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Want to expand your iPad's storage? Need a little extra data on your iPhone? These devices don't offer a general purpose USB port or SD drive slot. Sure, you can use Apple's Camera Connection Kit to import photos, but you'll miss out on full USB drive integration for all kinds of data like movies, music, and documents. For that, now there's CloudFTP.
The CloudFTP project started as a Kickstarter initiative and soon graduated to a product you can purchase online. It is a USB-powered pocket-sized mobile system that creates a local WiFi network. It serves whatever data you've connected via an HTML5 interface. For US$99, you can plug in any USB device -- stick or hard drive -- and explore its contents. Hop into Safari and the data is laid out in a tree-based browser.
The device is powered by a simple USB connector. Wherever you have USB power to recharge your iPhone or iPad, you'll easily be able to charge your CloudFTP as well. The case is nicely pocket-sized and the unit feels quite light and portable.
Unfortunately, the promise of CloudFTP is let down by several implementation details. To test, I first looked at a number of files supported by Mobile Safari's browser. JPEG files, text files, and other standard file formats were all easily viewed from within the browser. The challenge came from material that was not natively supported.
I loaded on an MKV formatted video onto a USB stick with the goal of viewing it in a third party application. I powered up CloudFTP, accessed the attached data and found that there was no way to download that data and then use the "Open In" menu. Instead, I was greeted by a "cannot play" icon and could proceed no further in Safari.
Instead, developer Daniel Chin explained that I needed to
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