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WP8 and SD cards


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#1 Yusuf M.

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 03:31

Why doesn't Microsoft allow users to install apps directly to a microSD card? Take a look at the HTC 8S. It has 4 GB of internal storage (with just over 1 GB available for use) as well as a microSD card slot. I imagine that 1 GB would fill up quickly with apps. I find it odd that Microsoft doesn't allow this when it's possible with BB10, Android, and even older BlackBerry phones like my Curve 9300 3G.

Is it a security issue or a technical one?

EDIT: It looks like it isn't possible with Android and BB10. :|


#2 Dot Matrix

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 03:35

I just wish for an SD slot in general.

#3 OP Yusuf M.

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 03:39

I just wish for an SD slot in general.

I took a look at the HTC 8S and when I realized that the higher-end version of it (HTC 8X) lacked a microSD slot, I said to myself "How did that happen?" It seems as though manufacturers are afraid that they won't sell enough 16 GB models because people would prefer the cheaper 4/8 GB model with a microSD card (e.g. 16/32 GB).

#4 mrp04

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 03:41

I took a look at the HTC 8S and when I realized that the higher-end version of it (HTC 8X) lacked a microSD slot, I said to myself "How did that happen?" It seems as though manufacturers are afraid that they won't sell enough 16 GB models because people would prefer the cheaper 4/8 GB model with a microSD card (e.g. 16/32 GB).


The only high-end WP8 with an SD slot is the ATIV S. Unfortunately that's not available many places. You are in Canada where it is available, though. Take a look at that one. Not including SD cards on high end models is an artificial limitation for some odd reason. I don't get why Nokia did it on the 920, where they only offer 32GB and that's it. They could have easily fit an SD slot in, but they reserved it for their lower end 820.

They never specifically said why no apps can be installed to SD, but it's probably for performance reasons. SD slots are far slower than the NAND built into phones. They shouldn't have allowed 4GB ROM WP8 phones, it's just pathetic. The launch WP7 phones all had 8GB or more. The difference in cost from 4GB to 8GB is negligible.

#5 -Razorfold

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 03:52

Why doesn't Microsoft allow users to install apps directly to a microSD card? Take a look at the HTC 8S. It has 4 GB of internal storage (with just over 1 GB available for use) as well as a microSD card slot. I imagine that 1 GB would fill up quickly with apps. I find it odd that Microsoft doesn't allow this when it's possible with BB10, Android, and even older BlackBerry phones like my Curve 9300 3G.

Doesn't it work just like WP7 does? Put in a storage card and the internal space + sd card space are added together into one big storage pool.

#6 OP Yusuf M.

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 05:12

The only high-end WP8 with an SD slot is the ATIV S. Unfortunately that's not available many places. You are in Canada where it is available, though. Take a look at that one. Not including SD cards on high end models is an artificial limitation for some odd reason. I don't get why Nokia did it on the 920, where they only offer 32GB and that's it. They could have easily fit an SD slot in, but they reserved it for their lower end 820.

They never specifically said why no apps can be installed to SD, but it's probably for performance reasons. SD slots are far slower than the NAND built into phones. They shouldn't have allowed 4GB ROM WP8 phones, it's just pathetic. The launch WP7 phones all had 8GB or more. The difference in cost from 4GB to 8GB is negligible.

The Samsung ATIV S looks like a great phone but it's too expensive for my needs. It's also $50 more expensive than the Galaxy S3 which seems odd because that phone has a dual-core processor. I know the Krait CPUs are newer than the processor inside the Galaxy S3 but it looks like it still gets outperformed (despite how well WP8 runs on two cores).

I was really hoping I'd come across news that Microsoft will add support for installing apps on SD cards. I'm fortunate enough to have been offered a new smartphone as a gift from my aunt and my choices are the HTC 8S and Nexus 4. As much as I like the Nexus 4, I am leaning toward the HTC 8S because it's a cheaper phone and I don't need anything high-end. I've also fallen in love with WP8. I used to think it was mediocre but the more I've researched it, the more I liked it. The meagre internal storage of the HTC 8S is putting me off though. It would have been perfect if it had 8 GB instead of 4 GB. :(

Doesn't it work just like WP7 does? Put in a storage card and the internal space + sd card space are added together into one big storage pool.

Yes, but app installations are limited to internal storage only.

#7 -Razorfold

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 05:15

Yes, but app installations are limited to internal storage only.


Ah, I didn't know that. Figured that since the storage was pooled together you'd get the full storage.

#8 George P

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 08:07

Ah, I didn't know that. Figured that since the storage was pooled together you'd get the full storage.


It looks pooled but that's because the system uses libraries for everything, you can go in and set where you want photos, videos and music to be stored though. Also I think it's a mix of performance and security, there could be a hack done to let you install apps to a sd card and then just bypass the store for example.

I agree that 4GB internal is very little but people who buy that probably doing install many apps. Also outside of games aren't the majority of apps very small in size? I think they're around the 1MB size on average.

#9 +Brando212

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 08:16

Android is the only mobile OS that actually allows installing apps on the SD card, and you can't even do it on the stock rom. it's a feature that many custom roms added

#10 -Himanshu-

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 08:37

^ Symbian does, although it's obsolete now. I have got one.

#11 OP Yusuf M.

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 09:39

It looks pooled but that's because the system uses libraries for everything, you can go in and set where you want photos, videos and music to be stored though. Also I think it's a mix of performance and security, there could be a hack done to let you install apps to a sd card and then just bypass the store for example.

I agree that 4GB internal is very little but people who buy that probably doing install many apps. Also outside of games aren't the majority of apps very small in size? I think they're around the 1MB size on average.

Having a slow app with SD storage beats not having an app due to lack of space. WP8 has been available for over three and a half months (since the end of October). Surely that's enough time to roll out such a simple feature.

I read about people using a custom ROM of WP7.5 which lets them install apps to a SD card. Is that even possible with WP8? It's not only different architecturally, but I think it has additional security features to prevent the use of custom ROMs.

Android is the only mobile OS that actually allows installing apps on the SD card, and you can't even do it on the stock rom. it's a feature that many custom roms added

I figured that was the case after I found out it isn't possible with an official stock ROM. It's possible to install apps on a microSD card in older BlackBerry operating systems (e.g. OS 5 & 6) as well as Nokia's Symbian OS.

#12 George P

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 10:19

I'm sure that it'd be better, I'm just saying why I think they haven't done it yet. They could do it though, unless they really just want to not open things up to piracy as an excuse. Of course if they do let you install to the SD card they could just as well have those apps signed to your specific device ID so even if you did put the card in another phone those apps wouldn't run. A combo of unique hardware ID + your Microsoft account should be enough, but who knows.