SanDisk unveils Lightning-enabled flash drive for iOS devices

SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive (image 001)

SanDisk, an American maker of flash memory storage solutions, on Thursday announced an external flash drive that connects to iPhones and iPads via Apple’s proprietary Lightning port. The iXpand Flash Drive along with an accompanying iOS app makes it easy to transfer media and documents between an iOS device and a computer through a USB port.

Available in 16 and 64-gigabyte varieties for $59.99 and $119.99, respectively, the accessory is now available through the SanDisk webstore. The $79.99 32-gigabyte edition will be offered exclusively at Best Buy starting Sunday, November 16.

The app can be set to automatically copy on-device photos and videos to the drive when connected so you don’t need to convert your media to iOS-friendly file types.

It will also play movie files and music directly from the drive on your iPhone or iPad (.WMV, .AVI, .MKV, .MP4, .MOV video formats and common music files are supported).

SanDisk claims the iXpand has read speeds up to 13MB per second and write speeds up to 14MB per second over USB 2.0. The flexible connector works with all iPhone and iPad cases, the company said. By the way, the expand Flash Drive carries a ‘Made for iPhone’ label.

SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive (image 003)

The tiny drive is compatible with all Lightning-enabled devices such as the the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5, iPad Air 2, iPad Air, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 2 and iPad mini.

SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive (image 002)

iOS 7.0 or later is required.

I think the SanDisk accessory is a compelling and affordable portable storage solution. I can easily see myself loading it up with tons of movies and photos to enjoy on my iPhone when without an Internet connection, or to free up a significant amount of storage on my device.