Accessing lightning attached storage in app?

Discussion in 'iOS Programming' started by dantastic, Aug 9, 2016.

  1. dantastic macrumors 6502a

    dantastic

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2011
    #1
    I'm working on an app which can quickly generate quite a lot of data. Like 10+GB per session!
    One thing I've seen is a new kind of lightning attached storage. There are several little dongles available.

    As an example
    https://www.amazon.com/Authorized-connector-Reader-iPhone5S-i-easy/dp/B00RRQSJ44
    But there are a bunch of other on amazon and elsewhere.

    I'd like to be able to support 'external storage' using these devices. Is that possible? Every single one seems to be coming with their own app. Can a device only be seen by an app from the same vendor?

    thanks!
     
  2. Mascots macrumors 68000

    Mascots

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    #2
    Oh I'm pretty interested in this.

    The only thing that I could dig up was the External Accessories Framework and after a quick skim of the contents, there doesn't seem to be any definitive answer. My assumption, and purely assumption, is that the accessory and app are tied together through MFi program politics.
     
  3. AxoNeuron, Aug 9, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2016

    AxoNeuron macrumors 65816

    AxoNeuron

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2012
    Location:
    The Left Coast
    #3
    My suggestion is: don't bother. The Lightning connector runs off the USB 2.0 protocol which is very, very slow. I would suggest WiFi instead which is much faster.

    Two 802.11ac devices could communicate at outrageous speeds when close together.

    Just add FTP/SMB/etc. to your app.
     
  4. dantastic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    dantastic

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2011
    #4
    Looked in to the External accessories docs. Not a whole lot of info there as you say...

    I thought about the wifi route. The problem with that is cost. I'd need to commission some kind of raspberry pi with wifi and a web server. Absolutely doable but the component cost is too high and the level of user complexity increases.

    I have contacted one company on alibaba to ask if they can supply these things. Just one reply so far that they can but that they have their own app that can be 'branded' if I buy enough units. Not exactly what I want but I will see if I can work with them.

    Considering my google-fu has just completely failed me on this one I'm going to throw one of my support requests at it and see what Apple can tell me.
     
  5. AxoNeuron macrumors 65816

    AxoNeuron

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2012
    Location:
    The Left Coast
    #5
    You wouldn't need a raspberry pi. It's really, really easy to set up an sFTP server and just create different accounts for different users. You can automate it even, and charge them for storage.
     
  6. dantastic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    dantastic

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2011
    #6
    Ok, I got an answer back from Apple. Really good answer. I'm always super impressed by their support. But I don't know how much I am allowed to pass on here.
    The bottom line is that it's not as straight forward as I was hoping for and it require a lot of collaboration with the hardware vendor.

    As I require the storage when there is no data available I would require some form of hardware device like a raspberry pi or similar. I'm sure there's a product already available which can be branded and the software 'prepared'

    I have not given up on the lightning attached storage idea. I've ordered some samples from a vendor and hopefully we can work together but I'd be relying more on the vendor than I'd be comfortable with.
     
  7. Mascots macrumors 68000

    Mascots

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    #7
    Interesting, thanks for posting that here.

    It's good to know for some foundation if I ever move into that territory.
     
  8. AxoNeuron, Aug 12, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2016

    AxoNeuron macrumors 65816

    AxoNeuron

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2012
    Location:
    The Left Coast
    #8
    I have built low-level Lightning peripherals, literally soldering together and programming the components. Trust me when I say: this is not a good idea. Neither is the Raspberry Pi.

    You realllllllllllly shouldn't think of using the raspberry pi. The storage on the raspberry pi is very slow.

    I have the perfect solution for you: the BeagleBoard X15. Attach a USB 3.0 based 802.11ac Wi-Fi adaptor to it, load up Linux, and an eSata 1-4TB Hard drive (or even an SSD). This way, you can wirelessly transmit huge amounts of data at VERY rapid speeds.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. dantastic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    dantastic

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2011
    #9
    When I say Raspberry Pi I mean a little box which is cheap enough & customisable enough. I don't necessarily mean a raspberry pi.

    Am genuinely looking for a consumer solution here. The storage doesn't need to be fast, just fast enough.
    Cost is the single biggest factor and looking at the beagle board the component cost is just far too expensive.
     

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