The iPhone's lack of expandable storage has created an entirely new breed of services and accessories aimed specifically at iPhone users. $650-$750 is a huge amount of money to pay for a smartphone with just 16GB of storage, and that 16GB of space always seems to vanish in a matter of weeks considering how big games and video files are these days. Even users with 64GB or 128GB iPhones often end up filling their handsets with data, and then the dreaded errors like "cannot capture video" begin to appear.
Several solutions exist for this problem. You can use a service like Google Photos to back up your images and videos, or you can use a device like the Lyve Home Photo and Video Manager. Personally, I like the simplicity and efficiency of a simple iPhone-compatible flash drive, and I may have just found my new favorite one.
Flash drives compatible with Apple's iPhone come in all shapes and sizes. There are evenstorage drives that are built into charging cables, and wireless flash drives that don't need to be plugged in. I happen to be a fan of keeping things as simple as possible, so devices like SanDisk's iXpand mobile flash drives have always appealed to me. And when SanDisk reached out with news of an updated model, I was happy to check out a review unit.
This is a pretty significant update.
First, the hardware — SanDisk has completely revamped its design with the latest iXpand flash drives. Here's what the old one looked like:
And here's the new one:
The new model features a Lightning connector on one end for your iPhone or iPad, and a standard USB 3.0 port on the other end to connect to your Windows or Mac PC. That's basically it — this new design is about as compact as it gets, which makes carrying the device in a purse or laptop bag a no-brainer. That way anytime you need to move files off of your phone or tablet, your flash drive is ready to go. On the flip side, you also always have your photos and videos on hand to share with people, even though they're not taking up space on your phone.
SanDisk's new iXpand models also ship alongside an updated companion app with a sleek design and a simple interface. Navigation is easy and the app can be used to move files off of your device or to view files stored on the drive. You can even store music on the iXpand drive and use the app as a player if you want to. And finally, my favorite setting lets the app automatically transfer any new photos and videos to the drive as soon as it's connected to the phone.
The new iXpand drive comes with 16GB, 32GB, 64GB or 128GB of storage with prices ranging from $49.99 to $129.99, and they're available for purchase beginning today.