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back to article iPad talks to external hard drive? Yes it can

Apple's iPad has internal Flash memory and no easy way to connect an external hard drive. But it can be done. Apple sells a Camera Connection Kit which consists of two plug-in adapters and will cost £25 in the UK from June. They plug in to the iPad's 30-pin dock connector and provide either a USB port or an SD Card reader port. …

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Jobs Horns

Apple Innovation, no doubt *yawn*

It will be interesting to see if Apple sells this as a "new" "innovative" feature, bearing in mind that my 40GB Sony Vaio personal media player could do this out of the box back in 2005...

Back when 2GB memory sticks were over £100 it was quite handy to be able to dump all the holiday snaps and vids onto a pocket-sized 40GB hard-drive out in the middle of nowhere, and have plenty of music to go with it.

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Megaphone

all this hassle

Alternatively you can buy a laptop :)

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Flame

Stupid omission

No USB support? This is a stupid omission in a device that's supposed to be the best thing since sliced bread. Even my freakin' car stereo has a USB port.

But then I guess Apple wouldn't have the ultimate control they desire over their devices. (and users)

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Megaphone

Hold the Front Page: Apple is Awesome

Imagine if this "Netbook Killer" included a built-in USB port and File Explorer.

And you could Drag and Drop any file you liked across to your own folder.

And open them with whatever program you felt like installing.

Now imagine if the World's Most Popular Media Player played the World's Most Popular Video Format: XVID.

And the World's Most Popular Steaming Media Format: Flash.

HOLY FRIGGIN SMOKE!

Dare to dream.

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Bronze badge
FAIL

Gotta love those techie geeks!

Buy a stupidly expensive restricted device, then hack around to make it do something... or buy a much cheaper existing general purpose one (a netbook) and have it work out-of the box.

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Thumb Down

So...

Does that mean the only legitimate way to get stuff on or off the ipad is through itunes?

For something that is being heralded as some sort of productivity device, with wifi and (in some cases 3G) it should talk to computers natively. I'd expect it to support samba/whatever the hell apple use (i'm guessing it's not nfs), possibly even inbuilt ftp would be nice.

If android can do it...

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Jobs Horns

A lot of effort...

...to just be able to read information of a hard drive. Maybe Apple could invent some kind of "Universal Serial Bus" for their iPad II and if it became a standard you could connect all manner of devices to it - from printing to extra storage or transfer of data?

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Gold badge

Of more use to me

More use to me would be if it can read the contents from the camera, or a CF card and copy it to the HDD at the same time. (Maybe also merge data from a GPS logger at the same time.)

You can already buy a unit that does this, or a HDD with a screen that does this, but they cost about £300+ for some reason and have a tiny screen with only about 100 pixels :(

But I think I will be better off using a notebook, even though it is big and bulky.

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Anonymous Coward

Whereas with an Android

Yesterday I needed to measure the vibration of a device. Not having an accelerometer handy, I decided to use the one inside my Android phone. I got an acceleration recording app from the Android market and proceeded to record data into the SD card. I then plugged the phone into a nearby computer using a USB cable, mounted the SD card, and copied the file across into Excel. iTunes not required.

Can the iPhone/iPad do that?

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yay

i have this beautiful new device that is like all wireless and stuff. but when i want to open a file i need to plug in a wire... DUH !

make the bloody thing capable of browsing a network , discovering shared drives and capable of browsing those shared drives and open documents on them or copy documents over from them , using the wifi link.

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Jobs Horns

if Apple allows such apps to be sold through its monopoly app store

Is that even a question? Or was it rhetorical?

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Pithy

I was going to post something pithy but then I remembered which site I was on.

What is about you Brits? Too much inbreeding? Maybe stupid is hard wired into your DNA...

To set the record straight - The iPad IS NOT A LAPTOP/NETBOOK REPLACEMENT. It is primarily a 'content consumption' device, not a 'content creation' device.

The iPad really is a game changer. Not because it has changed the way we interface with a computer (finger vs mouse) but because it has changed the fundamental concept of computing, and some people can’t deal with this at all. Up until now computers have been primarily designed to create content. Whether it is writing a document, creating a spread sheet or designing graphics, most computers have been built with creation in mind. The very layout of the keyboard, mouse trackpad, usb ports etc all stem from a need to create (or modify content). The thing is though, over the last few years, people have spent more time on their computers consuming content rather than creating it.

Since the advent of internet video and social networking, people have been consuming media more than they have been creating it. People are using their computers more for browsing the web, getting e-mail, going on Facebook, downloading music and watching videos. Some manufacturers recognised this early and though the answer was to make cheaper laptops (i.e. Netbooks) but they are still devices designed primarily for creating content.

The iPad on the other hand flips the whole equation around. The tools you don’t need to consume content get out of the way. The keyboard gets out of the way when you don’t need it, which in the consumption first view of computing the keyboard is less important than the information you are consuming. Even being able to rotate the screen makes a huge difference. You’re no longer confined to reading information in the less comfortable landscape format, and instead can use the more natural feeling portrait orientation. This alone is something that you would never do sticking to traditional metaphors.

While you certainly can create on the iPad, Apple has designed the device around the consumption model. It’s what many people want. Other manufacturers have seemingly failed to grasp that simple concept. People making competing tablets, such as the HP's Slate (now discontinued until it gets a new OS) will think that this is a limitation of the iPad and try and shoehorn the existing “create first” metaphor of traditional computing into a device designed for consuming media. That’s why it will fail. That’s what’s so big about the iPad. IT has changed the whole paradigm of computing.

The nay-sayers are concerned that the iPad will replace laptops and desktops and the future of computing will be closed. But traditional computers won’t go away any time soon, nor should they. For years we’ve been promised the future in science fiction of digital versions of everything from books to newspapers. In these visions of the future the devices were always designed as readers and viewers. Never did you see ports, cameras and mice hanging off them. You can’t tinker with a book or a magazine. You can’t programme a dvd player so why then is it a big deal that you can’t develop on a device that fulfils the age long sci-fi dream of bringing traditional consumption into the digital realm.

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Bronze badge

Consumption model

I want to "consume" large quantities of video files, and the 64GB iPad doesn't have enough space. So being able to connect an external HDD would be quite useful even in a pure consumption model.

Stick that in your corncob pipe and smoke it.

- An inbred Brit.

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And five years ago...

I had an iPaq, and a phone, and an mp3 player, and a pendrive, and a GPS. If I so choose my phone can cover all of those bases and then some.

A limited-use device like the iPad just seems like a backward step to me...

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Maybe..but..

While I appreciate that viewing content is important, I was sorta hoping that the IPad would be the perfect vehicle for things like inspection systems.

An inspection of a shipment, for example, requires access to regulations, commercial invoices and other documents. It also needs to be able to record comments and metrics along with photos.

The Ipad seems to me to be an ideal platform for this. 64GB is plenty of room for any required reference documents and a database to record observations and photos.

I don't believe that the above is a rare application of IPad technology. Apple could well have produced a valuable business tool.

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Bronze badge

Not "USB" of course

Because that isn't proprietary!

Cosmo-Logic In-Tandem Online Resource Image Storage will be the next Apple standard!

But you won't be able to find it anywhere. Well, not in PC World anyway. Most likely they'd ask you to leave.

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