Apple флешка

Thoughts on Flash - Apple

Apple has a long relationship with Adobe. In fact, we met Adobe’s founders when they were in their proverbial garage. Apple was their first big customer, adopting their Postscript language for our new Laserwriter printer. Apple invested in Adobe and owned around 20% of the company for many years. The two companies worked closely together to pioneer desktop publishing and there were many good times. Since that golden era, the companies have grown apart. Apple went through its near death experience, and Adobe was drawn to the corporate market with their Acrobat products. Today the two companies still work together to serve their joint creative customers – Mac users buy around half of Adobe’s Creative Suite products – but beyond that there are few joint interests.

I wanted to jot down some of our thoughts on Adobe’s Flash products so that customers and critics may better understand why we do not allow Flash on iPhones, iPods and iPads. Adobe has characterized our decision as being primarily business driven – they say we want to protect our App Store – but in reality it is based on technology issues. Adobe claims that we are a closed system, and that Flash is open, but in fact the opposite is true. Let me explain.

First, there’s “Open”.

Adobe’s Flash products are 100% proprietary. They are only available from Adobe, and Adobe has sole authority as to their future enhancement, pricing, etc. While Adobe’s Flash products are widely available, this does not mean they are open, since they are controlled entirely by Adobe and available only from Adobe. By almost any definition, Flash is a closed system.

Apple has many proprietary products too. Though the operating system for the iPhone, iPod and iPad is proprietary, we strongly believe that all standards pertaining to the web should be open. Rather than use Flash, Apple has adopted HTML5, CSS and JavaScript – all open standards. Apple’s mobile devices all ship with high performance, low power implementations of these open standards. HTML5, the new web standard that has been adopted by Apple, Google and many others, lets web developers create advanced graphics, typography, animations and transitions without relying on third party browser plug-ins (like Flash). HTML5 is completely open and controlled by a standards committee, of which Apple is a member.

Apple even creates open standards for the web. For example, Apple began with a small open source project and created WebKit, a complete open-source HTML5 rendering engine that is the heart of the Safari web browser used in all our products. WebKit has been widely adopted. Google uses it for Android’s browser, Palm uses it, Nokia uses it, and RIM (Blackberry) has announced they will use it too. Almost every smartphone web browser other than Microsoft’s uses WebKit. By making its WebKit technology open, Apple has set the standard for mobile web browsers.

Second, there’s the “full web”.

Adobe has repeatedly said that Apple mobile devices cannot access “the full web” because 75% of video on the web is in Flash. What they don’t say is that almost all this video is also available in a more modern format, H.264, and viewable on iPhones, iPods and iPads. YouTube, with an estimated 40% of the web’s video, shines in an app bundled on all Apple mobile devices, with the iPad offering perhaps the best YouTube discovery and viewing experience ever. Add to this video from Vimeo, Netflix, Facebook, ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, ESPN, NPR, Time, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated, People, National Geographic, and many, many others. iPhone, iPod and iPad users aren’t missing much video.

Another Adobe claim is that Apple devices cannot play Flash games. This is true. Fortunately, there are over 50,000 games and entertainment titles on the App Store, and many of them are free. There are more games and entertainment titles available for iPhone, iPod and iPad than for any other platform in the world.

Third, there’s reliability, security and performance.

Symantec recently highlighted Flash for having one of the worst security records in 2009. We also know first hand that Flash is the number one reason Macs crash. We have been working with Adobe to fix these problems, but they have persisted for several years now. We don’t want to reduce the reliability and security of our iPhones, iPods and iPads by adding Flash.

In addition, Flash has not performed well on mobile devices. We have routinely asked Adobe to show us Flash performing well on a mobile device, any mobile device, for a few years now. We have never seen it. Adobe publicly said that Flash would ship on a smartphone in early 2009, then the second half of 2009, then the first half of 2010, and now they say the second half of 2010. We think it will eventually ship, but we’re glad we didn’t hold our breath. Who knows how it will perform?

Fourth, there’s battery life.

