iPad 2019 iPad Air Does NOT Support USB 3.0

ikkysleepy

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Original poster
Apr 10, 2014
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USB 3 speeds are supported only on iPad Pro. I was hoping this statement was not true, because it's 2019 and this a new iPad but looks like it is. I chatted with Apple Support and they could not confirm that the latest iPad Air supports USB 3. It was surprising that they did not have technical spec sheet to confirm this. Long story short if it's not on this page, the iPad doesn't support USB 3:

https://www.apple.com/shop/product/MJYT2AM/A/lightning-to-sd-card-camera-readerhttps://www.apple.com/shop/product/MJYT2AM/A/lightning-to-sd-card-camera-reader

Here is what the page says: "The Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader supports standard photo formats, including JPEG and RAW, along with SD and HD video formats, including H.264 and MPEG-4. It supports data transfer at up to USB 3 speeds on the 12.9-inch and 10.5-inch iPad Pro, and up to USB 2 speeds on the 9.7-inch iPad Pro and all other iPad and iPhone models.*"

The footnote says: "*USB 3 speeds are supported only on iPad Pro."

If your thinking your getting the latest technology from Apple just because it's new and the technology has been around for years, think again. I think for most people USB 3 won't matter much but if your going to transfer photos or videos USB 3 is about 10 times faster than USB 2.
 

AutomaticApple

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Nov 28, 2018
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USB 3 speeds are supported only on iPad Pro. I was hoping this statement was not true, because it's 2019 and this a new iPad but looks like it is. I chatted with Apple Support and they could not confirm that the latest iPad Air supports USB 3. It was surprising that they did not have technical spec sheet to confirm this. Long story short if it's not on this page, the iPad doesn't support USB 3:

https://www.apple.com/shop/product/MJYT2AM/A/lightning-to-sd-card-camera-readerhttps://www.apple.com/shop/product/MJYT2AM/A/lightning-to-sd-card-camera-reader

Here is what the page says: "The Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader supports standard photo formats, including JPEG and RAW, along with SD and HD video formats, including H.264 and MPEG-4. It supports data transfer at up to USB 3 speeds on the 12.9-inch and 10.5-inch iPad Pro, and up to USB 2 speeds on the 9.7-inch iPad Pro and all other iPad and iPhone models.*"

The footnote says: "*USB 3 speeds are supported only on iPad Pro."

If your thinking your getting the latest technology from Apple just because it's new and the technology has been around for years, think again. I think for most people USB 3 won't matter much but if your going to transfer photos or videos USB 3 is about 10 times faster than USB 2.
Thats unfortunate.
 

ikkysleepy

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Original poster
Apr 10, 2014
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How dare the budget version doesn’t include all the features of the expensive one! /S


+ Makes sense, filling up 256GB on the Air over usb 2 would be slow but doable. Trying to transfer 1TB to the pro without usb 3 would be horrific.
Most, if not all laptops now come with USB 3. The technology is over 10 years old. Not sure about Tablets though. I brought this up not really to bash Apple because they didn't include a 10 year old technology but because as a consumer it's very difficult to check if a any iPad has USB 3 or not.
 

JPack

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Mar 27, 2017
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I'd be surprised if that really were the case. None of the power & cable accessories in the Apple Store have been updated to include compatibility with the iPad Air (2019). If you trust the Apple Store, none of the cables would work.

Wait for the teardown by iFixit. The 10.5" Pro had a USB-C port controller and I doubt Apple removed that on the Air.
 
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SSD-GUY

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How dare the budget version doesn’t include all the features of the expensive one! /S


+ Makes sense, filling up 256GB on the Air over usb 2 would be slow but doable. Trying to transfer 1TB to the pro without usb 3 would be horrific.
USB-3 is ancient. There really is no defending Apple on this one. Whilst I don't really transfer things via cable, USB-3 is pretty much a well established standard now. They've got it on the iPad Pro 10.5 which uses a lightning connector, so no reason other than penny pinching for not putting it into the 2019 iPads.
 

Hym tix

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Sep 21, 2012
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seriously. This has crossed the line of ridiculous and now sits firmly in the territory of absurd. USB 3 standard was adopted in ... was it 2012? going on 7 years.

If Apple had some equivalent, proprietary design that would be one thing... oh! the iOS lightning port? wait, that was based on USB 2 speeds and happened to also be released in 2012.

So Apple's solution was old when they released it and now it is 7 years older. SMH
 

loybond

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Aug 1, 2010
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It makes no sense not to have USB-C on new devices. What is the point of having USB-C or TB3 on all Macs, then iPad Pros, and now not on 2019 iPads and possibly iPhones?

