iPad Pro Email response from Craig Federighi re: external storage iPad Pro

Macintosh101

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 23, 2017
118
139
So I emailed Craig Federighi about a few things. I mentioned to him that Tim Cook had just said that he believed that Apple’s creates contribution to humanity would be around health, and I suggested that I hoped it would be also around the issue of privacy. I also talked about screen time. I then asked Craig about external hard drive support on the iPad Pro - i.e the ability to use the usbc-c port to access any external hard drive, something which is an ongoing frustration of mine.


I wrote:


On a separate note, I need to request something. One of the reasons I and so many others use Apple devices and their ecosystem is “it just works”. I have an iPad Pro 2018, which is my favourite device Apple has made. There are instances where it would be incredibly helpful to be able to use the usb-c port to access a flash drive or external hard drive both personally and professionally. A couple of case examples: the other night my fiancé and I wanted to look at old photos stored on a drive. I did not want to import these photos in the ‘photos’ app, or upload them to iCloud. I simply wanted to access them off the drive. I had to use the ‘workaround’ of a wireless drive, which is not ideal as these have slow transfer speeds. A professional example would be when a colleague needed me to open a large document on my iPad - she could not email it as the file size was too big, and was not allowed to upload it to any cloud servers for security reasons. Neither could she ‘airdrop’ it to me as it was on her work PC. Had I had my MacBook, I could have simply used her flash drive to open the document up, but was unable to do this on my iPad Pro. This has been a very long-standing frustration of mine. It goes agains the mantra of ‘it just works’. If I was able to access a hard drive using my usb-c port and see the contents on the ‘files’ app, my life would be incredibly more straightforward (and less stressful), and much more productive. I also believe that allowing users this basic function would lead to increased sales and investment in the iOS platform. I do not believe that allowing such a function would cannibalise sales of other product lines, such as MacBook Pros, as professionals like myself will always need a range of different devices to suit our needs (I myself own an iPhone, a MacBook Pro and iPad Pro and I upgrade every single year).


My response from Craig was:


“I’m glad that our dedication to privacy and our work on Screen Time resonate with you — we share your passion in these areas.


Also, thanks for you feedback on on connecting external storage to iPad Pro. We will definitely take this into account.”
 

Moakesy

macrumors 6502
Mar 1, 2013
315
497
UK
Well done on getting a response :)

They really need to open this up, as it is easily worked around with things like wireless drives so it just becomes incredibly frustrating. It's like those stores that have double doors, but always keep one locked. Inevitably you try the locked door first...and it's just an annoyance.

Open the damn USB-C port up to drives and I think it will actually drive sales up.
 
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Beards

macrumors 6502a
Mar 22, 2014
941
379
Derbyshire UK
If there was one thing I find missing in iOS that is basic 1-2-3, that would be Androids access to files and folders.
If my iPad Pro had this it would certainly make the tablet further in line to what Cook said
'Why would you buy a PC anymore?'
 
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Macintosh101

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 23, 2017
118
139
My thoughts exactly. Maybe they should make it an iPad Pro feature only, I’m not sure, but it would certainly drive up sales.

Well done on getting a response :)

They really need to open this up, as it is easily worked around with things like wireless drives so it just becomes incredibly frustrating. It's like those stores that have double doors, but always keep one locked. Inevitably you try the locked door first...and it's just an annoyance.

Open the damn USB-C port up to drives and I think it will actually drive sales up.
 
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Beards

macrumors 6502a
Mar 22, 2014
941
379
Derbyshire UK
My thoughts exactly. Maybe they should make it an iPad Pro feature only, I’m not sure, but it would certainly drive up sales.
Exactly....
Only this morning in another topic (in reference to the 1TB model), I said, “if Apple opened up iOS to allow files & folders access I would purchase a 1TB model in a heartbeat”.
As it stands and I have little to zero access, as such the only model that interests me is the much lower storage option.
 
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Moakesy

macrumors 6502
Mar 1, 2013
315
497
UK
As it stands and I have little to zero access, as such the only model that interests me is the much lower storage option.

If locking out drives were done for a good, sensible reason, I might understand it. As it is, it just seems that it's done to push customers to larger storage options, which is to assume something about your customer which is just false. You are a prime example of someone who would upgrade if the device was more open, so they are shooting themselves in the foot.

I'm a long time Apple fanboy, not even bothered to look at the competition. But now I, and many others, are considering other devices or at the very least, thinking twice before making a purchase. Apple need to wake up to what's happening....and quickly.
 
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BornAgainMac

macrumors 603
Feb 4, 2004
6,415
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Florida Resident
My 3 items on the iPad wish list are the following:
1) External Hard drive support (Most important)
2) Multiple accounts (Nice to have)
3) Mouse support (Nice to have)

One minor complaint is the keyboard doesn't have the Esc key. When I log into Linux machines, I have to use the on screen Esc key on the screen and I use `vi` a lot that requires the Esc key.
 
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Donka

macrumors 68030
May 3, 2011
2,779
1,399
Scotland
The irony for me is if they opened up the Files app for external drive support, I would likely end up purchasing the highest capacity iPad Pro they offered since I would now have a way to access a lot more content on the go and work with it.

I wouldn't expect us to be able to work with files directly on an external drive but at least connect any drive and have the ability to import any content in the Files app in a user documents folder or similar which any app can have access granted to - much in the way Photos currently works.
I would see the platform as more of a workhorse and having the larger capacity iPad would hold no concerns for me as there would be a fast and convenient way for me to offload content for backup.
 
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keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,537
25,262
My 3 items on the iPad wish list are the following:
1) External Hard drive support (Most important)
2) Multiple accounts (Nice to have)
3) Mouse support (Nice to have)

One minor complaint is the keyboard doesn't have the Esc key. When I log into Linux machines, I have to use the on screen Esc key on the screen and I use `vi` a lot that requires the Esc key.
Does an Apple Bluetooth computer keyboard work with the iPad? I'm just curious, I've never used one.

I know it's not much help even if it does, because it won't exactly clip together like the built in one. Just wondering if any BT keyboard is supported, or if it's just Apple keyboards, or if it's just Apple iPad keyboards. :D
 
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Moakesy

macrumors 6502
Mar 1, 2013
315
497
UK
The irony for me is if they opened up the Files app for external drive support, I would likely end up purchasing the highest capacity iPad Pro they offered since I would now have a way to access a lot more content on the go and work with it.

I wouldn't expect us to be able to work with files directly on an external drive but at least connect any drive and have the ability to import any content in the Files app in a user documents folder or similar which any app can have access granted to - much in the way Photos currently works.
I would see the platform as more of a workhorse and having the larger capacity iPad would hold no concerns for me as there would be a fast and convenient way for me to offload content for backup.
Exactly this....
 
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GerAlex73

macrumors member
Dec 26, 2018
35
16
My 3 items on the iPad wish list are the following:
1) External Hard drive support (Most important)
2) Multiple accounts (Nice to have)
3) Mouse support (Nice to have)

One minor complaint is the keyboard doesn't have the Esc key. When I log into Linux machines, I have to use the on screen Esc key on the screen and I use `vi` a lot that requires the Esc key.
1) External Hard drive support (Most important) -> super important for pro using
2) Multiple accounts (Nice to have) -> i would love it
3) Mouse support (Nice to have) -> important when used as an notebook replacement
 
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Beards

macrumors 6502a
Mar 22, 2014
941
379
Derbyshire UK
Does an Apple Bluetooth computer keyboard work with the iPad? I'm just curious, I've never used one.

I know it's not much help even if it does, because it won't exactly clip together like the built in one. Just wondering if any BT keyboard is supported, or if it's just Apple keyboards, or if it's just Apple iPad keyboards. :D
Yes, I used to use my iMac keyboard for a while whilst waiting on getting the Apple Smart Keyboard.
 
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Donka

macrumors 68030
May 3, 2011
2,779
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Scotland
Stay tuned for iOS 13!
There is a lot of pressure on Apple to deliver and pretty much every 2018 iPad Pro review has said the same thing that iOS13 needs to bring native external drive support to the iPad but I wouldn't assume it is a given. We may get some half baked support that cripples some of what we need to ensure they can keep charging a premium for larger capacity devices and more iCloud storage to further entrench you in the Apple ecosystem!

I would love to see true external drive support in the Files app though as I mentioned earlier.
 
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danniexi

macrumors 6502
Jan 7, 2012
354
262
Does an Apple Bluetooth computer keyboard work with the iPad? I'm just curious, I've never used one.

I know it's not much help even if it does, because it won't exactly clip together like the built in one. Just wondering if any BT keyboard is supported, or if it's just Apple keyboards, or if it's just Apple iPad keyboards. :D
Yes. Currently typing this response on my Magic Keyboard. The width is actually the same as the 12.9 so it matches perfectly. I am going back and forth on getting the Smart Keyboard folio and since it is back ordered, I figured I’d try using this combo instead for now.
 
