Gadgets SanDisk-iXpand-Flash-Drive

Published on May 7th, 2015 | by Greg


Backup Your iPhone With SanDisk’s iXpand Flash Drive

Apple users take note: you’ve probably paid way too much for storage, spending a lot of extra dough on a memory upgrade for your phone or tablet. On the other hand, if you’re like many of us, you’ve quickly realized the limitations of the 16GB of disk space that comes standard on the cheapest model. The iOS operating system itself takes up 3GB, leaving you out about 20% of your storage, a fact which has even brought about some lawsuits. And between apps, music, and pictures, it’s all too easy to fill up your entire device.

The SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive helps get your data off of your mobile device, while giving you a safe place to store it- no more relying on the cloud. Available in a few different capacities from 16GB on up, ours was 128GB, enough to hold plenty of movies and everything else. There are two different connectors, one for USB 2.0, plus a unique flexible Lightning connector that can plug in easily without needing to remove your iPhone or iPad case. Plug the USB side into your laptop and grab some movies, then take this little guy with you on the road and play them at leisure on your tablet or smartphone.

Which brings up one of the neatest things about the package- the free companion app, called iXpand Sync. When you plug the flash drive into your phone, it will prompt you for access, and then direct you to download the application. Now, it doesn’t do everything you might want- you’ll still have to do so manual management to delete items on your device and free up space, due to Apple permission restrictions. But through the app you can not only copy media or your address book from your phone, you can set up automatic synchronization of your library, which worked well and means you can always have a copy of your pictures. Even better, you can play just about any sort of media from the app, including MKV files that can be tough to watch with other methods. It’s important to note that you cannot download apps to the iXpand, nor can you move anything from it- it’s a one-way trip, though you can stream from the flash drive.

Inside the iXpand Flash is a battery, which recharges when plugged into your computer and helps avoid depleting your phone’s battery. We used the drive quite a bit, and it still registered as pretty full, but you will need to pop it into a laptop or desktop every now and again. Also, we would have liked to see USB 3.0 support- it’s pretty zippy, certainly far faster than wireless backup solutions, but still tops out at 10-15 MB/s or so during transfers. Overall, SanDisk is definitely onto something here, and this is a flexible solution, with some encryption features and a cute form factor. It comes with a two-year warranty, and is available now, online and in stores, for around $200 as tested (smaller sizes start at $50).

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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