You’re going to need the best flash drive for iPhone to keep the on-board storage from filling up with all sorts of images and videos. Here’s our list of the best storage flash drive for iPhone to buy right now.
Mobile phones have come a long way from being wireless devices meant for communication. The very intent of the smartphone revolution was to bring out devices that helped shape our lifestyle, and do so much more than just phone calls and texting. When Apple unveiled the very first iPhone back in 2007, it came in different storage models of 4GB, 8GB, and 16GB as well. Back in the day, smartphones came with standard cameras, and the first few iterations of the iPhone did not even offer video recording. Soon enough, even the standard 16GB model of the iPhone became unbearably less, as the camera quality, video content, and software file size kept increasing.
Although Android OS was the first to bring USB OTG (on the go) support to devices that allowed connecting flash drives directly to the phone, the iPhone also adopted the technology soon enough. Unlike Android devices, the iPhone does not come with expandable storage, so you are pretty much limited to what your purchased model has to offer. Apple has devised the iCloud storage platform to counter this issue, but the 5GB limit on free users and a monthly premium that goes up all the way to $9.99 for 2TB storage is not a compelling alternative either. The best flash drive for iPhone is intended to be the solution to help you move past this problem, by expanding the restricted onboard storage.
Best Flash Drive for iPhone to Buy
Whether you hate Apple for the closed-loop environment it maintains, or love the security that comes with it, sharing media from iOS devices to Android devices, or even a computer is not a simple task. Even though there are certain MFi (Made for iPhone) certified flash drives available online, they only allow you to access certain file types. Moreover, you will need an accompanying iOS app to transfer content. Depending on the best MFi iPhone flash drive you pick, you will have the ability to transfer photos, videos, documents, and audio files from the iPhone with ease.
SanDisk IXpand is one of the most reliable flash drives for iPhones with a lightning connector and a regular USB 3.0 connector to connect to a PC and have fast transfer speeds for dumping your files or transferring your iPhone. With a sleek stick form factor and a dedicated safe slot for the lightning connector, the SanDisk IXpand is the best travel companion easy to use iXpand Drive App.
Size and Capacity: The IXpand flash drive for iPhone has a slim form factor for the flexible rubberized lightning connector and the USB port for connecting to a PC, which is enclosed in the metal chassis. The flash drive rests on the back of the iPhone in a 90-degree bend. The iXpand flash drive is available in 32/64/128 and 256GB capacity.
Features: The IXpand flash drive supports all iPhones (iOS 8 and above) with the lightning port connector and has a USB 3.0 female port for transferring images and files to Mac and Windows PC.
App and Connectivity: IXpand connects to iPhones with the lightning connector for transferring and from and to a PC. With the iXpand iOS app, you can automatically sync your images, contacts, and files directly to the flash drive. Using the in-app camera, you can now save the clicked images to the flash drive.
If you are in a knee-deep in the Apple ecosystem and finding a way to dump your photos from your iPhone to your USB-C exclusive Macbook iPad Pro, having a 3-in-1 flash drive for your iPhone/iPad Pro is the best hassle-free way to do so. The HooToo MFI certified flash drive has Lightning, USB-C connector, and a USB detachable port for transferring data from and to a PC or a Mac.
Size and Capacity: The HooToo has a slim USB pen drive form factor with a metal build quality and a detachable USB-A port. A metal cap ring protects the Lightning connector when not in use. The HooToo 3-in-1 flash drive comes in 128/256GB variants.
Features: The HooToo flash drive features a Lightning and a USB-C connector that can be used for iPhones and iPads with USB-C ports to transfer from and to USB-C port laptops. The detachable USB-A 3.1 offers fast transfer speeds for data.
App and Connectivity: The HooToo flash drive has a Lightning and USB-C connector for iPhones and iPads with USB-C ports and can be connected to USB-C laptops and a regular USB port. The U-Hub app for iOS devices allows automatic backup for images and data directly to the flash drive. The U-Hub app also has an in-app camera function so that you can click pictures and instantly save them to the flash drive.
Backing up all your data to an iPhone flash drive may take some time, and if you are running low on battery and fear, the process won’t complete before it’s finished. The PNY Duo Link Sync And Charge flash drive, and the USB connector is the best option for you. The PNY Duo Link has an extended Lightning to USB-A connector for more convenience while backing up your iPhone to the onboard 128GB flash drive. You can charge and sync your device simultaneously with the extended cable through a PC or a Mac.
Size and Capacity: The PNY Dup Link ha a metal-built chassis with a short rubberized flexible cable with a cable holder for storing when backing up data from an iPhone. The Duo Link is available in 32/64/128GB variants.
