iPad video adapter trap

An iOS 8  trap for iPad users who have an external video connection cable.

Many people have a little plug-in for their iPad that lets them put the video on any HDMI display … like most monitors and TV sets.

This is great for anyone who needs big screen support, for example with PowerPoint for iPad, part of Office for iPad.

Apple has their own ‘official’ one for US$39 but there’s many cheaper options that work very nicely … until now.

In the iOS 8 upgrade came a little trap … non-Apple approved adapters stop working!

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Plug in a ‘foreign’ adapter and a message briefly flashes up “This accessory is not supported by this Ipad”.

There’s many reports of this including people who have returned to iOS 7 and ‘lo, the video adapter starts working again.

As one Apple forum member says “a lot of us think this has been a deliberate attempt to prevent users buying third party equipment as the official Apple lead still works. Blatant corporate control.”.

We agree. There’s been several updates to iOS 8 with no fix for this problem so it looks like a bit of ‘passive aggressive’ behavior from Apple.   If you miss the (deliberately?) brief, one-time, error message, you’re left wondering why your video adapter does nothing.

Amazingly, Apple will probably get away with it.  The Apple related media are conspicuously silent and Apple itself isn’t saying anything, presumably hoping that customers will give up and pay their $39 extra.

There’s another problem for consumers.  It’s not always clear that the adapter they’re buying isn’t an Apple official one.  We’ve seen plenty of very good copycats. Not only does the adapter look the same (and work OK in iOS 7 or previous), but the packaging is indistinguishable from Apple’s.  Everything is the same right down to the Apple address in Cupertino.

And finally … imagine if Microsoft tried a similar trick?  They’d be rightly pilloried by everyone and his father.  Microsoft’s Surface tablets do have a proprietary power and keyboard attachments but otherwise the video and USB sockets are standard.  As long as there’s Windows drivers for the attached device, you’re good to go.