To achieve long battery life when playing video, mobile devices must decode the video in hardware; decoding it in software uses too much power. Many of the chips used in modern mobile devices contain a decoder called H.264 – an industry standard that is used in every Blu-ray DVD player and has been adopted by Apple, Google (YouTube), Vimeo, Netflix and many other companies.

Although Flash has recently added support for H.264, the video on almost all Flash websites currently requires an older generation decoder that is not implemented in mobile chips and must be run in software. The difference is striking: on an iPhone, for example, H.264 videos play for up to 10 hours, while videos decoded in software play for less than 5 hours before the battery is fully drained.

When websites re-encode their videos using H.264, they can offer them without using Flash at all. They play perfectly in browsers like Apple’s Safari and Google’s Chrome without any plugins whatsoever, and look great on iPhones, iPods and iPads.

Fifth, there’s Touch.

Flash was designed for PCs using mice, not for touch screens using fingers. For example, many Flash websites rely on “rollovers”, which pop up menus or other elements when the mouse arrow hovers over a specific spot. Apple’s revolutionary multi-touch interface doesn’t use a mouse, and there is no concept of a rollover. Most Flash websites will need to be rewritten to support touch-based devices. If developers need to rewrite their Flash websites, why not use modern technologies like HTML5, CSS and JavaScript?

Even if iPhones, iPods and iPads ran Flash, it would not solve the problem that most Flash websites need to be rewritten to support touch-based devices.

Sixth, the most important reason.

Besides the fact that Flash is closed and proprietary, has major technical drawbacks, and doesn’t support touch based devices, there is an even more important reason we do not allow Flash on iPhones, iPods and iPads. We have discussed the downsides of using Flash to play video and interactive content from websites, but Adobe also wants developers to adopt Flash to create apps that run on our mobile devices.

We know from painful experience that letting a third party layer of software come between the platform and the developer ultimately results in sub-standard apps and hinders the enhancement and progress of the platform. If developers grow dependent on third party development libraries and tools, they can only take advantage of platform enhancements if and when the third party chooses to adopt the new features. We cannot be at the mercy of a third party deciding if and when they will make our enhancements available to our developers.

This becomes even worse if the third party is supplying a cross platform development tool. The third party may not adopt enhancements from one platform unless they are available on all of their supported platforms. Hence developers only have access to the lowest common denominator set of features. Again, we cannot accept an outcome where developers are blocked from using our innovations and enhancements because they are not available on our competitor’s platforms.

Flash is a cross platform development tool. It is not Adobe’s goal to help developers write the best iPhone, iPod and iPad apps. It is their goal to help developers write cross platform apps. And Adobe has been painfully slow to adopt enhancements to Apple’s platforms. For example, although Mac OS X has been shipping for almost 10 years now, Adobe just adopted it fully (Cocoa) two weeks ago when they shipped CS5. Adobe was the last major third party developer to fully adopt Mac OS X.

Our motivation is simple – we want to provide the most advanced and innovative platform to our developers, and we want them to stand directly on the shoulders of this platform and create the best apps the world has ever seen. We want to continually enhance the platform so developers can create even more amazing, powerful, fun and useful applications. Everyone wins – we sell more devices because we have the best apps, developers reach a wider and wider audience and customer base, and users are continually delighted by the best and broadest selection of apps on any platform.


Flash was created during the PC era – for PCs and mice. Flash is a successful business for Adobe, and we can understand why they want to push it beyond PCs. But the mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards – all areas where Flash falls short.

The avalanche of media outlets offering their content for Apple’s mobile devices demonstrates that Flash is no longer necessary to watch video or consume any kind of web content. And the 250,000 apps on Apple’s App Store proves that Flash isn’t necessary for tens of thousands of developers to create graphically rich applications, including games.

New open standards created in the mobile era, such as HTML5, will win on mobile devices (and PCs too). Perhaps Adobe should focus more on creating great HTML5 tools for the future, and less on criticizing Apple for leaving the past behind.

Steve JobsApril, 2010

Using USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports and adapters on your Mac notebook

USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports

USB-C is a next-generation industry standard that allows charging, data transfer, and video—all in one simple connector.

MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2015) and later has one USB-C port. 

MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports), MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports), and MacBook Pro (15-inch, Late 2016) have either two or four ports with additional Thunderbolt 3 features built in. You can learn more about what Thunderbolt 3 over USB-C ports brings to your MacBook Pro. 

Through USB-C ports, you can:

  • Charge your Mac.
  • Provide power out.
  • Transfer data between your Mac and other devices.
  • Connect video output such as HDMI, VGA, and DisplayPort (requires adapter).
  • Connect to other technologies, such as Ethernet (requires adapter).
  • Connect Thunderbolt displays and accessories to MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports), MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports), or MacBook Pro (15-inch, Late 2016) with an adapter.

The USB-C port on your MacBook supports data transfer speeds at up to 5 Gbps (USB 3.1 Gen 1). On MacBook Pro, the ports support Thunderbolt data transfer at up to 40Gbps and USB data-transfer at up to 10 Gbps (USB 3.1 Gen 2).

29W, 61W, or 87W USB-C Power Adapter and USB-C Charge Cable

The Apple 29W, 61W, or 87W USB-C Power Adapter and a USB-C Charge Cable are included in the box with your Mac. Connect the adapter to the charge cable to charge your Mac.


Your Mac will charge from USB-C power adapters not manufactured by Apple if they adhere to the USB Power Delivery specification.

You can also use the USB-C Charge Cable to transfer data at USB 2.0 (480 Mbps) speeds between your Mac and another USB-C device.

Additional USB-C adapters and cables (sold separately) allow you to use the USB-C port to connect displays and other devices to your Mac. See the sections below for more information.

USB-C to Lightning Cable

The Apple USB-C to Lightning Cable lets you connect any iOS device with a Lightning connector to your Mac. It provides data transfer and power to iOS devices. For example, you can use this cable to connect your Mac to these devices:

  • iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch
  • Magic Mouse 2
  • Magic Keyboard
  • Magic Trackpad 2

You can also charge these devices without using your Mac by connecting them to the USB-C to Lightning Cable and plugging the cable into the 29W, 61W, or 87W USB-C power adapter.

The USB-C to Lightning Cable supports data transfer at up to USB 2.0 (480 Mbps) speeds.

This cable requires no power to operate. However, devices that you plug into it might draw power from your Mac, so you should disconnect it when you're not using it.


USB-C to USB Adapter

The Apple USB-C to USB Adapter lets you connect your Mac to any standard USB (USB-A) device or hub for data transfer and charging. For example, you can use this adapter to connect your Mac to these devices:

  • Portable flash drive
  • Hard drive
  • Digital camera
  • Powered USB 3 hub
  • USB to Ethernet Adapter
  • Lightning to USB Cable for charging and syncing your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

The USB-C to USB Adapter supports data transfer at up to 5 Gbps (USB 3.1 Gen 1). 

This adapter requires no power to operate. However, devices that you plug into it might draw power from your Mac, so you should disconnect it when you're not using it.

Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter

The Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) Thunderbolt 2 Adapter allows you to connect these devices to your MacBook Pro with Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports:

  • Thunderbolt (10 Gbps) devices
  • Thunderbolt 2 (20 Gbps) devices
  • Thunderbolt displays

For example, you can use this adapter to connect your Mac to an Apple Thunderbolt Display or third-party Thunderbolt 2 storage device. 

Compatible with:

  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, Late 2016)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)

Learn more about the compatibility of the Apple Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter.


USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter

The USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter allows you to simultaneously:

  • Charge your Mac.
  • Connect to other standard USB (USB-A) devices or hubs.
  • Connect your Mac to external HDMI video devices such as a TV, projector, or display.

The HDMI port on this adapter supports the following:

  • TVs, displays, and projectors that you connect via HDMI
  • HDMI 1.4b
  • 720p and 1080p HDTVs, projectors, and displays at up to 1920 x 1200 resolution
  • 4K Ultra-HD TVs and displays with the following resolutions (learn more):
    • 3840 x 2160 at 30Hz
    • 4096 x 2160 at 24Hz 

The USB-A port on this adapter supports data transfer at up to 5 Gbps (USB 3.1 Gen 1). Connect standard USB devices or hubs.

