Fast Company published a report this week exploring why third-party accessories which use Apple Smart Connector remain few and far between, nearly two years after the connector debuted to the iPad Pro. The Smart Connector allows the iPad Pro to communicate with and power compatible accessories, like the company’s very own Smart Keyboard, without the hassle of wires.
The first encouraging third party attachment, Logitech Create Smart Connector computer keyboard, launched the same day as the iPad Pro in late 2015, soon followed by the Logitech charging base, and more recently a Logitech keyboard to its 10.5-inch iPad Pro. However, this close partnership between Apple and Logitech is just one of the explanations for its dearth of Smart Connector accessories from competing vendors, according to the report.
Apple told Fast Company many companies are focusing on accessories that take advantage of their Smart Connector. No one is stepping up to state what these accessories are, but it appears likely we’re going to find out more keyboards and docks.
Logitech has been Apple’s Smart Connector partner so much because the firm had access to the developer testing criteria. That has changed since Apple says products are on the way. Still, it’ll be interesting to see how many Smart Connector products land on store shelves and they’ll be.
The Smart Connector is a proprietary connector on the side of this 12.9-inch and 10.5-inch iPad Pro that’s easy to overlook if you aren’t looking for it. Since it creates a physical link between the iPad and accessories, the types might be relatively limited in comparison to Bluetooth.
Bluetooth’s solves a problem the Smart Connector is trying to address: linking accessories to our apparatus. Bluetooth has the benefit of already being recognized as the standard where the Smart Connector is going to attempt to get a foothold. The Smart Connector’s benefit is that there’s not any process; just the accessory into the Smart Connector and you are done.
After two decades of stagnation, it is going to be interesting to find out what type of momentum the Smart Connector gets. Considering how many iPad accessories already support Bluetooth, the Smart Connector products will have to be pretty compelling.