iPad Pro iPad OS Drive/SD Card Test

macduke

macrumors G4
Original poster
Jun 27, 2007
10,568
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MAJOR EDIT:

I have conducted my own test now. The setup:
  • iPad Pro 2018 12.9"
  • USB-C to USB-A adapter cable
  • An old, cheap USB-A 3.0 four port hub
  • Sony UHS-II USB-A SD card adapter
  • Sandisk Extreme Pro 64GB 300MB/s card exFAT
  • G-Drive 5400 RPM 2TB External Drive exFAT
  • Samsung T5 2TB SSD exFAT
I was able to get the card, spinning drive, and SSD to mount! I was able to successfully copy all 50 42MP RAW files from the SD card to the G-Drive, but haven't yet tested the SSD because I was making backups of it before plugging it into a beta system when I recorded the video. And yes, this was all running off of bus power, as pictured below! Here is a photo of the setup (it's not pretty, but it works, and I have a cleaner docking solution coming in the mail from Hyper):

IMG_2337.jpg

Here is a video showing the copy test. This was going to a portable spinning drive, so it wasn't very fast. I did the math it was only going about 15MB/s, which seems pretty slow since the spinning drive was mostly empty.

http://aduke.co/s8hZ08

I later tried with my Samsung T5, and it was acting weird. I had tried to do the same test with all three plugged in, but it got stuck going SUPER slow (like the first photo was probably 4-5 minutes) and it eventually looked like it copied that photo over, but there didn't seem to be any way to cancel the copy in-progress for the rest of the files. I had to delete the test folder I was copying into and when I recreated the test folder and went into it, it was still trying to copy all the files in there! Super weird. So I deleted the folder again and made a folder called "Test 2" and that seemed to clear out the issue at hand. So I unplugged everything and remounted and tried again in the Test 2 folder and tried to just move one photo over. It ended up making a Zero KB file and then the actual 43MB file was spinning next to it for several minutes and then started slowly loading like the first time. The loading circle got like maybe around a quarter of the way around (I wasn't watching closely) and then it suddenly popped in and got rid of the empty file and the thumbnail for the RAW file loaded. I tried another file and it was instantaneous! So I deleted both files and then dragged them back over from the SD card and it did the Zero KB file thing and had both of them grayed out with the spinning indicator for a bit longer (maybe 6-7 minutes) and one photo popped in and then the other one slowly loaded in about 3 minutes later. I then tried to copy over two more and it did the same thing again, but at first the two photos I already had in there changed to Zero KB as well. I think it's just buggy with SSDs? G-Drive worked perfectly, though, albeit slower. I then tried dragging in another single photo, and it copied very quickly. Then another, and it was also quick. Then another, and it went very slowly. Just sounds like standard buggy beta fare. I tried the SSD on different ports on my hub and it didn't matter.

I tried copying all those RAW photos from the SD card to the iPad and did the math and it transferred at 108MB/s. I tried copying the photos from the iPad to the SSD and it was still really slow for one photo, but it was faster than before taking about a minute to transfer. I tried copying from the SSD to the iPad and it was really fast, about 167MB/s. I tried copying from the SSD to the SD Card and it was slow, but not brutally slow like it was transferring to it, just really slow at about 8MB/s. Keep in mind this was a 500-550MB/s SSD transferring to a UHS-II USB 3.0 SD card reader with a 300MB/s professional card in it. Hopefully this improves as the beta wears on!

I should also add that I've been testing this for several hours with the display on and at least two, sometimes three drives plugged in, including a mechanical one that must use more power. The battery has dropped from around 75% to 25% during this time of around 3 hours (I didn't pay close attention to the times). This is actually better than I expected, because any time I use externals with my MBP it seems to drain it pretty quickly, and my iPad hasn't gone to sleep this whole time.

So far I'm impressed, even with the issues, because both drives and the SD reader can all be powered on the same bus using my janky setup and copy files across. I think the issues will be ironed out over the summer. Maybe some of the issues are to do with my old USB 3.0 hub, or the USB-C to USB-A adapter, and the lack of testing of various setups thus far. I have a HyperDrive hub for iPad Pro 2018 coming in the mail, so I will do more testing with that, along with further tests as the beta moves along.

Oh, and as I was finishing this up, I got a "Content Unavailable" over on my iPad display for both sides of the Files app. Then at one point it flickered to say something about it couldn't connect to the server. I think it's just another bit of buggy behavior. I haven't tested it with SMB yet.

I hope this was useful for someone, as I spent many hours testing this out and putting this together.



