Best ex­ter­nal stor­age for an iOS de­vice

Boost your stor­age ca­pac­ity of with Cliff Joseph’s guide to the best ex­ter­nal Wi-Fi drives and Light­ning-en­abled flash stor­age de­vices

iPad&iPhone user - - CONTENTS -

Run­ning out of stor­age space is of­ten an is­sue for iPhone and iPad own­ers. There is, how­ever, more you can do to fix it be­yond free­ing up some space by delet­ing rarely used apps, mov­ing files to the cloud and gen­er­ally op­ti­miz­ing the way stor­age is han­dled.

If you bought a de­vice with a low ca­pac­ity the prob­lem is likely to re­cur, be­cause you can’t up­grade

an iPhone or iPad to have more stor­age: a 32GB iPhone will be a 32GB iPhone for­ever.

But wait a sec­ond be­fore you rush off to buy a new phone. You might not be able to up­grade an iDe­vice’s in­ter­nal stor­age spec­i­fi­ca­tions, but you can add more stor­age with ex­ter­nal ac­ces­sories. And there’s plenty of them out there.

Leef iBridge 3 Price: £44.99 from

The orig­i­nal Leef iBridge (pic­tured op­po­site) was one of the first dual-in­ter­face de­vices that in­cluded both USB and Light­ning in­ter­faces so that you could eas­ily trans­fer files be­tween Macs, PCs and iOS de­vices.

It’s been up­dated since then, with the Leef iBridge 3 the lat­est ad­di­tion to the fam­ily. It fea­tures Light­ning and Touch ID pro­tec­tion too, pro­vid­ing speedy, se­cure trans­fers. It also boasts a 256GB op­tion – which is as much as many of the MacBook lap­tops these days, and more than most of its mem­ory stick ri­vals.

Us­ing the iBridge 3 app, you can ac­cess all your pho­tos, movies and mu­sic (apart from DRM-pro­tected files) with­out tak­ing up any stor­age on your iOS de­vice.

With the iBridge Cam­era, a fea­ture built into the iBridge app, you can take pho­tos and di­rectly save them to the stor­age de­vice. If you want to clear space by trans­fer­ring pho­tos from your iOS de­vice, that’s also avail­able via the app – you can then copy/move these by plug­ging the iBridge into your Mac or PC.

The iBridge 3 weighs just 12g, so it’s easy to carry around in your pocket, and the sil­i­con and alu­minium

case can cope with be­ing banged about in a back­pack when you’re trav­el­ling.

Con­nec­tiv­ity: USB 3.1, Ap­ple Light­ning

Leef iAc­cess iOS Mi­cro SD Price: £34.99 from­m0p

As well as the dual-in­ter­face iBridge, Leef of­fers an­other stor­age op­tion for your iOS de­vices. The iAc­cess looks very sim­i­lar to the iBridge, but in­stead of hav­ing its own built-in Flash mem­ory it al­lows you to in­sert an SD mem­ory card for stor­ing your files. It was pri­mar­ily de­signed so that you could trans­fer pho­tos and videos

from an ac­tion-cam or drone on to your iPhone or iPad, but the trans­fer process works both ways so you can just as eas­ily copy files from your iOS de­vices onto a mem­ory card for safe-keep­ing. The other ad­van­tage of the iAc­cess is that you can just keep adding mem­ory cards to give you all the ex­tra stor­age you need.

Con­nec­tiv­ity: Ap­ple Light­ning, mi­croSD card reader

PK­paris K’ablekey Price: £35.16 from

K’ablekey is the prod­uct of Paris-based com­pany PK­paris, and of­fers a slightly dif­fer­ent de­sign to oth­ers men­tioned in this round-up. It has a brushed alu­minium look with built-in mag­nets that keep the two semi-cir­cle halves stuck to­gether for easy trans­porta­tion. When you want to use the ca­ble, sim­ply pull off the or­ange rub­ber ends and pull the two sec­tions apart. When you want to use the ca­ble, sim­ply pull off the or­ange rub­ber ends and pull the two sec­tions apart.

The de­vice of­fers three func­tions: the abil­ity to store and ac­cess me­dia on your iOS de­vice, easy trans­fer of files from PC/Mac to iOS and charg­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties when plugged in to a charger/com­puter/power­bank.

It’s ideal for those with low stor­age as the iOS app of­fers the abil­ity to not only copy but move all your pho­tos and videos to K’ablekey, free­ing up much­needed stor­age and mak­ing your en­tire li­brary ac­ces­si­ble via USB stor­age.

The K’ablekey also pro­vides a sim­pler way to watch movies on your iPhone or iPad: it’s eas­ier to trans­fer a movie to the drive and watch it in the Pk Mem­ory app, rather than con­vert­ing and up­load­ing it via iTunes.

Our only is­sue is with the Pk Mem­ory app it­self: it’s poorly de­signed and fairly con­fus­ing to use as it re­lies heav­ily on icons that aren’t al­ways self-ex­plana­tory.

It’s easy enough to trans­fer your en­tire me­dia li­brary to/from the stor­age de­vice, but other as­pects are a lit­tle more con­fus­ing. Oh, and there’s no way to tell how much stor­age is used/left in the app – an im­por­tant fea­ture if you opt for the lower stor­age op­tion.

Con­nec­tiv­ity: USB 3.1, Ap­ple Light­ning

Ver­ba­tim 49304 16GB Dual USB 3.0 Light­ning Drive Price: £31.30 from

In com­mon with the other USB flash drive-type ac­ces­sories in this round-up, the Ver­ba­tim Store ‘n’ Go is a flash mem­ory stick with a full-size USB port at one end and a Light­ning port at the other, but this is a fast USB 3.0 port that’s back­ward com­pat­i­ble with USB 2.0.

This makes it easy to share, copy or move files be­tween Macs, PCs, lap­tops and iDe­vices, or use the stick it­self to back up con­tent on your iDe­vice or play back me­dia stored on the Ver­ba­tim on your iPhone or iPad. The Ver­ba­tim’s con­nec­tion is a fast USB 3.0 port, which is back­ward com­pat­i­ble with USB 2.0.

We like the small, com­pact de­sign of this USB/ Light­ning stick, but only one of the two clear plas­tic

end caps are teth­ered so the other could eas­ily be­come lost. A lan­yard al­lows you to con­nect the Ver­ba­tim to a key­chain.

You’ll be prompted to down­load a free com­pan­ion app from the App Store the first time you con­nect the Ver­ba­tim to your iPhone or iPad, and can then use this to play me­dia stored on the stick, back up con­tent or save cam­era pho­tos di­rectly to it.

The Ver­ba­tim is com­pat­i­ble with iPhones and iPads run­ning iOS 7.0 or later, Mac OS X 10.4 or later, and Win­dows XP or later. It’s avail­able in 16-, 32- and 64GB ca­pac­i­ties.

Con­nec­tiv­ity: USB 3.0, Ap­ple Light­ning

Leef iBridge 3

Leef iAc­cess iOS Mi­cro SD

Ver­ba­tim 49304 16GB Dual USB 3.0 Light­ning Drive

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