Many of the latest Android phones have done away with MicroSD card slots, such as Google’s Nexus line of products as well as the HTC One. These phones are great, but when they’re low on space, users have to either start deleting apps and files or move data into cloud backup services. They cannot be expanded, and they’re missing out on the full range of options available for people whose smartphones have MicroSD card slots. Here are five reasons why you should be using an Android phone with Micro SD card support, rather than giving it up altogether.
1. No Internet Connection Required
Cloud services such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and Microsoft SkyDrive all need internet access to get files onto your device. For some of people, this isn’t that much of an issue. They likely have access to reliable WiFi for most of the day or have unlimited data connections from their wireless carriers. Under those circumstances, cloud services are ideal as they offer vast amounts of storage all accessible from multiple devices.
That said, most of the world’s population doesn’t have access to such ideal conditions. Home users with unreliable broadband, high-latency satellite internet, or dial-up connections are more likely to be frustrated waiting for files to download. People who like to access their data on the go might become infuriated when they lose access to data every time they lose signal or are greeted at the end of the month by high bills. Micro SD cards are accessible whenever, wherever.
2. Lower Price
Cloud services offer a small amount of space for free, but users who need more storage have to pay either a monthly or yearly fee. This storage space is leased, rather than owned. This means, by definition, people who rely on cloud services are steadily losing money.
On the other hand, a Micro SD card goes down in price every year at the same time that the storage capacity of new cards is increasing. People can save the money they would spent on cloud services and invest a fraction of it into Micro SD cards that they know will be around for a long time.
3. True Ownership
People who store their files on a Micro SD card legitimately own their data. While those who rely on cloud services may have the legal rights to their files, they don’t know where their files are stored or how they’re being handled. It’s comparable to storing excess furniture in a self storage facility rather than your own garage. Even under optimal circumstances, where your files are never seen or touched by anyone but you, your files are still in someone else’s control. As long as you keep your phone out of the wrong hands and free of malicious software, you don’t have to worry about prying eyes seeing the files saved on your card, either.
4. Flash ROMs Without Computer
One of the strengths of Android devices is how much freedom people have to customize them. While there are applications that can change seemingly every aspect of the operating system, flashing a new ROM takes things to a whole new level. Users can change all of their preloaded apps, the default theme, and other software that cannot be changed normally on a device. Some ROMs even improve the quality of cell signal and bluetooth connections over a phone’s default state.
The most popular Android ROM is CyanogenMod, which adds a plethora of features on top of the stock launcher. While users can still flash ROMs to phones without Micro SD card support, they require that the software is pushed from a computer. How big a deal this is depends on how often you intend to flash your device.
5. Global Accessibility
Cloud services are provided by companies, and they are sometimes limited by their company’s reach. While Google Drive is available all over the world, Play Music All Access is only available in the US. It may not be possible to replicate all of Pandora’s library on a Micro SD card, but making the effort to only play media files stored on a Micro SD card guarantees that the content you like is always accessible.
If your current Android phone has a Micro SD card slot, it might be time to give that card of yours a workout. When it comes to mobile devices, these cards are like internal hard drives that you can easily swap between devices. They give you control over your data, offer easy expansion, and come at a great price. You can take your files with you all over the world, and you don’t need an internet connection to get to them. If you’re considering upgrading to a phone that lacks an Micro SD card slot, be sure to think about all that you’re giving up.
Image credit: This Generation’s Floppy Disks