The USB-C port on this adapter charges your computer, but it doesn't transfer data. Use the supplied 29W, 61W, or 87W USB-C Power Adapter and USB-C Charge Cable to charge your Mac.

This adapter draws power from your MacBook even when the Mac is asleep. If your computer isn't connected to AC power, be sure to unplug the adapter to avoid draining your battery.


USB-C VGA Multiport Adapter

The Apple USB-C VGA Multiport Adapter allows you to simultaneously:

  • Charge your Mac
  • Connect to other standard USB (USB-A) devices or hubs
  • Connect your Mac to external VGA video devices such as a TV, projector, or display.

The VGA port on this adapter supports TVs, displays, and projectors that you connect via VGA. It supports these at resolutions up to 1920 x 1200.

The USB-A port on this adapter supports data transfer at up to 5 Gbps (USB 3.1 Gen 1). Connect standard USB devices or hubs.

The USB-C port on this adapter charges your computer, but it doesn't transfer data. Use the supplied 29W, 61W, or 87W USB-C Power Adapter and USB-C Charge Cable to charge your Mac.

This adapter draws power from your Mac even when the Mac is asleep. If your computer isn't connected to AC power, be sure to unplug the adapter to avoid draining your battery.

USB hubs and devices

You can connect USB hubs and devices to the USB-C adapters as described above.

USB hubs and other USB devices that supply power won't charge your Mac. Use the supplied 29W, 61W, or 87W USB-C Power Adapter and USB-C Charge Cable to charge your Mac.

Some USB drives might not appear in the Finder when you plug them in. Try plugging the drive into the adapter before plugging the adapter into your Mac. Or try connecting the drive through a powered USB-A hub.

The following drives aren't compatible with the USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter or USB-C VGA Multiport Adapter:

  • G-Tech G-DRIVE mobile USB 3.0 Hard Drive 
  • Apple USB SuperDrive manufactured before Fall 2010 (learn more)

Transfer data to and from MacBook with USB-C port

Your MacBook with USB-C ports supports USB target disk mode. You can enable target disk mode and use the following USB-C cables to transfer data. These cables are not currently available from Apple.

  • USB 3.0 or USB 3.1 USB-C Cable (USB-C to USB-C): Use this cable to migrate data from a MacBook with a USB-C port to another MacBook with a USB-C port using the Setup Assistant or Migration Assistant application. 
  • USB 3.0 or USB 3.1 USB-A to USB-C Cable: Use this cable to manually transfer data from any Mac with USB-A port(s) to your MacBook with USB-C port. This cable cannot be used to migrate data using the Setup Assistant or Migration Assistant application.

The USB-C Charge Cable (2m) that came with your MacBook does not support target disk mode.

To enable target disk mode, hold down the T key while starting the MacBook that you want to use as the disk. Then connect either of the USB-C cables described above.

Transfer data to and from MacBook Pro with Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports

If your Mac notebook has more than one Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) port, it's a MacBook Pro. You can use Migration Assistant or target disk mode to transfer data between MacBook Pro models with Thunderbolt 3 ports and other Macs.

To transfer data between a MacBook Pro with Thunderbolt 3 ports and another Mac notebook with USB-C, connect the two computers with a USB-C cable such as the Belkin 3.1 USB-C to USB-C Cable. Then follow the steps for using Migration Assistant or target disk mode to move your files.

To transfer data between a MacBook Pro with Thunderbolt 3 ports and another Mac with Thunderbolt, connect a Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter to your MacBook Pro and use a Thunderbolt cable to connect the adapter to the other Mac. Then follow the steps for using Migration Assistant or target disk mode to move your files.

Using USB devices with your Mac

What is USB?

USB is an industry standard for connecting computers and other devices. Many Mac computers have USB-A ports (sometimes referred to as USB 3 ports), which look like this:

USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 Gen 1 can transfer data up to 5 Gbps, and USB 3.1 Gen 2 can transfer data up to 10 Gbps.

