If you are looking to increase the storage capacity for your iPhone or iPad, Apotop has the device for you. The Bonus is that it also works great as a Wi-Fi hotspot for computers and phones for you road warriors. Cost: $79
Apotop is a brand segment of Carry Technology Co, Ltd that was formed to manufacture and market smartphone and tablet accessories. One of those accessories is the Apotop Wi-Reader DW09, which is designed as a personal cloud storage device for the Apple iPad and iPhone, as well as have the ability to act as a Wi-Fi hotspot for the road warrior.
If this little device works as marketed, you may just be hearing a bit more about this company in the future.
Moving back to the DW09, what exactly do I mean by personal cloud storage device? Well, once you have copied data such as music, photos, work documents from a PC or Mac over to a USB drive or SD card *plus* installed an app on to your iPad or iPhone, you now have direct access to that data on an iDevice. Basically, it is a Wi-Fi version of that missing USB or SD port for those particular Apple devices.
The bonus is that it can also act as a Wi-Fi hotspot at hotels which have “free” wired Ethernet but charge through the nose for Wi-Fi access. The complete feature set follows.
- Easy to create Wi-Fi hotspot at hotel
- Supports power over built-in battery or USB
- Easy to get multiple devices online simultaneously
- Share contents up to 3 users simultaneously
- IEEE 802.11b/g/n compliant. Wireless speeds up to 150Mbps
- Supports SD or USB drive for wireless file sharing
The Wi-Reader kit includes the module, a USB cable, and a Quick Start Guide.
Size wise, it is quite compact when compared to an iPad, perfect for throwing in your carry-on when you hit the road.
On one side of the device, you will find input ports for an SD card and USB thumb drive. In addition, you will find an On-Off switch just beside these ports. Moving around 1/4 turn, you will find an additional USB port that you can use for charging and/or for use as a data port. Next to that is an Ethernet port when you wish to use it as a Wi-Fi hotspot. Finally, you will find a pin-hole reset port.
Along the front face, you will find a set of four LEDs for Power, Wi-Fi, Media Access, and Charging.
To prepare the DW09 for use as a data device, simply connect the included USB cable between the module and a PC/Mac. Do *not* turn on the power switch. The DW09 will come up as a Removable Disk in a PC file manager.
At that point, simply copy over any data you desire to have accessible on your iPad/iPhone over to the reader.
Moving over to the iPad, or iPhone if that is your device of choice, go to the App Store and search for wi-reader.
Bringing up the first item may seem a bit confusing due to the Carry name being used in lieu the Apotop name. This is the app you do want though.
Once the app is installed, turn on the DW09, and go into your Wi-Fi settings. After approximately 30 seconds, you will find a new network you can make use of. Once found, change your network to the Wi-Reader.
Now you can open the app to find you now have your own USB/SD card reader.
Clicking on a song, or photo, from the above list will be playable/viewable in the media window on the right side.
In order to keep your hotspot private, go into Settings, select Device Settings,
and enter in a password.
Not only does this act as a Wi-Fi hotspot for an iDevice, it will also act as a hotspot for a PC, Mac, Android, Windows or Blackberry phone.
The range? Well, my router is one corner of my home in the lower level. I took the iPad to the opposite corner in the upper level, and I still had great Wi-Fi reception. If it works here, it should work in just about any hotel room you might find yourself in.
This is one cool device. Simple to setup, simple to use, and versatile. Highly recommended for use as both a Wi-Fi hotspot and as an iDevice personal cloud storage device. The one downside is if you need to recharge it and all you have is an iDevice, you may be in trouble if your hotel room does not have a USB charging port!
Of course, if you do not own an iPad or iPhone, that could be considered a (major) downside also. If Apotop would extend the ability of the DW09 to work with phones other than Apple, than it would score an almost perfect 10.