A solution to USB-C ambiguity with OWC Drive Speed | Cult of Mac

Why iPhone videographers need this hard drive test app [Awesome Apps]


OWC Drive Speed app for iPhone
This simple tool could be a life-saver. Or, at least, a video-saver.
Image: Other World Computing/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac
Awesome Apps

iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max can record ProRes video at 4K and 60 fps, but only if the handset is connected to an external drive that’s fast enough to handle it. To find out if your SSD is up to the job, there’s OWC Drive Speed.

This new app verifies transfer speeds between your iPhone and external drives. It displays the maximum frames per second a drive can handle. Because you don’t want to find out on the day of the shoot that the SSD you’re counting on is a dud.

Test an external hard drive for recording video with an iPhone 15 Pro or Pro Max

A pile of USB-C cables
Which of these cables would you trust for your high-speed data storage? It’s a shot in the dark.
Photo: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Apple encourages creatives to use iPhone to record their projects. But recording at high resolution and high frame rates quickly eats through the handset’s storage. Apple’s answer is enabling the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max to record Apple ProRes video directly on an external storage device connected with USB-C. This is how Apple itself shot its most recent media event on an iPhone 15.

But what if the drive — or the cable — is slow? USB-C is another gray area of different protocols and different standards for data and speed all using the same connector, often without any labels.

OWC Drive Speed is a simple, free iPhone app that will answer the age-old question: is my hard drive fast enough to capture video from my iPhone?

If you’re depending on your iPhone to record video to an external storage device, you need to know whether your connection is fast enough. You don’t want to ruin your film shoot just because you used the wrong drive or cable.

OWC’s free app to the rescue

OWC Drive Speed app for iPhone
Quickly check you’re good to go.
Screenshot: Other World Computing

With this software, you can set different parameters for your tests. This will let you know how many frames per second your particular SSD can handle when recording anything from H.264 at 720p to ProRes at 4K.

In addition to showing the maximum frames per second a dive supports, the application shows the data transfer rate in megabytes per second.

I used a Samsung T9 to test it. I was able to get the data I wanted but OWC Drive Speed 1.0 is new enough that it still has some quirks. I set it up for ProRes at 4K and the application was consistently showing that the SSD can handle about 30 fps. But occasionally it would briefly jump to something impossible, like 2,000 fps. And the final score reflects this impossible data: 243 fps .

So run your tests and gather the information you need while the data transfer is still going on. Just be aware that the final score might be completely wrong.

Despite its quirk, OWC Drive Speed still qualifies as an awesome app because it’s free. Install it and try it for yourself with your SSD and it won’t cost you a dime.

No charge, no ads, no catch

OWC Drive Speed is free with no in-app purchases and a totally clean app privacy report card with no data collected. This is a simple tool that Other World Computing is making as accessible as possible.

Download from: App Store

D. Griffin Jones contributed to this post.

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