moving apps to the SD card

One of the big perks about Froyo is the ability to move applications to the microSD card storage.  It's easy to do, and if you don't plan on using swappable SD cards it's something you should check out.  From the home screen:

  • Hit the menu button, then Settings > Applications > Manage applications
  • Make sure the "Downloaded" tab (the one on the far left) is selected
  • Press any of the apps in the list, and see if the "Move to SD card" option is enabled
  • If so, press it and enjoy the extra space

It's up to the application developer whether or not to enable this setting, so many apps are still not movable.  There are also a few caveats to keep in mind:

  • Widgets will run very poorly (if at all) when moved to the SD card
  • Apps that must be available at boot (Launcher's, Live wallpaper, etc) should not be moved to the SD card
  • While the SD card is mounted to a computer, all applications moved to the card are unavailable
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Reader comments

Moving apps to the SD card [Froyo]

34 Comments

Apps2SD is dumb in a lot of ways. I have 63 applications from the market installed on my Evo and I still have 298mB of internal phone storage. People want to move all their applications to their memory card to save room that they don't even need to save. They're just ruining the performance of their phone by doing so. I have never moved an application to my sd card and I never plan on it.

Even when I used a G1 I didn't need Apps2SD.

The only thing that is "Dumb in a lot of ways" is assuming every phone is exactly like your phone, and every user is exactly like you.

The more RAM available the faster the phone and some people like much apps on their phone I don't know why. This is a good idea for us to have the option. Oh and if u switch phones its wonderful

Note- If you move a keyboard to the SD card they have a bad habbit of being disabled on startup and you need to re-enable them.

Same for wallpapers, especially LIVE wallpapers.

Which is unfortunate, because some of the live wallpapers are so friggin huge that you really have to move them to the MicroSD card.

The bigger your MicroSD card is, the longer it takes to come "ready" at boot time, and the more things go missing on startup.

I normally move games and app that don't require network access to the SD card. Some games just take up a lot of space on the phone that gives me out of memory notification. I also noticed to that not everything you can move to SD going this method so I end up using Titanium to move the ones I cant. I go from 80 to 200mb free.

Why would you do that? Having 80mB free is plenty of memory free. You're only screwing yourself over by moving all those apps to your memory card.

How is that screwing himself over?

There is no earthly reason to keep something on main memory (especially in a small memory phone) when you have a good fast microSD card.

There is no downside to moving a game, music, videos over to the MicroSD card. If you need it at boot time, keep it on the phone.

With a class4 card, load time from microSD is indistinguishable from loading from main memory.

Isn't there an app that give you a list of Apps you currently have that can be moved to SD? Anyone know?

SDMove will list the apps that can be moved, and gives you several categories. Go to Menu->About to figure out which color means what. Very helpful!

Yes, indeed -- it's called SDMove on Android Market, is FREE, and is super user-friendly. You can use it to move apps interchangeably between your internal space and your SD card and it's all color-coded. HIGHLY recommended!

Same developer has one that runs as a service and pops up and warns you when you install something that can move to the microSD card but is not there.

What we need is a NAGGER app, which will email each developer when their app does not allow install to the microSD card.

Samsung phones seem to come with a boatload of memory. (No surprise, memory chips are a key part of Samsung's business). But the rest of us have phones with far less.

You know you can manually update the MD1, its what I did and I have not ran into a single problem. Best part is its not jailbreaking so there is nothing to worry about.

Just search for froyo and motorola droid on this sucker and you will find the how-to.

Its worth the time.

I've contacted a handful of developers this week, like Amazon, Vlingo, Nimbuzz, Vonage, Astro File Manager, Handcent SMS, Shazam, Google Listen, Facebook, and Camera 360 Pro. So far, I've heard back from Astro saying that app2sd broke some backward compatibility that they're trying to fix. Camera 360 Pro, Nimbuzz, say they'll look into it.

