Understanding Flash Drive for iPhone? [Ultimate Guide]

Ok boys and girls… This is the epic moment right now! Upon reading this article, your iPhone will get +1 Super Power, which will bring the comfort of working with media content to a completely new level. From now on transferring photos, movies, music, etc. between iPhone and computer will be amazingly easy, and you don’t need iTunes for that! No jokes! Today I want to introduce for you one magical thing – a Flash Drive for iPhone. What? You never heard about one? YES, it does exist, and my first impression was – “If it really works, it must be a leak of alien’s technology…”. And it actually works! Pure magic! I’m so excited… Let’s have a look at it closer…

From the beginning of the first iPhone, it was taken as a matter of fact that iPhone’s File System is too complicated for an average user. The file system is “closed” and there are certain restrictions, which doesn’t let you to deal with internal storage like you used to on PC. Every time you want to transfer music/video to iPhone, you have the same one question “How do I do it on iPhone now?”. As a result most people struggle to do things, which should be simple in the first place. It’s not far from truth, if I say that around 80% of iPhone users don’t know how to copy music or movies to iOS devices. That’s why I create detailed guides to help you to deal with iPhone and MAC.

OK. Let’s not judge anyone for lack of knowledge. It’s not possible to know everything in this life, especially when it comes to a complicated device like iPhone. Let’s get back to the lightning flash drive. Today I want to share with you MY EXPERIENCE, which WILL MAKE YOUR LIFE MUCH EASIER. Using described techniques, you’ll be able to easily transfer music, movies and documents to/from iPhone like you never imagined before. A step by step guide for using a special flash drive for iPhone is right below.

So what’s so special about Flash Drive for iPhone?

I think, everyone of you should still remember how painful it is to transfer photos, movies, music and other content from computer to iPhone and vice versa. In comparison with Android phones, some things on iOS devices had been created out of the ass. Sorry, but You know what I mean? All what we actually need, is the ability to easily transfer files to iPhone’s memory, and then view them without additional hassle. Is it really so hard to incarnate on iPhone?

Never mind Apple… Just forget it! Despite the limits of Apple File System, now we have an iOS Flash Drive which can be easily connected to iPhone and allows to do the following:

  • Transfer files (music, photos, video, documents, etc.) in both directions
  • Playing of AVI, MKV, MP3, MP4, WAV and many other file formats with NO NEED of conversion
  • Save Photos or Videos taken with a camera directly on lightning flash drive
  • Backup Contacts and Photos from iPhone
  • Protect you data by using a digital code or Touch ID

How da heck all that works? Very simple! The iOS flash drive has a lightning connector on one side and USB type A on the other side. Whatever side you stick in, you get access to all files stored on the drive. In order to be compatible with an iPhone, the flash drive should be formatted as FAT32 (and it comes formatted like this originally).

Greendisk USB flash

There is one thing you should know about… Since Apple doesn’t let any app too close to user’s data and system files, using a flash drive on iPhone is done via special companion application. Every vendor has it’s own companion app available from App Store.

In the next part I’ll show you how I use the iOS flash drive with my iPhone.

How to use Flash Drive with iPhone?

Ugreen USB to Ligtning DriveThe market is overfilled with USB flash drives from different brands, but when it comes to a purchase, people purely rely on design and speed of data transfer. Same story is with flash drive for iPhone. There is a big variety on Amazon so grab the one which looks better. I made a list of the most popular ones below.

Whatever brand you choose, it would still require a companion app to operate it. The one I personally picked is from Ugreen so below you’ll find screenshots and explanation for that brand name.

What is it for? I use it every time I go with my family on vacation. Usually I copy few movies and cartoons which we watch on the plane. It’s so handy since you don’t have to worry about unsupported file formats. It reads EVERYTHING! Literally…

Right now I keep 14 Gb of PDF manuals from my new job on the iOS flash drive. This helps me to find important information and read any document in the field, if I need to. For me it’s a life saver…

In any way if you want to forget the hassle with transferring videos, music, photos and contacts – you must buy one of these for yourself.

Now let’s see how it works…

STEP 0 Insert the flash drive into computer USB port, and copy files which you want to open on iPhone

STEP 1 Insert the flash drive into lightning port of your iPhone

STEP 2 The window will automatically pop up, asking you to install Greendisk companion app (by Qingsen zhang). You can also locate it in AppStore. In your case it will be a different brand, so refer to manual for app name.
iOS flash drive

STEP 3 Launch a Greendisk app to see the files stored the flash drive. From the bottom menu you have the following buttons: Greendisk (to get access to the storage on Flash Drive), App (to get access to Greendisk storage on iPhone), Camera (shoot photos or videos and save them automatically on Flash Drive), iPhone (get access to Photos and Contacts to copy or backup), Settings (enable encryption and protection for data stored on Ugreen Flash Drive).
Flash Drive for iPhone

STEP 4 By pressing “More” button at the top right corner, you get additional commands like: New Folder, Grid, Sort, Search.
Greendisk flash drive

STEP 5 By pressing “Edit” (top menu) you get controls over files and folders: Action, Copy, Move, Delete.
Copy files to iPhone using flash drive

STEP 6 The most interesting starts right here. In fact the iOS Flash Drive is just a means of carrying over your data, it shouldn’t stop you from watching a movie or reading a book directly from the flash drive on iPhone or iPad. To watch movies or open documents in formats which are not supported by Apple you DON’T NEED TO CONVERT it any more! Greendisk app takes care about that and opens MKV, AVI, MP4, DOC, PPT, XLS and many other formats without problems.

Here is a full list of file formats supported by most iOS flash drives on iPhone/iPad:
Play AVI and MKV on iPhone

STEP 7 If you still want to copy files to iPhone’s memory, use commands to control files and folders (see a screenshot above). First press “Edit” then choose files which you want to transfer.

STEP 8 After you finish highlighting files, click “Copy” or “Move” (depends on what you actually want). The “Destination” page will pop up where you’ll have to pick a destination storage: App (internal iPhone’s storage), GREENDISK (on the flash drive).
Copy videos to iPhone

STEP 9 After you picked a storage drive, you can also specify a required destination folder… or you can create a New Folder by pressing a corresponding button. When you’re happy, click “Paste” from the bottom menu. The files will be transferred.
Transfer music to iPhone using USB drive

I think it’s getting too in-depth now… In any way, every companion app should be similar, so you won’t get puzzled while using it.

The conclusion is as follows: if you know how to transfer files from one storage to another – you’re a Super User. This is the only skill which is required to operate iOS Flash Drive.

Just to remind you, it’s possible to open files directly from the flash drive, without need of transferring them to iPhone.

I don’t see the point of going too deep through Settings of the Greendisk app. There are not so many of them (Backup Contacts, Restore Contacts, Select Video quality, Set protection for your data), so you’ll be able to figure out each option by yourself.

How much is it? Where can I buy one?

As I mentioned above, there are quite few brand names, which have it’s own flash drive for iPhone on the market. Taking into account that all drives have the same functionality, the difference comes in design and probably some minor options of the companion application.

How much is the flash drive for iPhone? I personally buy such stuff on AliExpress since it’s much cheaper. The average price is 35$ for 64Gb. It’s not much money and can be a great present for your friends. Some brands are still overpricing their products. Remember that at the end you get the same functionality.

Check out my favorite flash drive from SanDisk (link to AliExpress). It has compact design and works like a charm.

Not long ago I demonstrated the wonder flash drive to my friends, and what you think… Three of them had placed an order the same day. Even my wife had paid big interest to this piece of technology… Now she doesn’t bother me when she needs to download movies on her iPhone. You can’t imagine how handy it is… Must have device!

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