New label will tell you if SD cards are powerful enough to run apps

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Jeffrey Van Camp
SD cards are a great way to inexpensively expand the storage on your phone, but sometimes they can be a little difficult to deal with — especially when they can’t properly run apps, which is one of the main reasons someone would want to buy an SD card in the first place. Now, however, that issue should be a thing of the past — SD cards will now include a label letting users know if they can run apps off of the card.

The label was implemented by the SD Association, which is the specification group for SD cards, and it falls under the new specification 5.1, which is about to roll out. The label, marked as “A1” or “A1 App Performance,” is part of that rollout.

Of course, not all SD cards will meet the requirements for App Performance Class 1. Those requirements include that a card must include a random read IOPS (input/output operations per second) of 1,500, a random write IOPS of 1,500, and be able to sustain a performance of 10MB/s. You’ll probably see the label on the packaging of an SD card, but you’ll could also see it on the card itself, which is great for those who throw away the packaging only to rediscover the SD card again years later.

“With its consumer-friendly symbol, App Performance Class eliminates buyers’ frustration with identifying app-running compatibility on their Android devices and MicroSD memory cards,” said Brian Kumagai, SDA president, in a statement. “Matching the App Performance Class symbol with your mobile device requirements simplifies the process and continues the SD tradition of matching your memory card to your device.”

There’s really nothing else that’s special about these cards — they’re just the same SD cards, which were already powerful enough to run apps.

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