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

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 27, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    The 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.

    Article Link: iOS 9.3 Beta 2 Allows iPad Pro's Smart Connector to Update Accessory Firmware
  2. Speedman100 macrumors 6502


    Jul 21, 2013
  3. ipedro macrumors 68040


    Nov 30, 2004
    Toronto, ON
    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.
  4. FloatingBones macrumors 65816


    Jul 19, 2006
    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). I'm amused how Apple imitates life to have a single interface for power and information.
  5. appleguy123 macrumors 604


    Apr 1, 2009
    15 minutes in the future
    Like pretty much every other connector on a mobile device ever?
  6. btrach144 macrumors 65816


    Aug 28, 2015
    Lol sounds like you need to get out more
  7. farewelwilliams macrumors 68000

    Jun 18, 2014
    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?
  8. Max(IT) Suspended


    Dec 8, 2009
    very interesting news...
    How's limited to iPad Pro's connector ?
  9. haruhiko macrumors 601


    Sep 29, 2009
    Just like your PS/2 keyboard port from 1987?

  10. Junipr, Jan 27, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2016

    Junipr macrumors regular


    May 4, 2011
    Bro, relax.

    EDIT: Don't get me wrong, I love bionics, super interesting. The delivery here is just grossly technical.
  11. KiwiAdventure macrumors 6502a

    Dec 7, 2010
    New Zealand
    I have a iPad Pro and it has poor battery time so their is no point in charging things using the Pro.
  12. vthree macrumors member

    Sep 23, 2009
    This will be amazing if it works with car play some time in the future.
  13. JonneyGee macrumors 6502


    Jun 8, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    I'd love to see Lightning accessories given the same treatment.
  14. MH01 Suspended


    Feb 11, 2008
  15. SeaFox macrumors 68020


    Jul 22, 2003
    Somewhere Else
    Shouldn't you guys be watching some sportsball and drinking a Mountain Dew?
  16. atlatnesiti macrumors 6502a

    Sep 4, 2008
    Sydney, Australia
    As a muso myself, I'm definitely with you on that one.
    Still, it puzzles me that with all the power available on iPad Pro, that Apple haven't released Logic version for iPad Pro, nor any main software developers like Ableton, Steinberg, Propellerhead, erc;
    iPad Pro has enough CPU power right now to run all of these...
    What gives..?!
  17. ipedro macrumors 68040


    Nov 30, 2004
    Toronto, ON
    It's only been out for a few months. Apple hasn't released *any* pro level apps specifically for iPad Pro. I expect that to change over the post-PC transition that is now accelerating. Tim Cook is now openly calling the iPad a "PC replacement".

    I'm sure that there are working versions of Mac apps for iOS in a Cupertino lab. Logic and Final Cut Pro would both be incredible on an iPad Pro but we need to remember that those apps were designed for a mouse centric UI. It's quite possible that Apple is re-working those apps for a touch interface. iMovie and Garageband for iOS provide the template to follow.

    We're early adopters of this new Pro platform. I'm patiently waiting over this first year to see how things develop. Apple clearly has a professional end user in mind and being the newest device in the Apple lineup, I'm sure that they have a strategy to make it a hit in that market.
  18. atlatnesiti macrumors 6502a

    Sep 4, 2008
    Sydney, Australia
    I do understand all of your points, but shouldn't be Apple "leading by example"..?
    As it is, most, if not all developers are sitting on the proverbial fence and refuse to develop specicaly for iPad Pro...
    As it it is right now, iPad Pro is just a 13" version of iPad Air 2 with bigger screen realestate I'm afraid :(
  19. Zirel Suspended


    Jul 24, 2015
    No, just like your ADB port from 1986:

  20. jonnysods macrumors 603


    Sep 20, 2006
    There & Back Again
  21. navaira macrumors 68040


    May 28, 2015
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    The most amazing piece of information here for me is that keyboards now get firmware updates.
  22. sghigliotty macrumors newbie


    Jan 28, 2016
    I just updated my Logitech Create case...worked like a charm!
  23. Tech198 macrumors G4

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth
  24. ProjectManager101 Suspended


    Jul 12, 2015
    Ok... can someone explain me.... Why and iPad can not transmit midi over USB? That is the most idiotic thing Apple have done, in order to transfer midi you need wifi or blue tooth = latency + dropped signal. Why I can not have my virtual instrument in the iPad and connect it to my Mac and have it recognized.

    That is why I do not trust Apple, they block features.
  25. Eric5273 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 12, 2009
    New Jersey
    I'm curious to see what other sorts of smart connector accessories we will see in the future. What would be cool is if someone could build some sort of docking station that allows you to connect a keyboard and some other accessories.

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