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TheRealAlex

macrumors 68020
Sep 2, 2015
2,132
1,200
So I emailed Craig Federighi about a few things. I mentioned to him that Tim Cook had just said that he believed that Apple’s creates contribution to humanity would be around health, and I suggested that I hoped it would be also around the issue of privacy. I also talked about screen time. I then asked Craig about external hard drive support on the iPad Pro - i.e the ability to use the usbc-c port to access any external hard drive, something which is an ongoing frustration of mine.


I wrote:


On a separate note, I need to request something. One of the reasons I and so many others use Apple devices and their ecosystem is “it just works”. I have an iPad Pro 2018, which is my favourite device Apple has made. There are instances where it would be incredibly helpful to be able to use the usb-c port to access a flash drive or external hard drive both personally and professionally. A couple of case examples: the other night my fiancé and I wanted to look at old photos stored on a drive. I did not want to import these photos in the ‘photos’ app, or upload them to iCloud. I simply wanted to access them off the drive. I had to use the ‘workaround’ of a wireless drive, which is not ideal as these have slow transfer speeds. A professional example would be when a colleague needed me to open a large document on my iPad - she could not email it as the file size was too big, and was not allowed to upload it to any cloud servers for security reasons. Neither could she ‘airdrop’ it to me as it was on her work PC. Had I had my MacBook, I could have simply used her flash drive to open the document up, but was unable to do this on my iPad Pro. This has been a very long-standing frustration of mine. It goes agains the mantra of ‘it just works’. If I was able to access a hard drive using my usb-c port and see the contents on the ‘files’ app, my life would be incredibly more straightforward (and less stressful), and much more productive. I also believe that allowing users this basic function would lead to increased sales and investment in the iOS platform. I do not believe that allowing such a function would cannibalise sales of other product lines, such as MacBook Pros, as professionals like myself will always need a range of different devices to suit our needs (I myself own an iPhone, a MacBook Pro and iPad Pro and I upgrade every single year).


My response from Craig was:


“I’m glad that our dedication to privacy and our work on Screen Time resonate with you — we share your passion in these areas.


Also, thanks for you feedback on on connecting external storage to iPad Pro. We will definitely take this into account.”
Sorry that’s a canned response. That’s been pretyped, they just took two word you had in your topic and reused them to sound authentic.

It could have read. I’m glad that our dedication to raising prices and our work on data mining resonate with you - we share your passion in these areas.
 
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danniexi

macrumors 6502
Jan 7, 2012
354
262
Sorry that’s a canned response. That’s been pretyped, they just took two word you had in your topic and reused them to sound authentic.

It could have read. I’m glad that our dedication to raising prices and our work on data mining resonate with you - we share your passion in these areas.
Data mining? Raising prices to reach their target profit margins is one thing but I thought Apple was all about privacy and what not. Genuinely curious as I’m uneducated in the matter and would like to know more.
 
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Macintosh101

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 23, 2017
118
139
Sorry that’s a canned response. That’s been pretyped, they just took two word you had in your topic and reused them to sound authentic.

It could have read. I’m glad that our dedication to raising prices and our work on data mining resonate with you - we share your passion in these areas.
Pretty sure it wasn’t a “canned response”. My email was reasonably lengthy and I mentioned screentime and privacy in reference to other work related things, quite deep into the email. I didn’t copy that part of my email into my post here, as it referenced things to do with my work which I couldn’t share on this forum. At the end of my email to Craig I mentioned my desire to to use external drives with the USB-C port, and wanted to share his response to that part here.
 
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sracer

macrumors G3
Apr 9, 2010
8,603
9,216
Prescott Valley, AZ
Apple needs to include the following in order for me to consider buying another iPad Pro:
(my current iPad, 2018 iPad serves great as a digital notebook but that's as far as it goes)

1) Near full support for USB-attached peripherals. (not just storage... that's setting the bar low)
2) A universally accessible file system
3) Mouse support

Android and Chrome OS already do these things and do them well. I find my Pixelbook to be far more "pro" than my 12.9 iPad Pro... in no small part because it does those things and the iPad Pro doesn't.

I'd be fine if these features were exclusive to the Pro line. I could justify the current pricing if it could truly operate like a notebook AND a tablet for my needs and purposes.
 
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akash.nu

macrumors G3
May 26, 2016
8,523
9,547
Well done on getting a response :)

They really need to open this up, as it is easily worked around with things like wireless drives so it just becomes incredibly frustrating. It's like those stores that have double doors, but always keep one locked. Inevitably you try the locked door first...and it's just an annoyance.

