Apple's new iPad Pro has a hidden feature the company didn't widely publicize: a USB 3.0-compatible Lightning connector. An iFixit teardown earlier this week revealed the compatible components hinting at USB 3.0 capabilities, but Ars Technica reports today that Apple has confirmed its ultra-large iPad supports ultra-fast data transfer speeds.
The jump is notable because previous iPads have relied on the older USB 2.0 standard, which has a theoretical maximum throughput of 480Mbps (or about 60MB per second). USB 3.0, on the other hand, supports speeds up to 10 times faster, all the way up to 5Gbps or 625MB per second. For artist types in graphic design, photography, or video — one of the main, perhaps even only, target markets for the iPad Pro — who work with large files, that type of transfer speed may be hugely beneficial.
We're waiting on Apple for the required accessory
Of course, there is a catch. A Lightning-to-USB 3.0 adapter doesn't exist yet, so we're left waiting until Apple releases that particular accessory to access the faster transfer speeds. Apple fans have been testing the device with current USB 2.0 cables and have found that those accessories appear to be missing a sufficient number of pins to meet the USB 3.0 criteria.
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