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An Alarming Trend...


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  1. JIMV

    JIMV Well-Known Member

    Has anyone else noted this problem? My Droid phone is about 18 months old so I began to look at new and coming phones. Being a very satisfied Droid Razor HD owner, I first looked at new Motorola phones, the Ultra/MAX/Mini and MOTO X. They all have one thing in common. There is no SD slot. In fact, the phone with the largest storage has 1/4 less than my current phone. Now I can survive with unwanted apps I cannot remove, less than state of the art screen resolution, even the stupidity of no USB digital audio out (as long as I can use USB Audio Recorder Pro app to fool the phone into doing what it should on its own) but less storage!!!

    I began checking and am discovering a LOT of new phones also seem to be limited to 32GB of storage forcing heavy users into the 'cloud', a really horrifying idea.

    Can someone recommend a NEW phone that has real HD resolution (1080 or better), a decent SD card capability and USB audio out?

    I have no desire to talk to the phone, wave my hands over the silly thing to get it to perform like a monkey for a monkey grinder, a gazillion apps I cannot remove, or gimmicks. I want a phone that I can use reliably to make the occasional call, store a LOT of music files, music video's, and use a good outboard DAC for high resolution music files.

    Any suggestions?

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    IOWA likes this.
  2. new optimus

    new optimus Well-Known Member

    You actually have some really good points, it almost seems they want you to use more data, cloud storage, when all you need is a simple sdcard.:confused::(
    Unfortunately I dont have any suggestions for you at this time, but I will keep my eyes open for one.

    Well I take that back there is one that may work, the google edition S4 it has all the hardware but none of the silly gimmicks.

    :(:eek: I just looked at your carrier, I guess I should have looked there first, the google S4 wont help you.

    I guess if your into it you could root the phone and remove crapware you dont like.
  3. Rxpert83

    Rxpert83 Dr. Feelgood Moderator

    I agree with you, its a trend that a lot of people dislike. Samsung is really about the only manufacturer that still does SD cards. Google is really pushing everyone else away from them to try to get them to use their own could based options (and carriers love it because doing so eats more data)


    Curious, how much storage do you currently use? What is the main media that you use that much storage for? Photos, videos, music?

    I have 32 GB of storage on my phone and have never had any issues with space. I know that doesnt work for everyone, but if you check out how much space you're currently using you may notice you can get by quite easily.
  4. JIMV

    JIMV Well-Known Member

    Just for info, I am not wed to my carrier. I make maybe a half dozen calls a month, do not text, do 99% of my internet use using WiFi, and in general do not use any of the services Verizon offers except the phone. They are charging me a good $20 per call each and every month as they do not offer any plans for folk like me. My contracts are running out so I will most assuredly shop around for a more rational and less greedy carrier.
  5. new optimus

    new optimus Well-Known Member

    High def music takes up lots of space. I dont have anything better then 320kb mp3's and one song there is easily 6-7mbs get a few thousand of those and your pushing that space hard.

    If his music is more then 7mbs each, well you get the picture.
  6. new optimus

    new optimus Well-Known Member

    The real problem for you is that verizon is the only one(that I know of) that has fairly comprehensive coverage of idaho.

    I dont know where specifically you live You can check at Coverage Maps | Sensorly
    for more real user coverage with all the different carriers for your town/area.
  7. nickdalzell

    nickdalzell Well-Known Member

    I think Google is trying to become Apple with their attempt at an ecosystem and making it where you have to buy the more expensive option (32GB, 64GB model vs 8-16GB) to get more storage and making their Nexii line without SD Slots and without removable batteries.

    they've also recently started copying Apple verbatim lately. Device Manager (Find my iPhone), cloud-based backup/music/books (iCloud, iTunes, iBooks). i am seeing this becoming a disturbing trend. it's like to make Android appeal to the masses they have to make their latest products a harsh reminder of iDevices. i am already hearing rumors that Android 5.0 is going to have a pretty slim UI based off of Google Now (Siri) with cards and such, a dark harking to the slim-pickings of iOS with the look and feel of the long-dead WebOS. I wouldn't put it past 'em to even lock it down where custom launchers no longer work.
  8. UncleMike

    UncleMike Well-Known Member

    I agree that it's an undesirable trend, but the way Motorola implemented removable storage on the X, X2 and Bionic made it all but worthless for me. Their mounting of internal (non-removable) storage as 'sdcard' and removable storage as 'sdcard-ext' resulted in almost everything that apps intended to store on removable media being stored on the internal memory. So when I bought my GSM Galaxy Nexus, I no longer cared that there was no removable storage. But for your intended use I don't see such poorly chosen mounting points as being an issue.