Features: The Duo Link features a Lightning connector for transferring data from an iPhone to the onboard storage and a USB-A 3.0 connector to transfer files from the onboard or iPhone storage and charge the device. The robust rubberized cable provides good durability.
App and Connectivity: Duo Link supports iPhones with the Lightning connector supporting iOS 8 and above. The USB-A connector uses 3.0 technology for fast transfer speeds to and from a PC. With the Duo Link 4 App, you can transfer your data to and from an iPhone and have the option to select the files and images manually. You can also stream content without the need for a Wi-Fi connection.
The YseaWolf features a sliding pen drive mechanism, where one port connector can be hidden in the metal chassis. The YseaWolf features a Lightning connector, Micro USB, USB-A connector, and a detachable USB-C dongle for transferring data from and to an iPhone or iPad to the onboard. 128GB flash storage. You can also sync and backup your iPhone directly through the USB-A to the lightning connector.
Size and Capacity: The YseaWolf is a bit larger than a regular thumb drive, but with the connector selections and slim form factor, and metal build quality, the YseaWolf is a good deal. The YseaWolf comes with 128GB flash storage.
Features: The YseaWolf features a Lightning, USB-A, Micro USB, and a USB-C detachable connector. The read and write speeds are fast, and the data can be transferred to the onboard storage or synced to a PC via the USB connector connected to an iPhone or iPad Pro.
App and Connectivity: The flash drive uses USB 3.0 technology for connectivity, and with the Photostick mobile app, you can transfer your data to and from a PC to the iPhone or vise versa.
The geekgo Card Reader is the ultimate storage device for an iPhone, where you can use your own Micro or TF cards, which are lying around after you upgraded from an Android device to an iPhone. The geekgo 3-in-1 card reader for iPhone is convenient when you need to view or store images from or to multiple sources such as DSLR cameras and Android devices. With the Lightning connector, you can transfer your data or view data from any Micro or TF cards with dedicated card slots and transfer them to a PC using a USB-A connector.
Size and Capacity: The geekgo card reader is as small as a thumb drive, and the card reader slots in such a small form factor are impressive to see with a seamless connection to an iPhone with the Lightning connector. The card reader supports up to 256GB storage cards.
Features: The card reader features a Lightning, Micro USB, and a USB-A connector. The dual card slots support Micro and TF cards.
App: The iUSB Pro app allows you to protect your files by adding a password or fingerprint lock to your data or allow you to set up a security lock for selected files and images.
The IMKAR flash drive for iPhone is similar to the YseaWolf flash drive with four ports. Still, the IMKAR 4-in-1 flash drive supports 256GB of flash storage and complete hidden connectors with a sliding port mechanism, and it is easy to use for on the go data transfer from your iPhone or iPad Pro to the onboard flash drive.
Size and Capacity: The IMKAR 4-in-1 flash drive has a slim form factor, but you need to be careful when the drive is connected to your iOS device; it protrudes quite a bit from the port. The flash drive has 256GB storage.
Features: The IMKAR flash drive features a Lightning, Micro USB, USB-A, and a detachable USB-C dongle in a sliding mechanism. The read and write speed are fast with USB 3.0 technology.
App and Connectivity: With the Y-Disk iOS app, you can transfer your data from the iPhone to the flash drive or select the files manually you wish to transfer to the flash drive. With the Lightning and USB-C connector, you can use the flash drive with an iPhone or iPad Pro with a USB-C port.
If you shoot 4K videos with your iPhone frequently and are looking for external storage solutions for your high-resolution videos and images, the disk features a 10,000mAh power bank and ITB of hard disk storage on the go for storing images and data. You can dump your entire image gallery on the hard disk and still have plenty of space on the drive for multiple device backups.
Size and Capacity: The iDiskk features an impressive 10.000mAh battery pack with 1TB of hard disk storage. With a large capacity battery, the iDiskk is bulky, but on the flip side, you are getting 1TB of storage.
Features: The iDiskk hard drive and power bank feature 1TB of storage and a 10,000mAh battery pack, which can also charge a Laptop via a USB-C port. The battery pack has a Micro USB port for charging the battery and a USB-A and USB-C port for transferring data from an iPhone to the hard drive or a PC. With the box, you will get a USB-C, Lightning, and a USB-C to C cable.
App and Connectivity: With the iDiskk Pro app, you can transfer data from an iPhone to the hard disk and also charge the device in the process using the in-built 10,000mAh power bank. You can connect the power bank and hard drive to a laptop to transfer files and charge the laptop via the USB-C ports on both the devices. The power bank charges over a Micro USB port.
