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Google, Samsung and the fight for the microSD slot

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It’s no accident that no Nexus devices since the Nexus One have included microSD cards. Google has been slowly chipping away at the usefulness (and viability) of using external storage within Android, both as a means to increase security, and a way to improve user experience.

With the two latest and great Android devices in the Galaxy S5 and One M8 including microSD slots — the former a given, the latter a surprise — we have come to a tipping point in the life of SD cards on the platform.

Today, most high-end Android devices come standard with either 32GB of internal storage standard, or offer secondary (and often prohibitively expensive) options for more internal storage. This is a good thing: recently Android versions, plus OEM and carrier pre-installs, often take up 5GB, reducing a user’s usable space out of the box from 16GB to around 11GB. Samsung was most famously guilty of this in last year’s GS4, and prompted a backlash from users complaining they weren’t getting what they paid for.

Leaving behind for a moment the reality that 16 million bits is not actually 16 gigaBYTES of space — and that hard drive manufacturers have been guilty of this deception for years — should Android’s microSD support die once and for all?

“The SD card needs to go away. It’s a nightmare…”

“The SD card needs to go away. It’s a nightmare for developers. There’s too much variability here. SD Cards can be slow, resulting in poor app performance. They can come and go, or be swapped, and that results in unpredictable behavior if an app was expecting an SD card. One contiguous block of data needs to become the standard here (with different OEM SKUs for more/less storage), as it has been on iOS since the first iPhone.”

The words of Koushik Dutta, aka Koush, rang true when I read them in an interview he did with Android Police last week. Google has been trying to make Android considerably more accessible to the average (read: non-techie) smartphone user, and doing so means plugging the holes that have heretofore been the cause of many performance and security issues.

We went over the changes made to microSD card support in Android 4.4, but here’s a quick recap: Google has made it impossible for developers to store content outside of a single pre-determined folder. That means that apps that relied on storing content in multiple places prior to KitKat have had to change their methods, or remove SD support entirely. While apps can store their own content in that folder, according to the new rules it will be deleted when the app is uninstalled. Apps like third-party cameras that stored photos on the microSD card would be forced to remove that content if the app was uninstalled; there are no such restrictions to writing to internal storage.

The restriction to storing app content in a single folder on external storage has actually existed since Honeycomb, but Google only began enforcing it after releasing Android 4.4. According to the AOSP site, the change is as follows: “The WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE permission must only grant write access to the primary external storage on a device. Apps must not be allowed to write to secondary external storage devices, except in their package-specific directories as allowed by synthesized permissions.”

Dividing a monster

The biggest market affected by this was, of course, Samsung users. HTC had been sporadic in adding external storage to its devices — only entry and mid-range devices used them until recently — and Sony, which offers microSD slots in almost every device, has much lower market penetration.

Samsung was likely forced to adopt Google’s new microSD limits to get approval for its software — every OEM goes through a Compatibility Suite test to determine compliance with Google’s core Android framework. The SD card is still user-accessible, of course, and non-app folders can be written to with other methods, but offloading core app assets to an SD card is now much more limited.

Technical jargon aside, this enforcement change is no accident; Google is looking to make Android more secure, but also appear more secure to the outside world. The company knows it cannot prevent OEMs like Samsung from installing microSD slots, but severely limiting the functionality will do two things: encouraging OEMs to add more internal storage; or, cut down on the size of the core OS.

Simplification

Android is complicated. It’s so because the file system, and the way that apps were given leeway to write all over the internal and external storage, were flexible. External storage — the ability to buy a $50 card and dump thousands of songs and hundreds of hours of video — is an attractive proposition, but it comes with a usability cost. Google isn’t trying to obfuscate the file system completely, but in order to secure Android for the next billion people, and ensure that OEMs and app developers utilize external storage in prescribed, predictable ways, these enforcement changes were deemed necessary.

The changes have annoyed a lot of hardcore Android users, but the move to cloud storage, streaming music and video, and devices with larger internal storage — 32GB is becoming increasingly common on high-end products — will alleviate some of this frustration. The rest will merely have to get used to the changes, or figure out ways around it.

  • Danny Baromen

    If the internal storage actually performed as well as the SD card, sure… but every time I try copy more than 50 files, or a file over 200mb, the phone crashes… fix that, and internal storage will be viable…

    • Walter

      What hell are you transferring. I’ve moved my music collection whenever I get a new phone and I never bad it crash.

    • thomas nguyen

      yup, agree, never had a problem with transferring files to any of my phones

    • Bri Bru

      the problem probably is your device

    • Danny Baromen

      250 photos to/from the device – “The device has stopped responding”
      Brave in 1080p to the device – “The device has stopped responding”

    • collinpage

      I think your device is crapping out.. Time to upgrade

    • Nyrol

      This happens on my LG G2 as well. I’d hardly call it an outdated phone

    • Singh1699

      Happens on my note 3 unless I use usb 3.0 then it’s fine.

    • Jillxz

      I have the Verizon LG G2 and have had no problem transferring my music.

    • TrainAss

      Why do you need a 1080p rip of a movie? You’re watching it on a tiny screen, why not just go with 720p? You’ll save plenty of space and it will look just as good.

    • Pascal Robert

      Maybe Using AllCast/Share to stream content over Wi-Fi ?

    • TrainAss

      Still don’t need 1080p for that. You’ll have better performance with a 720p movie, and it’ll still look fine.

    • collinpage

      Maybe your carrier gave you a refurbished device considering my N4 works perfectly with transferring files and anything else i throw at it

    • James Stewart

      Never happened to me. I transfer movie files regularly to internal storage of my tablet (>3 GB) and never had a crash.

    • Edward

      my Note3′s internal storage speed is wwwaaaayyyy faster than External.

      with read and write @ about 60MB/s

  • Josiah McMillan

    but what about those of us in countries where we only get the versions of phones with the smallest internal size, I have a “16GB” S3 where I only really have 10GB usable and need the 128GB SDcard I use

    • Joseph

      That is the single biggest issue as well…..LG for example sells the g2 in only 32gb version but in random countries there are 16gb models and you can never find the 32gb models

    • Bri Bru

      This will probably change in the future

    • Mr. Jean Bedford

      and so will file sizes, they’ll get larger, cat and mouse

    • Jillxz

      I agree. The bigger the storage on a phone , the bigger the files that the oems and carriers will put on them. They intend to leave consumers with only enough space and needing more.

  • The Invisible Hand

    16 million bits is not actually 16 gigaBYTES of space

    This should read “16 billion bytes is not actually 16 GIGAbytes of space.” (It’s 14.9 GB – divide by 1024 at each step.)

    • Savbers

      Yeah, and if you started with bits divide that number by 8.

