16GB Was Never Enough: We Need To Talk About Our Smartphone Storage Needs

Posted: Nov 20 2018, 10:47am CST | by , in Technology News


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16GB Was Never Enough: We Need to Talk about Our Smartphone Storage Needs

When in doubt, reach for your smartphone; whatever it is you need, your phone probably holds the answer. Be it a quick internet search, navigating a digital map, making a video call, or using a mobile app, we rely on our smartphones for countless everyday activities. Yet, as our mobile OS and apps become more elaborate, this inevitably means that our storage needs rise – but how much storage space do we need, and why?

As Smartphones Evolve, so Do Our Storage Needs

First things first, you need storage space in order to host your smartphone’s operating system. This means that as our phones become smarter and more complicated, so does our storage space need to expand in order to support the new functions. This has led to some misunderstandings: much to their dismay, many users discovered that the 16GB version of the new Samsung Galaxy S4 actually already used up roughly 8GB of that space to host the OS and some other mobile apps that were already installed by the manufacturer – which makes the 32GB or 64GB version a much better choice. But if there is one thing that has become clear with smartphones, it's that you can't turn really turn back the tide – mobile devices will keep getting better and we will keep using them for more and more activities, which renders a large storage space for all that software absolutely necessary.

It is not just the OS that eats away at our smartphone’s memory – there is also the issue of storing files on your phone, including photos, videos and voice recordings that usually take up a lot of space. Granted, things have gotten better in that regard thanks to the cloud, but not everyone likes to keep files in a cloud environment – and even avid cloud fans still use their phones to store recent photos and videos or work-related files. And then there is the issue of mobile apps: there is an app for everything these days, from helping out with exercising to booking flights to conducting financial business online. Everything from airline comparison companies to forex brokers will usually offer both downloadable apps or software, as well as web-based applications. While applications make our life easier, just the sheer amount of choice out there and the variety of storage space they require is proof enough that we need much more than the already outdated 16GB of memory space.

What Does the Future of Smartphone Memory Space Look Like?

It is evident that our storage needs will probably keep going up as smartphones evolve – so what is there to do about it? Many users have turned to external memory in order to have the mobile experience that they need. At the beginning of 2018, Integral announced that it would launch the first 512GB microSDXC V10 UHS-I U1 memory card – beating SanDisk’s previous 400GB card. Yet, even though a number of smartphones may come with a MicroSD card slot for that extra mile, that is far from the rule – with iPhone and the LG Nexus being among the most notable exceptions. And, in some cases, even offering a free cloud account to smartphone users won’t cut it: you cannot install and use mobile apps on the cloud (yet, anyway) and, even if you could, you always need an internet connection to access your data on the cloud.

The other obvious direction to go is to beef up the internal storage space of mobile phones. Samsung has already made headlines lately with its big news that it will release a foldable smartphone, but according to rumors, there might be even more reason to celebrate. According to the latest speculation, the new model that will most probably launch in early 2019, will not only have a 7.3-inch display and support dual SIM, but it will also sport 512GB of memory. This is not news for Samsung, as the new Samsung Note 9 also has 512GB, but it surely sets the tone for how things are going to unfold. Keeping in mind that with the Note 9 you can insert a 512GB microSD card to take it to a monstrous 1TB of space, it is interesting to see that the new foldable phone will also offer a memory card slot.

Will a combination of massive internal memory with immense external memory support and added cloud storage become the norm? It remains to be seen – but, whatever the solution, the use of smartphones constantly rises, and so will our storage needs.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/2" rel="author">Luigi Lugmayr</a>
Manfred "Luigi" Lugmayr () is the founding Chief Editor of I4U News and brings over 25 years experience in the technology field to the ever evolving and exciting world of gadgets, tech and online shopping. He started I4U News back in 2000 and evolved it into vibrant technology news and tech and toy shopping hub.
Luigi can be contacted directly at ml[@]i4u.com.




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