    If you're not married to Verizon, you may want to consider the GPE S4 (as mentioned above) and an AT&T GoPhone plan, but the coverage map shows large uncovered areas in Idaho, so take a close look before dropping Verizon.
  9. Slug

    Slug Check six! Moderator

    Sony do too, plus USB OTG and they still offer Mass Storage Mode as an alternative to Media Transfer Protocol when connecting to PCs.

    The Nexus line has always lacked removable storage - this isn't a new trend but a continuing feature.

    I think you'll find that 'Find My Droid' predated Apple's version by a few months.

    Android has had Google account-based sync since Day One. Again it's hardly a "new trend".

    Take a look at the latest market penetration data. There's no need to "make it appeal".... it's already doing that.

    Citation please. I like to think I keep my ear pretty well to the ground, but I've not heard anything to this effect.

    Why would they do that? The launcher merely affects the UI, not the operation of the OS and apps. I doubt Google care that I'm using Nova in place of TouchWiz and Sony's UI.
    IOWA, XplosiV, damewolf13 and 2 others like this.
  10. nickdalzell

    nickdalzell Well-Known Member

    Slug, have you seen the Play Store? Books app? Gmail app? they are already doing the flat card-based pastel garbage on all of their apps, and even encouraging developers to make their apps comply (Yahoo! Mail already does, as does the latest Dolphin Browser). the trend is perfectly clear. they are going with a more card-based flat UI for their latest Android. they are just hinting at it with their apps. it truly sucks. i hate pastels. i'm trying everything i can via rooting to do away with it and even try using older versions but find that the older Play Music and older Play Books refuse to work. i'm forced to either use Kindle or some other app in place of Play. if they do this to Android i am not sure what i'll do. maybe never upgrade.

    The Nexus line hasn't always lacked external storage. the Galaxy Nexus sported a SD slot. and early devices had removable batteries. Google has already convinced other manufacturers to do away with external storage and removable batteries, not just the Nexus line. the Droids already seem to be releasing without SD slots.

    the USB OTG trend scares me. who really prefers a clunky dongle over built-in slots? it's truly disturbing. i was truly hoping that the modern tech would sport 3-D, or transparent, flexible display tech. instead we see almost everyone copying Windows 8. instead of moving away from stylii, we see more and more devices sporting the pens. (what's next? return to resistive touch screens?) then we see dongles, once a nightmare with laptops who's only expandable options were dongles that plugged into the now-defunct PC Card slot, coming back. slots for removable microSD cards seems to be going away in favor of a more modern variant of PC Cards, only using microUSB instead of the PC card slot.

    it's like tech has gotten so advanced, that the only path is backwards. GUIs lately are copying the CGA look of ancient 1980s-era computers, with oversized, high-contrast rectangles or tiles, and the UI is going from dazzling to boring, flat, bland colors. then we see dongles returning. Stylus coming back to mass-use. cellular phones once again returning to their 1980s brick roots.
  11. Thatdad

    Thatdad Well-Known Member

    I'm pretty sure any smartphone manufacturer has their own say so on whether or not their phones have removable storage..

    As for Google changing the UI.. What's the big deal? Do you honestly use Gmail that much? There are plenty of alternatives. Use the other Launchers available at the Play Store.

    And to all the people comparing the Closed Source to Google and saying they will become like apple.. Please. Considering it's all founded on Open Source..

    But anywayyyy.......

    If it's really such a big problem just root and switch over to Ubuntu OS. Problem solved.

    Tech isn't going backwards at all. They are decreasing the amount of hardware for each phone's functions. Do you really need an SD card? Use Dropbox and what not.

    Please. Have you even seen a 1980s phone?

    I remember in the 90s when phones were black and white pixels. Much much more advanced. These aren't alarming trends lol.

    And for the batteries not being able to be removed. If you're lazy it'd be a problem. All you have to do is unscrew it. I changed my iPhone battery in 5 minutes.

    AND as for the apps. Last time I checked Google does not own Dolphin Browser. Just because apps are choosing that UI means absolutely nothing. That does not mean android 5 will be all "flat card based UI"

    To assume that based on the design of apps is absolutely absurd.
  12. nickdalzell

    nickdalzell Well-Known Member

    i do use another app for email since i can't stand the new Gmail look. the default Email.apk supports multiple accounts and i have three. but that doesn't help it when i need to use Play Store, and have to cringe every time i look at that pastel, oversized reminder of the early days of computing made-worse.

