Like many iPhone and iPad users I am constantly running out of space on my devices, especially my iPhone which has become by everyday camera and music player. It is really frustrating to be about to take a picture and discover that my iPhone storage is full and have to do the “deleting juggle” to free up some space without removing anything that is irreplaceable.
The iBridge from LEEF is a tiny solution to a big problem. It is small and light enough to keep in my purse at all times, so that I’m never without it. It weighs only 10 grams (less than 1/2oz) and measures 63 x 19 x 18mm- that’s about 2.5″ x 0.7″ x 0.7″. Many portable memory solutions rely on Bluetooth or wireless connections to connect to your iOS device but the iBridge simply plugs in to the lightning connector.
The iBridge has a lightning connector on one end to connect to your iPad or iPhone and a USB connector on the other end. It comes with a cover to protect the connectors when not in use. To use it you need to download the free iBridge app. It is designed to work with any lightning enabled iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch and will work with most cases (I was even able to connect to my iPad air 2 in a Griffin Survivor Slim case)
Back up and Transfer of Photos
When you connect to the iBridge it will immediately offer to backup the photos from your device (you can switch this off in settings) and you can use it to transfer files between your iOS device and the iBridge. The transfer is quick and easy and is a great way to ensure you don’t loose precious pictures . Photos on the iBridge look similar to those in iPhoto – they are arranged in albums by date taken. To transfer these back to your computer simply plug in the USB end to your computer and transfer as you would with any USB drive.
Taking Photos Directly on the iBridge
A nice feature of the iBridge is you can take photos directly onto the iBridge even when your iPhone storage is full, this is a great feature as you can still take photos without needing to delete anything from your iPhone/ iPad. I could not find a way to take videos with this feature, just still photos so it would be nice to see that added in a future update.
You can store your music library on the iBridge and play it directly from there, I found this saved a lot of space on my iPhone. It is easy to find the music I want to play from the app as like in your iTunes library you can choose to sort by track or artist or album. If you have the album artwork in your iTunes library it will display in the app too. Like when playing directly from your iTunes library you can have music playing in the background whilst using other apps without audio such as answering email or working on a document in Pages. When adding music to the iBridge you do need to do this from your computer as Apple does not allow content to be moved in or out of iTunes directly from the iPhone or iPad. I transferred my entire music library from my Mac iTunes library to the iBridge without any issues, though LEEF does say some older songs still have DRM (Digital Rights Management) and will only play in iTunes. The only problem I have had with the music section is that when I am playing music after a while the app will shift to a screen that shows all my album covers, this makes it easy to find a new album to play next but I can’t find a way to exit the music section from here without quitting the app.
Videos can also be easily viewed directly from the iBridge making it an easy way to bring along entertainment for your kids without having to delete other things to free up space for the videos. A full list of compatible files can be found here. Apple does not currently iTunes DRM video (or audio) files to be played on external apps – this means if you have a TV show or movie you purchased in iTunes you cannot play that from the iBridge but you can play other videos that you downloaded on to your computer yourself. (This is a relatively new change and is affecting all the external memory options we have reviewed.)
I have been very impressed with the iBridge, it’s app is well designed and works very well, feeling very similar to viewing photos or playing movies or music in the native Apple apps. I love the fact that you can take photos directly onto the iBridge by-passing the iPhone’s storage completely – this is a lifesaver when you need to take a photo but your iPhone is full. It is small and light enough that you can keep it permanently in your purse, and as it has no battery you don’t need to worry about charging it. As it does not rely on a wireless or Bluetooth connection it is faster and simpler to use than devices that connect that way and is more secure. I did find that my iPhone battery drained more quickly when using the iBridge, and you can’t recharge the iPhone or iPad whilst using the iBridge so that could be an issue if you were using it for a long period e.g. viewing multiple movies on a long flight.
Overall, the LEEF iBridge is a great solution for adding extra storage to your iPhone or iPad, I love it’s portability, how it plugs directly into the iPhone or iPad, how well designed the app is and that you can take photos directly on it. The iBridge comes in a variety of sizes from 16GB retailing for $59.99 up to 256GB at $399.99. It is available from LEEFco.com, Amazon or many other retailers. I would recommend getting more than a 16GB as it fills up quickly! The 62GB at $119.99 would be a good option for many people.
MobileMemoryby Leef Ltd.
Category: Productivity, Lifestyle
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPhone4S-iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5-iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen-iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74, iPhone8-iPhone8, iPhone8Plus-iPhone8Plus, iPhoneX-iPhoneX
Size: 32.5 MB
Screenshots(Click to enlarge)
Screenshots for iPad(Click to enlarge)
NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.
Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).