iPad Which format should I use to format usb thumb drive for sharing files in iPadOS?

hajime

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Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
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Hi, what format should I use for sharing in the following three cases?

1. IPP running iPad OS with Windows 10 computer
2. IPP running iPad OS with Linux
3. IPP running iPad OS with Mac OS

Is there a format that works in all three cases?

Thanks
 

Feenician

macrumors 603
Jun 13, 2016
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Hi, what format should I use for sharing in the following three cases?

1. IPP running iPad OS with Windows 10 computer
2. IPP running iPad OS with Linux
3. IPP running iPad OS with Mac OS

Is there a format that works in all three cases?

Thanks
Format it MBR with ExFAT partition. Should be completely interoperable, though UNIX style permissions wouldn't be preserved.
 

hajime

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
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Thanks. Will there be incompatibility issue if I use usb storage devices formatted in other formats already?
 

Shirasaki

macrumors G3
May 16, 2015
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Thanks. Will there be incompatibility issue if I use usb storage devices formatted in other formats already?
NTFS wont be supported on iPadOS at all, need additional drivers to use on macOS and Linux.
HFS+/APFS wont be supported on Linux and Windows without additional drivers.
Ext2/3/4 wont be supported on macOS and Windows without additional drivers. No support on iPadOS whatsoever.

In summary, exFAT is by far the best system for max compatibility.
 

hajime

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
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NTFS wont be supported on iPadOS at all, need additional drivers to use on macOS and Linux.
HFS+/APFS wont be supported on Linux and Windows without additional drivers.
Ext2/3/4 wont be supported on macOS and Windows without additional drivers. No support on iPadOS whatsoever.

In summary, exFAT is by far the best system for max compatibility.
Thanks. To avoid messing up with existing usb thumb drives, I will buy one for the iPad. Is it better to format the drive using an iPad or Windows system? Does it matter?

Under iPad OS, is there a limitation on the size of the usb storage device?
 

Shirasaki

macrumors G3
May 16, 2015
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Thanks. To avoid messing up with existing usb thumb drives, I will buy one for the iPad. Is it better to format the drive using an iPad or Windows system? Does it matter?

Under iPad OS, is there a limitation on the size of the usb storage device?
iPadOS as of now is incapable of formatting hard drive. Maybe this feature will be added but I don’t have hope on that.
As for where to format the drive, either macOS or windows is fine, I think, as I have no drive formatted in exFAT. I either use HFS+ or NTFS as both are more robust.
 
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hajime

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Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
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Thanks all. For the time being, are 128GB and 256GB usb stick supported? Is 128GB a good choice now as usb4 ones should be out next year.
 

Shirasaki

macrumors G3
May 16, 2015
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Thanks all. For the time being, are 128GB and 256GB usb stick supported? Is 128GB a good choice now as usb4 ones should be out next year.
As long as 128GB is made out of a single NAND chip, even USB 4 won’t help its transfer speed.
 

hajime

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Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
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So far I just use iPP to watch videos and surf the web. With iPad OS, it can be my on the go computer sometimes. Based on your experience, what size of usb stick do you recommend? My IPP 2nd gen has 256GB. Although Gen 3 has usb3 port, I probably won’t upgrade my iPad for another 2-3 years.
 

Shirasaki

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May 16, 2015
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So far I just use iPP to watch videos and surf the web. With iPad OS, it can be my on the go computer sometimes. Based on your experience, what size of usb stick do you recommend? My IPP 2nd gen has 256GB. Although Gen 3 has usb3 port, I probably won’t upgrade my iPad for another 2-3 years.
Given the good power delivery from USB-C port on iPad Pro 11” 2018, I will go straight to USB SSD if I want to buy one for iPad Pro. Larger, read/write faster and can be used for a lot of things.
But, since yours are 2nd gen, you will always need a power supply to use USB drive of any kind because lightning port cannot deliver enough power. With that being said, I still recommend a USB SSD over thumb drive. If you only want a thumb drive, I figure 64GB should be enough for many uses.
 
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canesalato

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Jan 31, 2010
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iPadOS as of now is incapable of formatting hard drive.
True, but I wonder if this is something 3rd parties apps could do, once iPad OS is released. In theory they should be able to access the drive with read/write permissions. What would stop these apps from formatting the drive aside from some restrictive app-store rule?
 

Shirasaki

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May 16, 2015
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True, but I wonder if this is something 3rd parties apps could do, once iPad OS is released. In theory they should be able to access the drive with read/write permissions. What would stop these apps from formatting the drive aside from some restrictive app-store rule?
Apple would not allow it in the name of "protecting user data" on iOS. Plus, formatting drive is more of a "computer nerd" thing than anything else. I just bought a Seagate Hard Drive which is formatted with exFAT right off the bat. And they claim "Windows and Mac support" on its packaging. This is true, but this also shows that formatting is not something a lot of people want to use. Heck, a drive with "Mac" support tend to cost a bit more than the Windows counterpart, but I can just format the hard drive to any filesystem I want without much problem.