I'm very in the interested in the iPad Air. I would like it to be my hub computer. I would like to have the functionality of a laptop or desktop with the advantages of mobility - touch-screen, portability, connectivity.

There is some talk of a computer which combines the functionality of the Macbook (the Apple notebook-name??) and an iPad, a convertible. But that possibility is a year to a year and a half away, if at all, of course.

I've been delving into the possibilities of use of the iPad Air with peripherals and am having some success, and some mixed results.

Use of an external hard drive seems to be a real possibility both from Apple and third-party makers also (the Voyager Air external hard drive-www.corsair.com/external hard drives by Seagate/I believe Apple's product is Time Capsule). But not only do I want storage, I want to work with apps and programs on the external hard drive, due to the limited space of the Apple iPad Air.

I want to have the full range of the use of some of the important peripherals. I've found an external hard drive, Mobilelite Wireless (www.kingston.com), which stores nothing, but has USB 2 port, USB 3 being preferable, of course, SD/SDHC/ SDXC slot, and an adapter for micro SD cards.

In my reading, I've come across some things that allude to apps, Apple apps, which enabled, or helped an external device to function with the iPad Air.

  • Welcome to the site. It seems curious you would want to use direct access to storage on iOS when it works well with network storage right out of the box. Perhaps if you described more of the problem you want to solve and less of what you think the solution might entail - you'd find you don't have to wait years (or more) for requirements that don't really affect functionality.
    – bmike
    Jan 25, 2014 at 22:57

1 Answer 1


Apps can't be stored on an external drive1. In fact, not much outside of media can be stored externally, especially without jailbreaking.

With jailbreaking, you can mount the external drive as a volume with iFile, which lets you store files on there. However, many apps crash when attempting to access files stored outside a sandbox by means of symlinking due to security restrictions.

Basically, it's nowhere as simple as external drives with OS X. You won't be able to do much with an external drive, and even less if you don't jailbreak.

The iPad Camera Connection kit with its SD card reader and USB port was not designed for storing files from the iPad — it was designed to import media from a camera. There are specially-designed drives for iOS devices, but they're for storing media, not apps or app data.

1 Well, jailbreaking lets you move the app and move it back, but it can't be run from the external drive, and moving it will probably break the permissions (and springboard).

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