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    sinister_midget
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    Storage

    Post  sinister_midget on Tue Sep 20, 2016 11:06 pm

    Android phones are nice. But, like most anything mobile, the storage they have is limited.


    You can add a microSD card to most of them, but that's a mixed bag. Older versions would let you move applications to the card to make room, but you usually had to rely on yet another app to do the moving. That option was taken away in later versions unless you rooted the phone. If you did that there were ways to partition the SD to use part of it as storage for apps. More recent versions of Android have given the ability to move apps to the SD card. One phone I have has Android Marshmallow (6.0). That one lets you set the SD card up as part of the internal structure, and apps get moved to the card automatically. I have one phone that won't let any app store anything on the SD card by default. I can move it there manually, but since it can't store it there, it may or may not be able to locate it there either.


    Most phones don't have a means to do those things, though. Once you install a couple of apps you start running low on space. That means you can forget about carrying around music, pictures sometimes have to be gone through and possibly deleted, and so on. It's frustrating.


    But there are some things you can do to help without even having to root your phone. None of them are perfect by themselves. But in combinations they often work pretty well.


    Cloud storage is a big one. The only downside for it is you require a connection to the internet. If you have a home wifi, or if you connect to free ones when you can, you can cut the mobile data usage considerably. But using mobile data, I'd strongly suggest staying away from movies, and monitoring it often to make sure you don't go over and  get slapped with a high fee.


    Here are some options.


    Google gives you some free space by default if you use Google Drive. If you have more than one Google email account, you get the same amount of space for each account you have on the phone. Each account is 15GB. (If you are lucky enough to have a fiber account with them, that goes to 1TB for the account associated with that.) This one integrates pretty well. You can save directly to it, read from it, access it to upload/download items, and some apps will even play music or videos directly from it. There are even some apps that let you integrate several accounts into a single app.


    By the same token, Google Music lets you store up to 50,000 songs, none larger than 300MB. I have close to 180GB of music and I'm nowhere near that limit. With my setup I can listen to it on the phone or tablet, and I can stream it (wired only) directly into my truck stereo. It's a slight bit hissy since it's streaming over-the-air. But if your high frequency hearing is going, like mine, you'll not notice unless somebody mentions it (like my 17-year-old son does sometimes).


    Moving on, others give you additional storage.


    There's the grandfather of them all, Dropbox. I love it. It integrates well. What I don't like is the account limitations (2G for free) and the costs to upgrade to more storage. It's not terrible, but there are others cheaper. I've also played a video or two from this one. Plus it's great because it integrates with everything: Android, IOS, Mac, Windows, linux, Chromebook, maybe even Surface.


    Another good one is MEGAsync. They give you 50GB for free. The cost to upgrade isn't outrageous if you need more. I play videos from my account all of the time, so I'm certain anything else will play from there, too. It doesn't have a direct way to access the files from linux, but I don't know about any other OS. But they can be accessed via a browser from any OS. And I know there's a program to sync files from several OSes (including linux), plus an app to access the files directly from Android.


    I had the Microsoft Onedrive app installed and it worked well. But typical of Microsoft, they gave some space and later changed the terms to reduce it or you could pay to keep it. It wasn't good enough to pay for it since it couldn't do anything I needed that the others don't. It might have integrated better with Windows or something. But since I don't use Windows.....


    Box is an old standard, too. File sizes can be up to 5G and it gives 50G storage. It appears the only sync client is for Windows, but there's an app for Android as well. I don't use it a lot, but like the others I was able to stream from them with some apps.


    Another one I've tried is pCloud. It gives 10G to start. And there are things you can do to get bonuses that will up that to 20G. There are no file size or speed limits (other than your connection). It lets you mark some files as favorites that you can use when not conencted to the internet, though those will take storage on the phone. It has several shortcomings, though (some say won't work on LTE, which I question; no landscape mode; only one account possible; more). So read the reviews to see if it's acceptable if you want to try it out.


    I used to use Sugarsync. But they changed the terms and started charging for what I wanted to store, and they didn't have a linux interface. (I had to uae another program to install the Windows version to use it.) It wasn't worth it to me.


    I installed Deegoo but never used it. It gives 100GB for free. The only reason I hesitated to use it was because some of the reviewers said they lost files after updates. (The company said they could restore it if that happened, but I don't know the outcome in any of those cases.) And the file manager was sort of awkward. But I'll probably give it a try again with copies of files I have on other cloud storage so if it gets lost there I'll still have it. If I don't lose anything after a reasonable time, I'll guess it's safe enough. But I can't say that currently.


    There used to be others (fsCloud, for example) that I tried, but I don't see those now. There were some other apps that were only for backups, too, not access to the files that are backed up except to restore them. So I won't bother with those here.


    OK, besides moving apps to SD and cloud storage, what else can you do?


    Well, rather than delete things that you'd like to keep and lose them, how about moving them to your desktop machine instead?


    If you have a device that connects to your machine as a storage drive when you connect it via cable, you're in luck. Just hook it up, copy files over and then delete them from the phone. Done.


    But if you don't have that ability and you have a wifi network, there's another way.


    Install an app called Airdroid. Make sure your phone and computer are connected to the same network, then open Airdroid. It will want you to sign up, but you don't need to. Skip that and it will show a URL at the top (in my case: http://192.168.1.50:8888). Type that into a browser and it will connect to your phone. Accept the connection on the phone and the browser will open up to a file manager.What can you do here? Lots: move files around, delete files, download from the phone, upload to the phone, make backups of apps and a whole lot of other things. If you've rooted your phone, be careful because it will let you delete things you shouldn't But if your phone isn't rooted, it won't let you get rid of anything important. Like the operating system.


    Samsung has/had an app that did similar things called Kies. What I didn't like about it was it required a client to be installed on the machine connecting to it, and there wasn't a linux client. So I only played with it a bit and never really tried using it for much of anything.


    This doesn't cover all of the possibilities. But it does go over more than enough to help you out if you need it, probably enough for what most people would need. Like always, I'll be happy to help if I can should you need more information or help getting started with something.

      Current date/time is Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:30 pm