iOS 16.5 bug stops Apple adapter working with some iPhones and iPads

Multiple iPhone and iPad owners have complained that Apple’s latest mobile software updates, iOS 16.5 and iPadOS 16.5, render their devices incompatible with Apple’s Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter.

The accessory, which costs $39 from Apple’s store (or £45 from the U.K. store) was designed with older Lightning iPad Pro models in mind, enabling owners to transfer photos from a digital camera to their tablet for editing and sharing; more recent iPads are equipped with USB-C ports and consequently have less need for an adapter. But it’s compatible, in theory, with pretty much any Lightning iPhone or iPad, going back all the way to the iPhone 5 from 2012 and the original iPad mini.

I say “in theory” because, according to MacRumors, a lot of owners are currently finding that in practice the accessory only works with iPhones and iPads that have not yet installed the version 16.5 editions of their respective operating systems. The issue, specifically, appears related to charging: because the adapter has both female USB-A and female Lightning ports, it should be possible to charge the iPad or iPhone while it’s connected to another device via the USB-A port. If the device has iOS 16.5, however, charging no longer works, and this in turn seems to cause wider issues with communicating between the connected devices. A “draws too much power” error message has been reported by multiple users on Reddit and Apple’s support forums.

“This has to be an issue with iOS 16.5, and I hope it’s resolved quickly,” commented the Apple support user fifanatic. “Seems like a very bad look for an official Apple accessory to be rendered inoperable by a step update of iOS.”

It’s clearly a software issue, too. One user on the MacRumors forums reports testing with multiple adapters and multiple USB cables, and further notes that the adapter worked fine with other devices still on iOS 16.4.1.

What’s more, it’s not yet clear that the bug is limited to this adapter. “My Lighting to HDMI adapter also died after this update,” complains the Redditor d1v1d38Yz3r0. Another MacRumors forum user, however, reports that their Lightning to VGA Adapter works fine with iOS 16.5 devices. I tested with a 2022 iPad Air running iPadOS 16.5 and the HDMI adapter, and that setup worked fine.

iOS 16.5 is a minor update in terms of features (although it does introduce 21 new emoji), but it does patch several critical vulnerabilities. For this reason, we advise against holding off on the update until Apple patches this bug, unless use of the Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter (and charging while doing so) is absolutely critical to your workflow. Apple will presumably roll out a fix in the near future: as MacRumors notes, this could form the basis for a stopgap iOS 16.5.1 update, as iOS 16.6 is only just on its first beta and is likely some weeks from launch.


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