iClever Flash Disk Lightning OTC USB 3.0 REVIEW Backup storage for your iOS device.
Even though you can get a 256 GB iPhone 7 plus, it still seems that data space is a premium. When you regularly take pictures and videos, faster than you delete them, the space on the phone never seems to be enough. As you are probably aware, Apple’s phones/tablets do not allow you to use microSD for extra storage, unlike most of the Android options. Movies, videos, music etc. take up quite a bit of space. Sometimes online data options are reasonable, such as Dropbox, Shutterfly, a home server like Drobo or the Apollo device are reasonable options. However, sometimes I want to be able to move data to and from my phone or iPad with a jump drive, similar to what I would do with an Android device or PC computer. iClever has a nifty little flash disk that you may like to know about. Although 64 GB seems like a small number, compared to the 128 or 256 devices, this is still roughly 1/4 the size of the largest iPhone on the market.
The product arrives in a very sleek glossy black box, with inlaid gold lettering on the cover. Along the bottom, you will notice the Made for iPhone/iPad logo. The MFI designation suggests that the product has been certified to meet Apple’s Standards. I personally have stopped using any device that is not MFI certified. Turning the packaging onto either side, you will see a golden iClever logo. The back of the packaging is very busy, detailing the specifications of the device. The device has lightning and USB-A/3.0 interfaces and is compatible with both PC and Mac computers. The device can support bmp/gif/jpg/tif/png image formats, aac/AIFF/mp3/wav/caf music formats, AVI/DivX/flv/m4v/mpg/rm/rmvb/ts/VOB/wmv/3gp video formats, contact list backup and recovery and doc/docx/ppt/pptx/xlsx/HTML/txt/RTF document formats. The packaging further details the devices that are supported, which can be summarized as iPhone 5/5c/5s, all varieties of iPhone 6/6s, iPhone SE, iPhone 7/7 plus and iPad mini (all), iPad (gen 4), iPad Air (1–2_ and the iPad Pro family of devices. To learn more about the product, scan the QR codes along the bottom left of the packaging.
Remove the outer thin plastic wrapping and lift the lid off of the packaging. You will find a 2 5/16 inch long by 5/8 inch wide by 5/16 inch thick aluminum alloy bodied USB/lightning dongle. There is a silver swivel along the middle, which can rotate a full 360 degrees around the dongle. This protects whatever end is not sticking into your electronic device. I wish that there was a way to protect both ends, as the swivel piece protects only one side at a time. I do not like that one of the ends is open, while inside of your bag/pocket, etc. On one end, you have a blue USB-A USB-3.0 end and on the other end is a lighting plug. Lift the USB dongle from the foam cut out and you will find a 36-panel instruction manual, heavy in images/diagrams. I appreciate this method of instruction. Through visual education, I feel that you learn the material much quicker and more efficiently, than through a verbose, paragraph/bullet/prose section. To utilize the device, you will need to download the application. To do this step, you can follow one of three options. You can either navigate to the iOS App Store and download the BoostStorage App or you can scan the QR code on the box or in the manual or you can simply plug the dongle into your IOS device and it will prompt you to download the app. The QR code was available and was the method I used to download the application. I love the variety, as it makes the system very easy to utilize.
The app icon is a green background, with a white cloud icon. The details images (on App store) show an app with the following icons: Photos, videos, music, backup, file/folder, camera. You can see the iOS storage and drive storage along the bottom. The pictures detail some of the options in the settings and you have the ability to backup your phone or contacts. There are currently no reviews for the application. When you open the app for the first time, it will ask you to access your photos and your music. My iPhone 7 plus is only the 128 GB phone and my storage is currently 76.44GB with 42.57 available. The device generated a few questions. First, could it hold iTunes movies and would they play from the jump drive? Second, will music from the iTunes library, stored on the device, play from the device?
Before I could answer the above questions, there were a few setbacks that I had to address. Once I downloaded the app, I tried to plug the adapter into my phone, which was inside of a Catalyst case. I tried 4 different cases and the lightning plug was not long enough. The device was not compatible with Catalyst, Otterbox, UAG and a generic bumper style case. The device needs a very large opening due to the distance from the lightning connector to the main body (3/8 inch). If you had a lightning extender cable (you can purchase this from Amazon, or the BoneView Extender, or similar), you could make the device work without any issue. I used my sons iPad Mini 4, for further testing, as it resides inside of a MoKo case for iPad Mini 4, which has a very wide opening for the lightning port.
I plugged the device into my PC and it immediately registered as an “I” drive and portable external drive. I opened “File Explorer” and transferred a few movies from my movie folder to the iClever drive. I first used my USB 2.0 Port and found I could transfer Disney Robin Hood.avi at 25 MBps. I safely removed hardware and then moved this to one of my USB 3.0 ports, I deleted the movie from the drive and then retransferred it. I was able to get the same transfer rate. I know for certain that the USB drive is a 3.0 port (blue), as I built the machine and installed the external PCI Card myself. I tried each of the banks of 4 USB 3.0 ports and never got about a 30MBps transfer rate. The listed speeds on the device are reading speed up to 90MBps and writing speed up to 30MBps. I did not test the lightning connection speeds. I next opened up iTunes and dragged a song by Meatloaf to the drive and also added “Some Nights” and a Mumford and Sons album. I safely removed the hardware, shut down my computer and then returned to my sons iPad Mini 4.
After plugging the device into the iPad Mini 4, I was able to see that the drive had 2.65GB storage used and 56.4 available. For some reason, the aspect was locked into landscape mode. Closing the app and restarting it, the aspect ratio normalized and the screen would rotate again. None of the M4V movies that were transferred from iTunes played, due to Apple DRM. I had a copy of Guardians of the Galaxy in a .avi file type that played just fine off of the drive. I also had a bunch of Disney movies in .avi file type that played just fine. In fact, I was able to play most of the oldies without any issues. It was disappointing that you cannot play the movies that you have copied to iTunes in this manner. There are free file converters that will allow you to convert from M4V to AVI or other file types, but I am not encouraging their usage. After evaluation of the movies, I turned to music and was able to play any file that I moved from iTunes to the drive. On the PC, it is was incredibly easy to move files over to the jump drive. Once you plug it into your iPhone or iPad, the device sorts them into the appropriate thumbnail folder, based on file extension. Music is sorted to music and movies to movies. The contacts backup was convenient. To get pictures from your iPad/iPhone onto the device, navigate to the app and go to photos. Tap the multi select along the top right and then you can check the more button and drive storage. Tap create folder along with the bottom and then add a name. You now can sort/collate and organize your images/videos. Gain more space on your phone through this simple transfer. Again, this could not be easier. Most of the movement of files will need to be done within the app itself. The share list does not list the drive.
There are many options available to convert files. The ethics of this, the legality of this are beyond the scope of my review and as stated, I am not encouraging any of the file type changes. However, the AVI files that I have on the device prove that this device could theoretically be a really convenient way to watch movies on the go. I reviewed the Amazon page, reviewed the questions and reviews. The device is quick and the movies/songs etc., play in the app itself and do not open iTunes or other programs. The device would benefit from a case with lanyard and the only negative I found was that the swipe did not cover both sides of the drive. I would rate the device at 4.5/5 stars as I am concerned about the lack of protection to the lighting or USB end. The device has many more features that may benefit you. For example, the app has a “Camera” option and will allow you to take pictures/videos and store them directly to the drive. If you swipe left you can also access a recorder. I love this little dongle and the fact that you can use it in with your PC, MacBook, and iOS devices is a really convenient feature.
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Originally published at macsources.com on July 27, 2017.