Playing Nice with Apple’s Lightning Connectors [Tech Tuesday]

May 10, 2016

By RF Staff

Mobile device dependency is real, and while I don't think there's an official diagnostic tool, we all suffer from MDD at least from time to time—I know that I do. Whether it's checking the weather on location, staying in touch with editors or managing image files, I rely on my iPhone and iPad. But transferring images to/from these mobile devices isn't always easy or convenient, especially since lightning-compatible devices aren't anywhere near as ubiquitous as those with USB connectors.

Fortunately, there are some lightning-friendly products on the market and two of the latest photo-related devices include the recently updated SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive and Lexar's new microSD Reader. Both are tiny and pocketable—perfect for when you're in the field or even in the studio.


Like its predecessor, SanDisk's next generation iXpand Flash Drive features both lightning and USB connectors. But SanDisk has updated the device to USB 3.0 for increased transfer speed to/from computers. The tiny drive has also been redesigned and not only does it look pretty cool, but it's likely you won't need to remove your iPad or iPhone case to use the drive when moving files to/from an iPad or iPhone (it depends on the case but SanDisk says it works with "most" cases).

Product image use-case of iXpand plugging in to iPhone

There's also an updated SanDisk iXpand Drive app is free and offers an option to automatically backup all the images and videos in your Camera Roll onto the drive whenever the Drive is connected to your iPad/iPhone. The app also allows you to encrypt files for a more secure transfer. As an added bonus, you can load the drive with movies and music to play directly from the iXpand in case you have some spare time when you're traveling. Available in 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and 128GB capacities, prices range from $50-$130.


And for those times when you're out in the field capturing images with a microSD device (like a GoPro, a small sports or aerial camera, or working with any other microSD-compatible device), Lexar's new microSD Reader will come in handy. This tiny reader is highly portable and has a single lightning connector for quick and easy transfer of your latest images and video footage to an iPad or iPhone so you can view content in the field. It also works with most iPad/iPhone cases, too. It's designed for use with Lexar microSD cards (Lexar notes that the reader may not support other microSD cards).

Of course, there's a free app for the reader to enable file management and backup (it's required for using the reader). The Lexar microSD Reader costs $42.