    • Nyrol

      The thing is, 16 billion bytes IS 16 Gigabytes. That’s how storage manufacturers get away with it. Windows and Android incorrectly state that your storage is in GB, when really it should be in GiB (Gibibytes). 16 GB is about 14.9 GiB. Android then reports the 14.9 as GB instead of GiB. The Mac OS is the only OS that uses actual GB when reporting GB, and some linux distributions just use GiB correctly. Also, as they stated, 16 Mb is not 16 GB, but actually 2 MB, or 1.9 MiB (Mebibytes).

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      I thought that OEMs based it off of KB, in which case it would be 15.26 GB. (16×10^6 KB / 1024^2)

    • Nyrol

      Most OEMs state “GB = 1 billion bytes. Actual formatted capacity may be less”

    • Century Gum

      The problem with the sentence is not with the bits and bytes, but with the million or billion. Million is to Mega, Billion is to Giga. It’s entirely illogical to compare 16 million bytes to 16 gigabytes.

    • loginatnine

      1 kB = 10³ bytes
      1 MB = 10⁶ bytes
      1 GB = 10⁹ bytes

      1 KiB = 2¹⁰ bytes
      1 MiB = 2²⁰ bytes
      1 GiB = 2³⁰ bytes
      etc.

      Windows and Android uses the Ki,Mi,Gi, etc. representation while hard drives/sd cards manufacturer uses the k, M, G representation hence the difference you get when you plug your shiny 3TB hard drive in your Windows PC!

  • ronnnyraygun1

    I avoid at all costs, devices that DO NOT have MicroSD slots. 32gigs is not enough when my external 64gbs is almost full all the time. I like the flexibility of having a lot of storage. If I wanted a piece of sh1t without external storage, I’d get an iCrap.

    • Nyrol

      So you’d rather have a phone that barely functions with expandable storage, than one that works perfectly without it? Good choice.

    • ronnnyraygun1

      I have a Note 2 right now. Functions PERFECTLY. Just because Crapple can’t manage to make a device that functions with external storage, doesn’t mean it should be a new standard.

    • Nyrol

      How’s the bloatware treating you? Are you enjoying waiting until your carrier approves your firmware updates? Are you loving your poor battery life and screen you can’t use with one hand? Are you thoroughly enjoying your apps crashing all the time with reliance on malware ridden thirdparty applications? Are you liking all the features that work 40% of the time but are advertised as the most amazing innovation?

      You can have all that AND expandable storage if you go with most any Android device, or you can have a phone with none of those problems, like say, an iPhone.

    • ronnnyraygun1

      Took me 5 mins to root and debloat. Tell me, what options do you have on your iCrap? My Android possibilities are endless. iPhones you can only do as you’re told. No more, no less.

    • Nyrol

      Wow so you had to void your warranty for your phone to be decent? Sounds great, right? I could jailbreak to get the exact same thing, but why would I when it does everything I want without it? Bear in mind I also own a rooted LG G2, and it is the most frustrating experience I have ever seen.

    • Danny Baromen

      I have had an iPhone, an iPad and an iPod… the only reason I still have my iPod and my iPad is because of jailbreaking.

      Unless you live in the U.S. or U.K. you can’t get in to the app store… so uhm, yeah, no jailbreak, no apps…

      All of my android phones have never had that issue… and all unrooted :-D

    • ronnnyraygun1

      It takes even less time to restore to warrantied status by the way.

    • ta2025

      Wow… a rooted LG G2 is frustrating to you? Wow… My elderly parents who have NEVER owned a smartphone before are absolutely loving theres and I haven’t had to coach them. Ive owned at least a dozen android and iphones and I have always found the lack of options on a stock iphone way more frustrating than any android.

    • realitycheck

      my cousin works in a call center supporting these devices and trust me your elderly parents are an exception.

    • Mr. Jean Bedford

      trust me, the random stranger on the internet, with anecdotal evidence……will do skipper

    • Nyrol

      I know people who are loving their BB6 devices. Simply because they don’t know any better.

    • realitycheck

      iphones get os updates day 1 after an update is released, no waiting game no rooting no custom roms needed and come significantly lighter weight compared to samsung phones.

      where is the note 2 kitkat update, do u think you’ll get more updates after kitkat if even?

    • ronnnyraygun1

      iOS is for one device. They’re one company overlooking one device. Of course they’ll get single updates rolled out right away. They don’t have the problem of providing an OS to other manufacturers – and the resulting advantages that comes with that.

    • realitycheck

      iphone 4, 4s, 5, 5s…
      ipad 2,3,4 etc…..

      those are multiple devices throughout multiple generations. in fact the iphone 4 came out around the same time the nexus one came out and it still gets updates… which nexus devices get kitkat again?

    • Mr. Jean Bedford

      nothing like trying to run the latest apple software on 2 year old phone, laaaaaag. Apple wants you to buy a new iphone because your 2 year old one is too slow now because of the latest software update.

    • realitycheck

      ios 7.1 on my moms iphone 4 addressed it

    • Mr. Jean Bedford

      That’s good. I had major problems with the old 3G after updates made it slower than Jesus’s second coming.

    • Anaron

      You make Android users look bad by referring to Apple devices as “iCrap”. Act like an adult, not a raging teenager.

    • Danny Baromen

      Please bear in mind that the apple iOS core operating system is only 300mb… the rest is Apple BLOATWARE.

      I use my phone just perfectly with one hand.

      Only app crash I ever had was due to a router reboot.

      1/4 of the apps on the apple store are ALSO malware!

      Apps that work 40% of the time? Like Apple maps and Siri?

    • Nyrol

      Apple maps has not once steered me wrong, and Siri is still the best voice assistant offering. Try using any of those eye tracking “features” of a Galaxy S phone, or any of the hand gestures that simply don’t work. I don’t live in the US or UK and my app store works just fine. You can also un-jailbreak an iDevice. I have yet to see a valid argument as to why an Android phone even has a slight edge on an iPhone in any category, except maybe being more infested with security holes. As a developer for both Android and iPhone, I can understand why Android doesn’t really work at all, and that is simply because it is basically like the old BlackBerry OS. It is overbloated and overcomplicated.

    • Mr. Jean Bedford

      “Android doesn’t really work at all, and that is simply because it is basically like the old BlackBerry OS”

      Troll…….

    • Nyrol

      “Oh no! This guy states facts that disprove my beliefs. Must be a troll.” Further proof that the Android community is misguided and high on themselves.

    • Mr. Jean Bedford

      Incorrect, you stated an opinion as a fact without providing evidence. Dismissed.

    • Nyrol

      The issue with that is legally I am not allowed to share the BB code base, but you can freely go look at Android’s and see that the way it handles even simple applications is inherently inefficient. For example, when rotating an app, were you aware that it actually kills your current view, and then restarts a whole new view instead of just rotating and scaling the current view? Pretty stupid if you ask me.

    • Mr. Jean Bedford

      Interesting, do you have any links for these claims? I’m sure someone else out there has evidence. What team are you on at BB?

    • Anaron

      #wrekt

    • Anaron

      I assure you, the majority of Android users are not vitriolic. Don’t let a few bad apples affect your perception of Android as a whole.