-------------------------------------

Original Post:

Has anyone tested the following scenario on iPadOS using a 2018 iPad Pro with USB-C? I haven't installed it yet, but might around the third beta if it seems stable enough before I go on vacation. I'm wanting to do the following:
  • USB-C on iPad to USB-C hub (non-powered)
  • Samsung T5 SSD plugged into one port
  • Apple SD Card Adapter USB-C (UHS-II speed)
  • Transfer Sony a7R III RAW photos directly from 64GB UHS-II Sandisk and Sony SD Cards (~300MB/s) to Samsung T5 SSD (~500MB/s) without plugging it into the wall for power. I'll also be transferring 4K HDR video from a Sandisk 128GB UHS-I SD Card (~150MB/s).
Does the iPad Pro 12.9" (or even the 11") support this? Has anyone tested? What about with an adapter that has a built-in SD slot (most I've seen are UHS-I speed) and USB port, if that uses less power because it's slower? If not, does this work ok with a powered hub?

I'm hoping I can leave my bulky MBP behind which I will basically just use to transfer files.

Thanks!
 
Last edited:

GrindedDown

macrumors 6502a
Jun 4, 2009
602
155
Las Vegas
Has anyone tested the following scenario on iPadOS using a 2018 iPad Pro with USB-C? I haven't installed it yet, but might around the third beta if it seems stable enough before I go on vacation. I'm wanting to do the following:
  • USB-C on iPad to USB-C hub (non-powered)
  • Samsung T5 SSD plugged into one port
  • Apple SD Card Adapter USB-C (UHS-II speed)
  • Transfer Sony a7R III RAW photos directly from 64GB UHS-II Sandisk and Sony SD Cards (~300MB/s) to Samsung T5 SSD (~500MB/s) without plugging it into the wall for power. I'll also be transferring 4K HDR video from a Sandisk 128GB UHS-I SD Card (~150MB/s).
Does the iPad Pro 12.9" (or even the 11") support this? Has anyone tested? What about with an adapter that has a built-in SD slot (most I've seen are UHS-I speed) and USB port, if that uses less power because it's slower? If not, does this work ok with a powered hub?

I'm hoping I can leave my bulky MBP behind which I will basically just use to transfer files.

Thanks!
I just installed the beta before work. I’ll be testing things like this out later this evening with my hub, hard drive, and a7iii. I’ll let you know the results. From what I have seen so far though is that you can in fact transfer files between hard drives and as cards without having to store anything on iPad. I’ll confirm this later.
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Original poster
Jun 27, 2007
10,568
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Central U.S.
I just installed the beta before work. I’ll be testing things like this out later this evening with my hub, hard drive, and a7iii. I’ll let you know the results. From what I have seen so far though is that you can in fact transfer files between hard drives and as cards without having to store anything on iPad. I’ll confirm this later.
Thanks and good luck! I think I might wait until beta 3. Let me know if it seems stable as I assume you have a 2018 iPad Pro?
 
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Aditya rathee

macrumors regular
May 1, 2019
127
23
India
I just installed the beta before work. I’ll be testing things like this out later this evening with my hub, hard drive, and a7iii. I’ll let you know the results. From what I have seen so far though is that you can in fact transfer files between hard drives and as cards without having to store anything on iPad. I’ll confirm this later.
Does apple support ntfs format or yu have to make use of old fat32 ?
 

AutomaticApple

macrumors 68020
Nov 28, 2018
2,062
669
Massachusetts
Has anyone tested the following scenario on iPadOS using a 2018 iPad Pro with USB-C? I haven't installed it yet, but might around the third beta if it seems stable enough before I go on vacation. I'm wanting to do the following:
  • USB-C on iPad to USB-C hub (non-powered)
  • Samsung T5 SSD plugged into one port
  • Apple SD Card Adapter USB-C (UHS-II speed)
  • Transfer Sony a7R III RAW photos directly from 64GB UHS-II Sandisk and Sony SD Cards (~300MB/s) to Samsung T5 SSD (~500MB/s) without plugging it into the wall for power. I'll also be transferring 4K HDR video from a Sandisk 128GB UHS-I SD Card (~150MB/s).
Does the iPad Pro 12.9" (or even the 11") support this? Has anyone tested? What about with an adapter that has a built-in SD slot (most I've seen are UHS-I speed) and USB port, if that uses less power because it's slower? If not, does this work ok with a powered hub?

I'm hoping I can leave my bulky MBP behind which I will basically just use to transfer files.

Thanks!
I might install the public beta to test this out.
 

dsusanj

macrumors newbie
Oct 29, 2008
27
9
Thx bud but i am asking about ntfs yu havent mentioned it lol
He hasn't mentioned it because NTFS is not supported. Given that macOS does not support writing to NTFS drives either, at least not without some tinkering to enable experimental support for writing, it is not likely to be supported in iPadOS either. Use ExFAT on external drives for interoperability with PCs...
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Original poster
Jun 27, 2007
10,568
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Central U.S.
I'm really surprised that nobody has tried this yet. Figured I would get more responses. Guess I will have to install the beta on my iPad Pro sooner rather than later.

