iOS 13 & iPad Pro Hard Drive Compatibility

iOS 13 & iPad Pro Hard Drive Compatibility

iOS 13 has brought with it the functionality of a fully formed (pretty much) file browser in the shape of the ‘Files’ app. This small but mighty update allows users of iPhones and iPads to actively use their devices with hard drives and move files around as you would on a desktop PC.

This is especially useful for users of editing apps such as LumaFusion. Who can now import, edit from and export to external media sources and destinations.

The iPad Pro with its USB-C connection has an added advantage over iPhone or older iPad users who will need a lightning to USB-A type dongle to use these features.

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There are also only certain drives that do actually work with this connection type. We’ll run you through some of the best below. You can also check out YouTuber Air Photography’s video above for a more in-depth look at the drives and their functionality with the iPad Pro.


Though they are more expensive, solid state drives are definitely more suited to this type of workflow due to them having no moving parts and usually being smaller in form factor than their HDD counterparts. You can throw these in a camera bag and not have to worry that they won’t function at the other end.

Samsung T5


SSD with V-NAND offers ultra-fast data transfer speeds of up to 540MB/s (up to 4.9x faster than external HDDs); Ideal for transferring large-sized data including 4K videos, high-resolution photos, games and more.

The Samsung T5 is a popular choice for Editors on-the-go and those who want to travel light but with reliable storage. Its small size also gives it an advantage over other SSDs.

In fact, this little drive is now becoming a staple storage method for camera operators who have turned to SSDs for recording RAW footage straight to drive rather than card memory.

The USB-C type drive works right out of the box with the iPad Pro and shouldn’t present any problems.

It retails for between $170-200.

Lightning to USB C Female Adapter
Lightning to USB C Female Adapter

For iPhone and all lightning port users you will need a connecting dongle mentioned earlier to take advantage of this and all of the drives we are going to mention. The third party lightning to USB-C adapters above are untested so we’d say, at this moment, to go for a drive that uses USB-A if you are using a device with a lightning port.

Lacie Rugged Drives

Rugged Storage

Quickly and easily connect to the latest Windows and Mac computers and iOS 13 devices with USB-C. Confidently tackle any terrain with drop, crush, and rain resistance.

If you haven’t heard of, seen or used a Lacie Rugged drive then we’d like to meet you as that’s quite an achievement in our world. These things are usually scattered across cutting room floors. You’ll probably have one or two in your camera bag right now.

The thing is, these drives just work.

They do exactly what they are supposed to. They are rugged and robust.

They also now come in a myriad of different sizes and connection types. Which means whether you have an iPhone or an iPad Pro you can find a Lacie Rugged that will work for you with either USB-C/Thunderbolt connectivity or USB-A connectivity. Depending on your budget you can also choose between HDD or SSD as well.

The drives will work straight out of the box with iOS 13 so no worries there either.

It retails for around $175.

WD Wireless Passport Pro

Wireless Storage

My Passport Wireless Pro gives photographers and filmmakers portable storage to easily offload, edit and stream photos or HD videos in the field. Streamline your workflow with this all-in-one drive and work seamlessly from your mobile device, or transfer files with the built-in SD card reader.

These personal, wirelessly connected, hard drives used to be one way of getting footage to and from smartphones and tablets before iOS 13’s Files app update. It is actually much simpler to just plug these in now.

There is something that needs to be made aware here, as Air Photography states in his video above, the HDD version works fine with iOS 13 but the SSD currently does not.

The reason being that the drive is formatted in NTFS rather then Mac OS Extended (HFS+) or EX-FAT.

This stops iOS from being able to read from the drive. A further complication is that formatting the drive could lead to the SD card slot being rendered unusable.

This therefore means the HDD version of this drive is really your only bet for this type of connectivity use.

The drive retails for between $210-240.

Thumb Drives

There are so many different types of thumb drives out there that we can’t even begin to name them.

All we can say is that there are now USB-C type drives and also USB-C Micro SD card readers and Lightning to Micro SD card readers so have a look and see what you can find that suits your needs.

The thing that matters most here is that you don’t have your thumb drive or SD card formatted in NTFS, as iOS 13 will not be able to read it.

That’s pretty much it. Have fun editing and storing on-the-go with this fantastic update for hard drive compatibility!


For more iOS and iPad Pro content check out our iPad Pro editing article here:


and our mobile vlogging guide here:

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