Thinking about buying an Ipad....why do I/don't I need a USB port???

Discussion in 'iPad General Discussions' started by Smudge, Dec 31, 2010.

  1. Smudge
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    Smudge iPF Novice

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    Hello,

    I am considering buying an Ipad. I am debating as to whether or not I should wait for the 2nd generation ipad or make a move now. I have read where one of the complaints with Ipads is that they do not have a USB port. I have very little experience with the ipad. What does not having a USB port limit me to not being able to do with the ipad? Is this an important missing feature of the ipad? What can I do through itunes or other ways that will accomplish what having a USB port will do? Thanks for any advice.
  2. peled
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    peled iPad Junkie

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    every one knows what you can do with a USB port on a Computer.
    Question is what it is going to do on the iPAD.
    Take a Camera. You would think that the most trivial thing would be to connect it to the iPAD "USB" port , activate some program, and copy all pictures to some directory.
    BUT.
    Look at how Apple is treating pictures today. You can hardly copy them the way you copy ePUB books or PDF files.
    You have to sync it through the iTune or other dedicated programs.

    So, what I am saying is, that USB on iPAD-2 Doesn't mean much unless you know what kind of support, they intend to give us.

    Would you be able to connect a Memory stick there ?
    Would you be able to put there some special USB protection device for special Top secret database ?
    Would it support devises other then Camera ?
    Would you be able to connect a printer ( What about drivers ?)

    For using USB devices properly, you need a "file system" and "driver system"- There is none on the iPAD (For now)
  3. MachThree
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    MachThree iPF Novice

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    I don't think the lack of a USB port and the (unlikely) possibility that it will be included in the iPad 2 are good reasons to wait for the iPad 2. There may certainly be good reasons to wait for the iPad 2, I just don't think that this is one of them.

    In theory, a USB port would allow you to connect an external storage device (like a USB thumb drive or an external hard drive), different input devices (keyboards, trackballs, mice), cameras, etc. External storage would probably be the biggest potential use of a USB port for most people.

    But chances are, even if apple includes a real USB port in the iPad 2, they'll limit what you can do with it and they won't support any sort of external storage devices.

    If you look at the current iPad, it has bluetooth, which could, in theory, be used with many different types of peripherals. But Apple has limited it to basically two - keyboards and headphones/speakers. I think if they put a USB port in the iPad 2, they'll similarly limit it.
  4. Superbike81
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    Superbike81 iPad Addict

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    The iPad already has a USB port (via the camera connection kit), but it can only be utilized if you jailbreak the iPad. Granted, it can be used a limited amount without jailbreaking, but not nearly as versatile as a computer.
  5. SweetPoison
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    SweetPoison iPad Legend

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    If I put my flash drive into the camera connection kit/USB, can I open the files on it, on the iPad?
  6. Superbike81
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    Superbike81 iPad Addict

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    If your iPad is jailbroken, and you have the right apps to interface with it, yes.
  7. SweetPoison
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    SweetPoison iPad Legend

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    Oh. Well I am not JB, and I doubt I have the apps. I always find out a little bit more info on that camera connection kit ~ every time, I decide more and more not to get one!
  8. gentlefury
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    gentlefury iPad Guru

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    I can guarantee you the iPad 2g will not have a standard USB port. It has no place on the device anyway. What would it be used for? Mouse? It's a touchscreen. Keyboard? Bluetooth. USB headphones and mic? They work with the cam connection kit. Printer? I do that over wifi. Hard drives? Why? It's a portable and extremely remote/cloud friendly device! I cant fill half it's internal memory...what do I need a hard drive sticking out of it for. Oh and if you really have the need for one you can jailbreak and use the camera connection kit.

    So many people complain about the lack of standard USB....but I just can't understand why. It also doesn't have a DVD drive....no floppy either.
  9. ipadded
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    ipadded iPF Noob

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    Why the need for a proper (non-limited) USB port? You mention and deny the need for exteral storage. I need that storage. Not all the time, but as a place for archiving. I am an artist (photos and video). I am quite capable of using up 64gb and more in one photo shoot. I've done it before many times. Many of us had hoped the ipad would be more than a glorified toy. We wanted a device that could do all that our desk/laptops could do, but with much greater ease and intuitive actions. There are plenty of very good and valid reasons for the inclusion of non-limited ports on any high end device, if you're wlling to consider all the various things for which such devices can be used. I and many others do not want to be required to have a variety of different computing devices because some can or are intentonally limited to only a few things. It may help sell products and boost the economy, but it makes the things we do far more complicated, difficult and unpleasant. These devices were all (from the Apple II and other first generation microcomputers onward) were supposed to make our lives easier and more productive, not less so.
  10. theipadstudent
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    theipadstudent iPF Novice

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    I guess the question is what do you do through a USB port that you would want to do through the iPad? Since the USB is a Universal Serial Bus, the devices/uses for a standard computer with USB ports can be quite broad. However, there are so many apps available for the iPad that can do such a wide range of things, the iPad is becoming somewhat universal in its own right.

