New in OS X: Get MacRumors Push Notifications on your Mac

Resubscribe Now Close

Apple Releases Lightning to SD Camera Reader With USB 3.0 Speeds on iPad Pro

apple-sd-card-adapter-usb-3Apple has released a new Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader with support for up to USB 3.0 speeds on iPad Pro, and USB 2.0 speeds on all other iPad and iPhone models, as spotted by iDownloadBlog. The dongle retails for $29 on the Apple Online Store in the U.S. and is available to ship for delivery within approximately one week.

Last month, it was discovered that the iPad Pro's Lightning port supports USB 3.0 transfer speeds, allowing for data transfer speeds upwards of 60MB/s to a theoretical max of 625MB/s. All other iPads and iPhones can only transfer data at USB 2.0 speeds of around 25 to 35MB/s, since only the iPad Pro has the necessary hardware -- a Fresco Logic FL1100 4-port USB 3.0 Host Controller.

Apple has not updated its Lightning to USB Camera Adapter or other accessories to support the iPad Pro's USB 3.0 speeds, but multiple sources have previously confirmed that adapters are in the works. It remains unclear, however, if Apple plans on introducing new Lightning cables that will enable USB 3.0 speeds when transferring files from a computer to an iPad Pro.

Apple's new Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader is also available for £25 in the U.K. and $35 in Canada. Prices vary in other countries.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro
Tags: Lightning, Apple retail, USB 3.0
Buyer's Guide: 12.9" iPad Pro (Neutral)


Top Rated Comments

(View all)

10 months ago
I would just say "Awesome", but one word responses aren't allowed.
Rating: 11 Votes
10 months ago
Useless to photographers until the iPad has a file system. I need to be able to move and organise RAW files between external drives and folders. Absolutely no support for this on iPad 'Pro'. One wonders.
Rating: 8 Votes
10 months ago

Useless to photographers until the iPad has a file system. I need to be able to move and organise RAW files between external drives and folders. Absolutely no support for this on iPad 'Pro'. One wonders.


iOS will probably never have what you think of as a 'file system' and even though I am an IT professional and power user, I hope Apple stick to their guns on that vision.

The file system is as outdated as the DOS interface and even though it took people a while to embrace the GUI interface all those years ago, it happened. Apple have implemented very clever, and more importantly 'secure' ways to share files between apps so you no longer need to have copies of copies of copies of files everywhere. You can simply use whichever tool is best for any given scenario.

It's not perfect yet by any means but if Apple were to 'give up' and just give us access to the raw filesystem it would be a great shame. Fortunately they have shown many times that they will stick to their guns (eg. floppy drives, optical drives, non-removable batteries) and generally the rest of the world catch up with their thinking eventually. I'm sure this will be the same situation.
Rating: 7 Votes
10 months ago
Great, now all they need is a file system.
Rating: 6 Votes
10 months ago

So I'm gonna have to re-buy all my lightning cables because they are only capable of USB 2 speeds?

If you need USB 3 speeds, I almost never plug my phone in other than to charge. Maybe it would be nice for backups...but I just use iCloud. For the iPad Pro it would be nice to transfer files onto it, but you still have to go through iTunes so I tend to avoid that.

iOS will probably never have what you think of as a 'file system' and even though I am an IT professional and power user, I hope Apple stick to their guns on that vision.

The file system is as outdated as the DOS interface and even though it took people a while to embrace the GUI interface all those years ago, it happened. Apple have implemented very clever, and more importantly 'secure' ways to share files between apps so you no longer need to have copies of copies of copies of files everywhere. You can simply use whichever tool is best for any given scenario.

It's not perfect yet by any means but if Apple were to 'give up' and just give us access to the raw filesystem it would be a great shame. Fortunately they have shown many times that they will stick to their guns (eg. floppy drives, optical drives, non-removable batteries) and generally the rest of the world catch up with their thinking eventually. I'm sure this will be the same situation.


Are you using the same iOS 9 as I am? Because Apple's system of "Open In..." generates endless copies of files, with no way to properly manage them.

Take this incredibly rudimentary scenario. I use two apps to edit a file (Because one is good at one thing, and another is good at another.) We'll say we are modifying a PDF file.

- Use dropbox to "Open In..." app A
- Edit inside of app A, "Open In..." app B
- Edit inside of app B, "Open In..." Dropbox

How many copies of the file are there now? The answer is 3. Dropbox has the latest copy, App B has the latest copy as well (identical to the dropbox version, unless you edit it on another machine) and app A has an outdated copy missing changes from app B edits.

In what universe is this simpler than having App A and App B able to access the single copy of a file on dropbox?

And lets not get into the most obvious downfall of the iOS "file system", lack of external storage options.

I own an iPad Pro and I love using it, but it is years away from being able to replace a laptop for me, even for my hobby of photo/video editing. Primarily because of how difficult it is to move data to/from/within the OS.
Rating: 5 Votes
10 months ago
Ports as accessories.

Cha-Ching!

Back slaps all round.
Rating: 5 Votes
10 months ago

Apple has no interest in supporting high-end photography. Only bargain-bin cameras.


Considering most high-end cameras are abandoning CF cards, I don't think this is a true statement.
Rating: 4 Votes
10 months ago
Interesting that Apple seems to be suddenly releasing a bunch of quality accessories. I think they are actively trying to box out all the arguments that people make about not having certain "features" in order to peel off even more competing platforms' users.

My SD card reader has NEVER worked with my iPhone...
As recently as October...
Do I have to have the NEW SD Card reader for iPhone... or has something been updated so my iPhone will work now.


Did you actually do anything on your end to engage Apple on this issue? Anything at all? Saying "oh I have this thing and it never worked" with absolutely no context is about as useful as a review of a restaurant you didn't patronize.
Rating: 4 Votes
10 months ago

Ports as accessories.

Cha-Ching!

Back slaps all round.


Exactly. WTH..just put a USB port on it and call it good.

But nope, people here are happy because Apple is happy to sell them a workaround.

I'm sorry, but the Emperor is naked.
Rating: 3 Votes
10 months ago

Apple has no interest in supporting high end photography. Only bargain-bin cameras.


Like the Nikon D750? Body only price of $1900? Bargain bin, huh?

Edit: or the DF at $2750?
Rating: 3 Votes

[ Read All Comments ]