Looking for a convenient way to expand your iPhone’s memory? iPhone clogged up with too many photos, songs or videos? The iXpand Flash Drive from SanDisk can help! Available in 16, 32, 64 and 128GB sizes, the iXpand Flash Drive is both USB and Lightning compatible, so it can be used easily to transfer files from your computer to your iPhone and vice versa. Two versions of the latest iXpand Flash Drive exist: a general purpose one which is compatible with large variety of cases as well as with naked iPhones, and a version which is compatible with the new OtterBox uniVERSE case system. Interestingly, the OtterBox uniVERSE case system version appears to be exactly the same as the general purpose version…it just comes with a snap in adaptor for the OtterBox uniVERSE case.
For those of you who may not be familiar with OtterBox’s new uniVERSE case system, it is a modular case system currently only available for the iPhone 6(s) and 6(s) Plus, which has a rail slide system hidden under a panel on the back of the case. When this panel is removed, compatible accessories can be securely attached when needed…and then removed when their job is complete. In theory, when later iPhone versions are released, all that should need to be replaced is the uniVERSE case itself: all the accessories you purchased for your old uniVERSE case should fit with the new one as well. Of course, this depends on the commercial success of the uniVERSE product, and as this is a new case, it remains to be seen how that will pan out.
The iXpand Flash Drive is one of the better designed accessories for the OtterBox uniVERSE case system. The adaptor is easy to use and allows you to attach the iXpand Flash Drive much more securely to your iPhone than without it. Let’s put it this way: when the iXpand drive is snapped into the OtterBox uniVERSE case, I would have no hesitation in tossing my phone into a bag with the iXpand drive attached. I would feel much less comfortable if it were attached using the general purpose attachment system, which plugs into your lightning port and then grips onto your phone with its U-shaped flexible connector, pushing the bulk of the iXpand Drive to rest up against the back of your iPhone. This attachment method isn’t bad as long as you have your iPhone lying on a table, but it may not be robust enough to survive being tossed in a bag.
So, what can you use the iXpand Flash Drive to do? Well, basically this is a device for storing photos, music and movies. You can plug the iXpand into your computer and copy files onto it, and then, once you have plugged it into your iPhone, you can use the special iXpand app to copy those files onto your iPhone. You can also view photos, listen to music and watch movies stored on the iXpand Flash Drive while you are in the iXpand app. Unfortunately, you can’t access the content on your iXpand Flash Drive outside the iXpand app. No other apps on your iPhone will be able to use that content. In addition, there is a pretty severe restriction on movie viewing in the app: it will only play DRM free movies. In my experience, that basically rules out all movies except videos I have shot myself.
- Expand your iPhone’s storage!
- Backup your camera roll, contacts and social media pictures.
- Can be configured to do an automatic camera roll backup whenever you plug the iXpand Flash Drive in.
- Can use the app to listen to music which is stored both on the iXpand Flash Drive and on your iPhone. Also, you can create your own custom playlists within the music section of the app. Any playlists you created using iTunes, however, are not accessible from within the app.
- Watch DRM free videos directly from iXpand drive while you are within the iXpand app. .WMV, .AVI, .MKV, .MP4, .MOV video formats are supported.
- iXpand app has a camera function which allows you to shoot photos and videos and save them directly to the iXpand Flash Drive. This is great if you are almost out of space on your iPhone’s internal memory.
- Data transfer uses USB 3.0.
- Works with both Mac and PC, and iPhone and iPad. Treated as regular flash drive, no special drivers needed.
- Supports file encryption.
- OtterBox uniVERSE adaptor attaches the iXpand Flash Drive very safely and securely to the OtterBox uniVERSE case. Definitely a superior attachment solution.
- Must use the iXpand app to access the data stored on the iXpand Flash Drive when using your iPhone. (When it is attached to your computer, there is no such restriction).
- Only DRM free movies can be watched in the iXpand app.
- iXpand Flash Drive sticks out of the bottom of the OtterBox uniVERSE case rather awkwardly.
Overall, the iXpand Flash Drive module for the OtterBox uniVERSE case system is a great way to expand your iPhone’s storage…as long as you understand the limitations of the drive. Available directly from SanDisk, as well as from OtterBox and a multitude of other retailers, the iXpand Flash Drive comes in 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB sizes. Prices vary, depending upon the size and the retailer: the 128GB size, for example, has an MSRP of $129.99, but at the time of this review, it was on sale at Best Buy and Amazon.com for $99.99. Many thanks to the kind folks at SanDisk for sending me out this sample to review.
http://amzn.to/29InsPQ (affiliate link)
The OtterBox uniVERSE case retails for $59.99 for the iPhone 6s Plus/iPhone 6 Plus version; the iPhone 6 and 6s version is $10 less. Many thanks to OtterBox for sending me out this case to review.
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