iPad Camera Connector on iOS 4.2

Q: The article on the iPad Camera Connector which still appears on your site needs a serious update as to the reduced functionality experienced under iOS 4.2. The card reader now produces an error in regards to insufficient power to use the USB device. I can’t believe that Apple hasn’t been seriously chastised by the iOS community, and especially by those who bought the device and were then robbed of its functionality. With all the class action lawsuits flying around, it seems no one is taking Apple to task on pulling the rug out from under us at will. I love Apple products, but they are starting to corral every source of revenue possible, while leaving those of us responsible for that revenue feeling cheated and frustrated. I hate Windows, but I wonder if I will someday loathe Apple for this treatment.

– Jeff

A: Although iOS 4.2 reduced the available power output from the iPad Dock Connector, this change should not have impacted the card reader module from the official Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit as the card reader does not draw excessive power from the iPad. If the SD card reader module is not working with your iPad under iOS 4.2 it’s possible you have a defective unit or are using a third-party (non-Apple) SD card module.

The problem with the camera connection kit on iOS 4.2 applies only to the USB connection module, and only affects cameras that need to draw power from the USB port in order to transfer photos. However, prior to iOS 4.2, transferring large numbers of photos from these USB-powered cameras could result in a significant drain on the iPad battery, which may explain the reason for this change.

If you have an USB-powered camera that uses an SD card, you can simply use the SD card module instead to transfer photos. Alternatively, applying external power to the camera or using a powered USB hub may allow the iPad to successfully connect to the camera over USB. The same may apply to using an external third-party card reader connected over USB, but it is worth noting that although Apple acknowledges compatibility with “unsupported USB devices” such as audio/MIDI devices, the company has never officially supported the use of third-party USB card readers with the Camera Connection Kit.

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