I've heard you - cloud storage can suck it. It requires a speedy internet connection, blows through data, puts your files on some company's servers, and frankly isn't always all that reliable. You want to stick your files on a flash drive just like the good ol' days. So here's the deal. Newegg is currently selling a 64GB OTG USB stick for the discounted price of $33.99 (a $5 savings). And if you ask nicely, Patriot Memory will send you a $14 rebate Visa card, bringing that figure down to $19.99.
So you decided to save yourself a few bucks and opted for the 16GB version of the latest phone, or even worse, are still stuck with an 8GB Nexus 4*, and now you're really feeling the pinch. The phone's lacking a microSD card slot, and that cloud storage isn't helping all that much on a limited data connection. What's a guy or gal to do? Pick up one of these dandy flash drives with dual microUSB/USB support.
It wasn't too long ago that I would have thought of a dual USB/MicroUSB flash drive as a dream accessory. Now the landscape has changed so quickly, I'm nearly embarrassed that I have yet to buy one. When we first heard about the Leef Bridge Dual-USB/MicroUSB flash drive, the idea was still novel enough that its quirky name wasn't off-putting. Since then the more traditional players have jumped into the ring, with SanDisk and Sony both coming out with their own drives.
SanDisk's wireless flash drives offer a solution to a growing problem: the increasing absence of expandable memory options in the latest high-end phones. Users who are about to max out the space on their HTC Ones or Nexus 5s can't just pop in a new microSD card and be on their way. There's the option to offload extra data onto a cloud storage provider, but for people who rather hold their files in between their fingers, SanDisk's wireless flash drives can connect to any Android device, no cables of any kind required.
If you've never heard of Leef Bridge, it's an upcoming flash drive that doesn't discriminate between PCs and smartphones by having a USB port on one end and a MicroUSB port on the other. The company pushes the device as the quickest way to move files between a computer and a phone - and now it just got even faster. Leef Bridge has made the leap from USB 2.0 to USB 3.0, which means zippier file transfers for anyone who picks up the flash drive once it goes on sale in January.
These aren't the first USB flash drives we've seen that double as detachable storage for Android devices - that honor goes to the Leef Bridge from way back in June. But darn it if Sony's new 2-in-1 flash drives aren't a whole lot slicker, combining MicroUSB and standard USB 2.0 plugs into a tiny package. From the single press image, it looks like the entire device is barely bigger than the two plugs put together.
In today's world of widespread broadband and increasingly ubiquitous WiFi, some people frankly balk at the thought of using flash drives. Those of us who ignore the naysayers still have had to accept the reality that our trusty flash drives that proved so useful while we sat at PCs aren't quite as useful when transitioning to smartphones. A 32GB flash drive filled with music is awesome when I want to pump music from my laptop, but it's a brick when I want to listen through my phone instead.