    • Nyrol

      When I got my LG G2, it came with 40 uninstallable apps related to LG and Rogers. That is unacceptable, as I bought an Android device, hoping for an Android experience. Any phone that requires you to reinstall the OS to have a good experience immediately makes it a useless phone.

    • OgtheDim

      “When I got my LG G2, it came with 40 uninstallable apps related to LG and Rogers”

      And as stated ur iphone came with bloatware but you don’t recognise it as such.

      Bloatware is in the eye of the beholder.

    • realitycheck

      its not bloatware if he’s using it?

    • Nyrol

      Other than newsstand, there isn’t an app I don’t use at least weekly. On my lg, I had to replace all the garbage stock apps simply because they are broken

    • Reckoning

      The iPhone doesn’t have bloatware. Those are standard apps on all phones. Bloatware are things like 100% Free HD Games that Samsung installs or Subway Surfer that LG installs. THOSE are the definition of bloat, not expected system apps.

    • iJeGra

      Lol somebody missed the stability stats. Kitkat is more stable than iOS 7. Apps crash less. Proven fact.

    • Nyrol

      So me having to reboot my KitKat device every few hours because of instability, and never once requiring a reboot on an iPhone 5 I have had over a year with iOS 7 as of last June is just a fluke? I think not. Everyone I have talked to has issues with their Android devices, and when I say things like “My GPS rarely locks”, they all say “That’s normal”, when I have never once had anything not work on an iPhone.

    • iJeGra

      Lol “reboot every few hours” go away troll you obviously don’t own a G2.

      What I posted is proven fact. Deal with it. You are posting rubbish.

    • Nyrol

      I do own a G2, which has amazing hardware with possibly the worst software (Android). I did figure out the reason it crashes, and that’s because the OS I installed is Android based.

    • Mr. Jean Bedford

      Personable experience does not equal reality.

    • Benny X

      it’s great that I can use an iPhone one-handed, it’ll come in handy when it comes time to wipe my arse with it…

      you’re obviously clueless when it comes to Android phones.. if you’d actually used one for more than 5 minutes rather than ahh you know what, I’m not gonna bother arguing with someone who can’t think for himself.. no wonder you use an iPhone.

    • Nyrol

      My daily driver since November has been this LG G2. I understand that people want choice, but who would choose a Pontiac Sunfire (Android) over a Lamborghini (iPhone) if they were the same price? After owning this G2 (I’m on my third one due to hardware issues) I finally realized that this analogy is actually true. Android users think that they are smarter than everyone else because they use an outdated, and broken OS that can make their menus in comic sans. They never want to admit that it’s simply broken from the ground up. My iPhone 5 with 1 GB of RAM and a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor outperforms my G2 with 2 GB of RAM and a 2.3 GHz quad-core processor. Why? Because Android is useless

    • Benny X

      did you ever think maybe you just had bad luck with that particular brand of phone?? I’ve had several Android phones over the years, and *no* problems with the hardware itself (and that includes the cheap Chinese knockoff of a Samsung GS3 that some guy sold me on the street, lol)

      What is outdated and broken about Android? I find a couple things annoying about it, but those same things were conscious design choices made by Google, not some unseen flaw.. the good thing is that in most cases, there are workarounds due to the flexibility of the system.

      As for why your iPhone outperforms that particular model of Android, I couldn’t say. I currently use an HTC Desire 601, which is ‘less powerful’ than the G2, but at a certain point it doesn’t matter, because in any daily usage scenario I have yet to be left wanting for more power. Then again, I’ve unlocked and rooted it, and keep a tight control over what runs and when and what it has access to. That probably makes all the difference in the world, in perceived performance. Also, some companies like to bloat up their phones which can rob them of performance. I personally deactivate all that crap that comes with my phone and set everything back to the ‘stock experience’ and then go from there.

    • Anaron

      Okay, now you’re just trolling. That’s a really poor analogy considering the LG G2′s hardware is better in most areas over the iPhone 5S. Android is useless? Based on what evidence? Go away, troll.

    • OgtheDim

      To be fair, Apple as a company has rejected external storage since before the iphone existed.

    • ta2025

      and they only reject it to make people believe they have to pay insanely bloated prices for increased internal storage.

    • realitycheck

      its a utility on top of the main functions… like a car vs an SUV which has more storage. I like my apps optimized, my phone snappy, and no update hassles…

  • Stevert

    I also avoid devices without sd cards. I use titanium Backup and on 3 occasions so far, having an sd card saved everything. Just pop it in a new phone and everything is exactly as before. From water damage, smashed phone to failed internal memory, sd card is a must.

    • JP Bourgeois

      Upload to Box/Drive/Dropbox will fix that. Even more secure against “accidents” by not being on the device.

    • Danny Baromen

      Not everyone has super-fast broadband…

    • Stevert

      My backup folder is 3.4 gigs, that would take to long every night. Also I would have to make sure wifi was on. Sd carf is just better. I’ll do a Dropbox once every 2 weeks but it takes all day.

    • Guest

      do you keep your entire phone backup on your SD card which is already on the phone?

    • Stevert

      Yeah all apps and data so that I can recover everything exactly the way it was onto any phone.

    • Bri Bru

      I agree. Once I dropped by phone into a pile of wet snow and the only thing broke was my SD card. Cloud storage will becoming the norm and there’s no way to avoid that.

    • Thomas Gregan

      not until the service provider charges you over $100 for 3-4 gigs of data…
      Lets say you can upload your pics thats only 1-2 mb per file.
      How about videos? you take a 7-8 min 1080p video and its 1 GB!
      thats just one video… and now phones are about to come out with 4K and 16-32 GB storage.. its becoming a joke..
      apps growing to the size of 1GB. System takes up 4-5 GB. and they still release phones with 16GB storage…
      Norm should be 64 and 128GB but that wont happen. We are lucky if they do 32 and 64 versions.
      Cloud storage is not an option until providers dont support it.
      At least make the cloud storage not count in your data plan then you can do something with it.. but then..LTE still drains the battery like crazy…

    • Grace

      Until the cost of data drops substantially, cloud computing will not become the norm on mobile.

  • jay

    In 2008 there was an iPhone 16GB / galaxy S 16 GB and we still getting phones starting 16 GB and the price is the same! I remember when SD cards came out and the price dropped fast! Love phone like the one plus 349$ 64 GB! Waiting that somebody start with 32 GB because it’s really time!

  • Mäuri Freitas

    How come Microsoft has no problem whatsoever and is never whining about supporting sd cards on Windows phone ?? Google incompetence, that’s what this is called!

    • Bri Bru

      It’s a matter of time. They’ll eventually remove them.

  • Curtis K Louis

    When the HTC one came out we thought 32gb would be the base moving forward but they took a step backwards. Having SD card option is good but its bad for developers.
    Just have 32gb as base with no sdcard and have pure Android/lightly pure. IMO

  • J-Ro

    This whole article is about sacrificing my benefits for Google and some app developers.

