Free up your iPhone storage with the iBridge 3 from Leef.
Leef has been a storage company I’ve been a fan of since 2015. They make an elegant external memory stick for the iPhone that using the Lightning connector and a standard USB-A port to connect to most computers. We’ve reviewed the Leef before but they have upgraded their products and now have the iBridge 3.
What are the differences between the iBridge and iBridge 3?
The first thing I wanted to know when I heard about iBridge 3 was the differences between it and the device I already had. Leef made some fundamental improvements to the iBridge when they relaunched it as iBridge 3.
The first big difference is the design. While the iBridge 3 still features a “J” shape, the new model is more flexible and it has a sleeker line to it. It has the ability to flex just enough for you to slide it onto your laptop. I would like to note that the iBridge does a bit more flexibility than the updated model. The design of the iBridge 3 might look odd to some but it was carefully crafted that way so when you are using it, nothing would be hanging down too far from your iPhone. It wraps below the iPhone and up behind the back of the phone to stay out of the way while in use. It even fits on the phone when it has a standard case on it. The body of the iBridge 3 is quite a bit smaller than the original device and instead of having a hard plastic cover for it, the updated model has a soft silicone wrapping that gently folds around the device.
The second main difference is the speed. The original iBridge was USB 2.0 and iBridge 3 has USB 3.1 speeds. So, you are getting a dramatic increase in speed with the upgraded iBridge as USB 3.1 transfers at a rate of 10Gb/s and USB 2.0 transfers at a rate of 480 Mb/s. This is an awesome update for people who use the iBridge for video transfer. Finally, the third main difference between the two models is the app that they use. The iBridge uses MobileMemory and the iBridge 3 uses the iBridge 3 app. The new and improved app has a new design, better performance, Cloud integration, and password protection.
What’s the purpose of the iBridge?
The simple answer to this is to give you more space for your iPhone. Not only can you use the iBridge 3 to clear space from your iPhone when it fills up, but you can also shoot video and photos directly to the device itself. This is extremely valuable for those of us who are taking nonstop photos or video at events and need to quickly hand off what you’ve taken to an editor or a family member who wants to make sure they don’t miss out on that important home run.
Speaking of home runs, the iBridge is a home run for most people with an iPhone. Because Apple has never released a model of mobile device with a Micro SD card slot to extend memory, the iBridge from Leef is the solution to a problem I’ve heard about for years. Another great use of the iBridge is to store entertainment on. You can load your favorite movies and TV shows on it without taking up space on your phone. That way you always have your entertainment close at hand.
Testing & Conclusions
The iPhone immediately recognizes when the iBridge 3 is connected to the phone. If you don’t have the app installed, you will be prompted to do so. After you have the app installed, you have free reign to walk through the functionality of the iBridge 3. The app is very intuitive and it’s easy to navigate. The home screen has a few options for you to choose from:
- Settings: In this menu, you will see the drive and app information. You will be able to also see how much space is available on your phone and your iBridge device.
- Leef Lock: This is the password protection for your iBridge device. You can set a PIN so that only you have access to the files that are stored there.
- Backup Settings: You can automatically backup photos and contacts to your Leef drive if you choose to.
- Transfer Photos: This option lets you choose to transfer photos either to or from the iBridge. One interesting thing about this feature is that iBridge will allow you to transfer files and will then ask if you want to delete them from the iPhone. I found this to be intriguing since it prevents you from having duplicate files.
- Leef Camera: This option will access your iPhone’s photo and video camera so that you can capture moments directly to the iBridge.
- Media: This menu you shows you what you have stored on your iBridge. It’s very similar to the Camera Roll from the iPhone.
- Manage Files: This is another way to view the files stored on the iBridge. You can store more than just photos and video on your iBridge. This menu gives you the way to access those files.
With Apple giving users a finite amount of space on their mobile devices with no way of expanding them, the iBridge 3 is a great solution to the space problem we all inevitably experience. I try to alleviate this issue by upgrading my device to the largest possible storage option when possible. With the expanding cost of iPhones though, this isn’t really possible for everyone. The iBridge is an easy, affordable ($70 for 32GB) option for people who need to expand their data storage.
To test how quickly media would move from the iPhone to the iBridge, I borrowed my fiance’s iPhone 7. She has a 32GB model and is constantly battling the storage problem. I decided to copy all her video files from her camera roll onto the iBridge. There were 64 files totaling 7.59 GB. It took approximately 10 minutes to complete the transfer. Since we are constantly transferring data from our phones to our laptops, this was another time saver for her because she usually just shares video and photo files through iCloud shared albums. When you plug the iBridge into your computer, it appears on your desktop like a standard external hard drive does and the file structure is standard for Apple.
The iBridge 3 from Leef is a definite improvement over the original design. It has cleaner functions and an easier app to use. I can recommend this for any iOS user, but especially for the photographers and videographers that use iPhones as their main camera.
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