I hate Valentine's Day. Don't get me wrong — I enjoy romance, and being in love, and all that crap. I just despise all the bullshit ads about buying flowers and candy and state-sanctioned representations of erotic attachment. That's why I got a warm glow inside when my sweetie gave me this awesome flash drive and said, "Happy Valentine's Day."
It's a Corsair Voyager GO with 64 GB ($45), with a form factor that makes it about the size of one square of a Hershey bar. Pretty standard. The awesome part is that it has a micro USB connector on one side, and USB 3.0 on the other. Perfect for moving all the pictures and vids from my phone to another machine. I always carry a spare flash drive with me, and this was a big upgrade — mostly because I'm sick of uploading files from my phone to Dropbox or Drive in order to get them onto my laptop. I want to save things locally, not pass them through somebody else's server farm.
The tricky part turned out to be finding a good file manager app for my Android phone, a Moto-X running Lollipop. There are a ton of options in the Play Store, but a lot of them get problematic when you look at the permissions — they want access to identity information that I'd rather not share.
But the main problem turned out to be Lollipop. This version of Android is designed to make it easy to save data to Google Drive (or any other cloud storage) — but unfortunately it's a giant pain to save to any external drive like my beloved Corsair Voyager GO. The apps with privacy-protecting permissions that I tried were completely unable to save to it at all (one was Cheetah Mobile's File Manager, and the other was Gira.me's File Manager). So I had to chuck my wish for privacy in permissions and just go for the most usable app.
There were two standouts. First I tried ESexplorer, which had crappy permissions (identity data mostly), but it had a nice explanation of how to get through a series of bewildering Android menus to grant the app access to external storage. The reason it's so confusing is because the app has to pass you out to an obfuscatory Android menu where you pick which storage device the app will be allowed to use. In this case, the device was helpfully labeled CORSAIR. Once I'd picked that, I never had to go to this external menu again, and all my pictures saved easily to the flash drive.
I also liked Solid Explorer File Manager, which has a nice interface where you move data between two panes. But it won't give you a step-by-step explanation of the Android external storage access menu. So be warned.
At any rate, there's nothing more romantic than spending Valentine's Day weekend figuring out app permissions with your special someone. I had a great time, and now I can move my — ahem — sensitive data around without ever touching the Google cloud. Thanks, sweetie!