    • aamd11

      ^This.

  • Misaow

    The internal storage is frustrating. Can’t load .mkv files directly onto my phone. I either have to download them, use an SD card or zip all the files, move to phone then un-zip the files. Very frustrating at times.

  • kaer

    Justifications for no card slot is just doublespeak, trying to cover up laziness and greed, while pretending that it’s for our benefit. What garbage.

    No one ever thinks “I wish this phone had a version with no card slot. I wish I couldn’t fit my whole music collection on my phone. I wish I had to use software to connect my phone to my computer instead of it just acting like a mass-storage device. I wish I couldn’t transfer all of my personal files easily from one phone to another. I wish I had to pay hundreds of dollars more for 48GB more storage when an 64GB card is less than $50″.

    I have nothing but scorn for people who want to take my card slot away.

  • Jonathan Schmitt

    I like the convinience of being able to buy cards and swap them out if I need more space. My phone is excellent for storing applications and games, but when I want media (music, movies, etc..) I find it much easier to just use a microSD card.

  • Werethless

    Google, give us more storage then! I have to use am OTG adapter with my Nexus 5 so I can have my music! Nexus 6 should start at 64GB for $350, 128GB for $400, and 256GB for $450.

    • thomas nguyen

      not google, but the manufacturers. they determine the pricepoint for their device. they need to be the one to give us more GB per $ spent on the phone, as well as increasing the storage medium itself. we need to see more phones starting at 32GB, and going towards 128GB. the flash memory they use is pretty cheap now, so it is just them trying to be a tad more profitable.

  • AppleBerrySandwich

    As long as I can load music and movies on SD I’m happy.

    • Joseph

      I’m with you on that lol, it’s the only thing I use my sd card for anyways!

  • HiKsFiles

    The cloud isn’t the omnipotent solution Google thinks it is. I, for one, like to listen to music while riding my motorcycle. I happen de ride it a lot in remote places where there’s no signal. How would the cloud be of any help in this case?! I NEED local storage and can’t rely on the cloud 100% of the time. Moreover, with Canada’s data plans prices, not everybody can afford a plan that’ll let them stream media all the time…

    • thomas nguyen

      i can afford it, but that is because im on the old 3 year plan. no renewing for me, and will continue to buy my phone outright to keep that plan.

    • VLAN

      Every cloud storage or cloud streaming company has offline mode. If you need your music you can select a couple of playlists that you listen to the most to be available offline. If you need your resume or other important files on hand at any time, you can have them available offline. Its hardly a hassle anymore and it is the future. Not to mention it mitigates the need for transferring stuff through USB/Bluetooth. You have to make them available offline only once plus if you do it over WIFI its absolutely free.

    • Danny Baromen

      My internet at home peaks at 1mb/s on a good day…
      My work blocks anything other that corporate data via wifi…
      My cellular provider has graciously given me a 200mb/month allowance
      So my 30gb of music will most likely never make it to the cloud in my lifetime.
      Made it onto the SD card in about 15 minutes…

    • VLAN

      I guess you missed the part where I said “CLOUD STREAMING COMPANY”. There are a ton out there. I personally use Spotify. I have tons of songs and tons of playlists. I make playlists/songs that i listen to the most or am in the mood for available offline. Takes 10-15 minutes for GB’s of data on the same 1MBps speed.

    • Danny Baromen

      Awesome… hopefully one day we’ll get that outside the U.S.

    • VLAN

      Im not in the US. Im in Canada. There are plenty of ways to get around it man. Its really simple actually and it has completely changed my life around. I used to hassle about phone storage too. Mostly because of my music collection of around 30GB. But then I found Spotify and I have never bought a single memory card after that.

      Got a HTC one M7. 32GB. No SD card. Using only 20GB out of it which is 80% games.

    • Danny Baromen

      Ok, let me re-phrase… One day we’ll get something like that in South Africa…

    • VLAN

      Ah, I see. I think you still might be able to get it in SA. Its the same as me getting in Canada as its not available here either. You just need to have an american Paypal account and pay through that.

    • Danny Baromen

      American Paypal account, internation bank charges, potential piracy complaints….

      Or an SD card…

      Tough choice…

    • VLAN

      haha.. fair enough.

    • HiKsFiles

      You’re missing the point. To use the cloud in offline mode, you first need to have space left on your local storage.

    • VLAN

      But if youre using cloud storage you have nothing but space on your internal phone. Every thing is on the cloud. Only the stuff I really need urgently or I know im gonna listen to or want in case of emergencies in available offline. Other stuff is just sitting on the cloud that I can access from a Work PC/Phone/Tablet/Home Laptop without the need for me to have it duplicated in all those places and without the need for me to have it transferred through USB/BT

    • HiKsFiles

      Apparently, this solution works for you, good. It’s just not the case for everyone, including me. Moreover, what if one doesn’t want to use the cloud in the first place?! Who are they, Google, to impose this solution upon them? Not my case, I do use it, but what if?

    • VLAN

      Well yes that is a matter of preference. And I agree Google shouldnt be imposing that on the users but in fairness that is the way to the future. Demand for external memory has dropped significantly and will only continue to drop as other countries start to have broadband/cellular speeds on par with north america.

      Take laptops for example: More and more laptops are coming with 128GB of SSD harddrives. More storage laptops are still available but are in decline. Granted laptops/desktops as a whole are in decline but their replacements namely tablets dont have anything more then 128GB either.

    • Mr_Smoosh

      laptop/desktops can also use USB drives for local storage. Cloud storage is not a panacea. Ask the many legitimate users of megaupload who lost all of their data when the servers were confiscated by the US feds. Cloud storage/ streaming services etc are all setup to control how media can be accessed by users. I prefer to have absolute control over when and how I access my media.

    • VLAN

      Like I said thats a matter of preference. I for one prefere not to have a ton of USB/HArddrives and sit on it everytime I need something on my other laptop of phone or tablet waiting for it to transfer over.

      Megaupload was crooked from the start. Their business practice involved blatant piracy. Services like Dropbox,box etc are atleast a bit more transparent.

    • Mr_Smoosh

      I’ll leave the piracy angle for another debate for megaupload, but the example still shows that data gone be gone with little to no warning, and many have used it legally. They still lost their data with no recourse. Terms of Use can change at any time, the user is at the provider’s mercy. Of course Google et al want you to use cloud storage, how better to profile usage patterns for advertising etc.

      I would also argue that even USB 2.0 is faster than the average net connection, (and USB 3.0 is more common too). An SD card (or USB key) can provide cheap mass storage and is lightweight.

      For me, the single biggest advantage of Android is (was) SD card storage. The more Android gets locked down, the more it becomes like iOS’s walled garden.

    • VLAN

      Again, matter of preference. You would rather carry 30GB of music on a USB key or an SD card transferring on the go as you like rather then just opening an app on any device and listening to whatever you like. I would rather have ease of access and less hassle.

