The future of smartphone design

We explore whether microSD cards are still necessary...
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The future of smartphone design
smartphone design

First the headphone jack, now the home button

When it comes to technology, design is pretty much guaranteed to be one of the biggest talking points of any advancement. And following Apple’s decision to remove the 3.5mm headphone input on iPhone 7, there are now rumours that Samsung will do away with its new smartphones' home buttons.

So, what will be next? What can we do without in an attempt to streamline everyone's favourite personal device? Well, our money’s on microSD cards…

Is cloud storage killing the SD card?

For a long time, manufacturers have been including microSD card slots with their smartphones (with the exception of iPhone), giving users the option to expand the storage capacity of their devices. On the whole, it’s great if you like carrying all your photos, videos and songs with you, but is there a better solution?

Google’s first smartphones, Pixel and Pixel XL offer unlimited cloud storage with Google Photos (available to download on Android and iOS*) meaning your shots and shoots aren’t actually saved on the phone at all - they’re in the sky. But as expected, it does beg the question of security…

Is cloud storage safe?

One of the most popular concerns when it comes to cloud storage is how secure all your files are up there. If they’re saved online, instead of privately on your device, surely they’re more vulnerable to hacking, right?

In short – no, they’re not.

All cloud systems, like iCloud, Google Photos, or Microsoft’s OneDrive, are encrypted. If a would-be hacker were to try and break in, they’d need something called an encryption key, which requires a lot of computing power, and time, to get a hold of. So you can rest-assured that your privacy will remain intact, providing you’ve got a decent password.

The best practice is to use different passwords for all the things you log into, and to keep them as unpredictable as possible. If someone can guess your password, they’ve got an all-access pass to your private stuff.

Must read: Top tips on how to manage your passwords with manager apps.

Does a microSD card slow your smartphone down?

It’s been suggested that using a microSD card can have a negative affect on the overall performance of your smartphone. Reports from the likes of TechRadar suggest that even if a phone can take a large SD card, it isn’t necessarily desirable.

The article explains: “According to a study carried out by Hyojun Kim at the Georgia Institute of Technology, using a microSD card in your phone can cause it to become sluggish, with even basic tasks like web browsing suffering as a result … The reason for the performance loss is simple, microSD cards themselves aren't fast enough. They can't keep up with the power and speed packed into modern smartphones.”

But, that entirely depends on the type of card you’re using. If you’re to buy into the big names, like SanDisk for example, instead of the cheap alternatives, you’re going to get a better smartphone experience.

What’s your take on the microSD debate? Have your say by dropping us a comment below.

*Unlimited storage with Google Photos is only available if you’re willing to have photo resolution limited to 16MP and video quality at Full HD.

What are your thoughts? Join the conversation here…

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