks”.