Surprise! iPad Camera Kit supports audio, keyboards

Surprise! iPad Camera Kit supports audio, keyboards

Summary: It turns out the iPad Camera Connection Kit ($29) can be used for much more than just connecting to a camera. Could this be another iPad surprise from Cupertino?

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TOPICS: Hardware, iPad, Mobility
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Special Report: Apple iPad

It turns out the iPad Camera Connection Kit ($29) can be used for much more than just connecting to a camera. Could this be another iPad surprise from Cupertino?

Glenn Fleishman reports for Tidbits that the iPad Camera Connection Kit ($29) also works with USB headsets:

I tested a Skype call with a USB headset, and the quality was just terrific. This make the iPad even more viable for phone calls, omitting a requirement for a Bluetooth headset which requires sep

TUAW notes that the USB dongle (pictured at left) also give the iPad limited support for certain USB keyboards. (The right dongle is just plain old SD, for folks that like to swap cards.)

10 days ago my old friend Peter Kirn at CreateDigitalMusic broke the news that the iPad USB Camera dongle could support audio interfaces that are compatible with the USB Audio Class, noting that "Generally, camera accessory kits aren’t a way of providing audio expansion."

Let’s assume, as these sources suggest, that USB audio devices were available via the standard stereo output (or even input) for the public Apple APIs for audio I/O. In that case, the other good news is that iPad apps would be able to support your third-party hardware without special modification of the software, or a signed hardware license agreement.

All these little extras are in addition to the kit's described duties of importing photos from a camera connected via USB, and it's lesser-known ability to import photos from an iPhone. Not a bad deal, but it's important to note that none of the above are officially supported by Apple, and they could be turned off in a future software update. For now, at least, the little pair of white dongles is looking like a requirement in my iPad sleeve.

The only problem is that finding the elusive iPad camera kits is like finding hens teeth. A few lucky ducks that pre-ordered the adapters received them early, but everyone else has to wait 2-3 weeks.

Mine says that it ships on May 14 and delivers on May 19 (by Standard Shipping). What about you?

Photo: Tidbits

Update: Opportunistic sellers are hawking pre-orders for between $60 and $65 on eBay. My advice is to pay $29 from Apple and wait the 2-3 weeks.

Update2: iLounge posted a lengthy review of the camera kit here.

Topics: Hardware, iPad, Mobility

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19 comments
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  • Another unnecessary kit

    With the HP Slate you don't need an additional device to hook a camera up. It has a built in USB.
    roteague
    • With the HP slate, you get an HP slate - lucky you!!!

      If that's what you want - that's what you get.

      You also get windows - and that's your own choice too.
      richardw66
  • hallelujah

    Wow, 29 dollars to add a usb port with limited
    functionality. Doesn't Apple usually charge around 60
    dollars for extras that should have been standard in
    the first place. Steve Jobs is blessing us with his
    gifts...

    I predict future Apple devices will come with non-
    standard wall plugs and you'll have to buy a 40 dollar
    Apple-to-[country name] adapter just to charge your
    device. Maybe their screens will display portions of
    the light spectrum not normally visible to humans and
    you'll have to buy 500 dollar glasses just to see your
    screen. Apple will probably want to hire me, cause I'm
    full of ideas on how they can screw their loyal
    customers. Sorry Steve, I'm already employed.
    baboddonggae
    • re: hallelujah

      > I predict future Apple devices will come with non-
      > standard wall plugs and you'll have to buy a 40 dollar
      > Apple-to-[country name] adapter just to charge your
      > device.

      Interesting you should say that. Not wanting to carry around a
      computer just to charge my iPod, I tried charging the iPod using the
      USB power adapter I bought for my old PDA. It doesn't work! I bought
      an Apple adapter and that works fine. I did feel a bit conned, but don't
      especially want to bite my nose off to spite my face (or not be able to
      use the iPod because its battery's flat).

      (Apologies to anyone who thinks it should be iPod without the definite
      article.)
      DJL64
    • In a way, they do.

      [i]"I predict future Apple devices will come with non-
      standard wall plugs"[/i]

      Apple uses a single power brick with a unique connector. They then
      supply a power cable that goes from Apple-to-[country] adapter. If you
      loose the cable, you have to buy a new one.

      Just like loosing any power cable. You loose it, you have to replace it. I
      do hear that Windows PC's are magic in working even without a power
      cable/battery.
      Bruizer
    • Check the power leads on many windows laptops!!!

      So many power leads for windows laptops use a standard but not easy to
      locate plug.

      My Mac adaptors use a standard shaver plug.

      Most Apple adaptors are nowhere near $60 - even in $AU.

      Pots and kettles again.
      richardw66
  • RE: iPad USB Camera Connection Kit supports audio, keyboards

    All this over a USB port? You know these things do come standard on other computers right? How is paying extra for one that is separate from the actual computer better? I mean it isn't like a built in USB port would have been too big. Even my cell phone has a USB port and it fits in my pocket. Is there any valid reason they had to make it separate and charge extra for it? Doesn't it just go without saying that people will want to plug USB devices into it? Only Apple could sell a computer without USB ports in the year 2010!
    theenabler
    • More WinDos complaining

      Apple looks at what is needed not what you think it needs, are you a
      hardware engineer,

      All Apple products are developed with considerable amount of time and
      effort. Adding lots of different ports only make the system unreliable.

