iOS 4.2 reduces power output of iPad’s Dock Connector | iLounge News


iOS 4.2 reduces power output of iPad’s Dock Connector

iOS 4.2 reduces the maximum power output of the iPad Camera Connection Kit’s USB adapter, essentially breaking compatibility with some cameras and other devices, according to a new report. 9 to 5 Mac claims that Apple has reduced the maximum amount of power that the iPad’s 30-pin connector can emit from 100mA to 20mA, leaving many non self-powered devices, including keyboards, microphones, flash drives, and some cameras unable to connect. According to the report, connecting such a device under iOS 4.2 results in an alert that says “The connected USB device requires too much power.” As noted in the report, it is unknown whether this is a bug or a deliberate change by Apple, nor whether it will be remedied in a future software update.

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It’s not a wise move IF it was intended. Too many of us use the ACC for connecting USB devices which require more than 20mA.  If it was an Apple designed move merely to lengthen battery life, they should revert to the older 100mA output ASAP.  If it was because there’s a design problem with circuitry, then Apple should let all iPad owners know.

Posted by Bill M. on December 6, 2010 at 3:01 PM (CST)


Problem being that any use of the camera connection kit other than transferring photos is not supported. It’s a nice feature that other devices, like USB keyboards, work, but we can’t expect Apple to make efforts to support those devices.  Cameras, on the other hand, are more of a problem, if you’re talking about connecting a camera for the purpose of transferring photos.

My CueCat scanner still works, though, so I’m happy.

Posted by Rob E. on December 6, 2010 at 3:47 PM (CST)


I’m hoping for oversight and/or bug, because regardless what sort of politician speak the Apple apologists want to pull out, Apple clearly had one set of specs in place when the device shipped and they have now radically changed the specs without public notice or explanation. Being an official accessory, partners and other third parties have based design decisions on the original specs, and consumers have based purchases on the original specs. A deliberate change of this magnitude without a good reason would mark a new low for Apple’s disregard of the “we already got your money” class of their consumers (and that bar is pretty low already).

Posted by Code Monkey on December 6, 2010 at 4:23 PM (CST)


The new i phone update ios 4.2 has also messed up the connection in my new Lincoln car the sincmyride that worked just fine, both the blue tooth and the usb connection. Not anymore! the phone works, but not the music! Who do I see about getting a fix for this?

Posted by marie on December 6, 2010 at 7:11 PM (CST)


Can someone explain in layman’s terms what exactly “reducing the power output” mean, and how does that affect the average user? I own a Camera Connector Kit and only use it to transfer photos from my camera’s SD card. Am I missing out on something else that I wasn’t aware of now that this power output has been reduced? Thanks in advance.

Posted by Carlos on December 6, 2010 at 11:38 PM (CST)


I’m not sure what is confusing about “reducing power output”. There is substantially less electricity provided to devices docked in the connection kit’s USB, in fact, it’s now effectively a non-powered USB (the amount of electricity provided before approached the amount provided by a powered USB slot on your computer). Now the only things that will work in it are effectively self-powered devices and devices that only need 20 mA (which isn’t many).

Posted by Code Monkey on December 7, 2010 at 7:51 AM (CST)


Since upgrading I though my connection was bad when I charge my iPad but after ready various complaints I think it might just be a lot slower and it doesn’t look like it’s charging but it is. I’m wondering if anyone else has had this problem.

Posted by Anita barth on December 8, 2010 at 5:35 AM (CST)


“A deliberate change of this magnitude without a good reason would mark a new low for Apple’s disregard of the “we already got your money” class of their consumers (and that bar is pretty low already).”

I really don’t know if I’d call this a new low.  Consider the loss of FireWire charging support in 2008 and the video-out lockout debacle of 2007.  Those were both moves where Apple clearly and irrefutably screwed over their consumers and in the case of the video lockout even their own Made-for-iPod (MFI) “partners” who were left with warehouses full of unsellable accessories.

As Rob E correctly points out, the Camera Connector is only supposed to support digital cameras, so anybody who has made or marketed USB iPad accessories that rely on the Camera Kit has only themselves to blame for any future incompatibilities.  It’s the same as the jailbreaker developers complaining that their apps don’t work when a new iOS version is released.

Beyond that, since nobody can officially make accessories for the Dock Connector unless they’re in the MFI program, and the specs and information released to MFI partners is all under NDA, we really have no way of knowing what Apple’s actual specs for the Dock Connector port were in the first place.  It’s entirely possible that the published spec says 20mA such that nobody should have ever been using it for more than that, and Apple has only now begun enforcing this spec.

Now, on the other hand, if Apple published a spec that said that it would support 100mA of power from the Dock Connector port and only now reduced that, then you’re entirely correct that it’s an arrogant and stupid move on their part.  To be honest, it wouldn’t surprise me either way, but at this point I have a really hard time getting excited about this unless we see evidence of official accessories that now fail to work specifically because of this change (as opposed to other incompatibilities introduced by iOS 4.2).

Posted by Jesse Hollington on December 8, 2010 at 10:28 AM (CST)


@ CodeMonkey:
Where did Apple EVER support on any level, devices other than cameras?  Before you spout your usual anti-drivel, please post ANY information from Apple stating other devices were supported using this port.
I’ll wait…

Posted by sb on December 8, 2010 at 2:14 PM (CST)


sb, don’t need to address it at all. Some cameras don’t work, case closed, please go away and seek professional help for why you feel the need to constantly bash me and defend Apple outside of all rules of common logic and decency, neither parties of which care one iota whether you exist or not.

Posted by Code Monkey on December 8, 2010 at 3:33 PM (CST)


Jesse, I think the reason why this possibly marks a new low is it occurs with a first gen product for a first gen product mid generation. In the past when these sorts of changes were deliberate, they at least had the decency to do it when generations changed.

Posted by Code Monkey on December 8, 2010 at 3:35 PM (CST)


Nice diversion.  I have three cameras, and they all still work.  At the bed of the beta, some dev posted he had an issue with his kit.  It was at the end, after two GM builds.
So, it is possible that this is a bug, but I must laugh at your childish reply.
It’s what my kids do when so-cornered.  Carry on…

Posted by sb on December 8, 2010 at 3:59 PM (CST)


sb, it’s not a diversion, it’s the English language. It’s what I wrote, which you were as usual unable to read because you’re one of those people who reads and sees in the world what they want to read and see, not what is there. The story clearly said there are cameras that no longer work with update.

I could write a comment about how trees have leaves on this front page and you would figure out a way to make a jab at me over it and see some sort of anti-Apple stance since apples are fruits that grow on trees. You have a problem.

Posted by Code Monkey on December 8, 2010 at 6:12 PM (CST)


Monkey, as usual, you comment on something that isn’t affecting you.  You have not seen this issue, and in my travels through the webs, I find relatively few examples to backup the article. I, actually own an iPad and cameras that all work (still) as do the SD cards.
The iPad keyboard still works.
What I mostly see are complaints of non-supported hardware not working.
What you see - as always - is a chance to take another dig at Apple.
As with all updates, things can and do break.  Doesn’t appear to be the disaster you want it to be…

Posted by sb on December 9, 2010 at 9:53 PM (CST)


sb, stop being a dick.
My camera is one that stopped working, i have emailed apple numerous times about it.
yes some other devices dont work either but the point is my camera, a FujiFilm J10, Will not work with this new restriction. stop bashing the guy because you have beef with him. he simply stated that some cameras no longer work. and he is correct.

Posted by Gabe Renfro on December 23, 2010 at 5:49 AM (CST)

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