iOS13 and USB Flash Drives Now Work Together

Dec 06, 2019 in 08:30 AM | Posted By Janelle W.
iOS13 and USB Flash Drives Now Work Together

One of the most exciting news in iOS 13 for iPhones and iPadOS 13 is now, users can connect to external devices like USB flash drives for storage or transferring files. The Files app works to move the data wherever it's needed. 

What does that mean for iOS users?

That means that with the right hub or dongle, the thumb drives you already own can be used. Used to store photos, movies, or other large documents you don't want taking up memory on the device or using up storage on your iCloud account.

You can connect to the iPad Pro USB-C port via a USB-C flash drive to drop and drag files. On older iPads, there are Lightning to USB-A connectors to transfer documents and photos, too. 

For iPhones it is much the same. With a dongle, like Apple's Lightning to Camera USB connector, you can connect a USB flash drive to the phone's Lightning connection. 

Once connected, you use the iPhone or iPad Files app to open and manipulate your thumb drive's data. However, with large drives without their own power source, there are limits to how much you can do with an iPhone.

Tablet now a laptop?

For iPad users particularly, however, this update is a huge step towards using the tablets more like a laptop computer. With several iOS photo apps already available, photographers can download to and edit photos from the iPad. You can also download those photos directly onto a USB stick to hand off to photography clients.

Users may wonder what they can do with a USB flash drive they weren't able to do with iCloud. While iCloud has made file transfer possible without external storage, it does still not work for every situation. It often meant needing a desktop computer or laptop, too, to put data on a flash drive to deliver work to clients. Again, that is no longer necessary if you can load data directly from the iPad.

I need to experiment with this a bit. In my former life, I'd write on my laptop in the field. Rather than paying for a WiFi hot spot, I'd tether my MacBook to my iPhone. Using iTunes and Pages, I'd drop and drag the story to my phone and email it using my data plan. 

Part of iTunes break up?

With Apple spinning iTunes to Music, TV and Podcasts in their own apps, to move data transfers to Files is presumably part of that. I can only imagine the download will be easier now (and I won't have to remember where, exactly, I need to go in iTunes to make it happen).


Check out all of our mobile accessories. From PopSockets to wireless chargers, we can keep your iOS device working for you.