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  August 22, 2014

At Last, USB Thumb Drives Compatible with the Latest iPads and iPhones

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Despite their undeniable popularity, iPads and iPhones have been often criticized for their incapability to work with USB thumb drives. With the help of a thumb drive, users could easily and rapidly transfer files between their personal computers and their mobile devices. The lack of USB ports on iPads has been used by Microsoft as a selling point in their advertising campaigns for the new Surface tablet.

Transfer files between a PC or laptop and your iPad

The question is that it is not impossible to transfer files between a personal computer or laptop and your iPad. It is simply that you have to make use of slower, less direct methods. These methods become frustrating especially if you compare them with the easiness with which you use thumb drives to transfer files between two computers. For example, you can use cloud services- like Dropbox -, transfer files via iTunes, or simply make use of email attachments. Towards the end of this year, Apple will introduce a file storage service, cloud-based, and will expand the AirDrop feature in order to make file exchange possible between iOS devices and Macs.

However, a small Californian company is planning to present a thumb drive, compatible with iOS, named iStick. This thumb drive is designed especially for transferring files –both ways – between PCs and the iOS devices that are currently using Apple’s syncing port and charging, also known as the Lightning connector. Additionally, you will be able to play or view your files from the drive itself, without the need to previously transfer them and occupy space on the target device.

iStick the first thumb drive compatible with the Lightning connector

The company used the Kickstarter site to fund iStick. They were aiming to gather $100,000, but, surprisingly, they raised $1.1 million.

The testing of pre-production versions of this thumb drive and its application showed that it actually works, just as advertised. Though the product still has a few bugs to deal with before shipping, the product works and it will surely be highly appreciated by iPad and iPhone users.

The iStick is a rectangular, small plastic device, featuring a light-up slider button in its middle. When the button is sled, a standard USB jack – which you can connect to Mac or PC – is exposed. If you slide the button in the other direction, a Lightning connector – which you can connect to an iPod, iPad, or an iPhone – is exposed.

The company that produces the iStick is called Sanho and it is based in Freemont. Being more expensive than common USB thumb drives, the company claims that these prices are necessary to license the iStick and meet the Apple requirements.

The iStick is acknowledged as the first thumb drive compatible with the Lightning connector, though there have been previous attempts, such as AirStash, which had no iOS connectors and transferred files to iPads and iPhones wirelessly.

The iStick functions on a simple principle: you upload it with files from your PC or laptop and you simply slide the button to expose the Lightning connector, which you will plug in your iOS device. Once plugged in, the iStick app shows up. This application will allow you to play, view, or transfer the files contained by the thumb drive to your mobile device. No Internet connection is necessary, and the files you have transferred on the mobile device are still available even after the drive is removed.

Can you imagine loading your iStick with work documents, songs, movies, and any other type of files and use them whenever you want to, without taking up space on your iPad or iPhone and without the necessity of an Internet connection? We bet many iPad and iPhone users would highly value it!