Recycled Computing

The Incredible Shrinking Flash Memory Card

- 2011.02.11

I happening to run across an old CompactFlash memory card that I had lying around and took the microSD card out of my LG Banter cell phone. Holy shrinking memory size, Batman!

CompactFlash and microSD Card
CompactFlash and microSD Card.

Look at the difference in capacity, as well. The CompactFlash card holds 32 MB,* and the microSD card holds 2 GB - and you can buy a microSDHC card that will hold as much as 32 GB. That size would mean that I could clone a copy of my 32 GB iPod touch.

Not that there is software to do this sort of thing, but this much memory in this small size has you thinking that mobile computer devices are just going to get smaller and smaller.

So what's up with Apple? Wouldn't it be nice to have a slot for one of these on your iPod, iPhone, or iPad?

This would no doubt destroy the design parameters that come from on high and cut into the profitable we have a model with more memory but it will cost you lots more Apple marketing strategy.

There are workarounds to this dilemma. There was a dongle for the ill-fated Newton MessagePad that allowed a user to connect to printers, keyboards, and such. Apple makes dongles for the iPad that allows users to connect cameras and SD Cards. There are flaws, of course, the number one being that the dongles allow you to download photos and video to the iPad, but not the reverse. You can't back up your iPad to an SD Card and restore your iPad from an SD Card. (To be fair, you can do both from iTunes.)

I am not a fan of dongles, as they tend to get lost, but the larger question is why these dongles only work for the iPad and not the iPod touch and iPhone. I know that the iPod has different Photo software, but shucks, Apple, this doesn't sound like it should be a big deal. Maybe Apple is planning on making it a special Christmas present. At the same time, perhaps an iOS update so you can actually use an SD Card like Android does - just a hint.

There is a third party solution, but it will cost you. There is a SD Card reader that you can attach to your iPod or iPhone. It allows you to share and view video, audio, photo views. It's at zoomitonline.com. Don't faint at the price - I nearly did.

I have to think that, down the road, Apple will start using memory cards with its portable devices. It makes too much sense not too. But it makes you wonder why it seems to be taking so long.

The microSD card from my LG Banter appears on my PowerBook's desktop as a drive, and I can manually "throw" audio files, jpegs, and video files (after I "rip" them to the right format) at the LG. Don't you wish you had that sort of flexibility for your portable Apple devices?

As for syncing your contacts from your Mac to an LG phone - that's why I'm looking at an iPhone or an Android phone. LEM

* CompactFlash cards can hold up to 128 GB.

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