iPhoneThe Apple iPhone, in all its incarnations, has proven to be a very successful smartphone, but it comes with at least one very noteworthy shortcoming: there’s no native way to expand your iPhone memory. If you buy the 16GB iPhone 4S, for example, you really only have those 16 gigs of storage available to you, less after you factor in the space that iOS takes up.

Whereas most other smartphones, like those powered by Android or BlackBerry, have microSD card slots, that’s just not the case with the iPhone. Does that really mean that all the iEnthusiasts in the audience are stuck? Not at all! In fact, there are several smart ways that you can expand your iPhone memory without having to resort to warranty-breaking hackery. Here are some of the best.

ZoomIt SD Card Reader

Yes, the Apple iPhone is officially lacking in a card reader, but you can gain the ability to use full-size SD cards with the ZoomIt SD card reader. This handy little accessory attaches to the dock connector on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Then, you launch the accompanying app and you can manage your files as you see fit, transfering files between your iPhone’s internal memory and the SD card that you inserted. It’s not ideal, but it does work.

Kingston Wi-Drive

Kingston Wi-Drive

Kingston Wi-Drive Wireless Storage

With the ZoomIt, you have to transfer files for them to work on your iPhone. With the Kingston Wi-Drive, everything happens over a Wi-Fi connection instead. This roughly iPhone-sized device sets up its own wireless access point. You connect to it and then all of the storage on the Wi-Drive is available to your iPhone either through the available app or through the Safari browser. The Kingston Wi-Drive is available in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB capacities. My personal experience with it has been quite positive, especially since the Wi-Drive can be shared with multiple devices at the same time.

Dropbox for iPhone Memory

Wireless storage is well and good, but the smarter way to expand your iPhone memory is to turn to the cloud. One of the best cloud-based apps has got to be Dropbox. The files can be automatically synced between your mobile devices, your home computer and your work computer. The free account starts with 2GB of cloud storage, but this can expand up to 18GB of total storage when you factor in the referral bonuses that you can earn. Alternatively, you can sign up for one of the paid plans for even more cloud storage.

Google Drive

Google Drive iOS app

Google Drive App for iOS

Do you already have a Google account? That means that you already have an account with Google Drive too. This is fundamentally the same idea as Dropbox, except it has also integrated all the functionality of Google Docs, which Drive replaced. In addition to the web-based interface on your computer, all you need to do is get the iOS app and you can extend your iPhone memory that way. This isn’t quite as useful for music, but it’s a great way to backup your photos and documents. You get 5GB free to start.

Apple iCloud

In effect, this is the official way to get more iPhone memory. Apple iCloud can be used to store your content, to be sure, but it can also be used to backup your photos, calendars, contacts, and documents. It’s supposed to work seamlessly with all your other Apple products. You get 5GB of storage for free, but keep in mind that your purchased music, movies, apps, books and TV shows, plus your Photo Stream, don’t count against this limit. Yes, this means that you can enjoy iTunes in the cloud too. You don’t even need to the conventional sync for it work.

Image credit: clockmaker / Flickr