What is USB-C?

USB-C describes the shape and style of a port on your computer and the connectors that you can plug into the port. USB-C ports look like this:

Several different data transfer standards, like USB 3 and Thunderbolt 3, can flow through a USB-C port and connector. You can also connect your computer's AC power adapter to a USB-C port with a compatible USB-C charging cable.

USB-C ports are reversible, so you don't have to worry about which side of the connector is up when you plug it in.

These Mac computers have Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports that support USB 3.1 Gen 2 and Thunderbolt 3:

  • iMac Pro (2017)
  • iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, 2017)
  • iMac (Retina 4K, 21.5-inch, 2017)
  • iMac (21.5-inch, 2017)
  • MacBook Pro (2016 and later)

These Mac notebooks have USB-C ports that support USB 3.1 Gen 1:

You can use your USB 3 devices with the above Mac models using an appropriate adapter.

What version of USB does my Mac support?

You can use System Information or System Profiler to see what type of USB ports your Mac has, how fast these ports are, and what's currently connected to them. Learn more about identifying USB ports on your Mac.

What transfer rates does USB offer?

USB 3.1 Gen 2 can transfer data up to 10 Gbps. Newer Mac models with Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports support these speeds.

Speeds of previous USB versions:

  • USB 3 and USB 3.1 Gen 1 can transfer data up to 5 Gbps.
  • USB 2 can transfer data up to 480 Mbps.
  • USB 1.1 can transfer data up to 12 Mbps.

Does USB 3 offer more power than USB 2?

USB 3 devices can use up to 900mA of power (compared to 500mA used by USB 2 devices). You'll need to use a USB 3 cable to use the 900mA of power available. USB 2 cables don't support 900mA.

Why don't I see blue inserts on the USB ports of my Mac?

Some manufacturers use a blue insert to designate a USB 3 port or device. All USB ports on Mac computers that support USB 3 are USB 3 capable and don't have blue inserts.

What USB 3 devices are supported?

All devices that conform to what is commonly referred to as the "2008 version 1 USB 3.0 specification" are supported.

Are USB 3 hubs supported?

Hubs that conform to what is commonly referred to as the "2008 version 1 USB 3.0 specification" are supported.

How do I get the best performance from the USB 3 ports?

The first device you plug in will configure the port, so always connect USB 3-capable hubs or devices first.

What happens if I plug in a USB 2 device into the USB 3 port first?

If you plug in a USB 2 hub first, all devices connected or "daisy-chained" to that hub will operate up to the maximum transfer rate of USB 2 speed (480 Mbps).

What happens if I plug my USB 3 device into a USB 2 port?

Your device should be backwards-compatible with USB 2 ports. However, you won't get USB 3 speed and power may be limited to 500mA.

Are there differences between USB 3 cables and other USB cables?

Yes. USB 3 cables:

  • Use more wires than other USB cables. This makes USB 3 cables a bit thicker than other USB cables.
  • Usually have a blue insert.
  • Have an "SS" symbol on the connector that plugs into the computer.
  • Use a different connector on the device end than USB 2 cables.
  • Can deliver more power to an attached device (900mA).

Can I use a USB 2 cable to connect a USB 3 device to my computer?

If the device end of the cable fits into the connector on the device, yes. However, because it has fewer wires, you won't get USB 3 speed and power may be limited to 500 mA.

How can I determine if my device is connected as a USB 3 device?

Use the System Information utility:

  1. From the Apple () menu, choose About This Mac.  
  2. Click System Report.
  3. Under the Hardware heading on the left side of the System Information window, click USB.

USB 3 devices appear under USB 3.0 Bus, and USB 2 devices appear under USB 2.0 Bus. Click the device names to learn more about each one.

Why do my USB 3 devices seem to only work at USB 2 speed when I use virtualization software on my Mac?

Some virtualization software doesn't yet support USB 3. Contact the manufacturer of your virtualization software for more information.

