Between the amount of manufacturers who opt not to implement microSD card slots and manufacturers who still use 16GB of internal storage as the “base” amount, there’s a clear push for cloud storage use within the industry right now. Up until this point, I’ve been against using cloud storage for reasons like reports of compromised cloud storage accounts, the possibility of servers shutting down, possibility of files being lost for no apparent reason, etc. To put it bluntly, I’ve been avoiding cloud storage for a lot of potential “what ifs”, but recently realized that unless I wanted to purchase an entirely new smartphone (I don't at the moment) I was going to have to figure something else out. My 16GB iPhone is now completely full of photos, videos, and apps.
I share my photos and videos with family and friends often, so simply dumping these files on my computer and starting fresh isn’t my ideal situation. Unfortunately, Apple has never been a fan of microSD card slots, so simply moving my files to a larger microSD card and swapping them out isn’t feasible here, either. I also don’t feel like spending buku dollars on a new iPhone 5s with larger storage capacity, and I’m not ready to give up the easy one-handed use I get out of this 4-inch display.
In short, a lot of my own personal preferences are stopping me from choosing anything but cloud storage. At the end of the day, I’ve decided to use the lesser of several evils and just employ cloud storage as my solution.
I’ll say this about cloud storage: I like it, but I don’t love it. I still very much prefer microSD cards, however outdated they are. Maybe they’re not foolproof, but I feel a lot safer using them rather than sticking all of my files in this mysterious “cloud” we’re always hearing about. My files are now at the mercy of somebody else’s servers, and I think it’s worth being a little skeptical about. Not that it happens very often, but there’s still a wider margin here for things to go wrong beyond my control. In just such case, it’s still a good idea to back up your stuff onto a personal hard drive somewhere – which is something you should do when using a microSD card, too.
What I do like about cloud storage is that I seem to have accumulated a lot of free storage space from a variety of providers over the years. I’ve decided to go with Dropbox because it’s the service I’m most familiar with and, thus far, is the easiest for me to use. I have 75GB of free storage, which is more than enough for me at the present moment.
I also like how easy it is to switch between devices and still have access to the same files. I already used this feature of cloud storage from time to time, but I seriously underestimated its convenience when my files are always available. Previously I would just upload files on an as-needed basis. This is much more convenient.
Dropbox’s Carousel app is also a nice addition. It’s pretty much like using my own photo gallery anyway, and it’s very nicely put together. I also didn’t realize that Dropbox works as a PDF reader, so that’s handy as well.
I’m still getting used to the idea of cloud storage, but so far I think I’m enjoying the pros of the service rather than the cons. I would still much rather have a microSD card slot, but I think we all know at this point that such a feature will never be something you see on an iPhone. Until I decide to switch platforms again, this is probably the easiest and most affordable solution. It’s also a good time for me to make note of the fact that I absolutely cannot rely on 16GB of internal storage for the future.