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Leef iAccess review: A little white hook full of infinite iOS storage possibilities

J.R. Bookwalter | Dec. 9, 2015
A hook-shaped plastic dongle that plugs into the Lightning port of an iOS device to provide expandable storage from microSD cards.

leef iaccess iphone stock

iOS has come a long way over nine generations, but Apple still has yet to address one very large elephant in the room: Expandable storage. Cupertino insists on keeping the base model at a measly 16GB, so iPhone owners are the first to seek alternatives—and fortunately, third-party accessory makers are all-too-happy to fill the void.

leef iaccess product
This tiny, hook-shaped Lightning dongle is all you need to access photos, videos, music, or documents stored on microSD from any iOS device.

Hooked on storage

One of the latest is iAccess, a tiny dongle that plugs into the Lightning port of an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad. At the base of the white plastic unit is a slot for a microSD card (sold separately), which can be inserted or removed with a thumbnail. The reader is compatible with cards up to 128GB in size; my older Kingston 8GB card worked great.

mobilememory main menu
The free MobileMemory app is the conduit between iAccess and your iOS device, allowing content to be viewed, transferred, or shared.

Weighing only six grams, iAccess is angled in the shape of a hook, which gives the reader a low profile by extending only 16.6 mm from the device. The remaining 40.5mm wraps out of sight around back, leaving a 5 mm gap from the device—enough clearance for the bulkiest of cases.

It’s a pretty ingenious design that solves a big problem with earlier card readers that stuck out like a sore thumb. The Lightning connector fits snugly enough that iAccess is unlikely to come loose even if accidentally bumped from underneath.

I had no problem using iAccess on my iPhone 6s Plus or iPad Pro; older devices with 30-pin connectors are incompatible. iAccess is small enough to toss into a pocket or purse, but I’m surprised Leef didn’t build a keychain hole into the unit—it would keep the tiny gadget from getting lost, and make it easier to carry with you at all times.

Mobile memory

mobilememory ibridge camera
MobileMemory includes iBridge Camera, which allows iAccess owners to shoot video or take photos directly to the microSD card.

Unfortunately, expandable storage is only half the battle: iAccess owners also need to download Leef’s free MobileMemory app to access or save content. Although the microSD card can be used on Mac or PC with an adapter, Leef has positioned iAccess as an accessory for action cameras, and with good reason: Shooters can simply eject the card, slip it into iAccess, and instantly view, edit, or share from anywhere.

 

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