Apple’s Lightning to USB connector has ostensibly been about connecting your iPad to a camera to import images directly to your tablet.
Now, with iOS 9.2, it looks like the same adapter can be used on your iPhone to get photos onto your smaller-screened device.
There’s even some evidence that the Lightning to USB adapter works to connect other USB peripherals, like MIDI keyboards or USB-powered microphones. If you’re a musician on the road without access to your iPad, this might be your new best solution.
While the added ability to directly import images to your iPhone from a camera is a great feature, it’s the USB peripheral function that’s bound to get most iOS musicians excited.
With the Lightning to USB adapter plus a powered USB hub, some folks have found a way to connect lower-powered musical equipment to their iPads. iMore’s Serenity Caldwell tested an iPhone 6s with iOS 9.2 on it and found that it also supported such a connection.
The downside (other than a tiny screen that’s hard to use for music creation) is one of power. Apple’s $29 Lightning to USB Camera Adapter will only support 20mA of juice, which is too low for many music devices.
So, for the foreseeable future, the iPad will continue to be the de-facto standard for using the adapter with most music peripherals, but if you need to connect your iPhone to some of the ones that use less power, you’re good to go.