Also, I feel like we need an iPadOS forum now.
 

bradbomb

macrumors 6502
Jan 7, 2002
337
116
Los Angeles, CA
I tried testing yesterday on my 2015 1st Gen iPad Pro 12.9 with this:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07GJ9TYWP/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

And a USB hub. Both my 256GB flash drive and 256 GB SD card were mounting in Files, but copies were failing to each other. I thought I had tried copying between two flash drives last week using that adapter and a different USB hub and it worked fine, but it wasn't working yesterday. I'm going to try the other hub today when I bring it home from my office.

On a separate note, I got my portable 5TB drive to mount when I had both power going to the adapter and power going to the USB hub. Without power to the USB hub, the 5TB drive would not mount.
 
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macduke

macrumors G4
Original poster
Jun 27, 2007
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I tried testing yesterday on my 2015 1st Gen iPad Pro 12.9 with this:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07GJ9TYWP/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

And a USB hub. Both my 256GB flash drive and 256 GB SD card were mounting in Files, but copies were failing to each other. I thought I had tried copying between two flash drives last week using that adapter and a different USB hub and it worked fine, but it wasn't working yesterday. I'm going to try the other hub today when I bring it home from my office.

On a separate note, I got my portable 5TB drive to mount when I had both power going to the adapter and power going to the USB hub. Without power to the USB hub, the 5TB drive would not mount.
Interesting. Thanks for the test! Hopefully the 2018 has enough power for both since it’s USB-C and can charge an iPhone. I’m really tempted to try it out this weekend now but I don’t have a USB-C hub.

I just looked at your hub on amazon. Said it doesn’t support hard drives and synchronization (transferring files between?). Weird.

I just searched around for a bit and wasn’t having much luck with USB-C to USB-C hubs. Many of them go to USB-A, or might have one USB-C and one USB-C charging port. I found some smaller splitters but they are for headphone USB-C so you can charge on one port and listen on the other and the charge port doesn’t seem to support data. I have a USB-A cable that came with my Samsung T5 as well, but I’d prefer to be all USB-C to mitigate issues with power delivery. Idk. Will definitely need to take some time to research more. I feel like USB is more complicated than ever.
 

gnomeisland

macrumors 6502a
Jul 30, 2008
644
319
New York, NY
I’ve installed the beta and can’t get any files to copy to the iPad itself so one users experience may not be indicative anyways.
[doublepost=1561600463][/doublepost]Incidentally the OWC travel hub does support UHS-II but the USB-C port appears to be power only. Haven’t tested it much as I don’t have any USB-C drives ATM.
 

bensisko

macrumors 65816
Jul 24, 2002
1,463
1,287
The Village
Haven't installed iPadOS on my 11" Pro because there's no way I'm installing a Beta on my main machine (so no USB-C testing for me until release).

I did install it on my 10.5" iPad and copying to and from hard drives seems to work well enough. I noticed that Photos does not work any better with importing photos from a non-standard camera filesystem on an SD card (I have a Samsung Galaxy Camera - Import to the iPad never worked on SD, but I easily solved the problem by connecting via WiFi - Photos still does not recognize the import folder with the SD Reader, though I can import via Files).
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Original poster
Jun 27, 2007
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I’ve installed the beta and can’t get any files to copy to the iPad itself so one users experience may not be indicative anyways.
[doublepost=1561600463][/doublepost]Incidentally the OWC travel hub does support UHS-II but the USB-C port appears to be power only. Haven’t tested it much as I don’t have any USB-C drives ATM.
That OWC travel hub looks great on paper. Please keep us posted. Were you using that hub to copy the files or were you doing it directly from the drive? If it's a bigger drive, it might need more power. Have you tried using the hub with and without the USB-C power cable attached to give it a boost? Thanks.
 

macduke

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Ok guys, I think I've found a winner! It's pricey, but I've been doing a lot of research and it seems like a lot of USB-C hubs are really finicky with the iPad Pro. This is the only evidence I've seen of a hub working flawlessly on iPadOS with transferring multiple files between devices. It's the HyperDrive iPad Pro hub, which I think might have been mentioned on MacRumors a while back. Not only could he plugin in an SD Card and external drive, but that external drive was a higher power usage non-SSD and then to top things off, he plugs in a USB-C thumb drive to the other port! This looks amazing, and you can see the hub itself in action at the 3:30 mark:


