When is enough storage, enough?

Google, it seems, is keen to provide the answer to the storage paradox: It lies in the Cloud. Yeah, online drives.

With Google promoting the use of its branded service, Google Drive, through the non-expandable storage of Nexus phones and the meager flash storage of the Chromebooks, it can be surmised that Google is pushing users to bank on online storage. Apple is pretty much doing the same with their iCloud service which is, unlike Google Drive on Android phones, heavily integrated with the operating system. Developers also utilize iCloud for their apps.

If the two most prolific operating systems in the world are pushing for cloud storage, wouldn’t it be better for you to just follow suit and start uploading your stuff online? Will you join them up there?

Not so fast, dude. Even though manufacturers are dropping the microSD slot in their phones, you must first consider the following advantages of expandable storage for your smartphone.

1.       It’s More Power-Efficient

Now, for a second, imagine yourself with a blazing fast connection and this gigabyte upon gigabyte of media stored in your cloud account. Imagine yourself listening to your cloud playlist, watching videos and playing online games….maybe not for long. These tasks consume so much power that the added strain of keeping your Wi-Fi on at all times or using your cellular data will eventually take their toll on your battery. I really doubt if you would last a full day with those tasks.

MicroSDs, on the other hand, are much more power-efficient because they are physically available and do not involve internet connection for the device to read/recognize them.

2.       Memory Cards Are Dirt-Cheap

You must remember that your purchase of cloud space either on iCloud or Google Drive is not bound perpetually. These are more like leases since you have to renew your purchase; I mean pay again, every year. This is in stark contrast to how you can own a microSD. Once you buy it, it’s yours. And nowadays, 64 GB microSDs cost like $50 on Amazon while 32 GB fetch just $30.

On the other hand, an additional 50 GB will cost you $40 a year on iCloud while 25 GB on Google Drive will cost you $2.99 a month. Try comparing that with the microSD price.

3.       It’s Always Available

This is pretty much the graveyard where every argument in favor of cloud storage meets their demise. I mean, why bother storing your stuff online when you could just store it on your microSD which is always available and you can always bring with you even to places where there is no internet connection. You don’t need a buffering time to wait for your music to load, or god forbid, a full length movie.

Also, microSDs are ridiculously small. You can carry a bunch of them and just swap them out if you need a file stored on one of the other microSDs. Besides, smartphones have hot-swap capability nowadays; popping in a new card won’t take much of your time.

There Is Never Enough Storage

You got it. As long as app sizes increase, mp3 compression decreases, videos start to go beyond True HD, megapixels double….sooner or later, the unfortunate user will run out of storage space.

Such is human nature; we cram so much into our phones even though we don’t actually need some of that stuff (like your adult collection, if I might add). With the finite space of microSDs, I guess, the advantage of cloud storage comes in. You can buy as much storage as you need.

Maybe, the cloud is, indeed, the real way to go. But not for a few more years.