While I love several of the new features of iOS 13 and iPadOS 13, the ability to use external storage is one I continue to come back to. It opens up many new and interesting opportunities that will make some tasks easier and can even change the amount of internal storage in iPads that we buy. As such, I have pushed the boundaries to see what works and what doesn't.
I can definitely say that Developer Beta 3 is an improvement in the use of external storage. Some of the complaints I previously had about how long it took for stations to appear have been addressed. I have a pair of SD cards and a thumbdrive with many files that I have repeatedly tested with. Although they can take up to two minutes to appear in the Files app in past grazing, and sometimes do not appear at all, they now fill in a few seconds. I no longer have problems with the cards getting hot during use. These improvements make using external storage so much more convenient.
This week, I decided to focus more on my time on what you can do with devices that have a Lightning connector. They can require more work and often more cables, but they offer the same external storage capabilities if you can live with extra effort. For example, you can see here that I could connect my iPhone XS Max running iOS 1
You can also see that it took a bit to do. I have Apple's Lightning for USB 3 dongle, which also includes a lightning plug to add power for connecting devices. However, that is not enough. In this case, because the external drive requires more power than Lightning can send, I had to introduce a powered USB 3 Hub. With the hub and its external power supply, I had no trouble getting the drive up on my phone.
In fact, by using the power of the hub, I could add a thumb drive and an SD card with a USB adapter, too. As you can see, all three showed up and were simultaneously available in files. The powered hub can add mass and many extra wires, but it also offers great flexibility.
If you want to keep it to a wire, your options are limited. The same light for the USB 3 dongle will work, but only certain devices will appear with less power. I can get a thumb drink or SD card with USB adapter to get into files but only if a lightning cord is connected to the adapter. Said Lightning Cable must also use a larger power supply. The old standby iPhone bricks will not cut it when I ended up with insufficient power alerts. You need to spend a 12 Watt or better to get positive results. As long as you do, this method will get you down to a cable.
If no cables are a must, you have one alternative.
As you can see here, Apple's Lightning Light for SD Adapter is making lure without the need for extra cables. Just insert your SD card and you're good to go. To test this out, I saw a whole movie of an SD card with iPad Air tonight, and it worked fine. There were a couple of stiffeners, and the built-in media player is like just the bone it gets, but it was the job done. And this will only get better as grazing progress. After the final release of the operating systems, we will also benefit greatly from developers who support remote storage for their apps.
External storage really adds a new dimension to the iPad as a full-featured computing platform. It is good to know that while several works and wires may be required, users who have iPads with Lightning Connectors are not here again. Apple has included all of the same features, and with a little effort, these iPads can deliver the same benefits of external storage as the iPad Pro.