The PhotoFast 32GB USB 3.0 MemoriesCable for iPod, iPhone and iPad arrived for review last week and I couldn’t wait to try it out.
This little Lightning to USB cable houses storage (16/32/64/128GB) on the cable itself, allowing you to easily transfer files between iOS devices and your computer.
I’ve longed for an easier method of backing up photos and video on my iPhone and iPad for years now but have never found anything that fits the bill. PhotoFast think they have cracked it. Have they? Let’s find out…
When you first plug the cable into your iOS device, a popup will inform you that the accessory requires an app from the App Store:
The companion app for the hardware is the new PhotoFast One app, not that you need to know the name of it because clicking App Store on the pop-up will take you directly to it. It’s a nice touch.
Once the app is downloaded and installed, any subsequent cable insertions generate the following pop up. If you click Allow, you will be taken directly to the app.
The app itself is very well designed and packed with features. There are clear sections at the top of the screen for accessing In-App Storage and External Storage.
At the bottom of the screen are buttons for Music/Photos/Video, YouTube (downloader) Google Drive (browser) and Dropbox (browser).
Swiping to the right takes you to a second page almost entirely dedicated to backup buttons.
I tested the Contact Backup option first and it saved all 600 of my contacts to a .vcf file in a matter of seconds.
Next up was the Photo Backup, some 693 photos in my camera roll, all saved in under 2 minutes.
It’s all very impressive.
To test the transfer speed side of things, I copied a 1GB test file from my PC (using a USB 3.0 port) and was able to achieve write speeds of ~19MB/s. Read speeds of ~33MB/s were consistently achievable.
The app isn’t just for backups and file transfers though. It also has built-in music and video players which can be used to stream content from the cable storage. In fact, the video player is compatible with MP4, MOV, M4V, MKV, AVI, FLV, RM, RMVB, WMV, VOB and 3GP formats.
The Settings section is also full of features, including the ability to protect the app with a passcode or Touch ID.
There is even an option to completely encrypt the storage, although this will render the cable unusable on a computer. If you are just transferring files to and from your iOS devices though, this may be a valuable option.
The Auto Backup feature is what really interested me for the simple reason that Apple are bordering on the sadistic with their 5GB free iCloud storage limit. Granted, Apple are trying to upsell to their paid plans but 5GB is used up in no time, usually due to iCloud photo backups.
This is where Auto Backup comes in. Every time you open the app, an incremental backup can be performed.
So now I plug the MemoriesCable into my wall charger and iPhone before I go to bed, and the app takes care of backing up my photos, contacts and calendar items, all while charging.
I have set my iCloud backup to ignore photos now and as a result, I can backup daily to iCloud with no more of the annoying ‘Storage Full’ messages I usually wake up to.
All in all, this is an excellent product that really unshackles Apple devices and their famously non-expandable memory.
PhotoFast are currently running an Indiegogo campaign from the 3rd – 24th August, where units can be obtained for significantly lower prices than RRP.
TheTechSpy rating: 9/10