iOS 9.3 Beta 2 Allows iPad Pro's Smart Connector to Update Accessory Firmware

smartconnectorupdateThe second beta of iOS 9.3, which was seeded to developers on Monday and the public earlier today, includes a new feature that allows the iPad Pro's Smart Connector to update accessory firmware. The new feature was first spotted by German developer Stefan Wolfrum (via Cult of Mac) when he plugged his Logitech Create keyboard case into his iPad Pro.

In the past month, several users in the MacRumors forums have noted that the Create keyboard case suffers from lag and dropped keystrokes. A MacRumors forum member, who also reported that his Create keyboard had its firmware updated when plugged into an iPad Pro running iOS 9.3 beta 2, said that both issues were resolved by the firmware update.

MacRumors was able to recreate the steps that led to the update by updating our iPad Pro to beta 2 and connecting the keyboard. When the keyboard is connected, a pop-up is displayed alerting users to an "accessory update", asking whether they want to update the "Smart Connector Accessory". If a user chooses to update, the pop-up stays on the screen and displays the update progress. Once progress hits 100 percent the dialog box disappears; the update took 30 - 40 seconds. However, there was no dialog or indication of what the update changed once the process was complete.

The Smart Connector's ability to transmit both data and power at the same time has been on full display with keyboard accessories like the Smart Keyboard and Logitech Create, but it was unknown whether the port could be used to update firmware for accessories. It's unclear whether the new iOS beta housed the firmware update or whether it quickly pinged a server to download the update before applying it.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro
Buyer's Guide: iPad Pro (Buy Now)
Related Forum: iOS 9

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Top Rated Comments

btrach144 Avatar
111 months ago
Nature uses interfaces to supply both power and information. For instance, our bloodstream is used to provide fuel and oxygen (power), and it's also used to deliver information in the form of hormones to our cells. Our structural network is used to hold us up and do work. It's also used as a signaling mechanism (cellular mechanotransduction) to cue the expression of genes in our cells (see this SciAm article ('https://bit.ly/ARCH-LIFE')). I'm amused how Apple imitates life to have a single interface for power and information.
Lol sounds like you need to get out more
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
appleguy123 Avatar
111 months ago
Nature uses interfaces to supply both power and information. For instance, our bloodstream is used to provide fuel and oxygen (power), and it's also used to deliver information in the form of hormones to our cells. Our structural network is used to hold us up and do work. It's also used as a signaling mechanism (cellular mechanotransduction) to cue the expression of genes in our cells (see this SciAm article ('https://bit.ly/ARCH-LIFE')). I'm amused how Apple imitates life to have a single interface for power and information.
Like pretty much every other connector on a mobile device ever?
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
farewelwilliams Avatar
111 months ago
Remember the times when you shipped a product, you had to invest so much in QA because there's no way for you to push out updates to patch up any bugs once the product is out in the wild?
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
haruhiko Avatar
111 months ago
Nature uses interfaces to supply both power and information. For instance, our bloodstream is used to provide fuel and oxygen (power), and it's also used to deliver information in the form of hormones to our cells. Our structural network is used to hold us up and do work. It's also used as a signaling mechanism (cellular mechanotransduction) to cue the expression of genes in our cells (see this SciAm article ('https://bit.ly/ARCH-LIFE')). I'm amused how Apple imitates life to have a single interface for power and information.
Just like your PS/2 keyboard port from 1987?

Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ipedro Avatar
111 months ago
There's so much potential for the Smart Connector.

One possible use: a piano keyboard that can be easily docked to the iPad Pro. Perhaps a MIDI interface for existing pianos that can sit on the musical notation stand.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Junipr Avatar
111 months ago
Nature uses interfaces to supply both power and information. For instance, our bloodstream is used to provide fuel and oxygen (power), and it's also used to deliver information in the form of hormones to our cells. Our structural network is used to hold us up and do work. It's also used as a signaling mechanism (cellular mechanotransduction) to cue the expression of genes in our cells (see this SciAm article ('https://bit.ly/ARCH-LIFE')). I'm amused how Apple imitates life to have a single interface for power and information.
Bro, relax.

EDIT: Don't get me wrong, I love bionics, super interesting. The delivery here is just grossly technical.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)