On-the-Go USB 3.0 is here

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.

Anand Parthasarathy