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I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been at a school performance, or birthday party, standing next to someone who is frantically deleting pictures and videos from an iPhone so that they can take new ones of this important moment. Why they’re not routinely transferring their images to a computer or cloud storage, I have no idea. Maybe they think it’s too complicated. Maybe they don’t want to pay for cloud storage. I don’t know.
But there’s a simple solution that fits in the palm of my hand, and is easy enough for non-techie people to use. The connector is built in (no cords to carry around!!), and slips into your device firmly.
I was sent the SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive to review. It connects to iPhones, iPod Touches, and iPads that use a lightning connector. The first time you connect to a device, you’ll be prompted to download the free app that controls the iXpand.
If you press on the three little menu lines on the upper-left corner you can see your settings options. At the bottom of the screen you can see the battery left on your iXpand, how much memory is left on your device, and how much storage space is left on your iXpand. If your battery is running low, charging the iXpand is as easy as plugging it in to a computer or USB charger.
Press on “Camera Sync” and you can set the app to automatically sync photos and videos from your device’s camera roll whenever you plug the iXpand into your device. You can also choose whether or not to have the photos automatically deleted from your phone after they’re copied to the iXpand.
Click on “Settings” and you can do things like lock files and name your iXpand drive (I named mine Amy – so creative).
Exiting out of the menu screen will bring you back to the home screen, which shows you what’s on your flash drive (just some pre-loaded samples in the beginning). If you don’t have the drive set to sync your camera roll automatically, or you want to move other items manually, this is where you start.
Press the + on the bottom and you can choose which items from your device you want to copy. You can choose files individually, or press “select all.”
Once you’ve selected the items to move, you select the folder on the iXpand that you want them copied to (Music, Photos, etc.). Then you press “Copy here” and the iXpand does the rest.
Pictures are copied extremely fast – several per second. Music takes a little longer, and long videos can take quite a while – a 702 megabyte file took about five minutes, but that was a nine-minute video taken in HD. If you’re moving a large number of photos only, the transfer will be very quick.
Once the photos have been copied onto the iXpand drive, you’re free to delete them from your device. Just remember to transfer them off of the iXpand and onto a computer before the iXpand gets full, so that you’ll be able to use it when you need it. It plugs into your computer’s USB drive, files can be cut and pasted to your computer.
It makes me nervous to carry around the only copy of pictures and videos in my purse, so I would do it sooner rather than later.
The entire process was so easy that I did it on the fly, on my way to an event where I needed to take a bunch of video and wanted to make sure I had space. I downloaded the app while I was walking to the subway (that’s the only part that required WiFi), and then did the actual transfer on the subway.
The iXpand comes in four sizes: 16GB, 32GB (the size I tested), 64GB, and 128GB. This would make a fantastic gift for that person in your life who is forever getting caught with a full phone, especially if that person is you!
Please note, there is a new, sleeker version of the iXpand!
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