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What good is a SD card in phone?


SWharton

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Over the years I have had several cell phones and have always added a SD card. I am beginning to think there is no need to do this as it doesn't seem to help me at all. Maybe(prob ably) I don't understand the use of SD cards and their benefits.

 

I have gone through all my apps and said to use external storage(SD card) for those that allow it, but my internal storage has nominally changed. I had hoped to put on the SD card all my little used apps and just keep on internal storage my highly used apps. The other problem I have found that when I an app is updated the update ignores where it is located on my phone and puts it on internal storage, doesn't even ask where I want the update!!!

 

How can I gain more control over where things go????

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I assume this is an Android phone. The biggest benefit to the SD card is if you purchase a phone with minimal internal memory, it gives you options to still have plenty of storage for larger data items like pics, videos, & music. These days an 8gb phone doesn't take long to run out of space at all with apps, even 16gb phones if you like a lot of apps can get filled up fast. 32GB would be the minimal size phone I would buy these days without an SD card available. With that said, depending on the version of android, there are certain conditions on what can be moved to the SD card and what can't and how your phone treats the SD card. Does it treat it as internal memory or does it treated as a mounted drive? If your phone treats the card as a mounted drive (secondary storage place) usually what happens is apps that allow you to move them to the SD card still store the main app on the phone, but the cache and saved data move to the card. What that means is the app only gets larger when you get updates to that app as that part is in the inernal memory, but as you use the app say FB or something that store cache items and data, that data goes on the card which is constantly growing as you use the app. This helps keep your internal memory in check although as you noticed, the internal memory usage of that app does go up when you get updates.

 

One of the biggest benefits to the SD card is storing your pics and videos since those take up a lot of room. Sometimes you have to go to your camera settings to tell it to save your data to the SD card. Another one would be any music you store on your phone from MP3's or apps that might again store cached data like Amazon music or Pandora for off line listening. Again, the SD card comes into play here as that data can grow pretty large and easily eat up all your internal space if you let it, but you can have plenty of room with an SD card for this data.

 

So yes, you are correct when you get an update to an app, it's still stored on internal memory as that is where the "heart" of the app is. Usually cached data and stored data in the app is all that ends up on the SD card.

 

So is the SD card necessary? Well that depends on how big your internal data is and how many pics, video, music you store. If you have at least a 32gb phone and aren't a heavy pic, video, music user, you'd probably be fine with only the internal data.

 

I'm still glad they are still making phones with SD cards so you aren't forced to buy a 64gb or 128gb phone just so you "have" that extra memory. SD cards are usually a whole lot cheaper than a larger storage version of the phone. This has always been one of my biggest beefs with the iPhone is you are forced to buy a larger memory one up front if you want that extra space and the cost can be pretty substantial. Purchasing an SD card is by far much cheaper and you can move that storage when you purchase a new phone.

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Well I don't take pictures or have a lot of music. I have a lot of books on my tablet but can't get them to go over to the SD card their either(Kindle app). I have put what I can on my SD cards(actually have one on my tablet and phone, yes Android) but find the maintenance of having to go through all my apps every month or 2 to find any that have updated a big time consumer.

 

I haven't run out of space yet but check it monthly similar to my PC. The PC is a lot easier to maintain though, I have more control.

 

I have deleted all the apps that I can. Can't stand all this bloatware. At least it isn't as bad on PCs any more but phone and tablets are a new world.

 

I guess I have done what I can and have to live with the limitations.

 

Thanks for explaining.

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Well I don't take pictures or have a lot of music. I have a lot of books on my tablet but can't get them to go over to the SD card their either(Kindle app). I have put what I can on my SD cards(actually have one on my tablet and phone, yes Android) but find the maintenance of having to go through all my apps every month or 2 to find any that have updated a big time consumer.

 

I haven't run out of space yet but check it monthly similar to my PC. The PC is a lot easier to maintain though, I have more control.

 

I have deleted all the apps that I can. Can't stand all this bloatware. At least it isn't as bad on PCs any more but phone and tablets are a new world.

