You probably know that you can’t plug in a standard USB drive into your phone, but the next types of USB drives should support your phones without issues.
And since Type C USB and Lightning are the new ports that will sit at the bottom of quite a few phones, memory and drive makers like Lexar are getting ready with drives you’ll be able to buy now that will support these ports.
This week, the company has chimed in with two very similar JumpDrives offering USB 3.0 connections for your computers, while the other ends support the new plug types that will be found on a few phones by 2016.
First there’s the JumpDrive M20i, and this is another of Lexar’s retractable 2-in-1 drives, the like the microUSB to USB 3.0 drives the company has had for quite a few months now, except instead of microUSB, you’ll find Apple’s Lightning port used here.
Together with an app loaded on an iPhone or iPad, you’ll be able to move files to and from the USB key, meaning that photo you took on your iPhone can be easily moved to a friend’s computer using this drive.
Speeds on this one are supported up to 95MB/s read and 20MB/s write, making it not exactly the fastest drive on the planet, but still usable for transferring files from phone to computer and computer to phone.
Apple’s Lightning port isn’t likely to be the port that sticks around for all that much longer, though, and if it doesn’t appear in the iPhone 7, we’ll be surprised, expecting it in the 8.
Apple has already let the cat out of the bag with the USB Type C port it uses on the MacBook, with Thunderbolt 3 also relying on the same port technology as Type C, which will make devices using it compatible with gadgets. Essentially, if a device supports Thunderbolt 3, it also supports USB Type C or USB 3.1, while USB Type C devices labelled as such with no Thunderbolt 3 will only support USB Type C.
It sounds a bit confusing, but the basic understanding is this: USB Type C is likely to be the next universal standard on smartphones and tablets simply because it will also be on computers too, meaning only one cable for charging most devices and connecting others.
With less connection ports, plugs will get a little easier, and so to will your recharging woes when you need to fill up that phone or tablet with more battery life in a hurry, but that also means a new type of thumb drive has to be made, too.
Luckily, Lexar is taking the JumpDrive formula from its other 2-in-1 being shown and replacing the Lightning plug for a USB Type C, allowing it to plug into that port or the regular USB 3.0 port.
The drive should be a little faster than the Lightning one, too, offering read speeds of up to 150MB/s and write of up to 60MB/s, which still isn’t super fast, but should be great for a lot of people.
“With the endless amount of content being created, captured, and consumed every day, it’s easy to run out of space on your smartphone or tablet,” said Matthew Luu, Group Marketing Manager for Micron’s — Lexar’s owner — Consumer Products Group.
“Both the Lexar JumpDrive M20c and Lexar JumpDrive M20i provide users with an easy way to transfer, share, and offload content on the go.”
Pricing on the drives starts at $31 for the 16GB M20c, with the Type C drive costing $41 for 32GB, and $62 for 64GB, while the JumpDrive for iPhone and iPad — the M20i — will start at $72 for 16GB, costing as much as $103 for 32GB or $165 for 64GB. Expect them in stores shortly.