The SanDisk iXpand marries USB and Lightning connectors to a sort-of-compact flash drive.
16GB iPhone got you down? Apple doesn't offer an easy way to augment your phone's storage, but plenty of third parties have tried to make it possible. They've tried wireless drives, SD card adapters, and even cases with extra storage on board. Now SanDisk is joining the fun with an alternate option that looks at least passably attractive. Its iXpand flash drive includes both USB and Lightning connectors, providing what will theoretically be an easy way to offload files from your phone or tablet while still making them easy to get at.
Since iOS doesn't handle external storage natively, offloading and syncing of files is handled by a separate iXpand app that can "automatically sync photos and videos from the camera roll to the drive." Movies stored on the drive in the WMV, AVI, MKV, MP4, and MOV formats will all be playable, and files can be password-protected and encrypted for safety.
The drive costs significantly more than a standard USB 3.0 flash drive or external hard drive, and it looks bulky and homely compared to most flash drives. That said, it costs less than buying a new, higher-capacity iPhone or iPad and it may appeal to those who aren't interested in using the cloud or connecting their devices to a computer to free up space. 16GB drives will start at $59.99, while 32GB and 64GB will run you $79.99 and $119.99, respectively. The drive launches on November 16 and is compatible with any iOS 7 or iOS 8 device with a Lightning port.