While flash drives are cheap and useful, they offer some disadvantages: they’re small, easy to lose and so often get overwritten with other data. For a more permanent, portable apps solution, Lifehacker reader hradac recommends using your smartphone’s SD card.
Lots of you are fans of portable app suites like PortableApps and LiberKey, but it’s sometimes hard to dedicate a flash drive to one specific purpose and always have it with you. They get lost, they get overwritten when your friend wants to copy some of your music, or you end up using them to reinstall Windows, for example. While you could attach one to your keys (and thus bulking up your keychain quite a bit), hradac proposes a different solution:
Since the PCs on my campus are wiped every day, there is no guarantee that they will have the software I need so emailing, using Google Docs, or Dropbox would be inconvenient. My solution is to use PortableApps on my smart phone. I don’t forget it, I don’t lose it, all the software I need and my files come with me, and what’s even better is all my browser history, passwords, and bookmarks come with me too. I also have XAMPP on my phone giving me a fully functional web server stack that lives in my pocket.
With the exception of the iPhone, most smart phones come with a rather large SD card that, if you’re not using it for music, is perfect for storing portable apps, a portable privacy kit or even a portable operating system for when you need it. Since you’re much less likely to leave the house without your phone, it can be handier than sometimes fickle flash drives. Got any other portable computing tips? Share them in the comments.