External SD card or no external SD card – Google Nexus4
Just scanned through a review of the Google Nexus 4 Android handset in the Grauniad. One of the things that caught my attention was the decision to not support an external SD card. Apple has lead the way with doing away with SD cards on the basis that they wanted everyone to do everything through the cloud.
The argument for a removable drive is that you can easily move data on and off the handset. My Galaxy S3 does support an external (micro) SD card but I have to say the only time I ever remove it is when I change handsets which, repair jobs aside, is less frequent than once a year.
Proponents of removable storage also remind us that we are using more and more space for photos and games. The former is certainly true for me but my needs would be accommodated with a large enough internal storage in the first place. What currently happens is that I run out of space on the phone (say) and have to adjust the settings to save media to the SD card which is a manual step that should be unnecessary.
All my pics are automatically backed up the the cloud using Instant Upload over WiFi. Once Instant Upload has done its stuff I then also shift them off the phone via USB to my laptop and once a month (ish) back up to one or two external hard drives. I’m not sure I’ll ever rely totally on the cloud for the backup.
So on balance I agree that we no longer need to support external SD cards as long as the phone itself has a suitably large capacity in the first place which, considering the low cost of memory, should not be difficult. Any growth in storage usage is likely to be down to a change in habits that accompany the use of a new handset so I can’t see that running out of space should be a problem – just make sure you have enough from the off.