      If music services close down or change their agreements I’ll change to someone else. Its as simple as a few clicks. Im payoing for unlimited streaming of usic and not buying individual songs. I get my money’s worth by just listening to a few songs once a month let alone listening to a ton of songs everyday. Rather If I buy my songs and put them on a HDD or a USB, if lost or destroyed or crash would be all data permanently gone.

      That being said anything that is very very important or sensitive like childhood pictures or identity documents I keep copied on an external HDD I bought 8 years ago and keep it absolutely away from the internet. which i guess amounts to maybe a total of a few GBs.

    • Mr_Smoosh

      It’s apparent we won’t agree on this but the main thing I think we can agree on is that choice is good. The way things are going is not good because choice is slowly being whittled away on the android platform.

    • Grace

      And I have 48 GB music on my sd card right now. I would have more if I had a bigger card. I don ‘t have unlimited data or unlimited access to the cloud, but I can listen to anything I want, whenever I want with the sd card. I don’t need to depend on some cloud service and data connection. It just works.

    • VLAN

      Also OgtheDim made a very valid point. Apple has imposed that on users since the ipod. And their solutions are much more expensive then any android.

    • HiKsFiles

      Well, that doesn’t mean that because Apple did it that it’s the right way to go. Moreover, there are multiple variations of iPods storage sizes for the same iPod model. I also suspect a vast portion of people who buy a phone with a SD card slot do it exactly because of it regardless of the fact they use the cloud or not.

    • Jamie

      Believe it or not, some of us use our smartphones to actually run applications other than games or music players from time to time, a large spreadsheet, a few documents, and a powerpoint presentation won’t fit in internal memory unless you delete all other apps (and music and photos)… Cloud storage is useless where I live unless I’m in my house or my office where I have wi-fi access… in which case I would be using my computer anyway, not my phone… There may be LTE service in all the cities now, but there are still some of us who don’t live there. One hour worth of presentation and research material having to transfer to and from cloud storage would probably also eat your whole data allotment for the month pretty quick!
      I also have to point out that my very favourite application Navionics allows me to download all the charts for my stretch of the River… cloud storage would be absolutely useless because I’m in and out of signal range while I’m out fishing or lazing on some of my favourite beaches.

  • duwenbasden

    >but the move to cloud storage

    Using cloud storage in Canada? Please tell me it’s sarcasm.

    • Bri Bru

      now it is but hopefully they’ll improve it in the future

    • duwenbasden

      Telus 6GB in 2012: $90; now: $105.
      Fido 2GB in 2012: $50+$10/GB; now: $75 +$20/GB.

      Don’t get me wrong, I rather stream everything than to have 2 different places for media, but I’ll go bankrupt in this country if I do that.

    • arahman21

      Yeah, sure. Rogers just did that, +$10 to BYOD. Maybe in an year, we can get 1GB for “only” $150/month.

  • Keith Savage

    I think this shows an extreme laziness on the part of OEM’s for sticking to 16 and 32GB of internal storage. It they can make SDXC SD cards of up to 2TB, then OEM’s can certainly make a phone with over 100GB of storage without it costing them too much in manufacturing costs.

  • Raphael Del Castillo

    The sd card is more useful than what google thinks. They are trying to force us into cloud mode so that we use a cloud system either from them or linked to them. Cloud services are services paid yearly, it would be extra money and a way they can pull information from users. I dislike streaming as it eats data. They need to keep the sd card slots because it is one of the things that makes a phone great.

    • realitycheck

      also they can track our usage based on filetype, filenames. They can track the different locations you connect to their server from when you access your cloud data.

  • Otis Grant

    If Google wants to rid Android devices of SD cards, they will need to force all Android device manufacturers to build their device with a minimum of 128gb internal storage, single or dual drives. We store a lot of digital information on our phones now and that’s just going to increase in the future.

  • bembol

    My only issue with Internal is that 32GB needs to be the standard if microSD is opt out. Also, I want to be able to TRANSFER FILES larger than 4GB.

  • Flexo

    what about the microsoft fat patent?

  • Matthew

    Or how about we make the standard 64GB with a premium on 128GB devices? 16GB is pathetically small in 2014. 32 isn’t much better. We have the silicon to do this in a small package, so why aren’t we doing it? I strongly believe that those that cling to the microSD cards would at least consider giving them up on a 128GB phone.

  • VLAN

    I have a 32GB HTC one and the most ive ever used is 20GB on it. I have Over 4000 songs. I have tons of pictures and videos. And I have tons of heavy gaming apps. Still I have never used anything above 4 GB.

    Fact is Cloud storage is the way to go. No need to depned on physical storage for most of the stuff. Especially in times when our phones are connected to the internet almost 100% of the time.

    I use Spotify for my Music. Dropbox for my imp files/videos/pictures. The most my internal memory is filled with is games. All of the cloud services have offline modes for files that you think you might need in emergency or on the go.

    Havent had a shred of problem without a SD card slot.

    • Stephen_81

      You must have a great wireless plan, and live in a great coverage zone.

      I have 5ish active 32GB microSD cards for my phones.
      1 card has about 28GB of Kids movies/shows/songs
      1 card has about 14GB if pdf/ppt/xls files
      1 card has 2 seasons of Person of Interest that I am trying to catch up on.
      1 card has a mix of photo’s / videos / presentations about 20GB worth
      I have a handful of smaller 8 and 16GB cards just with kids photo’s and videos that I can swap in and out when going to see family/friends who will want to see those pictures.

      With microSD cards, a USB hub, and card readers I have have all of them mounted on my notebook to manage files and put them where they go clean up and remove what doesn’t need to be there and not tie up my phone.

  • Stuntman06

    Cloud storage is not a satisfactory solution because there will be situations where you will not have an internet connection.

    • VLAN

      How many times in the past year have you been in a situation when you had no internet? 1% or 2%? I understand its not feasible in countries where the cellular and broadband speeds and coverage is minimal but North america has one of the best coverage and speeds in the world. So the chances that you have no HSPA/LTE/WIFI access at all somewhere is quite minimal.

      Even so, taking your argument in consideration you hardly ever need all your stuff at the same time. Every cloud storage or cloud streaming company has offline mode. If you need your music you can select a couple of playlists that you listen to the most to be available offline.If you need your resume or other important files on hand at any time, you can have them available offline. Its hardly a hassle anymore and it is the future.

      For me personally spotify and dropbox have turned been absolute life changers.

    • Detonation

      It’s not quite that simple for everyone though. I have about 40GB of music and like to listen to all of it on shuffle. Not to mention I prefer the superior interface and options of third-party music apps like PowerAmp to the more limited Spotify and Google Music apps.

    • VLAN

      That right there is a matter of preference. Like I said it is the future. There are a ton of cloud streaming companies and they are likely to have 95% of not 100% of your collection available. You can just as easily add those songs to a playlist and listen to them at will without having to use the full 40GB on the internal storage.

