Forget weirdly-shaped silicone battery cases: The biggest new Apple product is, in fact, a revamp of the company's Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader. Not only does it now offer USB 3 speeds for the iPad Pro, but all iPhone models post-iPhone 5 are supported, too.
First reported by Jeff Benjamin at iDownloadBlog, this is a huge boon for anyone who travels with a DSLR (or takes professional photographs)—no longer do you need an iPad or Mac to save photographs or video you've snapped to iCloud Photo Library or Dropbox, or share images with friends. I've been asking for this capability since the release of Apple's original SD card reader, and I am beyond excited to get my hands on it.
Apple didn't need to release a new reader to enable iPhone capability—iOS 9.2 brings compatibility to the older Lightning SD card reader—but the company's iPad-only SD reader was often sluggish with its transfer speeds. No word yet on whether Apple plans to similarly update its Lightning to USB reader, which could bring faster iPad speeds as well as MIDI instrument and extended microphone support to the iPhone, but here's hoping.
A new reader is also a great excuse to future-proof: Supporting USB 3 transfer speeds means that 4K-shot video will transfer to the iPad Pro faster than ever, and if the iPhone gets USB 3 in its 2016 iteration, the same will soon apply to the smartphone.
Regardless of Apple's motivations, I've been waiting for this little dongle for years: Between it and the Pencil, Christmas has indeed come early for my tech life.
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