Most Android users are familiar with app2SD – a widely used hack that enables users to copy OS-specific apps to the SD card to save the limited user data memory available on their devices. XDA-Developers member ownhere has recently released something similar for your OS-specific data, called data2ext, which allows you to copy OS-specific data to external storage to boost the performance of your device further.
Smartphones are great devices on their own but its apps that help users realize the full potential of their devices. That’s why having enough space to install a decent number of apps to your smartphone is important. While newer smartphones are increasingly shipping with 512MB and often 1GB or more of internal space available for app installation, many phones including the Nexus One and the HTC Desire that were flagship devices of their times not too long ago, had very little internal memory available for app installation (a little below or above 100MB). That’s a nightmare for those of us who install and run a large number of apps on our phones, especially considering the increasing sizes of new apps.
While Android 2.2 Froyo and later ship with the ability to move many apps to the SD card, this only moves the APK files of the apps and not their data, which may take significantly more space than the apps themselves. The data still remains in the /data partition, which resides on the internal memory.
To counter these problems, many users have to resort to third-party implementations allowing moving app data to the sd card as well. One such implementation is data2ext, which creates an ext-formatted partition on your sd card and maps the entire /data partition to that /sd-ext partition. One benefit of this hack is that your /sdcard partition still remains separately accessible, and all your apps still work even when your SD card is mounted for access from your computer.
data2ext was originally developed for the HTC Desire and another XDA-Developers member jayfallen is attempting to port it to Nexus One. The Desire version is very functional and brings huge performance improvements to the popular Android device. The Nexus One version is presently under development and the benchmark results from what has been accomplished so far seem very promising with an I/O score of 8000+ and a total score of 3000+ from the Quadrant benchmarking utility. If you are a developer, you can join in the development of the app for Nexus One by visiting the corresponding XDA-Developers thread.
data2ext is a script available for free available primarily for ROM developers and power users. Instructions and further details can be found at the XDA-Developers thread for the script.