The Apple ecosystem has an awful lot to recommend it. Classy design, security, quality manufacture and a huge selection of software. A word that doesn’t often go with Apple is expandability. Adam Elements are an Apple certified manufacturer that make a possible solution to this – expandable simple storage for iOS. The iKlips Duo is at heart a pretty simple idea – a flash drive with a lighting connector on one end and a USB-A connector on the other.

The use cases are obvious – plug it into your iPhone and copy off the photos and regain some space. Store videos on the Duo and plug it in whenever you want to watch them. Use it as a backup solution.  Obvious. It will not let you offload apps – this is just about storage and backup.

There are two sides to the Duo – the hardware and the software. The drive is in a metal case and feels solid and good to hold and while I’d been worried about having it sticking out of my iPad the few times I did knock it the lightning connector held up perfectly. I had the 32gb version to play with but it’s also available in 64, 128 and 256Gb. The drive isn’t superfast with average reads of 142.71 MB/s and 38.66 MB/s but it’s decent and that level is probably going to be sufficient for most users. It comes with a rubber case that does a decent job of protecting it without any easily loosable caps.

The software is arguably more important and Adam have produced an App called iKlips which is used as a central hub. This app is the only way to interact with the drive. Load it up and it gives you a look at how much storage you’ve got both internally and available on the drive. Most people are going to have the drive for one of two things – backing up camera files or playing media.

The backup process is a simple one-click process and went through the pictures I had stored on my iPad in a couple of minutes.  The only potential fly in the ointment is trying to use this one-click backup if there isn’t enough space on the drive to take them all. I filled the drive 95% with other material then started a backup and crashed the program. This is unlikely to be a regular problem particularly with the larger iKlips drive sizes but it’s something to be aware of. As well as photos and videos the drive can also make backups or other data on your iDevice and can integrate into cloud services and save data from them. Adam seem to be updating this functionality but at the time of writing it could handle photos, calendar, contacts, Facebook. Instagram and Evernote.

The other use for the drive is as a storage device for videos or music you then play on the iDevice. This works well and even lets you send out directly to an AppleTV. I had no problems with any music files I tried to play but It  did manage to trip it over a couple of more unusual video codecs. It claims to support .mp4, .mov and .m4v and also worked with .avi but tripped over .mkv. Unless you’re involved in recording using more unusual devices the drivers included should work for you but be sure to check anything more odd.

The software also has th ability to download from cloud streaming services like Vimeo and Youtube. The ideas is that you can use the iKlip when you have good connectivity to download content for later that would usually require a connection to play.

Product Information

Retailer: Amazon +                   

Price: ± £78 – £349 depending on size

About Adam Elements

Adam Elements was setup in 2013 in Taiwan and makes a range of Apple addons including USB drives, dongles, cables and screen protectors.

Design

On first sight the Duo looks like a regular if well made USB flash drive. Unclip it from its rubber carrying case and it becomes rather more interesting – a USB 3.0 flash drive with a lightning connector on the other end.  The rubber protective case protects both ends of the drive when inside it and also adds a keychain loop. Also included in the pack is a small leather loop that can be attached to the keychain holder if you choose to. I found that the best thing to do was attach the rubber protector to the inside of my bag – no way to lose it, its protected and it was always with me.

The biggest part of the design that you’ll be interacting with on a daily basis is the software. This is generally simple in design with bold colours and pictures. It doesn’t feel like it quite fits in with Apple’s design language but it’s functional and after a couple of minutes exploring reasonably well laid out and useable.

Environment & People

ecologicalergonomicBuild quality

Cost-Effective

The 32Gb version of the iKlips is available for £78, the 64Gb for £99, the 128GB for £163  and the 256GB for £349. To give an idea of scale the 32GB iPhone 7 Plus is £719 and the 128GB version is £819. That means 96Gb for a price of £100. On the other hand the iPad mini 2 is available for £239 in only a 32Gb model. Depending on which tier or iDevice you look at the iKlips works out somewhat more expensive or somewhat cheaper than the extra cost would be for just buying a larger device – if that is available from Apple.

There are other alternative ways to add external storage such as this which is a battery powered wifi hub that you can plug a standard USB drive into and stream media from but they all have the disadvantage of being slower as they are on wifi, generally being worse supported and usually requiring an external battery.

In short the iKlips isn’t the most cost effective way to get extra space but it isn’t hugely more expensive than many of the alternatives and has it’s own advantages over the cheaper competition.

Specification

Product dimensions: 1 x 8.8 x 2 cm
Capacity: From 16GB to 256GB
Item Weight: 141g
Colour: Gold, Iron, Rose Gold, Red
USB: 3.1
Apple Certified
Storage Type: exFAT
Materials: Aluminum body stick with silicon sleeve

Warranty: One year.

Requirements

Electric plugs or hook-upinternet accesswifi accessdexterityrequirementbwPhysical requirement

An Apple device with a lightning connector (not including an iPad Nano). iOS 8.0 required and the app has extra abilities on some hardware including supporting 3D Touch and split screen.

 

Verdict

Ten years ago when the first iPhone launched if you’d told me what a culturally transformative device it would be I’m not sure I would have believed you. Fast forward to now and the iPhone and it’s family of iDevices are the main computer, entertainment centre and communications hub for a lot of people. That said there are two big complaints – I’ve run out of charge and I’ve run out of space! The first can be added with external batteries and Adam have come up with a decent answer for the second.

The iKlips Duo has some disadvantages – perhaps the biggest is that having a flash drive sticking out of the bottom of your iPhone or iPad isn’t exactly ergonomic but if you just want to make a backup or play media sitting or lying down it’s not an issue. If you’re hitting the limits of your iDevices storage or just want to regularly transfer stuff back and forth the iKlips is a decent choice. Recommended.

Ergohacks Essential

The review is based on the Rose Gold 32GB iKlips DUO Flash Drive kindly provided by Adam Elements. This article was first published on the 27th January 2017.