When Apple announced the new 2018 iPad Pro with USB-C connectivity it seemed to be the iPad creative musicians had hoped for, especially as Apple made such a big deal about being the friend of creatives at their special event in New York.
However, it seems that Apple has restricted the USB-C port in several ways, all via their implementation of the iOS software meaning that some audio interfaces, musical instruments and hard drives won’t play nice with the current version of the new 2018 iPad Pro.
In their review of the iPad Pro the The Verge found the following restrictions;
“Keyboards worked. A USB microphone showed up in GarageBand. You can plug a phone or Nintendo Switch into it and get up to 7.5 watts of power to charge them. (That’s not really enough for a Switch, by the way.) Apple supports both analog and digital audio out, so virtually all USB-C headphones and audio dongles work, a huge improvement over the Android ecosystem.”
but then with further testing;
“Other stuff didn’t work, though: printers didn’t do anything. A Native Instruments Maschine mk3 audio controller sat in silence. A Beyerdynamic USB-C microphone only worked when we used an A-to-C cable plugged into a hub. USB-C is still kind of messy and weird, so you’ll just have to try things and see what works for you.
But one extremely important category of devices will definitely not work: iOS does not support external storage. You can plug as many flash drives or hard drives as you want into the iPad Pro’s USB-C port, and nothing will happen. Apple says third parties can write apps to talk to external storage, but out of the box, this $1,899 tablet simply won’t talk to a flash drive.”
So for now Apple’s claim to be a friend of the creative is somewhat hollow, as far as the iPad Pro is concerned.
We hope Apple open up the USB-C port to be useful, otherwise this iPad Pro is a great creative tool as long as you don’t want to use half the stuff in your studio.
In the meantime there’s the Hyperdrive USB-C dongle to add 6 new ports (4K HDMI, 35mm audio jack, SD, micro SD, USB-A 3.0 and USB-C Power Delivery) to iPad Pro. It ships in December and sells for $99. Be the first to get HyperDrive for iPad Pro in December 2018 and get 50% off MSRP $99.99. More info on their website.