      Not to mention Every thing is on the cloud. All of the music/files/picture/videos are just sitting on the cloud that I can access from a Work PC/Phone/Tablet/Home Laptop without the need for me to have it duplicated in all those places and without the need for me to have it transferred through USB/BT

    • Striker67

      how many of these cloud companies are free for excess storage, do not require you forgo privacy to let them either sell or use your information or in Googles case give them a perpetual royalty free licence to use your content once it is stored with them. .

    • HiKsFiles

      Go get yourself a motorcycle, ride it a little and you’ll quickly find that there are a lot of places where there’s not only no Internet, but no signal at all.

    • VLAN

      Again buddy, its nice you have a motorcycle. I had one and loved it till I got married and got whipped. lol :P

      But Like I said before, you hardly ever need everything all together. You can easily make the playlists or songs that you love available offline. I have days and days worth of playlists available offline and its still using less then 8GB in internal storage. Not to mention 10 times that amount of songs I have available on the cloud if I feel like it.

    • Stevert

      I use my 6GB plan up sometimes in 3 weeks without using the cloud at all. I always hit my plan max and in addition I use about 5 to 8 GB just on wifi.

    • Stuntman06

      I get no internet coverage every time I get into a plane. If I want to listen to my music, I cannot if it is in the cloud. As rare as it is, I still find it unsatisfactory.

    • arahman21

      Or on the subway.

    • GONINSANE

      Or just when you leave your home. Data plans are expensive, even though majority of people have them, there is still a good chunk who don’t, and public wifi isn’t always available.

  • ken

    The lack of memory card support is why I get frustrated by the iPhone. I am in and out of different phones at a consistant basis and I want it easy to bring up my pictures, music etc… If a photo app now cannot store my pictures to the card, Android may not be in my future. The severe lack of memory on iPhone is a hinderance as 16gb is way to little anymore when a 20min kids cartoon is 600MB alone. Online storage is only so good, but sucks if you travel and don’t have data access or a smaller data pkg. They need to improve, not limit micro-sd card support. Make the option to disable the card slot for businesses if they are worried about security like Blackberry does with BES.

  • Rich

    Watch the video “Louis CK on the cloud”, pretty much sums up my opinion on having no SD slot. The cloud? You’ve got be kidding me.

  • ineptone

    I absolutely hate when people say that cloud storage helps alleviate the issues associated with limited local storage. Cloud storage and streaming, in my opinion, are more-or-less useless with respect to mobile. Unlimited mobile data is going the way of the dodo and most plans have seriously limiting caps when you start thinking about leaning on cloud storage and media streaming. Until 64GB of internal storage becomes the status quo on mobile devices, with additional storage being offered at fair, if not negligible, prices, external storage in the form of microSD cards are necessary. And it might just be me, but I like to have all of my files, media, etc stored locally so that even if I don’t have service/WiFi, or it fails for whatever reason, I still have access to everything. I like the offsite backup/sync solution that cloud storage provides, but it has no place acting as a replacement for local storage on my mobile device.

  • John Miguel Lopes Vieira

    What I don’t get, is why ALL apps won’t delete their content when they are deleted. If I delete an app, I want all that junk it leaves behind gone!

    If it does so in the external memory, where I most likely moved the app to since my internal memory is almost full, then why the hell would it leave it behind in the internal memory, where space is at a premium?

    When people complain that speed is low, and they’re running out of space, well, that’s because they’ve installed and deleted tonnes of apps, but never bothered cleaning the junk (or most likely don’t know how)

    If you’re creating a more non-techie user friendly system, then start by having apps that clean up after themselves properly, and delete their junk when they go.

    This isn’t just an android problem. I use a BB10 phone and same deal. When apps go, often they don’t take their junk with them. Especially the Android apps. Now, most of them do actually, but not all. It’s better, but not perfect. And I bet that iOS is the same.

  • Joe clauss

    Only reason I bought a galaxy over a nexus or iphone: Replaceable battery and an SD slot. I wont even upgrade to Kitkat if I cant keep the SD.

  • Wufai

    My personal preference is a phone with a removal battery and a SD slot. These 2 things can greatly extend a phone’s useful life. I’m against installing apps to the SD slot, but it is critical for storing, videos, song, photos, etc

  • Todd Clayton

    I don’t mind having the SD Card shut off from applications, etc. I use it to store music, movies, books, etc. As long as my MP3 app can access the files on the SDcard, I’m happy.

  • Gregg Lowden

    Canadian data rate fees, poor service coverage make this untenable. Putting on cloud means giving your self to them for more marketing, targeted ads and potential for copyright infringement – no thanks. Combined data mining, money grab to music and bigger data subscriptions is the goal.

  • truepopo

    I have 80 gigs of music and much more in movies on my 128gig card..

    Until they make that on board standard I will always buy a phone with expandable memory.. And I don’t want to hear about streaming my music.. I want it now.. Not dependent on cell service

    My note 2 works perfect.. No lag no worries just give us choice is all I ask.. I want 2 batteries and expandable memory..

    Is that so much to ask.. I’ll never buy an apple product for these reasons

  • Turbo E

    If they don’t make phones with 128gb of storage, id say please keep the sd slot. Yes, I really do need/want the storage. I will never buy another device crippled by lack of external storage. Cloud storage? Gimmie a break! Too expensive and not unlimited. If I want to watch a hd movie, I dont wat to wait for buffering. 1.5GB streaming? Better be rich.

  • Stephen_81

    I have an issue with the removing the SD card for security reasons, BlackBerry devices have had SDcard support for years, Even with mSD card support BlackBerry retained top security clearance.

    Google can’t spin a poor architecture design causing problems with external storage as a security concern. Now BlackBerry doesn’t let you install apps to external storage, and I agree with that, while I’d love to install my games all on an mSD card so that they are only available to me when I put the card in I’m a minority.
    Where I am not a minority is that storing media on mSD is more appealing than storing it natively or having to stream it, especially in Canada’s data limited environment.

    I really want a OnePlus One device to replace my BlackBerry Z30, the fact it doesn’t have a MicroSD slot was very disappointing, still will probably get one, but my appreciation for the device and eagerness for setting it up has been reduced.

  • deltatux

    Google needs to do what Microsoft did with Windows Phone 8.1 and cut off Android apps from writing their data to it. They should limit it to media files or non-essential data like documents and etc. Configuration files and etc. must and should stay on the device, same with app files.

    There are better ways to doing this than slowly break SD card support. I for one don’t have a need for an SD card, but the option of having one is always a plus. Instead of having manufacturers make the devisions, it should be the consumers.

  • krazyking

    Until they make 128GB the norm there is a great need for micro sd. I remember having phones back in 2009 with 16GB of storage. We have come a long way since then. Full HD videos and higher resolution cameras make storage increasingly valuable. Now more phones have 4k video and those are huge files. 16GB just doesn’t cut it. Especially if there is no expansion via sd. I wouldn’t consider buying a phone with less than 64GB without sd support. The LG G2 was a nice device but because it only had 32GB and no sd slot i didn’t even consider buying it. If manufacturers want to keep releasing devices with 16 and 32GB then they better include sd support.