Why don't some USB 3 devices activate or appear on the USB 3 bus?

Try these tips if a USB 3 device doesn't activate or appear on the USB 3 bus:

  • Be sure you've installed the latest software updates available for your computer. To check, choose App Store from the Apple menu and see if any updates are available.
  • Sometimes unplugging and plugging the device back in can resolve the issue.
  • Try plugging the device into another USB port on the computer.
  • Check to see if a firmware update is available for your device from the manufacturer.
  • If the device came with an AC adapter, use it.
  • Restart your computer.
  • Try a different USB 3 cable.
  • Try a different USB 3 hub.

Why do I have difficulty with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth devices when USB 3 devices are attached to my computer?

Some USB 3 devices can generate radio frequency interference that can cause Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices operating in the 2.4GHz band to have issues communicating with your computer. Here are some tips to avoid this issue:

  • If your USB device has a cable long enough that you can move the device, place it away from your Mac—and make sure not to place it behind your Mac, or near the hinge of its display. The antennas for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are located there, and USB 3 devices placed there might interfere with your wireless connections.
  • If you're using adapters or dongles on a Mac computer with Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports, plug them into the front port on the left side of your Mac, or into the ports on the right side (if your computer has them). These ports are the farthest away from the antennas, making interference less likely.
  • To avoid interference on the 2.4GHz band using Wi-Fi, try using the 5GHz band instead. You can change this on your wireless base station. Bluetooth always uses 2.4GHz, so this alternative isn't available for Bluetooth.

Information about products not manufactured by Apple, or independent websites not controlled or tested by Apple, is provided without recommendation or endorsement. Apple assumes no responsibility with regard to the selection, performance, or use of third-party websites or products. Apple makes no representations regarding third-party website accuracy or reliability. Risks are inherent in the use of the Internet. Contact the vendor for additional information. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners. SanDisk iXpand 64GB USB 2.0 Mobile Flash Drive with Lightning connector For iPhones, iPads & Computers- SDIX-064G-G57: Computers & Accessories

Before I begin the rest of the review, a clarification and a few notes about the EULA you would not see otherwise until you actually try to use the drive.

This flash drive contains *both* a standard USB male plug and a male Lightning connector. The password protection feature (SanDisk SecureAccess) is in the form of a program pre-loaded onto the drive, along with some random media samples. All told about 85MB of content is on the drive already when you open it.

A note for you guys concerned about privacy: to use SecureAccess you'll have to agree to a EULA that gives SanDisk and "its authorized third parties" permission to "collect and use technical and other information, including frequency and use of this Software, memory usage and file type extensions (however this Software will not view or transmit the content of such files)."

Although the device's product page says it comes with a two-year warranty, this warranty does ***not*** apply to SecureAccess or any content you'll put in it.

Finally, the version of SecureAccess pre-loaded onto the drive is not the "full version." The full version is provided by a third party and costs between $24.99 and $39.99. (note: I had originally tried to upload this review a screenshot showing a comparison but Amazon rejected it)

Now that that is out of the way, on to the actual review. The first thing you'll notice about this drive is that, while it's not thick, it's significantly wider than most other USB sticks. This can present an issue if you're wanting to plug it into a USB port that has another port directly to the right or left of it because it will obstruct that port as well.

The cap that covers the USB plug is removable and would be something you can easily lose. I personally would have liked to see it attached somehow or use a retractable plug. Curiously, the Lightning connector has no cover, though it is somewhat protected by the trench it rests in on the drive.

The drive is plug-and-play and doesn't require any set-up if you don't intend to use the password protection software. The 64GB drive translates to about 59.4GB of usable space (SanDisk defines 1GB as 1,000,000,000 bytes instead of 1024^3 bytes, accounting for the ~7.5% difference, but to be fair most companies do this), pre-formatted to use the FAT32 file system.

SecureAccess - which, let's face it, is one of the main reasons you're paying almost $100 for a USB stick - is pretty painless to set up. It "checked in" online as soon as I attempted to open the program and informed me it had to download the latest version (took about 10 seconds on my 75Mbps connection all told) before taking me to setup. Other than a dialog box not working (I was testing everything and found out the "?" button next to the Password Hint input didn't do anything), setup was a breeze.