 

I guess I have done what I can and have to live with the limitations.

 

Thanks for explaining.

 

I don't think books take up that much space overall, but I'm guessing you are are probably on an older tablet with minimal internal storage? My wife has a Nook Tablet what was really just a Tab 4.0 (or something) but with only 8gb of internal storage and she is constantly juggling storage issues on it. Also being the Nook, it came preloaded with tons of bloatware you can't remove. The problem with that one is the version of Android it's running. I believe it's 4.4 (KitKat) which was when Android decided to make the SD card storage very limited and not very user friendly. They eased things up on version 5 (Lolipop) and made it much better in 6 (Marshmellow). I keep promising her I'm going to check and see if I can root her tablet and maybe install cynagen mod with a later version of Android that allows the SD card to become part of the internal storage. This became available in Android 6 (Marshmellow) and really makes the small internal storage devices much better as you can expand the internal storage with the SD card.

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I like having an SD card, but don't require it. My current phone, a Google Nexus 6P, has no SD slot but is a 64GB model. I have friends that carry around a large music library, over 32GB in size, so they require an SD slot and move the card from phone to phone as they upgrade. It is all in the need. One thing to note, the storage on the phone is normally faster than the SD card, so the phone is not slowed down when the apps are loading, etc.

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As said, an SD card is great for storing large amounts of photos, e-books, etc. I also use mine as the local storage point for the phone backup file so I don't need to download it for a quick app restore. Every applicable app is also set to use the SD card for data storage, etc. My Co-Pilot GPS maps alone take up about 15% of the card. I use the "All-In-One" app to keep all memory, including cache, cleaned up and to check periodically that all possible data is being stored on the SD card.

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Thanks everyone. I downloaded the All-in-One app and will check it out today. I have as much as I can on my SD card, not as much as I want, so I guess I will be happy with that.

 

When you get to checking out the "All-In-One" app, the "App2SD" function under "Tools" is the one that will check for any apps that can be moved to the SD card. No need to check each app individually.

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Mine, for the few I take, are uploaded to Amazon Drive(name?) automatically.

 

I was going to say there are a lot of options to automatically upload any pics you take to the cloud. Amazon, Dropbox, Box, Google Photos, Smugmug and many others. It's a great way to make sure all your pictures are always safe incase your phone dies or you lose it.

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I keep a bit over 93GB of my music ripped to mp3 on my 128GB Micro SD card, in my new Moto Z Droid Play phones that has 32GB built in. I don't save pics to my phones. I download them to my desktop and for portability my tablets. If I am going to visit friends and family socially I have all my pics and videos on my 128GB Surface Pro 3, bigger full HD screen for older eyes. See I do not like listening to radio commercials, and unlike my wife who prefers to use Sirius Sat radio, because her car we bought had it.

 

I like my music shuffled and I rarely hear the same songs over and over. And I have a rather large music collection so I have the 128GB card loaded and I play it through my Jabra Cruiser, a hands free visor unit, which also rebroadcasts the Bluetooth to the FM radio so it is on my vehicle audio system. Then when out of the car I have a Bose SoundLink mini, and a Bose SoundLink III for larger rooms or groups, and some very nice headsets that are in ear, over ear, and full cover over ear for whatever situation I need and have my music there, public or private.

 

The bonus with hands free units is it reads Texts to me and allows me to make calls just by saying Listen up Moto X. and I can give all sorts of voice commands, as well as skipping to the next song etc. My eyes never leave the road. If it hiccups I pull over to get it working right.

 

So no SD card doesn't work for me as I use less than a few hundred MBs of data on our phones.

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There have been a few times that I had very large updates pending for my phone or PC and just could not get them through a campground Wifi network. I take my phone w/sd card to a McDonald's or other good wifi source and download the huge files to the SD on the phone, then transfer it to the PC or wherever to be used.

 

This has probably been the biggest benefit of having a huge SD card in my phone, for me. Everything else is automatically mirrored to my Google, Onedrive or other cloud location when it can do so.

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