* User friendly
* Sleek design
Western Digital-owned SanDisk is a pretty well-known name when it comes to digital memory and storage products such as memory cards and USB flash drives. A little while back, the company launched its iXpand USB flash drive mini in India. Specifically designed to add external storage to Apple’s iOS devices such as iPhones and iPads, the iXpand mini range of flash drives come in 16, 32, 64 and 128GB capacities with price ranging from Rs 2,750 to Rs 7,050. We reviewed the 32GB variant and here’s what we think of it.
With the iXpand Mini, the company has changed the design of the device compared to its predecessor. While the earlier iXpand has a hook-like construction at the end that houses the lightening connector, the iXpand Mini has a simple rectangular body. This design makes it easier for you to carry it in your wallet or pocket, something that might have been a little difficult with the previous version.
Overall, we were quite impressed with the new simple yet tasteful design of the iXpand.
The iXpand flash drive requires you to download its companion app, iXpand Drive, on your iOS device for you to use it. Once the app has been installed, you can connect the drive and it will prompt you to open the app. Just make sure that the USB flash drive is formatted with the proper file system.
Although all standard file systems are supported, we recommend using exFAT as it’s compatible with Windows, Linux and Macintosh. We found that there are a lot of benefits of using the iXpand, the most important being the ability free up precious storage space on your Apple device. You can transfer just about anything from the iOS machine to the drive (or back). These include photos, videos and other files from the iOS system.
A neat feature we must talk about is the iXpand’s auto-backup. Via this the users can auto-copy pictures and videos to the flash drive as soon as it is connected to an iPhone or iPad. Over that, encryption is supported. Yes, users can password-protect the data on this drive (adding to the security barrage).
On our test bench the SanDisk iXpand did well. We were able to transfer a 900 MB file from the Apple iPhone 6 to the flash drive in under a minute. It took similar time to transfer it back to the iPhone. Users need to be careful and not move the drive during transfers. If your phone moves even a little bit, the process just stops and the whole process needs to be restarted.
SanDisk iXpand USB flash drive offers a convenient way of adding extra storage to your iPhone or iPad, especially if you have a model that has less memory. It’s simple to use and portable, and the fact that it doesn’t require iTunes to manage content, makes things even better. If you want a quick way of freeing up valuable space on your iOS device, SanDisk iXpand is worth considering.
6 tools to boost your Apple iPhone’s storage
Ever since the first iPhone was introduced way back in 2007, Apple’s category-defining smartphone has gone through a lot of changes. But even though Apple has introduced numerous advancements and features in iPhones over successive generations, there’s one ‘feature’ that most iPhone users have always missed – expandable storage. However, what if you could double your iPhone as a portable hard disk for carrying files and documents everywhere? Wonder how? Here are six tools to help you accomplish this.
File Manager is arguably the best phone-based app on the list. Not only does it let you manage your files, but it also acts as a virtual USB drive for both the iPhone and iPad. Once you’ve installed the app on your device, you have two ways of getting data onto in: Use iTunes: Connect your iPhone to a computer (Mac or Windows) with a copy of iTunes. Navigate to Apps and find File Manager on the list. Click on it, and you can drag-and-drop files into the documents section in the right-hand panel. Use Wi-Fi: In the app, go to Settings > Upload Via Wi-Fi Sync, and it will give you an IP address. Enter the address into a browser that’s on the same network as your phone, and you’ll be able to transfer files back and forth. The app can read certain files (such as Microsoft Office, PDFs, and Apple iWork), but it will gladly accept any file you throw at it.
Files: Document & PDF Reader
Files: Document & PDF Reader is largely similar to File Manager. However, it offers a couple of additional ways to transfer your files; you can use iTunes and a Wi-Fi network, but it’ll also work with Windows Explorer and Finder. There is one drawback – the app has a 200 MB data limit. You’ll need to purchase the pro version if you want unlimited storage. The premium version also adds support for Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, and OneDrive.
Unlike the above two apps, iMazing (formerly DiskAid) doesn’t require you to install anything on your actual iPhone. Instead, it’s a desktop app that acts as a replacement for iTunes (available on Mac and Windows). The app has got lots of great features, including photo organization, backup creation, and advanced iOS management options – but you’ll be most interested in the file transfer service. It has a simple drag-and-drop interface and will let you choose which app on your phone you want to save the content to.
SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive
Of course, you don’t need to use an app at all. These days, you’re probably already carrying around lots of dongles to connect your iPhone to various other devices, so one more can’t hurt. There’s an entire sector devoted to iPhone-specific USB drives. They all come with a Lightning connector and plug directly into your iDevice. Currently, the best-in-class is the SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive. It’ll automatically backup your photos, lets you transfer any file on/off your phone, and is USB 3.0 enabled. Best of all, it also has a USB port; if you have a USB cable, you’ll be able to transfer data from the flash drive directly onto any device – even if there’s no Lightning port. It comes in three sizes: 32 GB, 64 GB, and 128 GB.
iMart USB Flash Drive
If the SanDisk offering is out of your price range, check out this eMart product. Sure, it doesn’t look as sleek as the SanDisk, but it’s only half the price. Interestingly, it has three connectors – Lightning, USB 2.0, and micro USB. As such, it will also work with most Android phones, making it perfect if other members of your household use Google’s rival mobile operating system.
Finally, it’s worth noting iTunes itself will let you transfer most files to and from your device. It’s not as elegant or straightforward as the other methods, but if you don’t want to rely on third-party products – and you don’t deal with any unusual file types – it will do the job. To transfer files, plug your phone into your computer and launch the app. Select your device and click Apps. Underneath File Sharing, choose the app you want to transfer a file to. You now have two options: To transfer a file from your phone: Right-click the file, choose Save To, and select your destination. To transfer a file onto your phone: Select Add, choose the file you want to move and click Open. You don’t need to be able to open the file using the app you specified, just remember where you’ve put the file and download it elsewhere.