With the release of Apple’s iPhone 5 and iPad Mini and their new 9 pin connector, we wondered if Apple would update the charging behavior of their devices. If you don’t recall or aren’t aware of the convoluted story behind charging Apple’s products (the 30-pin generation), here is a refresher from a post we published a while back.
As far as we’re aware Apple hasn’t announced any changes in regards to their USB charging spec compliance with these devices, so we weren’t exactly optimistic. But we grabbed our 4 Port Hub which complies with the Battery Charging 1.1 standard, connected an iPhone5 and iPad Mini to it (without connecting the hub to a host computer), and measured the charge rate. In true X-mas miracle fashion, both devices charged at the full rate equivalent to what you would get by using Apple’s wall charger; instead of the old behavior where 30-pin generation devices would charge at 500mA max (with a computer attached) and not at all without (unless the iOS device itself was powered off).
There’s even icing on the cake; in our test iPhone 5 and iPad Mini charged at a HIGHER rate via the hub than with Apple’s wall charger, we calculated 1.1A through the hub whereas the in-box charger provides only 1.0A. Which equates to reaching a full charge from 10% battery in about 1.5 hours on iPhone 5, compared to 1 hour 50 mins with the wall charger.
What’s more (yes, there’s even more!) both the iPad Mini and iPhone 5 charged at the accelerated rate via our hub while syncing them to a computer. So they appear to be making full use of the great possibilities with the USB Battery Charging 1.1 standard. It’s wonderful news, and a great move by Apple.
Here’s a breakdown of all the charge rate data we recorded:
In Box Charger Rate
USB2-HUB4BC Charge Rate
Synced to PC Charge Rate
Please feel free to comment here with your experiences, or e-mail email@example.com for any questions or inquiries — we’re always glad to help!
Microsoft’s official statement is “Windows RT uses class drivers and in-box drivers exclusively, departing from a common driver added scenario on the x64 or x86 architectures.” (see Microsoft policies). There is no DDK. Officially, installing drivers on Windows RT is not supported.
That said, it turns out there is at least oneWindows ARM driver that exists (probably built and extracted from a full Windows RT platform development kit), and as a user you can install those drivers on a normal, unmodified Microsoft Surface device at least.
Whether Microsoft will close this mechanism in the future is unclear.
Below is a more complete list of all the Plugable devices which can and can’t be made to work with the surface today. Most use the drivers already built into the RT, so none of the above is a concern — but Windows RT is “special” so check for compatibility before assuming a device will work!
What devices work out of the box with ARM-based Windows RT (without a 3rd party driver install)?
Plugable Windows Easy Transfer Cable (Although Windows Easy Transfer is available on Windows RT devices, the driver for USB Easy Transfer cables is not. Kind of surprising since on Windows XP – 8, this is a driver developed and provided by Microsoft in the box)
What needs a driver package and has one available for ARM-based Windows RT devices
We recently received a Raspberry Pi at the Plugable offices and we have been using it to test how our various devices interact with it. The Raspberry Pi has 2 USB 2.0 Ports, and no USB 3.0 ports, so our testing was focused on USB 2.0 devices and a couple USB 3.0 storage devices.
All of these tests were carried out on a Raspberry Pi Model B using the latest version of Raspbian wheezy. Here’s a video of the full setup, followed by a bunch of detail about our tests:
Plugable USB 2.0 10 Port Hub with 2.5A Power Adapter – Causes the Raspberry Pi to reboot upon connection, because it supplements the 2.5A wall power with 500mA from the upstream port. This is too much for the Pi., but just at the moment it is plugged in. If you plug the 10 port hub in when the Pi is powered down, you can boot into the Pi and all will be well. But since there are better options (like the 7 port hub above), we don’t recommend our 10 port hub with the Pi.
USB2-2PORT – Causes the Raspberry Pi to reboot upon connection. This is simply because this is an unpowered hub. Only hubs with their own power adapter should be used with the Pi.
USB2-SWITCH2 – No issues
The common pattern with all devices is you must have one of the powered usb hubs above and connect the device through that. If you don’t, the Pi won’t be able to handle the power draw, and it will drop voltage and reset.