Tiny magnet adds 256GB of storage to your iPhone

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Small like the coin it's named after, the i.dime adds big storage to your iPhone.
Small like the coin it's named after, the i.dime adds big storage to your iPhone.
Photo: i.dime

You wanted the latest iPhone, but you could only afford the 16GB model. By the time you install some cool apps, load some songs and shoot some pictures and video, you can expect something else to appear on your screen: the Storage Almost Full message.

You can go through the sometimes frustrating task of backing everything up to the cloud or you could drop a dime on your iPhone — an i.dime, that is.

The i.dime is a dime-sized magnetic storage device that can add up to 256GB of additional space on an iPhone and functions much like a thumb drive. Backers can get a 32GB i.dime with a case for $63.

It can rest in a dongle that plugs into your phone’s lightning port, but it’s designed to snap on the back of a special i.dime case to keep your phone’s profile unencumbered. But the dongle is handy to plug the i.dime (its profile is just 4.3 mm thick) into a MacBook to drag and drop files or to share with another iPhone user.

The i.dime won an innovation award at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and with 12 days remaining Kickstarter, it has surpassed its $50,000 funding goal to ramp up production.

i.dime
The i.dime case won an Innovation Award at the 2016 CES.
Photo: i.dime

It is compatible with the iPhone 5, SE, 6, 6 Plus, 6S and 6S Plus. If production stays on schedule and i.dime ships by November, early backers can swap out their cases if they upgrade to an iPhone 7, expected to be unveiled by Apple in the fall.

“You can think of it as a detachable memory module to add more space,” i.dime. founder and CEO Steve Lee told Cult of Mac. “The cloud is a good option, but transfer speeds can vary. With i.dime, you get 95GB per second of reading speed and 90GB for writing speed. This is less than three minutes to transfer 16GB.”

More powerful apps, 4K video and an eventual ability to capture RAW images will chew up more and more space on your iPhone. The i.dime comes in 32, 64, 128 and 256GB. A 256GB i.dime could store 136,000 photos, 64,000 songs and 320 hours of videos.

A companion app lets you capture, record and view pictures and videos directly onto the i.dime and back up what is already stored on your iPhone. Users can also get an external battery/charging dock.

i.dime
The i.dime app lets you store directly to the device, back up current iPhone files and view and manage your pictures and videos.
Photo: i.dime