There are so many wonderful things you can do with a smartphone! It’s almost easy to forget that, as great as they are, they simply don’t have unlimited storage. I’m constantly adding apps, music, photos and other items that I want to keep, which pushes my phone’s memory to its limits. The good news, though, is that there are smart, convenient ways to get extra space if you need it, and I’ll be telling you about those here in a two-part blog series.
If you use an Android smartphone or a flip phone, the handiest option for external storage is to purchase and install a memory card—or, as it’s more commonly known, “SD” (for “secure digital”) card. These are like miniature, more-powerful versions of the floppy disks we used in our old PC’s. Though they’re not much bigger than a fingernail, they can store enormous amounts of data—typically either 32GB or 64GB, although some can accommodate as much as 128GB.
An SD card allows you to save additional files directly to the card instead of to your device’s internal memory. The type of memory card you need depends on the age of your phone—some older ones may use standard size SD cards, but most now use the smaller, microSD version.
Here’s how they work: your phone holds two types of memory. One, called device memory, stores everything that’s needed to make sure the systems that operate your phone are running properly. The other, device storage, is where your personal files go—things like pictures, music, or apps that you’ve downloaded. A microSD card provides additional storage for the types of items that are normally in your device storage.
You’ll want to check your user manual to make sure your smartphone can use an SD card and, if so, what type. Some devices have limits as to how many GB of additional memory you can add. You can always go to the Support page on Consumer Cellular’s website to find this information quickly. In fact, you’ll even find a video tutorial there showing you how to install and remove a microSD card. Generally, it’s just a matter of inserting the card into a slot located near or underneath your phone’s battery.
Adding a microSD card won’t be an option for everyone—iPhone models, for instance, can’t accommodate them, or you may just not want to deal with having a physical storage device. Don’t worry! There’s another great choice—cloud storage—that I’ll take a closer look at next week in Part 2 of this series. Stay tuned for more options!