Connect the iPad 2 and a USB flash drive

It’s quite easy to transfer photos to an iPad from a USB flash drive, as long as you “trick” the iPad into thinking it’s a camera. Here’s how.

I wanted to move a number of photos to my iPad from a Mac other than the one it syncs to. An iTunes sync would replace what’s on the iPad, so that wouldn’t work. I could have emailed the photos, but figured there had to be another way.

I connected a USB flash drive to the Mac and dragged several photos onto it. Next I connected the drive to my iPad Camera Connection Kit and finally plugged the lot into the iPad.

Nothing. The iPad read the drive (its light was blinking) but ignored the photos. So I plugged the drive back into the Mac, created a new folder on it named “DCIM,” put the photos inside and then re-connected it to the iPad.

That did it. The Photos app launched and offered to import the photos. [1. You can use this trick anytime you want to quickly move photos without taking the time for a full iTunes sync.] One caveat: the iPad refused to recognize my 8 GB flash drive, noting that it required more power than was available to operate. It was an old, 64 MB drive that worked.

For more fun with the iPad Camera Connection Kit: