External storage on iOS is quite limited, however using a few tricks you can take advantage of USB sticks and SD cards.
The truth is that external storage units are quite an inconvenience to the modern world. The practical thing is to save everything within the devices that we use or in the cloud. However, in some cases the use of external storage is mandatory, either because we work with people who use it Or because we really need to store more information locally than our device supports.
In most cases, this should not be a problem: any computer has USB ports and Android has USB OTG to connect USB sticks. The problem you have when you get to iOS, since the use of external storage is extremely limited by Apple in its mobile systems.
Connect traditional USB sticks
If you want to connect a normal USB stick to your iPad and directly access the content, we have bad news, because you have it very complicated. You can use the Apple adapter or an unofficial Lightning to USB female adapter, but the limitations of the system prevent you from doing almost anything when connecting a memory unit: you can import photos and videos (no other content) to the iPad (with iPhone and iPod you can’t do anything directly), but you won’t even be able to open photos directly without previously uploading them to the iPad. This same limitation applies with Lightining to SD card slot adapters.
If you want to go one step further, there is no other option but to pull Jailbreak. If you jailbreak your device and install a file explorer like iFile, you can use files that are in external memory.
Storage Units for iOS
If you don’t need to use a specific storage unit, you can simply forget about adapters and turn to USB sticks; storage sticks with a Lightning skewer in addition to the typical USB. With these types of drives, you can directly access the files they contain, whatever they may be, both on iPad and iPhone.
Some very interesting options are Leef iBridge, Sandisk IXpand and Hyper iStick (there are models from 8 to 128 GB). Or, if you prefer a wireless storage unit (with its loss in transmission speed, of course), you can try ekSandisk Media Drive.
Why so many limitations, Apple?
Everyone knows that Apple likes to control their platforms a lot, especially in the case of iOS, and tries to guide the user a lot to use the device in the way they want, thus obtaining an ideal experience and also more money. In the case of using external storage with adapters, we understand that Apple places limitations because the last thing it wants are cables permanently hanging from a mobile device. And also, why deceive us, because they want to sell more high-capacity devices.
However, Apple is increasingly entering the professional sector with iPads, and removing these limitations would be great for many users. Obviously, they should not start to allow applications to be installed on external drives either, due to the obvious terrible impact on performance, but what less than be able to save at least a few documents if we run out of space in the internal memory?