    The only practical limit I can see is the lack of connecting a USB flash drive to it and using it for external storage. This can be accomplished through jailbreaking, but I personally wouldn't go through the trouble. For me to work around this I use external cloud storage services like DrobBox or Box.net which sync all the files I have stored on their services to my iPad, iPhone, and PC. If I need to quickly access a file, a picture for example on my iPad but the picture is on my PC, I can just drag the picture to my DropBox folder and the picture will be automatically downloaded to my iPad once I enter the DropBox app.

    I have the iPad connection kit with includes a USB port, but I hardly use it. In fact, the only time I've used it was to test out what would work if I plugged different USB devices into it. I haven't used it since, nor do I see myself needing to in the future.
  11. gentlefury
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    gentlefury iPad Guru

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    Well if you are using it for a professional purpose why would you use an iPad? Data transfer with the dongle is painfully slow and for that purpose it lacks storage..and external storage would be annoying. I guess if you want to use it as a live contact sheet you could just jailbreak and pop SD cards in and view them as you go.

    Just seems like you would be better off bringing a Macbook to a shoot and then using a remote login like splashtop to show the client on the iPad.
  12. Hasty
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    Hasty iPad Ninja

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    Ipadded you are unfortunately not the target customer apple envisioned for the iPad :(
    Sure it would be great if it did everything everyone wanted but no device is that capable.

    I expect though that larger storage will become an option in the new range of machine debuting this new year.

    For myself with streaming, vpn, evernote and dropbox apps I've never had the need for extra room and probably use less now than I did several months ago.
  13. chowdown
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    This seems to hit the nail on the head and is the crux of the matter

    I suspect the same thing could be said about me. The iPad is great and all, but for my needs it would be so much more useful if I could stick a flash drive in it and get a pdf or doc or xls onto it without going through the rigmarole of email or DropBox or iTunes, all of which require internet access, which is not always a given for me.This is something that I currently do very frequently at work. The flash drive is more for file transfer than storage.

    Btw, jailbreak + camera connection kit = usb port? No, only in a very limited way. But I'm not whinging about it, because I'm
  14. DaveSt
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    I think the biggest benefit from a USB port is exactly what Apple with most likely never give us: access to external storage. I travel to lots off places that don't have any wifi or 3G coverage at all. The only files I have access to are those that I can copy to the internal memory of my device. It would be nice in those cases to be able to access files from external storage. The only way I could ever see Apple giving us that functionality is to simply sell only two iPad models, one with 3G and one without. There would be no reason to sell models with more or less internal memory and that would take away a huge profit maker for Apple. From Apple's pointy of view, I understand not allowing access to external storage, but I still wish we had it.

    I thought that access to external devices had been seriously limited with the release of iOS 4.2.1. There is much less power supplied to the dock connector than there used to be.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2010
  15. epb
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    Only the files it recognizes - typically image files.
  16. DavidM
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    The iPad was never intended to be a laptop. If that's what you are after buy one.
  17. Seadog
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    Seadog Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The more things you carry with your iPad, the less mobile it becomes. You can get a keyboard that works with it, and USB port devices. When I first got my iPad, I started carrying all sorts of items with it in a bag. Then I got a cover with storage. Now I am just carrying the iPad alone with a protective cover. The whole purpose of the device is to get away from the tons of gadgets that we use with our computers. There are plenty of netbooks and the MacBook Air to meet the demand for a full computer. The iPad is a wonderful device, but it is limited in function by design. The more that is added does nothing for the device.
  18. DaveSt
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    Fair point but I don't really see plugging a USB stick into the Ipad as adding too much bulk or a ton of gadgets to the device. Heck, I carry one on my keychain all the time as it is. I think such functionality would add a huge amount to the device. I know it is pointless to debate, we will most likely never get it anyhow. I just think it would be nice to be able to grab a pdf or perhaps a few pictures from someone easily without having to find a laptop first.
  19. Jeeper
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    I'd like to be able to load my iPod nano directly from the iPad (songs I've purchased while browsing at home) w/o having to drag them both over to the laptop (which I usually leave at work). I could then play my new tunes in the car on the way there:)
  20. DaveSt
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    And not use Itunes? What kind of blasphemy is this?? :D

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