Smart Connector Stories May 26, 2020

There has long been debate about the future of the Lightning port in the iPhone. Will Apple stick to this, replace it with USB-C, or move straight to a fully wireless iPhone — one without any ports at all?

There’s fresh discussion today prompted by a claim that Apple will do none of these things, and instead use a Smart Connector on the iPhone 13…

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Smart Connector Stories January 23, 2020

Apple responded to the latest EU efforts to enforce a standardized single connector for smartphones like the iPhone, saying that “regulation that forces conformity across the type of connector …. stifles innovation” (via the Financial Times).

Apple said that the proposed EU rules would force it to abandon the Lightning port and inconvenience consumers, as well as cause vast amounts of electronic waste from people needing to ditch all of their existing Lightning accessories, like docking stations and car adapters.

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Smart Connector Stories August 12, 2017

With the launch of the iPad Pro, Apple unveiled its new Smart Connector technology to allow accessory makers to more seamlessly integrate with the device. Two years after the first iPad Pro’s release, however, the Smart Connector hasn’t necessarily gained a whole lot of traction. A new report from Fast Company this week offers some insight into Apple’s efforts to have accessory makers adopt the Smart Connector…

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Smart Connector Stories June 2, 2016

iphone-7-cases

Cases claiming to be designed for the next-generation iPhones, currently being dubbed the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, have been released online today. Although the cases do not show anything drastically different to what we’ve been hearing for months, with most of the chassis mirroring the appearance of the iPhone 6s, it is interesting nonetheless to see the design formalized into cases that are apparently going to be on sale by the end of the month.

The case renders include a depiction of what the dual camera system on the 5.5 inch iPhone 7 Plus could look like, suggesting that it will have a binocular-esque appearance of two camera iris holes side-by-side with a sizeable gap between them. The camera flash and rear microphone are also aligned horizontally. The iPhone 7 Plus case also includes space for the 3-pin Smart Connector on the back of the device — more pictures after the break …

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Smart Connector Stories May 20, 2016

Japanese site says iPhone 7 does not support the earlier rumored Smart Connector

Two reports raised eyebrows when they appeared to show that the iPhone 7 would have an iPad Pro-style Smart Connector port. A sketchy report back in March was joined by drawings in April which seemed to show the same thing.

Smart Connector Stories May 10, 2016

smart-cover

Apple has today been granted a patent for an iPad Smart Cover with more smarts than usual: it incorporates a built-in display, and even a Wacom-style drawing tablet.

The patent illustrates a number of different ways the Smart Cover display could be used, from simply extending the iPad’s own display through text-only displays of things like reminders to a combined display and touchpad. Some of the options show the display acting as a full input device too, allowing both handwritten notes and drawings.

While we of course add our usual disclaimer that Apple patents way more things than it actually makes, two element of this patent have actually made it into production …

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Smart Connector Stories May 4, 2016

iPhone-7-dual-camera-render

In a TV interview with CNBC’s Jim Cramer this week, Cook said the iPhone 7 will have a killer feature that would prove to be an upgrade customers won’t be able to resist. “We are going to give you things that you can’t live without that you just don’t know you need today,” Cook teased.

Could it really be something we already know about? Could any of the rumored features for the device possibly fall under the groundbreaking or irresistible category of features Cook hinted at? Perhaps the new rumoured dual-camera system could be enough to account for Cook’s comment? Of course, it’s also possible it’s all just post-Q2 PR hype after a quarter of declines. Will Apple have something new and exciting that we don’t yet know about for the iPhone 7?

That’s the question we ask readers in today’s poll. What rumoured new feature for iPhone 7 will make it upgrade worthy for you? Or will Tim Cook and Co need something beyond what’s expected to get upgrade numbers it didn’t get in 2015 with the 6s update and this year with the iPhone SE? expand full story

Smart Connector Stories May 2, 2016

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Alongside the iPad Pro last November, Apple introduced a new connectivity option for users with the Smart Connector. Originally, Apple only touted the connection as being good for easily pairing things like keyboards to the iPad. We’ve since learned a little more about the capabilities of the three-pin connection, but overarching details are still vague.

Last month, I had the chance to try out the LOGI Base dock with Smart Connector support. Prior to using it, I was totally unaware that the Smart Connector was capable of charging the iPad Pro, albeit it at a slightly slower pace. Using the LOGI Base, however, intrigued me. What are the actual capabilities of Smart Connector?

