New iPads Use Apple’s New Lightning Connector

First seen on the iPhone 5, Apple’s newest iPad models employ a smaller connector known as Lightning. The 8-pin Lightning connector on the 4th generation iPad and the iPad mini replaces the larger 30-pin dock connector found on previous models.

iPad dock connectors

Unlike the old connector, you don’t have to fiddle with finding which side is up. The connector fits both ways, so it’s simpler to hook up without looking. The down side? Your old accessories that use the 30-pin connector will require a Lightning adapter. Note that video signals won’t be passed through the adapter. This means the old 30-pin VGA and HDMI connectors used to send the video signal over a cable to your HDTV or VGA projector won’t work with the 8-pin Lightning adapter. However, Apple will have Lightning VGA and Digital AV (HDMI) adapters available in a few weeks. Though Apple TV and Airplay may be a better solution. Apple has begun to license the Lightning technology, so Apple is no longer the sole source for Lightning accessories. Belkin, a well-known maker of Apple accessories, is releasing a line of Lightning accessories for iPads and other iOS devices. Others manufacturers are also gearing up to produce Lightning adapters and cables. Meanwhile, beware of unlicensed clones.

Update: MacWorld announces more Lightning accessories from other vendors.

About Andy Brovey

Dr. Andy Brovey, The Portable Prof, has over twenty-five years experience in educational technology, including teaching, administration and professional development. In 2007, Apple Inc. recognized his work and named him an Apple Distinguished Educator. Andy now runs a professional development business, working on site and online to help others make sense and make use of digital tools. He started the iPad Academy website shortly after the first iPad went on sale. His iPad Academy helps others become more comfortable and competent with the iPad, in person and online through a video training series. Video Message from Andy