A week or so ago, I posted and announcement about PhotoFast’s really neat looking MemoriesCable compact backup, charging and external storage device for iPhones and iPads which had just hit Indiegogo for funding.
I’ve had my hands on a 32GB, USB 3.0 review model for about a week now and I just wanted to share my impressions of this impressive little device while there is still time to back the campaign (which is currently at almost 150% of its funding goal).
First and foremost, this thing is nice and compact as it is basically a 5.5 inch long MFi-certified lightning to USB cable with a USB thumb drive built into the USB end. There is a little clip built into the cable to be able to fold the unit in half to take up even less space. You simply connect the lightning end to your device and the USB to a computer or other power source for charging (device sync in not supported). If you connect the USB end to a PC, you can access its content just like any ordinary USB drive, but when connected to your iPhone or iPad, that’s where the magic begins. PhotoFast’s i-FlashDrive ONE companion app can be used to do all kinds of things with the MemoriesCable.
While the cost of the MemoriesCable may be substantially more than your standard USB 3.0 Flash drive and/or Lightning/USB cable, however the unique benefits it can provide iOS device owners should justify the cost for interested parties.
More than the sum of its parts, the MemoriesCable gives iPhone and iPad owners the much-needed flexibility and mobility of local off-device storage allowing them to access music, movies, photos, documents and more without having to be online and without having to take up valuable space on their often space-strapped devices. And the best part is that it is secure and easily portable between all of your devices.
The free i-FlashDrive ONE companion app, provides a wealth of built-in viewers for all sorts of media and document types from a variety of music and video formats (not just the native MP4) , as well as Word docs, PDFs and loads more. All of the content saved on your MemoriesCable’s external storage is viewable without an internet connection and you always have the option of using any other apps you might have installed on your device for viewing/editing the content simply by using iOS’ native “Open in…” functionality.
On a recently family vacation where our plans to rely on Netflix for rainy day or nighttime hotel entertainment for the kids was thwarted by a lack of WiFi in our room, the MemoriesCable saved the day with digital downloadable versions of shows and movies I had previously saved to its external storage…just in case.
One of the best features (which I was quite honestly surprised to see) is the ability to cache any YouTube videos for offline playback. When you play a YouTube video through thei-FlashDrive ONE’s YouTube client, it immediately gives you the option of caching the data, so that it is viewable when you don’t have an internet connection. Videos are saved as MP4s which can be transferred to either cloud storage or the MemoriesCable’s external storage or for PC-less offline viewing.
Through the companion app you also have access to all sorts of backup options including Photos, Contacts, Calendars, Facebook Albums, Instagram, Dropbox, and Google Drive. Now you can have access to your entire Facebook or instagram photo library anywhere. You can also setup automatic backups of your Contacts, Calendars and Photos and secure access to the data on your MemoriesCable via both a passcode and TouchID.
If you are interested in backing the MemoriesCable, the Indiegogo campaign has just a little over a week left at the time of this writing. You can back a single 16GB USB 2.0 model for $49 all the way up to a 128GB USB 3.0 model for $149, with discounts offered when you back a bundle of multiple units at the same time. The 32GB, USB 3.0 unit I reviewed has a backing price of $99.
This is a really neat and handy device to have in your bag! Perhaps you are someone who is always running out of space on your iOS device due to photos and videos, or maybe you travel quite a bit and don’t always have an internet connection, or have a limited data plan, but want access to your documents and movies. Maybe you have kids who like to watch TV shows or movies on their devices but don’t have the room on their devices to store them. In all of these situations, the MemoriesCable would be an ideal solution.