    SD Cards and removable storage are very important. if cloud-services (Dropbox included) go away, so does your data. i find it better to have at least some sort of hard backup somewhere on removable media, not trusting it on some internet site. i prefer my music on my device or on removable media just in case one day, whatever music service i use goes belly-up and takes 1000+ songs with it. then there are the few times you're without internet or signal, and you have zero access to any of those features.

    to offer a bit of correction, Android is open-source. for now. but Google's Play apps are all closed-source. there is no way to change them to the older look and most of the older versions of their apps (books, music, etc) ceased to function when they upgraded to version 4.0

    As for the brick look of the 1980s, i was not being literal and suggesting the rubber antenna and old pixel display would return (actually it was an LED display), but the sizes of new phones seem to be trending towards the same dimensions of bricks that would remind anyone from that era of the DynaTAC. the future i was truly hoping for a phone that would be integrated into some kind of wearable tech, like Star Trek's combadge or a watch, but so far that seems to be only done via BlueTooth. sadly phones seem to be trending back to the brick era and those futuristic phones seen in movies haven't shown any signs of showing up. truth is modern tech is going backwards. the cartoon UI seen in Win8 and Google Play lately is a pretty good attempt at recreating DesqView from the 80's.

    The stylus. once thought to be gone (finally) in favor of more accurate touch-screens with capacitive input is once again showing a sign of return. i'm already seeing folks sporting the Note and tapping with a stylus. none of them artists. but they all remind me of Palm Pilot users or those sporting a Newton. if the stylus comes back, what's that saying for the progress of touchscreens?

    Ubuntu OS isn't an option. have you seen Unity? it is exactly the same crap Play and Windows is pulling.

    Removable batteries are important to anyone who doesn't like being forced to replace their device when the battery no longer holds a charge. like it or not, there are people who hate planned obsolescence.
  13. pool_shark

    pool_shark Well-Known Member

    I have used 40 GB of my sdcard.
    I have several movies and boxing matches, well over 200 songs, quite a few episodes of South Park, and various videos.

    Retrieving any of that from the cloud in an area with a weak signal (work) would be frustrating.
    clickerman likes this.
  14. Thatdad

    Thatdad Well-Known Member

    The app comment is made by design. That has absolutely nothing to do with Google or the development of Android. If Android becomes Closed Source it will be no longer Android considering it is based off Linux.

    Well I mean you can add your stuff to a computer..

    Especially considering the fact that external hard drives can hold over 3 tb of data.... This really isn't a big deal. As for the Play Store get in and get out? It's not an app you play with. You find what you want and leave.

    When I find and select an app it doesn't show this pastel look you keep talking about.

    Look up smart watch. Google glass? After you look it up tell us all tech is going backwards.

    or what about the fact that my smartphone I only paid $30 for can be a remote control for my TV or how I can use my computer from another country via wifi? How is this not advanced? You have to consider these movies tech are just that. Movie tech. Let's be realistic.

    1980s mac versus now. MAJOR leap. Brick phone versus Galaxy S4. Huge leap.

    This was all within 30 years. When I was 7 wifi did not even exist. Now I'm 20 wifi is everywhere. I don't think you understand how difficult tech and software development is. You don't just say Ok build a phone accessible to our mind and teleporter and flying cars within a year.
  15. nickdalzell

    nickdalzell Well-Known Member

    the pastel look is all over Play. the top has a type of pastel color, Play Store's home page has colored cards for Movies, Music, etc all in pastel type colors. a lot like the colors in the Google logo. the entire store is black text on white background, hard on eyes, and hard on battery if your device has an AMOLED screen. i often use the Play Store to download apps and browse, so yes, i hate how it looks. the only apps so far that seem to at least copy some of the UI design are Gmail and all of Google's apps, and some apps that are non-Google like Yahoo! Mail that seem to at least copy the black text on white background, card-based gesture control of Gmail. they are not verbatim copies but do seem to be using a lot of the UI design. i am seriously hoping that the trend isn't to flat-ui and Metro-ish looks. but all i have seen is more and more trending towards that, not away from it.

