The computer that guided the Apollo 11 to the moon had a read-only storage capacity of 32 kilobytes and a memory of only 2 kilobytes. In 1984, the Commodore 64 computer had, as its name reflected, a memory capacity of 64 kilobytes. The first hard drive that Apple produced had a storage capacity of 5 megabyte. Today, your phone is not only many times faster than any of those but it also has much more storage capacity.
Even so, while mobile phones are getting smarter and faster their storage capacity has limitations, simply due to the compactness of the design. And you still need lots and lots more space for pictures and music and videos, don’t you? Here’s how you can have it –
The easiest way to expand the storage capacity on your phone is to add a memory card. Most modern phones have an expansion slot for a MicroSD (Micro Secure Digital) card. Fortunately, these memory cards are cheap. An 8 gigabyte MicroSD card costs only R69, available now in the Flash Memory category.
As you can see from the screen grab, a 16GB card costs only R99 and the Apacer 32GB MicroSDHC UHS-I card costs only R199.
Now, here’s something important to remember: these cards are available in different formats and classes, with Class 10 being the fastest. The older phones might read but not fully utilize the speed of a Class 10 card, in which case a Class 4 card will get the job done.
The HC in MicroSDHC means High Capacity, usually denoted to cards with a 32GB capacity. You also get a SDXC card, meaning Extended Capacity, indicating capacity of 64GB or more.
The UHS stands for Ultra High Speed. These are the memory cards you would get for shooting high quality video, either on your phone or on a camera. UHS-I has a transfer speed of 50MB/s while the UHS-II can handle a maximum transfer rate of 156 MB/s (at full duplex) or 312 MB/s (half duplex). [Full duplex is full two-way communication while half duplex is one-way communication, the latter meaning transfer from one point to another without being interrupted by a return transfer.]
In this regard, the Apacer 16GB and 32GB UHS-I Class 10 cards are absolute bargains!
What size MicroSD card can my phone take?
You will have to refer to the specifications of your particular phone what type of card it can handle (Class 4 or Class 10 or UHS) and what the maximum acceptable capacity would be.
For instance, the Samsung Galaxy Gio can take a Class 4 card up to 32GB in capacity (the Gio has a 2GB onboard storage memory, not to be confused with its 512MB RAM, the Random Access Memory used for processing). More modern phone have maximum card capacities beyond that.
Interesting, the iPhones do not offer expansion slots for memory cards. Instead, you can choose between models featuring either 16, 32, 64 or 128GB inbuilt memory space. The iPhone 7 is available in 32/128/256GB models.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 also does not have a memory card expansion slot, which was odd because the previous models did feature this slot. However, people complained, Samsung listened and the S7 does have an expansion slot, capable of taking a 256GB memory card.
What if your phone does not have an expansion slot or you simply need more than the maximum allowable memory card capacity?
You have a number of choices.
- Store you photos on your social network page. Upload to your Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Telegram, Twitter, etc. You can always download them later.
- Make use of the free online storage space provided by Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, PhotoBuckets, Smugmug and others. These all have apps that allow one-click uploads.
- Save to your PC, flash drives or an external hard drive.
- Or, easiest if your phone does have an expasion slot and you have a bit of extra cash, simply buy more memory cards.
Apollo Guidance Computer
Your phone is thousands of times faster than the computer that steered Apollo 11 with Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins to the moon in 1969. It also is much, much lighter: the AGC weighed 32 kilogram!
Apollo Guidance Computer with DSKY (DiSplay&KeYboard), 1969. Via Wikipedia.
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