  • Poik

    I’ve said this since last year but this year, due to these changes, it’s an even bigger issue. 32GB “Flagships” should be the standard for 2014 but it’s not. Look at the OnePlusOne…. 64GB for only $50 more than the standard 16. There’s an argument that at that price that should be the standard for a flagship. Then an SD card is only needed for flexibility for music, video, and pictures you want to move around. As it stands 16GB is a massive hindrance for users and developers alike.

    Here the only way to get a 32GB Android device is to buy a 32GB Nexus from Google Play. Neither Bell, Telus, or Rogers have a single device >16GB. 32GB may becoming “increasingly common on high-end devices” but looking at the landscape here you certainly wouldn’t know it as no one offers that option.

  • Matt

    I only buy phones with a micro SD card slot. for one its easier to swap the sd card into a new device. than sitting around for hours on the computer each time to transfer all the data. And 2nd I like to have my 64gb of storage extra cause phone manufactures internal storage aren’t enough. and the manufactures charge to much for higher storage on each variant. Like apples iphone they charge over $200 just to go to the higher storage variant while a sd card costs like $20 for a 64gb card I got on boxing day.

  • Robbie Khan

    If the latest top end phones had 128GB of onboard storage then yeah I would agree and be an advocate of getting rid of the SD card slot but makers barely even touch 64GB storage and instead toot their cloud services.

    I think Samsung were the worst culprits for this recently with the free 50GB DropBox offering. It’s free… for 2 years after which point you’re likely to have a lot of stuff on there and don’t want the hassle of pulling it off so will likely pony up for the subscription.

    Let me tell you why I feel this way from my own experiences and I know there are many others like me who feel similar.

    I have a modest music collection in both lossless and compressed formats. This is over 40GB in total. Uploading to Google Music results in everything being transcoded to mp3 320Kbps.

    A few problems I have with this
    1: I don’t want to have to have my music converted to 320K mp3.
    2: You cannot cache the entirety of the cloud stored music on your device. Only 20,000 songs as far as Google Music goes. I want access to entire library and untouched if I’m out travelling and in an area with weak or no data reception.
    3: Cloud storage is great if you’re always in places with good data reception and don’t need access to an entire library of media on tap. Sadly not everyone fits that segment and mobile reception doesn’t reach into the middle of the countryside or under tunnels or on planes etc.

    Look at how cheap flash storage is. A 128GB Sandisk MicroSDXC card is less than £85. These cards only came out several weeks ago. Factoring in manufacturing, packaging and R&D can we not say that this price is pretty amazing value for the storage capacity on offer? I think we can.

    No doubt phone manufacturers could have put this kind of size in long ago inside handsets but instead chose the cloud storage system.

    As I say, 128GB should be the norm with 64GB being the lower tier option when buying a handset. Phones now have 4K HD cameras and are recording videos in 3D, taking 25megapixel (compiled) Photospheres and people are also watching TV and movies on their phones while on the go. it doesn’t make sense to have 16/32GB as the average capacity.

    • perfectlyreasonabletoo

      Phones use eMMC, not SD, for their main storage. This is for a reason. eMMC is much faster, has better I/O performance, etc. It’s like the difference between a memory stick and a SSD. Samsung’s manufacturing eMMC that operates at 500 MB/s right now, it’ll go in the next generation of phones.

      The best MicroSD cards top out at ~80 MB/s, which isn’t slow don’t get me wrong, but that’s in sequential reads/writes, not the sort of random burst I/O performance a responsive OS or the applications that run on it need.

  • Tim3Tripp3r

    So here’s an idea …. (Google feel free to use it) Instead of putting any memory onboard make it all go thru a micro SD card (talking flagship not bargain) then include a install program with new phone purchase. Let the phone owner decide how much he wants up to the physical limits of current technology.
    Buy your phone, pop in your chosen mSD and install the OS and Bob’s your uncle. Win win – Google only has one memory location and the user gets to pick the amount of memory. Laptops & PC’s no longer come with the OS preinstalled so it shouldn’t be a big deal to install it your self.

    • perfectlyreasonabletoo

      MicroSD isn’t fast enough to be used as the primary storage medium.

    • Poik

      That’s a terrible idea for several reasons. 2 big ones are:

      A. Micro SD failure rate is far higher than onboard flash as well as you have a multitude of standards making it difficult to advertise any kind of performance.

      B. Onboard flash is way faster than any kind of add-in card.

      New phones and computers are quicker than old computers in large part due to their SSD flash memory hard drives. If you outfitted 2 laptops identically – one with an SSD and one with a 5400 RPM platter drive you’d swear that the SSD based system is in every way a superior system.

      The vast majority of PC’s and all Mac’s come with an OS preinstalled. Not sure why you excluded Laptops which are either PC’s or Mac’s but almost 100% come with Windows or OSX preinstalled. DIY desktops do not make up a significant number of sales and DIY laptops even less so…. I’m really not sure what you’re talking about there. It can be done and HD’s can be replaced but there’s a huge difference between a HD/SSD upgrade on a computer and ditching onboard flash for a crappy microSD card which would be a step back in every way possible.

    • Tim3Tripp3r

      First: I didn’t exclude laptops quote” laptops & PC’s” Second: Most systems (Windows) aren’t totally installed they have a preinstall that you have to run before use, can’t use out of the box. Third: Then maybe the manufacturers & Google need to sit down and make a new standard – an SSD for smartphones if you will thats user replaceable.

  • cam luu

    it’s not just about bigger internal storage, there are many benefits to having an external sd card slot.

    1. only paying the price of 16GB phone instead of price of 32GB phone because you already have an sd card.

    2. if john doe with 128GB internal sd card breaks his phone and won’t turn on anymore well guess what goodbye to the data where but if you have an sd card slot just take it out and pop it into your new phone.

    3. yes cloud is great and all but transferring files from cloud takes much longer than it does from and sd card and guess what while driving down the highway guy using the cloud suddenly loses data connection dang his music stops since he can’t choose the offline option since it was an oversight where as the sd card guy just continues to listen to the tracks on his sd card.

    4. guy using the cloud says he why is my cell phone bill so high. oh because i used 10 GB of data this month where sd card guy says, look at that i only used 1 GB of data this month.

    5. lots of people are connected to the cloud, some rogue virus gets into the system, damn me and all other billion users all lost our data, sd card guy thank god i don’t use the cloud.

    6. cloud guy says my battery only lasted for 6 hours, sd card guy well since im not using data so often i got a full days use from my phone.

    7. cloud guy: why is my music pausing every 2 seconds, oh im on edge. sd card guy: nothing wrong with my music.