It's not like they don't neuter the USB-C port on the iPad Pro; you can't use it for external storage, and even the USB-C cable Apple includes is a pathetic USB 2.0 data transfer one.
 
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ikkysleepy

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Apr 10, 2014
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If only there was a way to wirelessly transfer data.
You would think wireless is the way to go, but sadly it's not. The current generation of wireless is 802.11 ac (1.3 Gbps) which translates to ~ 163 MB/s but more realistic of 125 MB/s. An 7200 RPM Hard Drive can write at 160 MB/s. Of course solid states drives can go up to 3,200 MB/s. I think iPads use NAND memory, but they should be pretty fast by now...anyways, you would think that wireless is great solution but realistically wireless is just not a good solution for various reasons. An SD card to Wireless Hubs or what not have a transfer rate of 4-7 MB/s or 14-18 MB/s using 802.11 ac. I have a NAS and 802.11 ac and the fastest rate I ever seen my iphone x transfer files from the iphone to the NAS was 60 MB/s. Let's say you can get the best out of the ipad/iphone, then you will be getting a transfer rate of 125 MB/s. To put things in perspective a newer sd card can write 100-300 MB/s so yeah wireless is just not good enough. Also USB 2.0 max speed of 60 MB/s is just not fast enough anymore. I just wished Apple was up front on which iPad / iphone has USB 3.0.
 
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Johnny365

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Nov 30, 2015
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I like airplay to transfer files amount my devices. Maybe Apple hasn’t updated their documents to reflect the updated iPads just announced ?
 

canesalato

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Jan 31, 2010
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How dare the budget version doesn’t include all the features of the expensive one! /S
Right, USB 3.0 is still cutting edge technology, only found in >1000$ devices. Over time it will become available on more affordable devices.
ps: do you need the /S or is it ok like this?
[doublepost=1553070890][/doublepost]
If only there was a way to wirelessly transfer data.
Airdrop is proprietary technology that works only among apple devices, which, I'd like to remind you, have a minority of the market share. Moroever, sometimes it is buggy and transfer speed is always slightly slower than USB 2. Great point you made.
 

Howard2k

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Airdrop is proprietary technology that works only among apple devices, which, I'd like to remind you, have a minority of the market share. Moroever, sometimes it is buggy and transfer speed is always slightly slower than USB 2. Great point you made.
I wasn't referring to AirDrop, I was referring to Wifi.

Not everyone has good internet. Why can't a device you spend good money on have up to date options on all fronts?

The surface line of devices do the same thing. Many still don't have USB C on it's latest models.
I'm talking about transferring data locally. Like from a local resource (an SD card) to a local device, such as an iPad, over Wifi.

You would think wireless is the way to go, but sadly it's not. The current generation of wireless is 802.11 ac (1.3 Gbps) which translates to ~ 163 MB/s but more realistic of 125 MB/s. An 7200 RPM Hard Drive can write at 160 MB/s. Of course solid states drives can go up to 3,200 MB/s. I think iPads use NAND memory, but they should be pretty fast by now...anyways, you would think that wireless is great solution but realistically wireless is just not a good solution for various reasons. An SD card to Wireless Hubs or what not have a transfer rate of 4-7 MB/s or 14-18 MB/s using 802.11 ac. I have a NAS and 802.11 ac and the fastest rate I ever seen my iphone x transfer files from the iphone to the NAS was 60 MB/s. Let's say you can get the best out of the ipad/iphone, then you will be getting a transfer rate of 125 MB/s. To put things in perspective a newer sd card can write 100-300 MB/s so yeah wireless is just not good enough. Also USB 2.0 max speed of 60 MB/s is just not fast enough anymore. I just wished Apple was up front on which iPad / iphone has USB 3.0.
All technically correct.



The point being that if you're transferring data over a cable then you're physically attached to whatever device it is that you're pulling the data from for as long as you're transferring the data. Hence the reason that speed matters right? Because it's not convenient to be always attached to the other device when transferring data.

But since you can also transfer data wirelessly, the inconvenience of using a cable is moot in many circumstances. Of course, I'm sure for the folks in this thread that's simply not the case, and you guys have special use cases where you need to be plugged in to get data to your iPad as fast as possible or it's a major issue and pain point. But I'd argue that for many (if not most) users transferring data over wifi is perfectly fine. If I'm chilling at home with my iPad and need to get data onto it then I can do that over wifi without being tethered to a laptop. So yeah, it's slower, but at least you're not tethered. And in most cases for most people the speed isn't an issue. You guys do wireless synching to iTunes right? You don't sit there plugging in your devices and waiting for them to sync?