Open the damn USB-C port up to drives and I think it will actually drive sales up.
If there was one thing I find missing in iOS that is basic 1-2-3, that would be Androids access to files and folders.
If my iPad Pro had this it would certainly make the tablet further in line to what Cook said
'Why would you buy a PC anymore?'
Opening the file system access will also mean opening the devices up to viruses / malware. It’s not as simple as it sounds.
 
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Macintosh101

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 23, 2017
118
139
Opening the file system access will also mean opening the devices up to viruses / malware. It’s not as simple as it sounds.
They don’t need to necessarily open up the whole file system, rather they could simply allow us to see the contents of external drives connected via USB-C in the “Files” app. From there the user could use the ‘share’ sheet to open / share the file with compatible apps, for example opening a PDF in PDF expert, etc.
 
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Seed101

macrumors 6502
Nov 11, 2015
366
263
So I emailed Craig Federighi about a few things. I mentioned to him that Tim Cook had just said that he believed that Apple’s creates contribution to humanity would be around health, and I suggested that I hoped it would be also around the issue of privacy. I also talked about screen time. I then asked Craig about external hard drive support on the iPad Pro - i.e the ability to use the usbc-c port to access any external hard drive, something which is an ongoing frustration of mine.


I wrote:


On a separate note, I need to request something. One of the reasons I and so many others use Apple devices and their ecosystem is “it just works”. I have an iPad Pro 2018, which is my favourite device Apple has made. There are instances where it would be incredibly helpful to be able to use the usb-c port to access a flash drive or external hard drive both personally and professionally. A couple of case examples: the other night my fiancé and I wanted to look at old photos stored on a drive. I did not want to import these photos in the ‘photos’ app, or upload them to iCloud. I simply wanted to access them off the drive. I had to use the ‘workaround’ of a wireless drive, which is not ideal as these have slow transfer speeds. A professional example would be when a colleague needed me to open a large document on my iPad - she could not email it as the file size was too big, and was not allowed to upload it to any cloud servers for security reasons. Neither could she ‘airdrop’ it to me as it was on her work PC. Had I had my MacBook, I could have simply used her flash drive to open the document up, but was unable to do this on my iPad Pro. This has been a very long-standing frustration of mine. It goes agains the mantra of ‘it just works’. If I was able to access a hard drive using my usb-c port and see the contents on the ‘files’ app, my life would be incredibly more straightforward (and less stressful), and much more productive. I also believe that allowing users this basic function would lead to increased sales and investment in the iOS platform. I do not believe that allowing such a function would cannibalise sales of other product lines, such as MacBook Pros, as professionals like myself will always need a range of different devices to suit our needs (I myself own an iPhone, a MacBook Pro and iPad Pro and I upgrade every single year).


My response from Craig was:


“I’m glad that our dedication to privacy and our work on Screen Time resonate with you — we share your passion in these areas.


Also, thanks for you feedback on on connecting external storage to iPad Pro. We will definitely take this into account.”
Good post.
i think this will happen...it's got to, right?
 
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akash.nu

macrumors G3
May 26, 2016
8,523
9,547
They don’t need to necessarily open up the whole file system, rather they could simply allow us to see the contents of external drives connected via USB-C in the “Files” app. From there the user could use the ‘share’ sheet to open / share the file with compatible apps, for example opening a PDF in PDF expert, etc.
Ok that’s just read access. I’m sure the minute that happens a lot of people will start shouting about write access as well.

Also don’t forget virus can be hidden as some other type of file. Unknowingly a user can easily compromise the system.
 
Last edited:
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KPOM

macrumors Pentium
Oct 23, 2010
15,015
3,421
My 3 items on the iPad wish list are the following:
1) External Hard drive support (Most important)
2) Multiple accounts (Nice to have)
3) Mouse support (Nice to have)

One minor complaint is the keyboard doesn't have the Esc key. When I log into Linux machines, I have to use the on screen Esc key on the screen and I use `vi` a lot that requires the Esc key.
Agreed on the escape key. Excel for iOS is pretty good, but I find myself reaching for the non-existent escape key at times.
 
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sracer

macrumors G3
Apr 9, 2010
8,603
9,216
Prescott Valley, AZ
Opening the file system access will also mean opening the devices up to viruses / malware. It’s not as simple as it sounds.
Not necessarily. Historically, how many sandboxed app storage areas have been hit by viruses and malware? I suspect the answer is "none". If a virus can't penetrate iOS to attack an individual sandbox, it won't be able to penetrate a storage space that is accessible to all apps on the system.

The sandboxing of storage is not a technical limitation, but a deliberate design decision by Apple to accomplish their purposes (some of which only Apple knows). One is "security" but it isn't the only reason and may not even be the most important one.
 
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