There is a world of innovation in our hands and back pockets.
Smartphones are decades of technological advancements compiled together while technology has been growing at a faster rate than ever.
With all the tiny parts that make your smartphone work, it can be hard to keep track of all of their names and functions.
What Is A TF Card?
A TF card is a memory storage device that can be found in smartphones, cameras, and computers.
TF stands for TransFlash, which was the old name for micro-SD cards.
SD stands for secure digital.
All of the photos and videos that you take will go onto your TransFlash card.
Before printing services began working through the internet, you would have to turn in your TransFlash card to get your pictures printed.
The internet has significantly reduced the number of times you need to take your TransFlash card out of your smartphone, but digital photographers will still need to interact with their TransFlash cards.
Smartphones and computers don’t typically have you touch your TransFlash card unless it is broken or needs to be replaced.
The removable storage device made it much easier to get photos and videos off of your phone before the printing businesses took their services online.
It is still the fastest way to transfer photos onto your computer from a camera.
SanDisk first released the first TransFlash card in 2004.
SanDisk teamed up with Motorola to make a secure digital card that was half of the size of a SIM card, or the subscriber identification module card.
The innovation amazed consumers who had been accustomed to storage devices that were nearly as big as the phone without nearly as much room.
The effective nature of TransFlash cards has allowed them to stay relevant, even nearly 20 years after their introduction.
Modern TransFlash cards are vastly superior to older cards, being able to hold even more digital information while never getting any bigger, only smaller.
What Does A TF Card Have On It?
Your TransFlash card is capable of holding all sorts of information on it.
The digital information includes photos, videos, music, contacts, and messages.
All of your photos and videos on your phone are ones and zeros that come together to create a set of digital information for the photo, video, or any other type of digital information.
All the different types of videos, messages, and photos on your phone tend to clog up the phone’s memory and wear on the phone’s battery.
By upgrading your TransFlash card, you can help increase the longevity of your phone.
TransFlash cards come in many different storage sizes.
The smallest TransFlash cards are 128 megabytes, and the largest cards are 128 gigabytes.
All of this information is held on a card that is only 15 millimeters by 11 millimeters by 1 millimeter.
That is smaller than a fingernail.
A good TransFlash card with a high-speed class rating will increase the amount of storage on your phone, but it will also take some of the performance pressure off of your phone.
The lower amount of pressure will help your phone run longer.
If you download any movies or episodic shows, they will also be stored on your TransFlash card.
The higher quality that your stored videos are, the higher speed you’re going to need.
Having a higher speed class can help your device become more responsive if you use them in cameras or smartphones.
By storing videos in TransFlash cards with lower speeds, your videos will be reduced in quality.
Your videos may end up looking blurry or pixelated.
While TransFlash cards can be used in a long list of devices, they are most commonly used in music players, dashboard cameras, and even remote, flying drones.
TransFlash cards are perfect for these types of devices.
Advantages Of A TF Card
There are many reasons that a device manufacturer may choose to use a TransFlash card over your typical SD card.
They are a versatile piece of hardware that fits perfectly into a long list of devices.
Transflash cards are incredibly small.
On their own, Transflash cards are only 15 millimeters in length, 11 millimeters in width, and 1 millimeter thick.
Yet, they are capable of holding up to 128 gigabytes.
When shopping for a phone, you may notice that phones with higher storage cost more than those with smaller storage cards, even if they’re the same model of phone.
It is cheaper to buy the version of the phone with less storage and to buy a new TransFlash card with high speed and volume to replace the memory card that comes stock with the phone.
Unlike other types of digital storage, TransFlash cards don’t take up much energy.
They’re perfect devices with rechargeable batteries.
TransFlash cards can actually help you preserve your battery.
TransFlash cards are also incredibly adaptable, which is how they’re used in such a large range of devices.
You can get TransFlash adapters to help your TransFlash card fit into large ports.
Other storage devices may need to be organized, but TransFlash will automatically organize themselves in order of when something has been downloaded to the card.
This also makes them easier to keep track of.
TransFlash cards are solid state media and use non-volatile memory.
This means they are extremely stable when holding onto data without having the same mechanical issues that many storage devices suffer from.
Solid state drives store information constantly and are used as a secondary place for memory.
A solid state drive uses flash memory.
Non-volatile memory doesn’t need constant power in order to keep the data safe.
Disadvantages Of A TF Card
Similar to every piece of technology, TransFlash cards aren’t perfect.
There are a few disadvantages to using them, especially compared to how other digital storage devices have also improved over the years.
Due to their small size, TransFlash cards are extremely fragile.
Inside the tiny shell of the TransFlash cards, there are many even tinier pieces that are specifically placed in order to complete all the tasks that the card has to do.
Their near weightlessness makes it easy to forget they may be in a pocket, and the weight of sitting on them crushes them well past the point of repair.
A TransFlash card’s size and weight also make it incredibly easy to lose.
The tiny, black cartridge is easier than a paperclip to lose.
Even if you place it on your desk, all it takes is a small gust of wind for it to fly onto the floor.