Further, the new iPad Air has simultaneous wifi. I'm not sure what they specifically mean by this, but I believe they're talking about dual band concurrent wifi (2.4GHz and 5GHz vs 2.4GHz or 5GHz) . How fast that's going to be will depend on the antenna setup (and the capabilities of your home wifi setup) but it's possible that we may see faster Wifi. Sure it still won't be anywhere near as fast as USB3, but it's possible that it will be faster than the current wifi implementations in current iPads. Obviously it's also possible that it's going to be slower too if they've reduced the antenna matrix. Review sites are rarely great with doing reviews on the wireless metrics of these devices so we probably won't really know until it gets into the hands of a competent (in the context of wifi) user.
 

canesalato

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Jan 31, 2010
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I wasn't referring to AirDrop, I was referring to Wifi.



I'm talking about transferring data locally. Like from a local resource (an SD card) to a local device, such as an iPad, over Wifi.



All technically correct.



The point being that if you're transferring data over a cable then you're physically attached to whatever device it is that you're pulling the data from for as long as you're transferring the data. Hence the reason that speed matters right? Because it's not convenient to be always attached to the other device when transferring data.

But since you can also transfer data wirelessly, the inconvenience of using a cable is moot in many circumstances. Of course, I'm sure for the folks in this thread that's simply not the case, and you guys have special use cases where you need to be plugged in to get data to your iPad as fast as possible or it's a major issue and pain point. But I'd argue that for many (if not most) users transferring data over wifi is perfectly fine. If I'm chilling at home with my iPad and need to get data onto it then I can do that over wifi without being tethered to a laptop. So yeah, it's slower, but at least you're not tethered. And in most cases for most people the speed isn't an issue. You guys do wireless synching to iTunes right? You don't sit there plugging in your devices and waiting for them to sync?

Further, the new iPad Air has simultaneous wifi. I'm not sure what they specifically mean by this, but I believe they're talking about dual band concurrent wifi (2.4GHz and 5GHz vs 2.4GHz or 5GHz) . How fast that's going to be will depend on the antenna setup (and the capabilities of your home wifi setup) but it's possible that we may see faster Wifi. Sure it still won't be anywhere near as fast as USB3, but it's possible that it will be faster than the current wifi implementations in current iPads. Obviously it's also possible that it's going to be slower too if they've reduced the antenna matrix. Review sites are rarely great with doing reviews on the wireless metrics of these devices so we probably won't really know until it gets into the hands of a competent (in the context of wifi) user.
I don't want to be rude. I'll just say I strongly disagree that the workflow you proposed is viable. Sure, it looks cool on paper. I tried to make what you say work many time, the last one my 2019 iPad Pro and the fastest wifi specs available. Eventually, i managed to make it work. It was a horrible experience.. third party apps and devices needed, missing support from Apple Files, buggy iOS samba implementation, very very slow transfer, the iPad aborting the operations after going standby for a few minutes. Having to keep the "file management" (doesn't matter which) app open because returning to the home screen resulted in the end of the operation, due to iOS half-baked multitasking implementation.
No, I'm sorry, it's a mess. Too cumbersome to set up for occasional use, too buggy, slow and unreliable for professional/frequent use. In my opinion.
 
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Howard2k

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I don't want to be rude. I'll just say I strongly disagree that the workflow you proposed is viable. Sure, it looks cool on paper. I tried to make what you say work many time, the last one my 2019 iPad Pro and the fastest wifi specs available. Eventually, i managed to make it work. It was a horrible experience.. third party apps and devices needed, missing support from Apple Files, buggy iOS samba implementation, very very slow transfer, the iPad aborting the operations after going standby for a few minutes. Having to keep the "file management" (doesn't matter which) app open because returning to the home screen resulted in the end of the operation, due to iOS half-baked multitasking implementation.
No, I'm sorry, it's a mess. Too cumbersome to set up for occasional use, too buggy, slow and unreliable for professional/frequent use. In my opinion.

Hey you're entitled to your opinion.
I use mine in this fashion and it works well. I'm not a "Pro" iPad user, but I don't think that the Pro user base is the target market for this iPad.

I can't remember the last time I transferred data over a cable. I did plug in the other day to update the Coconut Battery stats, but that's about it. I sync via wifi and access data from my NAS via wifi and it works great. Spectacularly well actually. As I said, I almost never need to plug in.
 
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rui no onna

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Oct 25, 2013
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... the iPad aborting the operations after going standby for a few minutes. Having to keep the "file management" (doesn't matter which) app open because returning to the home screen resulted in the end of the operation, due to iOS half-baked multitasking implementation. ...
Definitely agree on this point. Apple needs to allow background downloads longer than, what, 5-10 minutes for 3rd party apps. Maybe add an option to choose which apps are allowed to do that in the Settings menu in case of privacy/battery life concerns.