1. As it comes the unit needs to have it's firmware upgraded - you can only use a PC or an iOS device running iOS 8. My iPad came with iOS 9 and I have no iOS devices with iOS 8. I have no access to a PC computer. I am up the creek without a paddle.
Apple made changes in iOS between iOS 8 and iOS 9. These changes made the iXpand not work with the original FW so a FW update was released. This was done prior to the iOS 9 release. Newly produced iXpand devices come from the factory with the iOS 9 compatible FW. It seems the place you purchased from had older stock of the iXpand drive so yes a FW update will be required.
2. When I plug the USB side into my Mac I found I could not write to it. Why? Because the unit comes formatted with NTFS which Macs can't write to - even though on the box it says it is compatible with Os X 10.6. Talk about false advertising!!!
No the iXpand does not come formatted in NTFS. The iXpand come formatted in FAT32 (called MS DOS file type on Mac) which is compatible with Windows as well as Mac.