It is truly a shame that Apple still sells iPhones and iPads starting with 16GB of storage. This is a device that can shoot 4K video, but if you try, literally in a few minutes you will run out of space! Obviously, getting a larger capacity device is best, but some people just don’t want to spend the extra $ 100 or $ 200 for more storage, and I can see why.
Since there is no real way to physically add storage to an iPhone or iPad, you will have to rely on all sorts of hacks. There are basically two reasons I could think of to add more storage to your device: to free up space on your device so you can install more apps, etc., or to download a bunch of music, movies and documents, to which you can quickly access without requiring an internet connection.
In this article, I will go over the various solutions that are currently available for this really unnecessary problem caused by Apple. Unfortunately, none of the solutions are perfect and you have to be very careful when choosing a product.
If you thought limited space was the only blow from Apple, they also cheat you if you buy movies on iTunes. If you try to play a movie purchased from iTunes from an external drive, it will result in an error due to DRM protection. As such, all iTunes movies and TV shows must be stored locally on your iPhone or iPad in order to be played or streamed using the Videos app. If you’ve been reading this article in the hope that iTunes content can be downloaded, then nothing will help you here.
However, if you have a lot of music (even from iTunes) or your own downloaded / copied movies and TV shows, then the devices below will help you. Just note that you may need to convert the video to iPhone or iPad format first. Plus, if you’re an avid photographer and want to quickly access your DSLR photos for viewing on your iPhone or iPad without taking up space on your device, these products are for you.
I am also not mentioning cloud services here because I think most people already know about this but might not want to pay the monthly storage fees. If you’re interested in cloud storage, check out my article that compares different cloud storage providers and how you can use the cloud to share data between all of your devices.
Wireless hard drives
A wireless hard drive is basically a portable hard drive with a built-in wireless card and battery. They all have their own Wi-Fi networks and you can connect almost any device to them. Once connected, you can transfer data in both directions and can transfer content from the hard drive to your Apple device.
Some wireless hard drives have SD card slots, so you can simply insert the card from the DLSR camera and it will copy all data to the drive. Then you can easily view this content on your smartphone, tablet, computer or TV over the network.
When purchasing a wireless hard drive, you just need to be careful to buy one that will allow you to access the Internet while connected to the drive at the same time. It’s a real pain to disconnect from your wireless network, connect to a drive, and still not be able to access the Internet. Make sure your device has Wi-Fi pass-through. I’ll point this out in my guidelines below.
Seagate Wireless Plus and Mobile Wireless
Seagate Wireless Plus Wireless Mobile
These devices are supposed to last 4 to 6 hours, and they support Wi-Fi pass-through traffic, although people have complained that the connection is slower than a direct Wi-Fi connection. Prices range from $ 79 to $ 149 depending on model and memory size.
Overall, they seem to do a very good job of streaming content to your devices. These drives do not have an SD card slot, so if you want to transfer images from your DSLR camera, you will have to download all the photos to your computer first and then connect the drive to your computer via USB.
RAVPower File Hub. Plus
RAVPower File Hub. Plus
For just $ 40, you get a huge amount of the features of this little device. The reason it is so cheap is because it has no internal storage. It has an SD card slot (SD, SDHC, SDXC) and a USB 3.0 port. You can connect drives up to 4TB in size, or use an SD card up to 256GB.
In addition, up to 5 devices can be connected at the same time, and you can transfer data between the connected devices. Alternatively, you can connect it to a wired network and turn it into a Wi-Fi hotspot, or connect to a wireless network and turn it into a wireless repeater. RAVPower File Hub. is a very good choice if you have your own SD card or USB hard drives.
There are other big players that have wireless hard drives, but I won’t go into details here. You can check them out below.
WD My Passport Wireless. – Includes SD Card Slot
LaCie Fuel Wireless Actuator
Flash drives with a Lightning connector
If you are not comfortable with the fact that you need a battery-powered hard drive to increase storage space, then you might consider a Lightning flash drive. You will lose many of the streaming, media center, router / repeater features that you get with wireless hard drives, but they are much smaller and easier to carry around.
Unfortunately, there is no perfect product in this category yet. Some are cheaper but require recharging. Some of them work great, but they have unusual designs that make it difficult to use the phone. Other disadvantages include only USB 2.0 ports, not 3.0, and the inability to charge an iPhone or iPad while the drive is connected. Some devices also drain the battery much faster. Hopefully we will have more features in the future, but these are the best products for now.
Leef iBridge Mobile Memory
Leef iBridge mobile phone memory
Depending on the size you purchased, the Leef iBridge can cost anywhere from $ 59 to $ 399! Overall, though, this is the best lightning flash drive on the market right now. You can store all your music, movies and files on your device and use the appropriate app to access everything. You can also transfer photos and videos from your camera roll to your device. The device also consumes power only during use. Overall, it received good reviews on Amazon.
The SanDisk iXpand. is another decent device, but you need to charge it to use it. But since it has its own battery, it doesn’t draw power from an iPhone or iPad.
It also fits a bit oddly with the iPhone / iPad, which is a little annoying. The app is also not as good as the Leef app, but hopefully it will improve over time. Otherwise, it functions properly as intended. It is the best choice if you want to password protect your data with SanDisk SecureAccess.
The last option is Hyper iStick, but it is more expensive and performs worse than SanDisk or Leef iBridge, so I don’t recommend it.
As you can see, there are several ways to virtually increase storage space for your iPhone or iPad, but they all have different caveats. The main one is that you cannot store any content purchased by iTunes on discs and play it from there.
Also, as far as transferring content from an iPhone or iPad is concerned, you can really only access the Camera Roll. This is because Apple is restricting access to the file system, and this is not anyone’s fault. Hopefully this article will give you a clear idea of ??what you can and cannot do to expand your device’s memory. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to comment. Enjoy!