    I have a smartwatch. it relies on Bluetooth and a separate phone. what i meant was i was hoping phones would trend towards HUDs and watches as standalone devices, not devices that simply pair with a phone. the trend currently has the most advanced smartphones becoming huge bricks. no sign of a HUD-based phone as a standalone device. Even Google Glass needs a device to talk to. it does not pull up data on its own. let me know when Glass has a SIM card slot and the ability to function as a standalone smartphone.
  16. Thatdad

    Thatdad Well-Known Member

    Google glass just came out? You're suggestions are over the top.
    All of these tech you're bashing haven't even been around for over 15 years. How about this. YOU develop what you're wanting. If you think you know what you're doing then you do it?
  17. nickdalzell

    nickdalzell Well-Known Member

    Google Glass first of all has not come out--yet. only developers or those who bought the more-expensive models to test out have them.

    Google Glass also has no future plans on replacing smartphones. as i have said, the trend is to the "bigger is better" mentality, both in hardware and apparently UI design. try using the new Play on a Nexus 10. the size of the elements makes that 10-inch screen pointless. it looks more like viewing DesqView on a CGA monitor. a total shame that my Nexus 10 has such a high-resolution, extremely high PPI density to be lost in the transition to flat-UI design instead of 3-D. tech was once seen as getting smaller and smaller to where it became integrated into watches, or even people. cell phones showed a trend towards that in the 1990s by getting smaller and smaller, but now everyone is sporting huge bricks again, and the progress isn't towards integrated tech but just modernizing older tech from some decade back

    Believe me, i was there. i was there in the age of CGA and DOS, UNIX and CP/M. i remember early GUIs very well. these days they call it 'modern UI' but all i see is a kinda modern-ish take on those early GUIs.

    We also have no idea how the public will take Glass. it could just end up faltering like the Nexus Q, Google TV, and Google Wave, and people might just prefer tapping away at their modern take on a Palm Pilot with their Stylus--i mean S-pen. it would not be the first time the excuse 'the world wasn't ready for it' came up. look how long speech recognition has been held back!
  18. JIMV

    JIMV Well-Known Member

    I use 38GB between the internal memory and the SD card...About 80% of that is music with 80% of the music Hi-Rez...maybe 4-5 hours worth. I would put in a 64GB card if the phone would let me.

    I have no as in zero interest in the cloud, a scheme to sell storage that should come with the phone. I am of the belief that nothing in the cloud really belongs to you.
  19. pool_shark

    pool_shark Well-Known Member

    Which is why I don't place anything personal in the cloud.
    Didn't dropbox change their TOS to basically state anything you upload belongs to them?
  20. JIMV

    JIMV Well-Known Member

    Great idea, invalidate your warranty and perhaps brick the $600 phone if one is not a tech geek...

    For those of us in the real world, is it really too much to hope for a phone that is better than the last?
  21. Thatdad

    Thatdad Well-Known Member

    Rooting is actually easy. If you can read you can root.
    My little brother bricked his S4 active and told them it just stopped working, he got a free replacement.
  22. Thatdad

    Thatdad Well-Known Member

    Like I said 2-3 tb external hard drive for approx $40-80 on Amazon or at radioshack? There are other options other than an SD card.
    But I can agree. Although most phones only support 32 gb sd cards anyway.
  23. nickdalzell

    nickdalzell Well-Known Member

    rooting isn't hard. putting Ubuntu OS on a phone designed for a completely different system is a bit more risky than flashing a custom ROM meant for your particular device. and as i recall, Ubuntu OS's support is still extremely limited on devices. besides, Unity is the same simplicity crap as Play and Windows 8. sad how everything is now taking cues from Microsoft in the element of design, including Linux. perhaps a Kubuntu release can be possible eventually?

    Who the hell wants to use a dongle or hard drive attached to their phone over a microSD card? some of us use their phones as music players while out. assuming the cloud is so great, what happens when you go into a no-coverage area? the music STOPS. that is when offline copies stored on an SD Card come in handy, and benefits include not hogging the internal storage used for apps and games.

    Dongles and external devices connected by a cable. say hello to PC Cards and RS-232 life again. it may look and work differently and faster but still...same thing.
    IOWA likes this.
  24. Thatdad

    Thatdad Well-Known Member

    Or you can just get a non apple mp3 player.
    FishenFool likes this.
  25. pool_shark

    pool_shark Well-Known Member

    I have a 2TB external drive hooked up to my router, I use it as a SAN for backups and watching boxing on my home theatre system.

    But that still doesn't alleviate the remote network retrieval issue.
    My Note 2 supports a 64GB card.
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