A few thoughts:
  • It's expensive for a USB-C hub, but it's a tool that would work perfect for me and allow me to travel light
  • It's also backwards compatible with Macs and has a removable shim
  • If for some reason your drive did need PD, such as for charging or maybe using a desktop drive, you couldn't use the lone USB-C port
  • The SD card reader is only UHS-I, but I saw an article where they did a speed test of the Samsung T5 connected to the iPad Pro, and it could only transfer files at about 160MB/s (iPad Pro SSD speed limit?). UHS-II is around 300MB/s, and UHS-I is usually around 100MB/s.
I recently got a UHS-I 128GB Sandisk SD card that does 150MB/s which came for free with my Sony FE 100-400 GM. So IDK if these UHS-I readers will actually go up to that or if this is some marketing BS. The bus speed might be higher in the UHS-I spec or something, but it might also depend on the reader. I'll have to do some testing between my various readers and cards to know for sure. I think UHS-I cards faster than 95MB/s are a fairly recent development, while UHS-II up to 300MB/s has been available for a few years. I have some UHS-II for my a7R III and use this new 128GB card in the second slot for video, which is only a UHS-I slot anyway. Anyone know how that all works with the UHS-I speeds?

Anyway, I have placed my order for this hub. It doesn't seem like it's on Amazon yet so you have to order from their site but they take PayPal and Amazon. I found this code which worked for 10% off: fb10off. Here is the link to buy it: https://www.hypershop.com/products/hyperdrive-6-in-1-hub-for-ipad-pro-2018
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Original poster
Jun 27, 2007
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I have updated my original post above with a lot of testing, a photo of my setup, and even a screen recording video.
 

jonnieboy

macrumors newbie
Oct 13, 2014
6
0
Hi. Does anyone here is able to help me test if Sandisk Extreme Portable SSD works with iOS 13 on ipad pro? Able to view the files on the SSD?

Thank you! :)
 

gnomeisland

macrumors 6502a
Jul 30, 2008
644
319
New York, NY
That OWC travel hub looks great on paper. Please keep us posted. Were you using that hub to copy the files or were you doing it directly from the drive? If it's a bigger drive, it might need more power. Have you tried using the hub with and without the USB-C power cable attached to give it a boost? Thanks.
I can’t really say. Pre-13 the hub worked great —really fast SD card reader! Now none of my hubs/adapters work at all. Files will see the drives and usually the files but I haven’t successfully copied anything. Until I’m running a stable (or at least working) version of the OS I couldn’t claim any of my results as definitive.
 
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Krevnik

macrumors 68040
Sep 8, 2003
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The SD card reader is only UHS-I, but I saw an article where they did a speed test of the Samsung T5 connected to the iPad Pro, and it could only transfer files at about 160MB/s (iPad Pro SSD speed limit?). UHS-II is around 300MB/s, and UHS-I is usually around 100MB/s.
There could be some limit imposed by how the A-series CPUs implement USB. There may also be overhead because there's no "eject" process for these drives, so I suspect OS may be causing some writes to be forcibly flushed through the drive cache which will hurt performance.

I should probably pull out my HyperDrive and play with it on iOS 13.

Hi. Does anyone here is able to help me test if Sandisk Extreme Portable SSD works with iOS 13 on ipad pro? Able to view the files on the SSD?

Thank you! :)
I've got the 250GB version, and it's been working fine with ExFAT with my 2018 11" Pro. Pretty much any USB Mass Storage device should so long as it gets enough power.
 
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muzzy996

macrumors 6502
Feb 16, 2018
482
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Boy, two usb-c ports on the next iPad Pro each capable of powering portable hard drives would be sweet now that drive to drive copying is a reality.
 
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macduke

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Boy, two usb-c ports on the next iPad Pro each capable of powering portable hard drives would be sweet now that drive to drive copying is a reality.
It would be really difficult for me to not upgrade my iPad if the next one has two USB-C ports. I wonder where they would put the second one? Apple tends to design things symmetrical. I suppose they could center both on the bottom next to each other, but that would be annoying for people who use docks. Although come to think of it, I'm not sure if I've seen a USB-C standing dock for the iPad Pro or whether the USB-C connector is a good candidate for supporting a device. I'm leaning towards nope.
 
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sracer

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Apr 9, 2010
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It would be really difficult for me to not upgrade my iPad if the next one has two USB-C ports. I wonder where they would put the second one? Apple tends to design things symmetrical. I suppose they could center both on the bottom next to each other, but that would be annoying for people who use docks. Although come to think of it, I'm not sure if I've seen a USB-C standing dock for the iPad Pro or whether the USB-C connector is a good candidate for supporting a device. I'm leaning towards nope.
Apple hasn't been symmetrical with regard to the iPad for quite a while... especially when it comes to bezels.

I think if they would add a 2nd USB-C port (I highly doubt it) it would need to be on the long edge opposite the side of the volume rocker. They also need to move the front-facing camera to the long edge on the side of the volume rocker. Apple's cases and covers only allow for the iPad to stand in landscape mode and yet they continue to keep the camera oriented for portrait mode use.
 
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