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How I added microSD support to my iPhone 6s

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 9:17PM EST

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If history is any indication, Apple has no plans of addressing iPhone owners’ two biggest complaints anytime soon. The first is always battery life, but Apple clearly values design aesthetics enough to prevent it from making a thicker iPhone with a larger battery. And as bad as the iPhone’s battery life can be, it certainly doesn’t seem to be hurting sales — despite the recent dip, iPhones are still the best-selling smartphones in the world.

Coming in closely behind battery life is the lack of expandable storage. iPhones are some of the most expensive smartphones in the world but Apple still insists on “encouraging” users to buy more expensive models; 16GB gets you nowhere and it’s only another $100 for 64GB. You could shell out more money for a bigger iPhone, or you could add microSD card support to your current iPhone in just a few seconds like I just did.

MUST SEE: The 8 most important announcements from Google I/O 2016

We’ve covered a few different solutions in the past that offer ways to add external storage to your iPhone 6s, or any other model. Most recently, we showed you a great little flash drive from SanDisk that has a Lightning plug on one end and a standard USB plug on the other, so it can easily connect to your iPhone and your PC. We’ve also covered wireless flash drives that can connect to any mobile device in addition to a PC.

But today, we’re taking a look at something new.

MicroSD cards have become standard in Android smartphones and a wide range of other devices. They’re insanely tiny and still manage to offer as much as 256GB of storage. These little cards are the ideal solution for phones and other compact devices, but Apple refuses to add microSD card support to its iPhone lineup so it can keep ASPs as high as possible.

Well, Lexar has a simple new accessory that adds microSD support to any modern iPhone or iPad.

It’s called the Lexar microSD To Lightning Reader and as the name suggests, it’s a simple device about the size of a thumbnail with a Lightning connector sticking out.

Popping it into the bottom of an iPhone takes you to the App Store where a free companion app from Lexar can be downloaded. Once installed, content including photos, videos and music can be moved off the phone and onto any microSD card. Is it fast? Well, I tested it out with a new Lexar Professional 1800x microSDHC card and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen faster data transfers from a mobile device.

Lexar’s companion app lets users pick and choose files to offload, or they can configure the app to sync files automatically. The latter is a fine option for people with 128GB iPhones, but it defeats the purpose for users with smaller capacities.

The Lexar microSD To Lightning Reader costs $29.95 and is compatible with any and every microSD card you might already own, making it one of the cheapest options out there for iPhone-compatible external storage. The solution certainly isn’t as desirable as microSD storage implemented at the system level, but since that’s probably never going to happen, this is the best iPhone users are going to get.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.