Bangalore, April 6 2015: For lay users, the USB data stick is the closest they get to experiencing Flash storage every day, to exchange files between PCs, laptops -- and other devices.
With tablets and phones, there was a small glitch: you could not drag and drop files from stick to screen. But the new On-The-Go or OTG USB sticks overcome this problem. They can switch between the role of master and slave, host and client. Once you install a small OTG app, you can switch data at will between phone or tablet and PC or laptop.
I am trying out Kingston's Data Traveler microDuo 3.0 which does just this -- at the USB 3.0 speed which is theoretically 10 times faster than USB 2.0. It has a standard USB port on one side and a micro USB on the other -- the type found on phones. Of course you will get these zippy transfer speeds, only if both devices are USB 3.0o compliant -- and as of now few phones or tablets are. The typical prices on the Web for the Data Traveler Microduo 3.0 are 64 GB: Rs 2049; 32 GB: Rs 1099 and 16 GB Rs 638, all lower than MRP.
SanDisk has a similar range of OTG sticks -- the Ultra Dual USB Drive 3.0, specifically for exchanging data with Android devices -- at promised speeds of 130 MBPS.
For IPhone and Ipad users, the Mumbai based Creative Peripherals, has brought the PhotoFast i-FlashDrive to India --a cross-platform device that allows you to transfer files between Apple smartphones or tablets and any desktop regardless of Operating System. Available in 8GB, 16GB, 32GB & 64GB sizes at Rs 5100, 5800, Rs 7300 and Rs 14650 respectively, i-Flash has two pinouts -- standard and micro (Lightning) USB 3.0. It provides easy back up for phones and can be password protected.
All these devices are a bit costlier than equivalent USB 2.0 versions -- but worth the extra for the speed.