PhotoFast’s i-FlashDrive HD works like a USB flash drive for iOS devices, including all generations of the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. It copies data and files to and from iOS devices and then plugs into a Mac or PC using USB 2.0.
The i-FlashDrive HD comes in four sizes: 8GB, 16GB, 32GB and 64GB. We tested a 32GB i-FlashDrive HD that came with a USB port on one side and a 30-pin connector on the other. It ships with a 30-pin Lightning adapter, letting it work on all iOS devices. They also sell versions with only the Lightning connector.
How i-FlashDrive Works
The i-FlashDrive HD works in concert with a free i-FlashDrive app. The app shows three sections, backup, storage and cloud. Use backup to copy contacts, pictures, video and other files to the flash drive.
Storage shows two areas of storage:
- Local Storage – refers to built-in storage of the iOS device
- External Storage – storage on i-FlashDrive
Cloud storage connects to the device to DropBox. Move files between a DropBox account and the i-FlashDrive.
The i-FlashDrive HD app serves as a file viewer. View pictures, watch video or see document files. The app lets users create and edit text files as well. The app will open files in compatible apps on the user’s iOS device. For example, view a Pages document in the app and then open it in Pages. There’s a long list of supported file types including:
- Audio files like MP3 and AAC
- Image files like JPG, BMP and PNG
- Documents like Word, Excel, PowerPoint and iWork formats
- Video files like MOV, M4V
i-FlashDrive HD delivers what PhotoFast promises and works with any iOS device made, using either a 30-pin or Lightening connector. The 30-pin version uses the Apple Lightning to 30-pin adapter to work with iPhone 5, iPad mini or iPad 4. We like the simple i-FlashDrive HD app. If someone gives a user a video file to play, the app will stream it to an AppleTV via AirPlay. The app and drive together to effectively expand the iOS device storage, something we’ve not seen in an elegant solution like this.
Because the device comes in multiple storage sizes, buyers can backup their data and files from an iPad. We recommend it for users who take a lot of pictures and video with their phone or tablet. iCloud’s PhotoStream backs media up via the Internet, but a physical connection often works faster or more reliably.
The only problem with i-FlashDrive HD is cost. Consider the following options available on Amazon:
- 8GB 30-pin model – $99.99
- 16GB 30-pin model – $149.99
- 16GB Lightning model – $149.99
- 32GB Lightning model – $201.97
- 64GB Lightning model – $319.99
Users can turn any 8GB to 64GB flash drive into something that transfers files to an iOS device for far cheaper if they get the Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit, or the Lightning to USB adapter, both of which cost $29 form Apple. This solution won’t let users copy from iPad to the drive, however. Buyers must decide if that functionality is worth the higher cost.