      The 30 pin port offers much more then just a USB port.
      MacNewton
      • The 30 pin port offers much more then just a USB port

        Like 2 things to connect together to get 1 thing to work
        Turd Furgeson
    • Only Apple selling what now?

      [i]Only Apple could sell a computer without USB ports in the year
      2010![/i]

      This is not a computer exactly now is it?

      OK on the inside it is, and so is your LCD TV, your microwave, your
      car, your mobile phone (no matter what brand or model) etc, etc.

      My Microwave doesn't have USB either.

      Some cars do have USB - some don't.

      So this new device does not have USB as a port, but has it on the 30-
      pin interface, and you use a plug adaptor to get to it - so what? You
      my friend have just proved you do not get it.

      You clearly also have proved that Apple does understand what people
      want better than you do, as they have, as you say managed to sell
      something that is a computer of sorts without the USB socket built in.

      BTW it is almost certain that your car has a serial port, and to use it
      you need to use an expensive adaptor to convert it to RS-232 or USB.
      Are you posting on car sites about this apparent duping of the
      consumer by the car companies?
      richardw66
      • What's your point?

        He's not the first person to bring up the "usb" issue

        and, BTW, I would bet 90% of car owners never have the need/desire to use their car's serial port, expensive adaptor or not. #1, that port is only there for specific purposes, unlike the usb port on any laptop, netbook, or computer. #2, the only people using this port are those that would already have the expensive adaptor or portable diagnostic tool to hook up to it. However, if someone [i]needed[/i] to hook up to it, it can be done for free at a local auto parts store.

        Conversely, I would bet 90% (or more) of iPad owners would have the need/desire to use a USB port on iPad, preferably without the added expense of a 30 pin adaptor.

        Apple includes USB ports on every other $500+ device they sell, why not this one? 2 reasons: #1 So next year they can release a model w/ usb and a camera, and the same idiots that bought this years will buy next years, and #2, there's alot of $ to be made supplying people with adaptors so they can hook up their devices.

        Obviously Apple recognizes the need for this, otherwise they wouldn't bother with the adaptors.
        SonofaSailor
  • More good news, tethering your iPhone?

    It looks like the iPhone can be connected to the ipad (see
    apples notes on the kit). But will this allow tethering from
    your iPhone? This would be a real winner if it can be done!

    The other way of tethering would be bluetooth, anyone have
    any ideas on this?
    MacNewton
    • Apple clearly prefers features to be undersold

      Apple is yet again more concerned with offering the core feature set
      as advertised. They are not against having some features that are not
      advertised yet work.

      And maybe all those bloggers who screamed about the iPad not going
      to offer use of anything but the special keyboard dock can apologise
      for their lack of knowledge and inability to read leading to their
      expressing opinions.

      Not only can you use a keyboard dock, you can use the wireless
      keyboard, the one I am typing on now that shipped with my iMac, this
      much was announced pre-realese, but you apparently can use USB
      keyboards as well, so where was this supposed flaw in the iPad
      design? And supposed attempt by Apple to make you buy their dock?
      Just propaganda and conspiracy theory by deceptive bloggers
      apparently.
      richardw66
  • What about Printers?

    It does no good to have word-processing, spreadsheet and presentation power (via various office apps) if we can't print! I think it was fairly poor engineering not to include USB support native to the device. That's why I'm waiting until it gets it before I buy an iPad.
    tonyhunterajh
    • print via the network.

      Print using WiFi.
      woot!
      • RE: iPad USB Camera Connection Kit supports audio, keyboards

        @woot! ....wow, someone doesn't live in the real world, most printers are not wifi...
        toviz@...
  • RE: iPad USB Camera Connection Kit supports audio, keyboards

    Have you tried attaching a USB powered laptop speaker to an iPad? Here's a pair of portable speakers that says the USB also delivers audio and power, so the USB camera kit could work. I want to buy it. What do you think?

    http://www.amazon.com/SimplyVibe-Premium-Portable-Speakers-Players/dp/B003NQ6Z6Q/ref=sr_1_1?s=gateway&ie=UTF8&qid=1285450177&sr=8-1
    bossy_bear
  • RE: iPad USB Camera Connection Kit supports audio, keyboards

    Camera Connection kit USB AV HDMI For iPad 2/iPad/iPhone 4/iPhone 3GS/iPod Touch
    http://www.mallextreme.com/camera-connection-kit-usb-av-hdmi-for-ipad-2-ipad-iphone-4-iphone-3gs-ipod-touch_p27037.html
    mallextreme2011
  • The most competitive ipad 2 camera kit

    You could have the best quality ipad camera kit at the price from $5 -28 here:
    http://www.dealmelody.com/accessory-for-ipad-2-ipad-camera-kit_c1952
    yamatchy001