More iPad woes – ‘Cannot Use Device’

Hey iPad Camera Connection Kit Users – been seeing this screen lately?
Cannot Use Device
I wrote in an earlier post back in May of my experiences uploading images from a CF card via the USB connector in the Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit. The card reader I was using at the time was an old USB 1.1 which was contributing to the slow upload speed.

I spoke about this with David Ziser when he was in Houston and he recounted he wasn’t experiencing such slow upload times personally. He suggested I try a card reader from . I couldn’t find one locally so I ordered one from B&H Photo Video.

I did find that the files uploaded a lot faster – not that I timed it as I had in May – but fast enough for the iPad to serve as a backup (if only it had more memory!). So I was quite annoyed when I went to upload some photos to my iPad last Saturday to see the message above.

I googled CF Card Readers for iPad and found mostly discussion threads. One was a link to a Terry White video showing him using both a Delkin and a Sandisk card reader. I pulled out my Sandisk card reader and got the same ‘Cannot Use Device’ message, so I returned to Chrome and the internet once more. It took a few more searches before I hit pay dirt at

When Apple rolled out iOS 4.2 for the iPad, they cut the power output of the 30-pin connector from 100mA down to 20mA. So that’s why the Delkin Devices card reader had worked with my CF cards before, when I was on iOS 3.2. Of course, I don’t want to take the iPad back in OS versions so now my only option to get images from my 5D Mark II or 5D to my iPad is to connect the camera via the USB port and use the power of the camera to transfer the images. But of course, I can’t keep shooting while I’m doing this.

The theory is that Apple wants to preserve the power – perhaps other features in iOS 4.2 use more power? But I would prefer, rather than Apple deciding for me, that I be given an option through the settings to control the power output of the 30-pin connector. I’m a big boy, I can handle the consequences of my decisions.

In the current issue of Intelligent Life, Robert Lane Greene discusses the clash of Appleism and Googleism. He compares the ‘Steve knows best’ approach of Apple to the ‘throw it out there and see what sticks’ approach of Larry and Sergey (and of course, both approaches have their pros and cons). The beauty of Appleism is that Apple products just work. But Steve achieves this by making all of the dangerous and most of the banal choices for us. Every now and then, it would be nice if Steve would give us more latitude to make our own decisions. Giving us iPad users a choice on the power of the 30-pin connector would be a great place to start!

Back to Top|Link to this Post|Learn more, get my Newsletter!
. . C o p y r i g h t . .
. . T w i t t e r . .