iOS 4.2 bugs: iPad Camera Kit no longer supports as many USB devices?

ipad camera kit out of order

Since the iPad doesn't have a USB port or SSD card slot (can I say "grrrr!' again?) Apple sells a Camera Kit that's supposed to let you plug in your camera or card and transfer your pictures and video -- but also used to work for low power USB keyboards and Skype/VoIP headsets. I say "used to" because with iOS 4.2 that no longer seems to be the case.

Mark Gurman from 9to5mac has done some tests:

The essence of the issue with the connection kit and iOS 4.2 is that connected devices that require power of more than 20mA will no longer work. That means that many USB keyboards (Apple’s included) will no longer work with the iPad, as well as USB flash drives. When the user connects a device that is not self-powered and requires more than 20mA of power from the iPad they get the following alert: “The connected USB device requires too much power.”

Support for those devices was unofficial but it was useful. Worse news for photographers, power-hungry cameras seem to be having issues as well. And really, what good is a Camera Kit if your camera won't work as you've come to expect? Hopefully this is a bug and Apple will fix it in iOS 4.3 (I'm adding it to my list!)

We spoke about this on the last iPad Live podcast, and we've gotten some angry emails and tweets about it already but if you're having any issues with your iPad Camera Kit, give us the details in comments.


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Senior Editor at iMore and a practicing therapist specializing in stress and anxiety. She speaks everywhere from conferences to corporations, co-host of Vector, Review, and Isometric podcasts, and should be followed on Twitter @Georgia_Dow.

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Reader comments

iOS 4.2 bugs: iPad Camera Kit no longer supports as many USB devices?


I'm not surprised at all that Apple doesn't want people to use unsupported devices. Of course cameras should work, but a camera shouldn't need more current than an SD card. That's all you're supposed to be doing, reading the images. More current might be an indication that the camera is trying to function as a webcam, which would be a no-no. As for the keyboard, I heard Apple is discontinuing the smaller wired keyboard (the larger one is still available for now). Obviously, they want you to use the iPad keyboard dock or bluetooth.

Well they managed to mess it up for the Blue Yetti USB microphone too. A notice comes up saying it is unable to use the device because it it trying to draw too much power. It worked before the upgrade. This sucks! One of the reasons I bought this mike is because it would work with the iPad. Apple needs to put this right again.

I was transferring movies to iPad ( in the Photo app) for long flights. Watch. Delete. Etc.
Now won't recognize mp4 videos unless they are renamed something "camera-like" i.e. img_0001.

Apple seems to have a habit of taking away features with upgrades, and now numerous USB audio devices have quit working as well. I fear this was intentional, and doubt they will restore USB device support, which pi$$es me off to no end.

i used to use a SoniQ usb card reader for CF cards which of course can't be adapted to SD and my EOS 350D will not plug in directly, it worked fantastically, nice and compact, very easy to carry around... now, just nothing, "device requires too much power.".. this is making me want to sell my ipad and get a netbook, at least thats going to recognize my devices.

I own a blue yeti microphone that worked with the old iOS but no longer with 4.2 how can I revert back to the old iOS 3.2?

If it limited to devices which require less than 20ma, then cant you just connect a powered usb hub to it then connect the "power hungry" device to the ipad thru the hub?? idk just a thought. :)

If using a powered hub will work then im going to make like a portable powerd hub probs using a resistor and a battery, nice and small not too bulky

I have been using a card reader to upload from my memory stick with out a problem, upgraded to os 4 - now I can not use the card reader or my sony wx1. Thanks Apple, back to carrying my mac book pro with me, will leave the iPad at home.

Yes keyboards work with powered USB hub.. Just lot of bulk to carry would prefer a powered USB keyboard!

I am so mad about this issue, the very reason I got an iPad in the first place is to do field recordings with the Blue Yeti mic...
And so far, no mention of the problem being solved in the upcoming iOS 4.3
And why doesn't apple communicate on the subject? If they carry on like this, that's it for me. I'm already looking into some other tablets, and a few look very promising! And suport USB! And give you actual access to your files! But the iPad is so nice, I know... Grrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!

Same problem with the YETI. I should NEVER have updated the software the last itme I synced up. Spent abunch of time talking to Apple and the only recommendation is a power USB hub. Kind of kills the portability. Can't Apple just let me revert to the old software? Please!

ok, so heres my deal, I have a jailbroken iPhone 4 running IOS 4.0.1 and if I get the ipad camera connection kit, do you think I can get a usb hub and split it into 4 inputs and work? 1-usb microphone, 2-usb keyboard, 3-usb external hard drive, and 4-usb external solar charger to keep the phone charged while all thats plugged in. I am going to find out if that all will work in the next week, plus i'm going to get a vga adapter (rca has a one second lag) and connect it to a portable digital projector!

I can not use my camera kit on my iPad any more ( it requires too much power )
And I only got the kit for Christmas !! Grrrrrrrrrr.

The change is really irritating. While the FLIP ultra used to work if you turned off all wireless on the ipad - which was a minor hassle only. Now it doesn't work at all. real waste of capability and money spent on ipads, flips & camera kits for a specific purpose. the fact that it did work once & now won't, says apple can change it back it they chose to. The FLIP seems smart enough to know it's a low power USB and is content to run on batts. The iPad just wimps out and doesn't try to be smart about it. Some days it's hard to be an Apple fan.

This scared me for a bit. I just recently bought the camera connection kit with the hopes I'd be able to plug in a USB keyboard when I needed to type long documents. I got the "Not supported" message, and thought I was hosed by Apple. However, even though it cleims to be unsupported, my keyboard (a Dell USB keyboard) works fine! Sorry that it doesn't work for the many other users that posted here.

I am getting a message that the device needs too much power even though i have 4.3

Too much power needed is my message also. Am so disappointed , I have an iPad2 and an 8 Gb flashdrive. No luck guess I might bring it back to the shop.