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Subtle changes in new iPad can foil some older accessories

updated 11:00 pm EDT, Thu March 15, 2012

Third-party covers, AV digitizer may have issues

Users testing out the new iPad have uncovered a pair of curious quirks in the new model that reveal that some accessories intended for the iPad 2 may not work quite as intended, though none appear to be show-stoppers thus far. Apple's previous-version Digital AV adapter warns that it is "not optimized" for the new iPad but does work once the alert is dismissed. Some third-party magnetic covers are also affected, reports Japanese Mac site MacOtakara.

The $39 Digital AV adapter allows users to show the screens from their fourth-generation iPod Touch, iPhone 4 or 4S and iPad 2 on a TV or projector using an HDMI cord. What changes might have been made in the new replacement adapter (part number MD098ZM/A) hasn't been documented, but it may simply be a response to the new iPad's ability to play 1080p video. Users who attempt to use the old AV adapter get a warning that "this accessory is not optimized for this iPad" on connection, but can continue using it.

Apple has also made some kind of changes to the magnetic sensors that work with Apple's own Smart Cover to put the iPad to sleep when the cover is closed and wake it up when the cover is removed. It's still unclear whether the sensors have been moved or their sensitivity altered, but MacOtakara reports that some third-party covers with "sleep magnets" may no longer work perfectly with the new iPad.

Apple has not revised its documentation for accessory makers on how to build a Smart Cover-compatible front cover for the iPad. It could be that only some third-party cases (who ignored or didn't have access to the documentation) won't work, or it could be that Apple has not yet updated the advisory paper that third-parties rely on for dimensions, materials and other specifications.

Because the device is only slightly thicker and heavier than the previous model, many accessories that work with the iPad 2 will continue to work with the new iPad if they are not dependent on form-fitting measurements, a prime example being Apple's own Smart Covers. Loose-fitting cases, stands and many other accessories are still completely compatible, however most form-fitting back-cover cases will not work due to both the thickness and the change in back-side tapering on the new model. [via MacOtakara]

by MacNN Staff



  1. Grendelmon

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Like anyone

    Expected the 2nd gen accessories to work with the new one. Come on people, we've all been aware of this racket ever since the 2nd iPod came out.

  1. facebook_William

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Mar 2012


    magnetic switch

    Changing this feature is an odd move on the part of apple. It forces those of us who have found the perfect case for the ipad 2 to buy another one to work with the new ipad. What a scam. There is no reason to do this, and there is no reason to omit this important fact in the specifications. Thanks for the surprise Apple...I'm looking forward to the DIY fix for this.

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