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How To Maximise Your Smartphone Memory

Duncan MacRae is former editor and now a contributor to TechWeekEurope. He previously edited Computer Business Review's print/digital magazines and CBR Online, as well as Arabian Computer News in the UAE.

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David Smurthwaite, partner at mobile memory specialist Leef, shares his tips on getting the most from your mobile device’s memory

You’re about to video your baby’s first steps or take the photo of a lifetime on your smartphone and up pops the most frustrating message you’ve ever seen: ‘There is not enough available storage to take a photo’.

By the time you’ve deleted all those cat photos or apps you haven’t used in months, the moment has passed.

Low capacity devices

It’s an all too familiar occurrence for today’s smartphone user, especially for those with a lower capacity device. How many of us have bought a 16gb phone only to regret opting for the cheaper option a few months down the line when we’ve totally maxed out the memory and struggle to install the latest software update without deleting everything?

Firefox OS developer smartphones 2A megapixel arms race has broken out among mobile phone manufacturers. Responding to consumer demand, they have delivered astonishing improvements in image and video resolution. For example, the iPhone 6S captures video with 4x more detail than the iPhone 6. In just one year, Apple increased its mobile video capability by 400 percent. Unfortunately, that new iPhone didn’t also come with 4x the memory of its predecessor. To sum it up, our ability to capture higher quality images has far outpaced our solutions for storing them.

In order to get the most out of your smartphone and avoid the dreaded ‘memory full’ pop-up, there are a number of tips and tricks to consider.

Top tips: How to maximise your smartphone memory:

1. Back your phone up on a regular basis: you can back it up to the Cloud if you’re in a WiFi area, or use an external mobile memory device to transfer your photos and videos to your PC or Mac.

2. Check the size of an app before you download it: app developers are getting increasingly clever but with that creativity comes bigger apps that take up a large percentage of your memory. Think before you install!

3. Delete all apps you haven’t used in more than a month: that game you haven’t played in ages because you reached a level that you just can’t complete, or the app you decided sounded ingenious at the time but you’ve actually never used? It’s time for a spring clean.

4. Remove photos/videos that are tying up your memory: when you’ve used ‘burst’ and have saved several photos of almost exactly the same image, or the ‘hilarious’ video that you’ve already regretted uploading to Facebook? Get rid.

5. Use a music streaming service instead of saving it all on your phone: you no longer need to keep all your music on your smartphone. There are many options that enable you to stream away without using up your memory. You can even download playlists in advance to make sure you’ve still got access to music in no WiFi zones.

Expandable memory slots in smartphones have largely been replaced with wireless solutions to store our data and connect devices. It’s a nice thought – an end-to-end mobile existence enabled by wireless connectivity – but we’re not there yet, nor is it ideal for every circumstance. And that presents issues for a positive user experience.

Mobile memory is the missing link connecting hardware, software and the cloud, interacting with the mobile device to create a storage/memory solution that works for the user, every time, in every locale.

No more deleting files so you have enough room to take that video, no more waiting until you have WiFi access to upload to the Cloud; no more lengthy video downloads from your phone to your computer, but easy-to-access, super-fast memory when you need it, how you need it.

Sounds great, but how do we do it? For Leef, mobile memory takes the form of a small piece of external hardware, working in harmony with an app. The hardware provides the raw storage capacity, the app provides seamless file management between the phone and the external hardware. The problem solved is easily and at minimal expense.

We may well come to a point in time when that piece of hardware, and the concept of mobile memory in general isn’t necessary, but for today and for the foreseeable future, it is.

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