Storage is becoming a huge factor while purchasing a smartphone. Way back when the iPhone was first released, buying an 8GB model was still a thing. Now, any less than 32 GB for a flagship is considered ridiculous. But sometimes that’s not enough. That’s why 128 GB and 256 GB options for flagships have become the norm; just look at the newly released Google Pixel phones or the OnePlus 3/3T. But for those hungry for more storage, there’s expandable storage. But there is a big drawback. MicroSD cards have been known to fail. They’re also not as good as internal storage when they run apps. There’s also the chance that they’ll get viruses from infected PCs and you’ll be left with your head hanging in despair. However, the technology has gotten significantly better over the years. And now, SD association, the head honchos that handle specifications for MicroSD cards, have started labelling them for performance.
SD association has announced Application Performance Class, which has become part of the latest SD specification 5.1. This rating tells you how well each card is at running your apps. Since performance is key here, more and more SD cards will inevitably shift towards the high end to accommodate and serve the flagship market.
With the launch of Android 6.0 Marshmallow last year, SD cards could now be integrated in to internal storage. Which means that they no longer appeared as a separate entity in storage.
The cards with Application Performance Class certification will have the A1 logo on them. These cards will meet or exceed certain standards including a Random Read Input Output (IOPS) of 1,500 per second, a Write Input Output of 500 per second and a Sustained Sequential Performance of 10 MB per second. Don’t think of the IOPS as a benchmark though, because it only specifies in theory how far the SD card can go, it doesn’t apply to real world performance.
The A1 label may also be found on certain devices in the future (tablets, smartphones, notebooks etc.) to let customers know that their device is specially designed to handle A1 storage options. There are two versions of the logo, longhand and shorthand.
MicroSD cards have earned the public’s seal of approval for reliability and performance over the years and now command 80% of the market. Smartphones, tablets, Bluray players, PCs, HDTVs and Digital Cameras all use them and they’re only getting better. The SD association was established in January, 2000, by Toshiba, SanDisk and Panasonic.