"s jacklin" from Handcent says it's "difficult" because their app needs to support 1.5-2.2, which tells me they haven't even looked at the process to know they can still support non-Froyo OS versions in the same .apk, they just need to enable a new flag in the manifest XML. They say they're going to wait until Froyo is more popular.

I do agree with Jerry though, that apps that need to run on boot-up shouldn't be moved to SD, but I tend NOT to allow my apps to start on boot-up anyway, and only launch apps as I need them. The only widgets I use can't be moved to SD anyway (calendar and latitude)

The apps I currently use and have moved to SD: Barcode scanner, Dial Zero, Google Sky Map, LED Flashlight, Network Discovery, Pandora, PhoneFlicks, Twidroyd Pro, Voice Recorder and Wifi Analyzer.

Thanks for the research! I need to check with Google Earth... that's the biggest app I have. And being from Google, hopefully they are more familiar with the issues that Handcent wasn't.

The biggest I saw was Barns and Noble Nook (ereader).
It ballooned to 17meg when installed and the bitch level was so high that they almost immediately came out with an update allowing move to SD. (Their nexe update shrunk it to 12 meg installed). Now it preferentially installs on MicroSD if available, without you asking it to.

People need to bitch to developers. If its over 2meg and won't move I send emails. If I paid for the app, I send insistent emails.

And I still wonder what's up with that--only 5MB of the nook moved to SD card, leaving an astonishing 12MB still in internal memory.

Hardly seems worth it.

Keep in mind, both 101 and other users, AppBrain's app will designate sd or phone if and when an application has been built with the move to sd option. Takes the guess work out of whether or not a particular app can go to the sd card. It also provides a like directly to the specific application page where toggling takes place (screenprint in the article).

Appbrain frequently gets it wrong when it designates apps that can be moved to the MicroSD card. It will offer a move (long press menu) for applications that do not support move. (ShopSavvy, Smart Measure, AGP).

I'll probably get flamed for this cause I'm bringing up that "other phone" lol but, wouldn't it be better if android phones had a memory setup like apples where you'd just have one huge memory to store everything and not worry about phone memory/sd card memory spaces to manage? Not having a main fast(phone) and secondary slower(sd card) memory.

Secondary is not that much slower in the real world. Memory access time is not the bottle neck.

Because of expandability, you can get into a phone for a lot less money and upgrade as you need to without re-buying a whole new phone.

All the owners of those "other" phones are begging for expandable memory.

I had Astrid, the to-do list manager installed; they came out with an update to allow move-to-sd, followed quickly by a new version that disabled it, as it caused issues for them. Arrrggghhhhh!!!

I think this whole split between SD and non-SD is the worst decision that Google made on Android. While allowing users to upgrade space via SD card sounds great on paper, I really don't feel like manually moving apps between different mediums. Both iPhone and Palm figured that out, but I'm not sure what google was thinking when they came up with that.

Both iPhone and palm took the cheap way out.

Trying to sell expandable memory as some kind of mistake 4 weeks after Foryo came out simply because all apps don't YET move is the height of opportunistic "I told you so-ism".

Prior to Froyo, you could still put a ton of movies images and songs on the card and never worry about running out of room.

But the ADD to that capability and all of a sudden its a huge issue?
Probably Android 3 will just move those that are eligible to the sd card automatically, and it all of a sudden you apple worshipers will sullenly admit its a brilliant masterstroke.

One reason many apps (my own included) don't have the Move to SD option enabled -- you can't do it for copy protected apps.

As for performance -- it's read-only data and google say it doesn't affect performance much at all (and certainly I can't see any slowdown of startup for apps on my N1 which are on the SD card).

Mark

I like the way that Apple did it, I always had plenty of room on my 16G 3GS. It is annoying running out of space on my N1 but I'll get used to the constraint.
I don't think either the Apple or the Google way is wrong, just different. If I didn't want to play with naked Android I might have waited for a phone with more internal storage.

Moving apps to SD card

Re: Hildenbrand's article about moving apps to SD card
In other words, once the app is moved to the SD card, it can't be loaded/opened (from the SD card). Correct.

garystan