Introduced in 2015, the Leef iBridge is a great tool for both iPhone and iPad users. The iBridge is compatible with all Lightning port devices and can be used with multiple devices.
I have my test unit 16GB iBridge available as a giveaway. Read to the end of this post to see how to win!
This device is Apple MFi certified, meaning it is an approved device from Apple, and will work with the current and future iOS versions.
The iBridge acts as a USB key for your iPhone. It is truly a plug and play device. There are no drivers that need to be installed. Use it just as you would your old USB thumbdrives, except you can view and access those files on your iOS devices. There aren’t any instructions in the box, but you don’t really need them. Check out their guide in PDF form here.
Stick it into your computer, move any files you want to view on your iOS device, and you’re good to go! Make sure you download the free LEEF app (Once you plug in the iBridge, you will be prompted to do so)
Back up your photos as you take them. One excellent feature is that it will recognize which photos have already been backed up, and will only therefore backup new photos. You can then safely delete them off your device to save storage space.
The iBridge is able to plays multiple video formats, from .mp4 to .avi to .mov. Chances are it can play any video format you throw at it. This in itself is an advantage over what Apple offers in what formats your device can play directly.
You can take photos and shoot video directly onto the iBridge using its camera. You do not have to worry about using any of the storage on your devices at all if you choose not to.
Upload files from one iPad and transfer them onto another. If you have been having issues with other file transfer methods (AirDrop, cloud sharing etc.), this “old-school” method is foolproof and will work without any additional adaptors or cords. You just need to have the Leef app installed on all devices.
caveat: The iBridge does not play DRM-protected files, which means it can not store apps or files such as downloaded movies from iTunes or Amazon ebooks.
Educational Uses of the iBridge
An obvious use would be to collect various media from student iPads onto your teacher iPad. This will come in handy if your school WiFi isn't stable to perform AirDrop. Also, if you have a large video file that you want to share with other iPads, you can quickly transfer them onto each iPad, and students can view and work on projects using your common video. All you would need to do is download the free app onto each iPad.
If you have not embraced the cloud for backing up files/photos, this is the perfect little device for you. Moving photos and videos from your iPhone/iPad onto your computer is easy to do (easier than on iTunes). The best thing in my opinion about this device is that you can share files with as many iOS devices as you wish. Although the USB 2.0 speeds are (obviously) not as fast as what 3.0 could be with this, it will do the trick. There are other similar Lightning USB drives out, but the form factor of the Leef iBridge is what makes it stand out among its competition. With the exception of a little added weight, you won’t even notice it too much when using it. Despite the fact that users nowadays are getting used to cloud services and slowly moving away from USB keys and physical backups, this handy device will definitely have its uses for all iOS users. Having just come back from a couple spring break trips, I can attest to the usefulness of this device. I was able to watch movies that I had saved on it using both my iPhone and iPad. There was no need to rely on WiFi. I could access all my media wherever I was. This device was seen at many local electronics stores.
The iBridge is available in sizes up to 256 GB. Check out the official website here.
Promo: Win this 16GB iBridge here on teachingwithipad.org, valued at $60USD!
Here’s how to win:
If you have Twitter: Follow me here and Tweet this (or any other) post from teachingwithipad.org with the hashtags #ipaded and #edtech.
If you don’t have Twitter: Just leave a comment below!
Winners will be chosen randomly and announced here or in the comments in roughly two weeks. I will personally ship it anywhere in North America. If you tweeted to enter, I will contact the winner via DM.