Storage mate for your iDevice


By Prasun Chaudhuri
  • Published 1.01.18

GADGET: iXpand Mini Flash Drive

TECH SPECS: Syncs with an app to free up space on your iPhone or iPad; back up for your data 

PRICE: Rs 2,750 to Rs 7,050

If you bought an Apple iPhone (entry spec variant) or iPad mini with limited storage space, you will probably be struggling to accommodate your photos, videos and music in the device. These basic-level devices run out of memory so soon that you've to constantly delete stuff to make space for new photos and WhatsApp messages. Unfortunately, unlike most Android devices, Apple devices do not offer the option of expandable storage. For iOS users, extra storage comes at a premium.

In the past, if you owned an Apple device and wanted extra storage - or the ability to easily transfer files from other devices - you had to pick up a pricy external flash drive. Many people opted for the iXpand Mini Flash Drive because it was made by SanDisk, a well-known name in the domain of digital memory. Recently, SanDisk has given the mini flash drive an overhaul, making it stand out among other products in its category. It's now smaller, lighter and sleeker. It is much better designed too. The black and silver drive looks as good as the impeccably designed Apple products it connects to. The earlier version had an ugly hook-like structure at the end and was not easy to carry in your pocket or wallet.

The SanDisk iXpand Mini Flash Drive has a traditional USB 3.0 connector on one side, which will plug into your PC. At the other end is a lightning connector that plugs into your Apple device. As soon as you plug it in, it asks for a download of the SanDisk iXpand app from the App Store (it doesn't need iTunes to manage content). The app helps free up space on your iPhone or iPad. Apart from the usual photos, documents and movies, it can handle multiple popular file formats, including .wmv, .avi, .mp4, .mov and so on. The app also gives you the option to backup your social media files (especially WhatsApp messages and pictures/videos) directly onto the drive as well as save things from another app.

Once they have been backed up, you can simply delete these files from your iOS device as you can play them seamlessly from the flash drive. Most iOS users find it difficult to manage in a world of Android and Windows devices. What I found most convenient about the flash drive was its ability to move files easily between Windows and iOS, using a simple drag-and-drop technique. I could easily copy the videos and photos from my laptop to this drive and then play them on my iPad. The transfer speed is also quite good.

These mini flash drives, however, don't come cheap. The basic 16GB one costs Rs 2,750 and the top of the line 128GB has a price tag of Rs 7,050. But you'll certainly get value for money.