WP7 doesn’t allow SD swapping

WP7marketplaceLooks like the Windows Phone 7 news just isn’t going to stop for the next few days. Here’s the newest interesting fact I heard about this week’s hot button OS.

It was reported that Windows Phone 7 will not support removable SD cards. A blogstorm has already started over this, even though it was something we've known about since March. For obvious reasons, a number of Android supporters have been making a big noise about this being a perversion of nature and a serious flaw, while Apple fanboys have been curiously silent on the topic (fancy that).

So is it true? For an answer I turned to one of my favorite Windows gurus, Paul Thurrott. His answer? “Sort of…”

It seems that Windows Phone 7 does not make any distinction between core memory and the SD card. Files can be saved on both the internal memory and the microSD card (if there is one). Therefore the card can’t be browsed from a PC the way it can in WinMo or Android. In the WP7 hardware specs, Windows mandated that the microSD card be located under the battery cover to make sure it isn’t easy for users to remove, accidentally or otherwise. If you do remove it, you need to do a hard reset of the device. Ugly.

However, according to Thurrott, you can’t swap the cards in and out the way that some people do on Windows Mobile but you can use it to expand your memory. The devices that have a microSD support microSDHC, which means you can slap an additional 32GB of memory into a WP7 device and the OS will view it as if it were part of the internal memory. If you know you will want to expand the storage, I suggest you splash out for the biggest card you can when you first buy the device since casual swapping won’t be possible.

A lot of people will view this is as a drawback in the OS and I can see how it could be but to be honest, SD cards have been getting bigger and bigger. When was the last time you casually swapped memory cards back and forth on a device? When the cards held 256MB, it made sense to store things like music collections on multiple cards. However, if you really need more than 32G of storage on your phone, I suggest getting a laptop with a bluetooth headphone and a Skype account. Either that or strap a filing cabinet to your back. I mean it.

[Windows Phone Secrets]
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Zealot Benmergui

Zealot is a former contributing editor at Pocketables.

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