Expanding your iPhone’s memory

As you might know, the memory of Apple’s iThings (iPhone, iPad) cannot be expanded internally after you purchased a specific memory configuration. Furthermore it’s not possible to directly access and transfer data from an external flash drive. But there are apps for that coming with these well-known flash memories

  • ADATA AI920
  • Kingston DataTraveler Bolt
  • Leef iBridge 3
  • Sandisk Sandisk iXpand V2

They all have a Lightning as well as a USB connector.

What you need to know …

• You will be prompted to download the developer’s iOS app as soon as you plug in the drive. To share files with another iOS user, that person has to do the same. The app itself weighs between 40 and 160MB depending on your drive you choose.

• The iOS apps provided from the manufacturers have exclusive access right to the drives’ content. They handle pretty much everything from media playback to Camera Roll backup and restore.

• If you plan on carrying files larger than 4GB, pick a drive that supports exFAT. Even though you can still format it into exFAT on your PC or Mac, there’s no guarantee that the app will recognize the file table.

• Files that aren’t natively compatible with the manufacturers’ bundled apps have to be first copied to your iPhone or iPad before a third party app can attempt to open. This kind of defeats the purpose of having external storage; having said that, this limitation only applies to unsupported file format.

• Apple iOS can neither import nor play DRM-protected media from these USB sticks. This might not be a deal breaker unless you want to play your iTunes-purchased movies and TV shows directly from these drives.

• Depending on the size of your photo library, a complete backup of the Camera Rolls is clearly a test of one’s patience, not to mention the toll it will take on the iDevice’s battery life. For this reason, we recommend you only use these drives as an intermediary storage for your media, especially if you plan on recording 4k video.

• You will want a drive whose app continues to receive updates on a regular basis whether to fix bug or to keep up with iOS requirements. Note these updates, however, might stop coming as soon as the company stops the production of their drives.

Details …

Flash Memories Lightning-USB

Thanks Ian Chiu for a comprehensive overview.