Thursday, 23 June 2016

The benefits of future-proofing your phone...

For a while now, my phone has been acting up a little. I'd already addressed the two-year-old degrading battery (it wasn't able to hold a consistently long charge any more, which is fairly normal for regularly-charged batteries) by replacing it for a new one, but there were other problems to contend with; Some apps had been locking up, others falling over. It was all down to a lack of available space on the device storage, both onboard (32gb) and on the storage card (another 32gb).

There are only so many things you can do in these situations, and I'd done most of those by yesterday; those were, in no particular order:

  • Deleting unused or seldom-used apps;
  • Deleting old photos (I use Dropbox to back them up, so nothing's been lost);
  • Clearing out old data (pruning).

But it was clear yesterday that I had to do one last thing. I got a bigger storage card. The phone, a Samsung Galaxy Note 3, running Android, is capable of addressing a maxim card size of 64gb. So, I went looking.

A LOT of high street tech shops were asking silly money for both branded and unbranded kit, so I began looking online instead. However, I wasn't about to go to e-bay for this, being mission-critical kit (some things, yeah, I'll use e-bay, but not vital electronics like this, as there are too many knock-offs). Amazon, however, stepped up nicely.

With Amazon, you can generally be safe in the knowledge that even their third-party 'marketplace' concession retailers have an assured supply chain to the brand-name kit. In this case, I found a 64gb microSD card from Samsung listed for under FIFTEEN QUID?! Wow. I snapped that one up for same-day delivery faster than you could say "Cool!"

Amazingly, it arrived by 6.30 p.m.! Good Job, Amazon Logistics! :D

It's a Samsung-branded 64gb class 10 microSD card, and was in the proper packaging, WITH hologram. It had Japanese printing on the packaging, nothing surprising there, it was likely a grey import, hence the price. I have no problem with that for simple tech like this.

So, I set-to immediately and backed up the old card (I'd done this a couple of days ago already, but it's a good habit to get into when swapping around storage media.

I then de-mounted the old 32Gb card, installed the new 64gb one, mounted it, formatted it just like you're supposed to using the phone, and that's when I hit a hiccup. The phone did not now want to talk to my computer. So, I tried putting the card directly into the card slot on the laptop (via a card adaptor). No dice, it couldn't read it. So, back into the phone, and try again. No joy.

Time to check the old internet. And came up successful in my search for a solution. Seems that occasionally, when changing cards, the interface settings get upset. So, I confirmed it to be set to 'USB Mass Storage Device' instead of 'MTP Device', and we were back on the rails again. Nice :)

So, I copied the backup of the 32 gig cad onto the new card, did some more general data pruning, moved a few on-board apps to the card, and whoopee - I've got back close to 15 gigs of space on the on-board storage on the phone, and still have over 40 gigs of space on the new card :) I call that a win, folks :D

As a result, this phone (Samsung Galaxy Note 3), which was 3G (4G-capable) when I got it, and which three months later was software-enabled to 4G (UK Three network), has probably another year to two years of practical life left in it (by which time, chances are some form of 4.5G or 5G will be on the horizon, if not in service already) :)

This is another reason why I buy phones with card slots and removable batteries :) It's called Future-proofing a phone ;)

Also, a hint - take regular back-ups of your data, whether it be a phone or a computer; you NEVER know when you might need to access those backups!

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