    8. 4 data transfer steps for cloud users 3 for sd card users. cloud: (source) to computer to cloud to phone. android users (source) to computer to sd card.

    don’t get me wrong cloud storage is good for some things like backing up your backup (sd card), not as a storage medium for use 24 hours a day.

  • Pinpointer

    how can someone decide I don’t want an SD card? If I want to use an SD card it should be my choice and can choose to purchase whatever device I want, with or without the SD card slot. I purchased my equipment WITH the SD card slot for a reason and now I’m not allowed to use my SD card with 4.4.2. WTF is this B.S.? Simmilar to how that fruit company decided nobody wants a stylus and removed that from their products. I wonder why there’s even a market for the stylus seeing how it was decided we don’t want that piece of equipment?

  • Sonnislav

    sd card or bust… cloud storage = data charge = $$$$ = BS!

  • softturbo

    Google is coming about this the wrong way. Instead of being all tyrannical like Apple and making an arbitrary choice for everybody, how about just some simple user education? Windows doesn’t stop you from installing any app on an external drive and everyone knows that if you do, the app is not going to work when the drive is unplugged. Duh. Do they really think people are that dumb?

  • mola2alex

    Make a 128 gig phone a reasonable price and standard if you want to do away with it. Otherwise, there is obviously a market for it. Its funny to see people argue because they use their phones differently. There is a market for it so manufacturers that have it will capture that market.

  • fidorulz

    The problem that keeps people wanting to have expandable memory and never mentioned in these articles is backup.

    If my phone won’t boot anymore all my pictures and videos are no longer accessible to me. With a memory card I simply take it out and still have my content

    Also no matter how much memory a phone has you may need more later with all the digital content we consume. Not everything can be stored in the cloud and not everyone has unlimited data to store in the cloud

    Also it’s less secure in my view to store the info online then on a physical card

    When they mention this being a nightmare that’s simply a way for them to say they don’t want to do it.

    Leave the option to the developer if they think it will be an issue they don’t have to support it

    Phones and computers have been using external memory forever. It’s more a question of bad coding, laziness and cheapness at this point then IT IS A NIGHTMARE

    The nightmare is more the fact that un bloated vanilla firmware isn’t available to everyone to lower fragmentation

  • Mathiew Huberdeau

    That’s one of the reasons i love android…

  • Conception

    Since Android is supposed to be open source, it would be time to fork it then. The hell with Google. Get cut off from the Google teet (Google Play)? Then grow your own, open style so the other manufacturers can work WITH you.

  • 4u2nvinmtl

    Why limit the capabilities? I have a 64GB class 10 Micro SD in my Note II and love it! Most if not all apps work with it as it is recognized by the file system on Android. I take pictures and videos right on the SD card and also store all my favorite music, videos, APK’s, ROM’s, kernels, etc. and when I get a new phone I just pop in the SD card and all my goodies are right there with no need to Sync (like iOS) or transfer files from my PC.

    It’s a no brainer.

    The question I’m asking is… Am I the only guy waiting for Micro SD raid (2 or more Micro SD slots)?!

  • James Stewart

    I personally think android should keep support for external cards for media purposes. Even though i have a nexus 7 16 GB which rarely gets over half full (i stream using XBMC or plex 90% of the time), sometimes it is nice to have a big enough library of content available instantly on demand.

  • calysto

    Just leave it the way it is – SD cards should be used purely for photos, songs, videos and documents while any app-related data should go in internal. No real need for anything more than a 16gb SD card for the majority of people

  • Jamie

    So… first off as many including myself have mentioned cloud is not accessible in some locations, and when it is it will eat up your monthly data allotment REALLY fast…

    Second and more importantly… Google is about the biggest data collection and analysis machine on the planet!

    Do you REALLY want to give all your stuff to them to analyse what, when, and from where you stored? Regardless of security agreements you are giving them your photos, videos, personal information, location, music, tastes, lifestyle…

    They have demonstrated numerous times how much information they can pull just from a photo or a sound clip… this isn’t top secret stuff, with a minimal landmark reference in a photo they can tell where it was taken, facial recognition software will tell them everybody in the photo including bystanders, if it’s outdoors they probably know the time and maybe even the date… They can most certainly tell what you used to take the picture with… I believe they can also recognize quite a few activities too, so now with EACH and EVERY photo you put on the cloud you have given out dozens and dozens of data points about yourself and anyone unlucky enough to have been captured by your lens.

    Are you going to use it for corporate sensitive information?? Pricing and clients? Designs? I’ll bet the number of potential buyers of all that information would surprise you… but not Google, selling information IS their business!

    That said, I have posted photos of myself and others on the web, but that was a conscious action purposely to share.

    Are people really not completely understanding why they’re offering up storage so cheap and trying to discourage using a card?!?! Altruism??? LOL!

    Thanks but I’ll take a micro SD that I can keep in a drawer, move back and forth between devices instantly (and for free), of destroy if I want to.

  • Brian_Pelican

    I use a BlackBerry Z30 with 64GB micrSD card as well as OneDrive and Dropbox. Cloud storage is great but you can’t listen to music or watch video that way so the SD card holds most of my music and videos and the camera saves to SD automatically and it has worked flawlessly for me. I’d be pretty pïssed off if they got rid of it but the OS seems designed to manage it so I doubt that’ll happen.

  • Pigs Can Fly

    I would love SDcard to come back to Android, then I can fit in a 64GB stick with all my music, right now most Android devices are 8 or 16GB, of which half that is used by app installation/data storage. For now I use Plex streamed from an HTPC laptop when I’m at home, I don’t have a large data plan to be able to stream it outside home.

    I don’t care for the iPod at all.

  • mkmilan

    Damn manufacturers charge a premium for more internal storage vs buying SD cards: pickpockets all!

  • Wood

    This is about compays making money. forcing you to stream media after buying it from online stores. It’s a joke. If you want a phone with an external storage, no malware/viruses, allows you to play your media on anything, doesnt try to forces you into an ecosystem…then just get a BB10 phone.

  • Deli

    *pets my 128gb microsd*. I will go with whichever company that support sdcard. Cloud is great but there are way too many situations that not having local storage would prove either frustrating or too expensive. *pets again*

  • Steven Tremblay

    Sadly, this is why I switched to the iPhone. It is the only phone that offers 64GB. The standard 16GB just isn’t enough for me and the lack of microSD support on my GS4 Google Edition made me give up my favorite phone :(

  • gmerrick

    32Gb of storage is barely enough to cover the MP3′s I put on my phone to listen to in the car. The only thing that users should be able to put on external storage is media of some sort, audio,video, or ebooks in specific folders. Then the OS knows what’s where and leave the internal storage to apps.

    As far as streaming goes, unless I have wifi, my data plan is off because of stupid apps that want constant connections. IE Facebook etc.

  • pjcamp

    Cloud storage is too unreliable to be used for anything other than backup.

    MicroSD is not for apps, it is for mass storage for media and Google should get that through their thick skulls. One size does NOT fit all.

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