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Smart Connector Stories March 10, 2016

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As we’ve reported in the past, Apple is expected to introduce a new 9.7-inch iPad Pro at an event later this month, and now we’ve seen the first alleged case made for the device. Nowhereelse.fr on Twitter has found a pair of cases supposedly made for the iPad Pro 9.7-inch that fall in line with reports that the device will feature Smart Connector support, camera flash, and more.

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Smart Connector Stories February 24, 2016

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Multiple users of the iPad Pro Smart Keyboard have noted that a software update has begun rolling out to fix connectivity issues. As noted by iMore, Apple has posted a support document on its website detailing the update’s intended purpose:

If your iPad Pro wakes up from time to time when it’s connected to a Smart Keyboard, here’s what to do. To solve this issue, disconnect the Smart Keyboard from your iPad Pro, and then connect it again. When iOS asks if you want to update the Smart Keyboard, tap Update.

The now solved issue revolves around the iPad Pro waking from sleep randomly when connected to a Smart Keyboard, but Apple does not say that it has addressed other Smart Keyboard issues such as an issue where the Command-Tab shortcut does not always navigate to the app-switcher.

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Smart Connector Stories February 1, 2016

iPad Pro speaker system

With Apple expected to hold an event next month, iPad Air 3 rumors are continuing to trickle out with various degrees of reliability. The latest is yet another schematic claiming to show the upcoming iPad Air refresh courtesy of Engadget, which cites a “reliable source”. While the blueprint appears to build on existing rumors like the presence of a camera flash, Apple’s new Smart Connector, and a quad-speaker design, the illustration claims to show that the iPad Air 3 will have just barely thicker dimensions than the current 9.7-inch iPad that it replaces.

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Smart Connector Stories January 28, 2016

ipad-pro

The iPad Pro quietly gained a new capability in iOS 9.3 beta 2: German developer Stefan Wolfrum tweeted that the device can now update the firmware in devices attached to the Smart Connector. He was offered, and able to complete, a firmware update to his Logitech Create keyboard.

Firmware updates of accessories usually need you to connect them to a Mac, but as the Smart Connector is unique to the iPad Pro, it’s likely this fact that prompted the new capability …

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Smart Connector Stories November 20, 2015

iPad Pro Magic Keyboard 16-9

Yesterday I mentioned a useful tip for using physical keyboards with iPads in my guide to unlocking the full potential of the iPad Pro. The tip actually works with all iOS 9 iPads connected to external keyboards over Bluetooth, Lightning, or the Smart Connector: hold Command (⌘) to see a list of supported keyboard shortcuts for the Home screen or app you’re in.

This works in most of Apple’s built-in apps and plenty of popular third-party apps as well, but it can be monotonous prompting that sheet in each app to get a sense of what keyboard shortcuts work. Instead, I’ve compiled a cheat sheet of which keyboard shortcuts work in all the system apps and several popular third-party apps. Whether you’re using Apple’s Smart Keyboard for the iPad Pro, Magic Keyboard, Logitech’s excellent K811, or any other physical keyboard, these will make you more efficient when working on your iPad.

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Smart Connector Stories November 13, 2015

ipadpro-2

I’m on the record as loving Logitech’s Apple accessories, having been a very early champion of the K811 Easy-Switch Keyboard, and fan of its cleanly-designed Rechargeable Trackpad for Mac. The company also thrilled a lot of people with its Ultrathin series of iPad keyboards, which weren’t cheap or perfect, but worked well while looking and feeling nice. And many of Logitech’s Ultimate Ears speakers have nailed the rare combination of great looks, great sound, and great pricing.

So what the heck happened with the Create Backlit Keyboard Case for iPad Pro ($150)?

I wanted to like Create. In all honesty, I wanted to love Create, because it’s obvious that the large, heavy iPad Pro desperately needs a great keyboard case to simultaneously function as a stand, a great typing surface, and an insurance policy against damage. But rather than borrowing the best elements from Logitech’s prior keyboard cases, Create uses some design touches that really don’t work with the larger tablet. Consequently, while it’s an okay first day option, it falls short in a number of important ways that are worth considering in light of the iPad Pro’s release this week…

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