You also have to remember that not all TransFlash cards are created equal.
While TransFlash cards with high speed ratings will improve your device, TransFlash cards with low speed ratings will lower your device’s capability.
You can tell a TransFlash card is too slow by the performance of your device.
If it seems to be running more sluggish after replacing the TransFlash card, then the card has too low in speed.
TransFlash cards lack a security switch.
Security switches prevent any information from being deleted and are located on the upper left side of micro-SD cards.
This leaves TransFlash cards without any form of security for the information on it.
As memory storage in devices has advanced, TransFlash cards are beginning to be replaced by more modern hardware in cell phones.
Instead, they have been shifted towards the use of other small, digital devices.
What To Do If Your TF Card Isn’t Working
TransFlash cards are capable of having technical problems just like any other piece of hardware.
You may need to format your TransFlash card if it isn’t wanting to store data.
However, you should be aware that by formatting your TransFlash card, you will lose all data stored on the device.
Make sure that you back up all of your data onto another device in order to keep the previous photos or videos safe.
You will be able to format your TransFlash card on your computer or Android smartphone’s operating system.
Each operating system is vastly different and requires different steps.
For Windows Users
For those using Windows on their computers, you will want to start by putting your TransFlash card into the micro SD card slot on your computer.
If you don’t have a port that matches the size of the card, you can buy an adapter that connects to your USB ports.
Open your file explorer and choose “This PC”.
You will find the TransFlash card under the “Devices and Drives” tab.
Click the option that says “Secure Digital storage device” with the right side of your mouse.
A menu will pop up where you clicked, and you will need to select “Format”.
This will bring up a smaller, pop-up screen.
You will want to open up the “File System” options. If your TransFlash card is less than 64 gigabytes, then you will choose “FAT32”.
If your TransFlash card is larger than 64 gigabytes, then you will need to choose “exFAT”.
Finish the process by clicking “Start”, which is at the bottom of the window.
For Mac Users
Similar to Windows users, you will start the formatting process by inserting your TransFlash card into the micro SD card port of your computer or a USB adapter that is plugged into your computer.
Then, open Finder, click the “Utilities” tab, and search for the “Disk Utility”, which will look like a hard drive with a stethoscope.
Under the external disk drive tab, you will find the name of your TransFlash drive in the menu on the left.
On the top of the screen, there will be five buttons to choose from.
You will want to choose the middle option, which is “Erase”.
Once you’ve gone to click “Erase” a pop-up menu will appear.
Choose the proper format and then finish the deed by clicking “Erase” in the lower right corner of the pop-up menu.
The TransFlash card will then begin to reformat itself.
For Android Users
Android users looking to format their TransFlash cards will have to ensure that their card is inside their device.
Unlike computers, there isn’t room for an additional memory card, so you will be formatting this card directly from the device that is primarily using it.
Once you have properly prepared the TransFlash card by backing up its memory elsewhere and putting it back in the device, you may go into your Android’s settings, which are represented by a cog.
In your settings, you will want to go to your storage.
In storage, you will see a tab labeled “SD card”.
No matter what kind of card you have in your phone, it will always be labeled as an “SD card”.
Below the total amount of storage being used on the device and how much is left, you will see the option to eject your card or to format it.
When you choose to format, your phone will give you one final warning about what could happen to the data stored in your SD card.
Go ahead click “Erase & Format”.
Your device will then begin to reformat your TransFlash card.
Where To Buy TF Cards
If formatting your TransFlash card doesn’t seem to help, you may need to buy a new card.
You can find them in places like Best Buy, Walmart, and just about any general technology store.
However, the best place to buy your TransFlash cards is directly from the manufacturers.
When buying directly from the manufacturer isn’t an option, you should search your favorite brands on NewEgg, which is similar to Amazon, but specializing in technology.
SanDisk was the first manufacturer to create the TransFlash card and coined the term, but they aren’t the only option for your TransFlash card needs.
Many other brands have built on what SanDisk started by bettering the original design of TransFlash cards.
Many companies, such as Nuiflash and Kootion, have focused on offering cards that are more difficult to break and cards that can withstand shock and heat damage.
Companies such as Netac and Nuilaks have created waterproof TransFlash cards with more than enough storage room and speed.
TransFlash Cards As A Reliable Memory Storage
While TransFlash cards are becoming older technology that will eventually be obsolete, they are still a functional and reliable data storage option.
With the variety in size, speed, and storage volume, TransFlash cards will always remain useful where small memory cards are needed.
Although they were once the best option for smartphones, they have become the best memory storage options for security cameras, flying drones, and even GPS systems.
These tiny pieces of your devices are responsible for storing photos, videos, and audio.
The security that they offer for your information is unmatched.
If your data is on a TransFlash card, then you know that there is just about nothing that can corrupt it.
The advancement of using TransFlash cards for security cameras and flying drones has greatly contributed to the improvement of the footage captured by these kinds of devices.
This makes security cameras and drones even more effective at their jobs.NEXT: What Is Post-Secondary Education? (Everything To Know)