Memory is not to be sold short as being the epitome of what makes our phones so versatile. The amount of content we are able to put on our phones is entirely dependent on how much memory we have on a device. You have 2 GB of memory? You get 2 GB of media. You have 8 GB of memory? You get 8 GB of media! But what happens when you run out of memory? You have one of two options, depending on your device.
Option A: Insert a microSD card
So you’ve run out of memory – what a bummer! For those of you lucky enough to have purchased phones with expandable memory, congratulations! Your job is ten times easier than those without. When you run out of internal memory all you have to worry about is finding a microSD card with the amount of memory of your choosing and voila! Instant phone upgrade for a fraction of the price – and that’s it, you’re done. Go ahead and download all the apps you want, you crazy app hound, you.
However, for the other half of smartphone owners who skimped out on a microSD card slot our job is a little harder. In order for us to download more apps we have:
Option B: Delete things and/or rely on “The Cloud”
Anybody with a device that unfortunately does not have an external SD card slot probably already knows that feeling when you try to download an app or a song on your device and you get the ever-appalling message from your phone that says “Not so fast, tiger.” You have to give a little to get a little. While a little spring cleaning never does anybody any harm, some people actually use all of that space actively. So then what do you do? Well, you can either get a new phone or rely on the cloud (services like DropBox, iCloud, etc.) to store your things. Personally I’m not a big fan of the cloud. I’d rather know that all of my info and media are stored in my phone and in my phone alone. Regardless of my opinion on the subject, you do have options when it comes to running out of internal memory without expandable memory options, it’s just not nearly as convenient as being able to insert or swap out cards.
My question is: why do some manufacturers leave it out in the first place?
Clearly it’s not one of those things that is hindering any sales, as we can see with phones like the iPhone and, more recently, the HTC One. However, it is something that’s been bugging me. I really like knowing that once I run out of memory I have the option to simply add more when I feel like it. And if I run out of memory on that card? No big deal, I could simply switch it out with something bigger, or even another card of the same size. I don’t have to delete information to be able to attain more.
I guess you can say I’m a data hoarder. It started out small; I never previously used all of my memory. I’ve explained in a few articles at this point that data hoarding did, at some point, become a thing for me. I went from not using much to using more than I thought I ever would. 4 GB to 8 GB went by rather slowly, so I thought that by getting a 16 GB iPhone that I would be safe from even getting close to using that much memory. Turns out I was wrong, because there have been several times where I have had to clean out my phone to make room for memory. As the app market continues to grow, so does the amount of memory they take as graphics get better and functionality improves. Mobile cameras are improving to the point that people use their phones as their main camera instead of carrying around a secondary device. Music apps make finding and listening to music more convenient than it has ever been. These things add up very quickly in a device with only 16 – 64 GB of memory sometimes. But instead of deleting apps, videos, and music to make room for new ones, I would like to be able to add on to my collection instead.
While I wouldn’t call expandable memory a game changer, it is still one of those features that I feel every phone should have. It just seems reasonable to have, yet it seems that more and more phones are trashing the feature as we progress.
Readers, what are your thoughts on expandable memory? Do you prefer your phones to have the option or do you always seem to have more than enough memory available on your phone for new media?
Image via Droid-Life