ADATA’s i-Memory Flash Drive is a good idea, but not quite ready for prime time

The ADATA i-Memory Flash Drive combines Apple-certified Lightning and USB connectivity, which makes it a breeze to move files from your Mac to your iOS device. It also supports Live Photos and Apple AirPlay audio and video content with Apple TV compatibility. If only there weren’t some substantial drawbacks to the drive.

The plug and play i-Memory Flash Drive supports Lightning and USB with a bi-directional design. According to the folks at ADATA, it’s “officially” compatible with the iPhone 6/6 Plus, iPhone 6/6 Plus,iPhone 5S, iPhone5C, iPhone 5, iPad Air 2, iPad Air, iPad (4th generation), iPad mini 3, iPad mini 2, iPad mini, and iPod touch (5th generation). It also worked with my iPad Pro — at least up to a point.

The basic concept behind the i-Memory Flash Drive is sound. However, I had to remove the cases from both my iPhone 6s Plus and my 12.9-inch iPad Pro to plug the drive in. 

Once I did that, it was easy to move Pages documents, Keynote presentations, and photos from my iMac to my iPad Pro. However, even though the i-Memory Flash Drive is touted as compatible with video (even Ultra HD 4K video), I had trouble playing films from the flash drive. Videos imported from Photos on my Mac weren’t recognized by the i-Memory app on my iPad Pro. However, videos created in iMovie were. (i-Memory is a free download at the Apple App Store, and a requirement for using the i-Memory Flash Drive on an iOS device.)

What’s more, the i-Memory Flash Drive is contained in a lightweight plastic exterior that feels cheap. Also, with the flash drive dangling from an iPhone or iPad, it’s practically begging to broken off, leaving the Lightning connector on your iDevice obstructed. 

On the plus side, the bi-directional design is clever. Sliding the button all the way to one end extends an USB 3.0 connector. Sliding the button to the other end extends a Lightning connector. When the button is in the center position, each connector is tucked inside allowing the flash drive to be transported.

You can buy the 128GB version of the i-Memory Flash Drive — the one I tested -- at Amazon for $129.99.