PhotoFast has two aspects to a single product. The first aspect is the iOS card reader / Lightning port dongle (CR–8800) that you plug into your iPhone that allows you to backup your data externally. The Lightning port dongle will work on all modern iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) that have a Lightning port. The second aspect is the PhotoFast iOS application that you will need to download onto your iOS device so that you can manage the data that goes from your iOS device to your PhotoFast dongle. The first time you plug the PhotoFast dongle into your iOS device you will be prompted to download the companion application to your iOS device. The CR–8800 retails for $39.99.
PhotoFast makes it easy to back up my images and videos from my iOS device to an external device without the need for cloud services, which can be expensive if you have to pay for them every month. I am just being honest here, iCloud only offers 5GB of free storage so in reality you will need to pay if you want to backup all of your content to iCloud. There are other options for photos and videos you could choose such as Google Photos and Flickr that will automatically backup your content for you, those services offer a higher storage capacity with their free accounts. Even if you do pay for iCloud, like I do, sometimes uploading may not be an option since your iPhone only backs-up to iCloud via WiFi while the iPhone/iPad is charging. Maybe you don’t have a WiFi connection? Maybe you have images that you don’t want to upload to iCloud or any cloud storage service for that matter. PhotoFast allows you to keep your data/content/images whatever locally on an external device that you can easily share to other iOS devices or any device for that matter. Any device that you can connect to with either a microSD card or some sort of an adapter, such as an Android phone/tablet or a laptop for example.
If you have an Android device with an available microSD card slot you can use the microSD card that comes with the PhotoFast dongle and easily transfer content from iOS to Android or vice versa. I have a Nexus 5X which doesn’t have a microSD slot available but I do have a GoPro that does and if I want to transfer 4K video from my GoPro to my iPhone or iPad then I now have an easy way to do so without the need for my desktop computer or my laptop! The PhotoFast dongle saves me time and also allows me to quickly transfer data to my iPhone.
I have also found another useful way to use the PhotoFast dongle with my PlayStation 4, but to do this I also have to use my USB microSD card adapter. Luckily I already had the USB microSD card adapter that I use with my GoPro. I share a ton of videos/photos to services like Vine, Instagram, Tumblr and YouTube. A lot of those videos and images are footage from gameplay from my PS4. Using the PhotoFast dongle not only saves me two steps with getting content from my PS4 to my iOS device, it also saves me time! This one of the biggest uses of PhotoFast for me, as I am constantly transferring both screenshots and videos from my PS4 to my iPad for sharing. While there are still hoops that I need to jump through to accomplish what I am trying to accomplish, PhotoFast does help remove a couple of those hoops!
About the PhotoFast dongle itself, it is super fast when transferring images and video from your camera roll to the PhotoFast dongle. I easily transferred 17 photos and 3 video files from my iPhone to the PhotoFast dongle in under 10 seconds. Obviously the results will vary depending on the video file sizes or the image file sizes. Some photos will be larger if they are panoramas, and they might be smaller if they are square photos. I personally didn’t see much of a difference in transfer speeds when testing to see how long it took to move content from my phone to the PhotoFast dongle. The dongle is small, light, easily fits in your pocket but just be careful you don’t lose it because it is tiny! There is a small hole in the dongle that will allow you to attach some sort of keychain type device to put on your keychain, sadly I didn’t see one included with the PhotoFast dongle I received, but you can find those on Amazon (http://amzn.to/1T7zNLF) or eBay.
The i-FlashDrive One is the companion app that you will need to download onto your iOS device that will work in conjunction with the PhotoFast CR–8800 dongle. This is the application that will allow you to manage what data gets transferred to and from the device to your iPhone or just allow you to back up data stored on your iOS device. All your images and data will reside inside the application but you can easily export that data to either the iOS device itself or to other services such as Google Drive or Instagram, depending on what type of data you are transferring and where you need it to go.
The i-FlashDrive One supports numerous file types for audio, video, and still images. For audio you can upload audio such as an MP3, AAC, AIF, WAV, M4A and CAF. You can then use the One app to play that audio stored in the application which will help alleviate data you actually need stored on your iPhone or iPad, freeing up internal storage on your device.
For video the One application supports the following video file formats; MP4, MOV, M4V (without DRM), MKV, AVI, FLV, RM, RMVB, WMV, VOB, 3GP. As you can tell most of popular video file formats are supported, this is also a great way to upload a movie to the external microSD card and watch it on your iOS device without having to use up precious internal storage space on your iOS device. Think about a long flight cross-country, you could load up a couple of movies and then watch them on your iPad without having to manage the storage on your iPhone or iPad to make room for the movies on the iOS device.
The One application supports the following image formats; JPG, PNG, BMP, GIF, TIF, TIFF, ICO, XBM, CUR. Again with images you have most of the popular image formats that most people use on a day to day basis. It would have been nice to see .PSD file format supported but there is a work around for that, you can put all your .PSD files in a zip folder then upload it to the One application, unzip the folder then open the contents in your Adobe Photoshop app, Pixelmator or whatever app supports the .PSD format.
Other features of the One application include the ability to password protect your data within the application, you can also set up passcode protection on the microSD card within the One application. If using a passcode is not your thing then you can also use the Fingerprint scanner on your iPhone or iPad and protect your data as well. You can create .zip files, text files, backup your contacts or calendars, create voice recordings, and so much more. You can also backup social media accounts such as YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, Flickr, Facebook. Which is really useful if you want to easily download previously uploaded videos of photos to a social media service but do not have them locally on your device.
The One application also supports AirPlay which means you can AirPlay videos or music from the PhotoFast dongle within the One application to an Apple TV or any device that supports AirPlay. The feature set for the One application is rich, it is a one stop shop for all your iOS data backup needs.
The PhotoFast dongle and the One app are a powerful combination that will allow you to manage your iOS devices in a way that Apple does not. Combined they give the consumer a choice as to how they want to manage their own personal data without the need for an outside third-party or a cloud service. I highly recommend both!
You can purchase the PhotoFast CR-8800 for only $39.99 on the PhotoFast web store; http://shop.photofast.com/
The One application is a free download for both iOS and Android, you can download the One application here;
Download the PhotoFast App, i-FlashDrive One for iOS; https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/app/i-flashdrive-one/id912314964?mt=8&at=10l5Ha
Download -FlashDrive One for Android; https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=tw.com.photofast.IFlashDrive_ONE_Android&hl=en
For more information about PhotoFast you can visit the PhotoFast website; http://www.photofast.com/