I had originally uploaded a second photo with this review to show the SecureAccess interface, but Amazon rejected it, so I'll have to describe it. You have to log in every time you start the program, and you'll be brought to a window that has two sections. The bottom half of the screen is a directory of your computer so you can find files to put into secure storage. The top shows files you've put into SecureAccess. These files are ***only*** available through the SecureAccess program once they're placed in there; if you navigate to the file manually on the drive you'll only find an inaccessible, encrypted file. This top half functions like a normal folder in other respects; for example, you can drag a file out of it onto your desktop to copy it.

I would NOT recommend you use this drive for long-term storage. There's an integrated Li-ion battery, which I would assume is to provide power for when it's hooked up to a mobile device, but there's no indication of what would happen if the battery died.

The drive uses the USB 2.0 standard, so it's not the fastest out there but is more than sufficient for almost all applications.

All in all, this is a good all-in-one option if you're looking to keep files portable and secure. There are a few minor shortcomings, but it's a viable solution for moving large files or large groups of files securely.

How to Format the Apple USB Restore stick ...

Certain Apple models, like the MacBook Air, have been delivered with a convenient 8Gb USB stick for a system restore.

Obviously, after upgrading to a newer Mac OS X version, this stick has become kind off useless.

When trying to format the Apple USB Restore stick however, you’ll notice that it’s a Read-Only stick, so how can we format this USB stick for normal use … Or to store the image of your current Mac OS X version on?

Format Apple USB Restore stick

The trick is actually not all that hard, but it took me a while to find a solution that would work on a Chinese website ( As you can imagine: My Chinese sucks … so I thought it might be practical for other users to translate it and add some of my own experiences to it.

Note : Technology moves forward, so you might run into the situation that this does not work for the stick you’re looking at. This has been successfully tested with 2 MacBook Air Apple USB Restore sticks. Your milage may vary of course …

Note : The 2 tests I performed where succesfully done under Windows XP running under Parallels Desktop 9. A native Windows PC, BootCamp, VMWare Fusion or VirtualBox running a Windows version will work as well of course.

Needed software

To “unlock” this type of USB stick you’ll need an application called “SMI Mass Production Tool” which is a Windows Application (!) – I tried to find the original developer without luck, so you can download either from the website or directly here.

DOWNLOAD - SMI Mass Production Tool 
Platform: Windows
Version: 2.03.31
Size: 2.4 MiB
Date: November 9, 2013
 Download Now 

Download the ZIP file and unzip it.

Removing the “Read Only” debacle

To remove the “read only” limitation of the Apple USB Restore stick, so we can format it and use it for other purposes, follow the following steps.

Step 1 – Run the program

After unzipping the file you will find a program called “sm32Xtest.exe“, double click it to start it.

Step 2 – Insert Apple USB Restore stick

Insert the Apple USB Restore stick in a USB port of your computer. You will now see that one of the “ports” will become populated with information as you can see in the example below.

Here we see that a [almost] 8Gb USB stick has been inserted. I guess they used Toshiba chips for this one (see under “Flash”).

Format Apple USB Restore – USB Stick info

Step 2 – “Fix” the USB stick

Select the “port” that holds your USB stick (2) – if you see more than one, simply remove the Apple USB Restore stick, wait until it disappears from the list, and reinsert it. Now select the newly added “port”, which would be your Apple USB Restore stick.

Now click on the big “Start” (1) button (or press the Space-bar) and formatting of the stick will start.

The progress bar (2) will show some info while processing the USB stick.

Select your Apple USB Restore stick [2] and click the Start button [1]

Once completed, you’ll see some indicators that the stick is ready:

Indicators that your Apple USB Restore stick is now Formatted

When you insert the newly formatted stick in your Mac, and you open the “Disk Utility” (under “Applications”  “Utilities“), you’ll see that it’s available like any other USB stick:

Disk Utility – Your newly formatted USB stick is ready for use

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