When it comes to reliable memory drives and pen drives, Transcend is the most reliable in the industry. And with the Transcend JetDrive Go 300, you can transfer your iPhone data to the flash drive with the Lightning connector. With the USB 3.1 connector, you can later dump the files onto a computer or a Mac.
Size and Capacity: The JetDrive Go 300 has the metal build quality, and it is as small as a regular pen drive, and it is a very reliable portable on the go storage for iPhone. The connectors are protected with plastic caps. The JetDrive Go 300 comes with 32/64/128GB variants.
Features: The Go 300 has dual connectors with Lightning and USB 3.1 connector for fast transfer speeds from the flash drive to a PC. Go 300 is an MFI-certified product.
App and Connectivity: The Go 300 connects via a Lightning connector, and with the JetDrive Go app, you can transfer and backup all your data or select the files and images you want to transfer manually.
Things to consider when buying the best flash drive for iPhone
Picking a USB flash drive for your iPhone can be one of the most uninteresting tasks you could think of. It may not be rocket science, but there are a few pointers to keep in mind when buying your next iPhone flash drive.
USB 3.0 vs USB 2.0
Devil is in the details, and it certainly is true in the case of differentiating between USB 2.0 and 3.0. Despite being just one generation older, USB 2.0 offers rudimentary speeds of around 15 MB/s, which you’re certainly going to feel when transferring large photos and videos. In stark contrast, USB 3.0 boosts the transfer speeds all the way up to 100 MB/s on the iPad Pro and is expected to be offered on the newer iPhone as well.
In a perfect world, you would want to be able to move almost all of your personal data and media content from the iPhone to a flash drive. However, Apple follows a strict DRM protection guideline for content not just from third-party apps, but its very own iTunes and Apple Music services too. Depending on the thumb drive software, you should be able to move photos, videos, documents, and audio recording files to the USB drive.
Apple does not offer any form of file manager app to recognize a connected flash drive and natively transfer content. This limitation means that you have to rely on good software support from the USB drive manufacturer to provide an app that lets you transfer files in and out of your iPhone. The quality of user experience of the third-party app depends entirely on the manufacturer, which is why it always recommended picking a reputed name that offers extended app support.
Look for MFi Certified Rating
To maintain strict quality control, and make some extra dough from third-party manufacturers, Apple offers the MFi certification. From wired earbuds to Lightning connectors, without the MFi mark, the accessory would either not work with the iPhone, or constantly display the “Accessory Not Supported” error message. Since the iPhone flash drive uses a Lightning connector to hook up to your device, it must be MFi certified to ensure that it works flawlessly with your iPhone.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you transfer photos directly from iPhone to flash drive?
Apple offers plenty of ways to share photos and videos across devices, either using iTunes or wirelessly via AirDrop. However, the easiest way to move photos from your iPhone is by using a flash drive that is designed to work through the Lightning port. By simply hooking up the flash drive directly to your iPhone and using the companion app of the USB drive, you can move across photos, videos, documents, and even audio recordings with ease.
Does any USB flash drive work with iPhone?
Apple iPhone comes with a proprietary Lightning charging port, which is only designed to work with original Apple accessories. However, Apple also gives out an MFi certification to genuine third-party accessories, which are designed to work without any hiccups from the software end. Since most USB flash drives do not come with the proprietary Lightning port, you’re going to have to get one that does. Without the official MFi certificate, the iPhone may not detect the connected flash drive and would give back an “Accessory not Supported” error on the screen.
How to use any flash drive with iPhone without Lightning port?
Similar to how USB OTG cables exist, Apple has also created a Lightning to USB Camera Adapter that allows you to hook up any USB drive directly to the Lightning port of the iPhone or the iPad. Apart from being able to turn any thumb drive into an iPhone flash drive, you can also use the attachment accessory to hook up a digital camera directly to your iPhone and view the photos and videos on your iPhone right away.
Third-party Chinese manufacturers have flooded the market with all forms of iOS accessories, but not all of them work with 100% authenticity. In our quest to find the best iPhone flash drives available online right now, most of them were riddled with poor feedback from unsatisfactory buyers. As a rule of thumb, we only selected the ones that had received a 4+ rating from verified buyers and came with the original MFi (Made for iPhone) quality marking. Averaging at around 10 MB/s, you’re not going to be blown away by the transfer speeds on the iPhone thumb drives listed above, but for an iPhone that is packed with HD photos and videos, documents, and audio files to the brim, it can be a life-saver.
Do you prefer things the old-fashioned way and would bet on the best flash drive for iPhone for quick and easy file transfer, or would you rather pay the monthly premium for iCloud’s seamless storage? We’d love to know your thoughts in the comments section.
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