Our Technology Editor Kevin Kelly reviews this deceptively simple device, and argues that it will completely change the way you store your content and utilise your iPhone.
The camera you have in your pocket today is the most important one you own. There are much better cameras available for a lot more money, but the most important camera is the one you have on your person when you need it.
Luckily, smartphone cameras are pretty good today, especially the iPhone. You can capture special moments in high quality. The problem has always been that it’s a horrible job to try and get those photos off your phone. This is only an iPhone problem. Most Android phones are much more accessible than the iPhone.
Recently, I needed to get a few videos off my iPad onto a PC. This was a hell of a job. There was no easy way to do it. Eventually we had to shift the entire workflow to a Mac to get it going. But now, there’s a little device that’ll make this process trivial.
The Sandisk iXpand Flash Drive is so simple that its brilliance is deceptive. It’s a little USB stick, just a bit wider than the similar USBs you have lying abundantly around or hanging from your keys. The magic comes when you pull a little tab out of its body that features a Lightning connector that can plug into an iPhone or iPad that have that same connector.
When you download the free iXpand app from the App Store, the iPhone or iPad’s camera roll suddenly becomes a lot more open. You can copy any of the photos and videos you have captured with your device onto the flash drive, then just insert that into a computer to get at the photos. Easy.
You can also put your own content on the iXpand, such as movies or music when you fill up the internal memory on your iPhone, something which is very easy to do. You open the iXpand app and you just start watching.
The iXpand does need to be charged, as it needs external power when it’s plugged into the iPhone. However this is done automatically when it’s plugged in via USB.
This little device has completely changed how I use my iPhone and iPad. I can now easily get photos and videos off my phone that I don’t hesitate in capturing any moment I want. I transfer the file to the iXpand, then get rid of it on the phone in full knowledge I still have an original copy.
The Sandisk iXpand Flash Drive for iPhone and iPad is available in 16GB-128GB models, and starts at about €52 online.