My One Major iPad Complaint: The VGA Adapter


I have glowingly written about the iPad and its potential to disrupt markets and consumer behaviors. My laptop has become less relevant to my daily life: I no longer bring it home from work and to-and-from between meetings... rather, I depend on my iPad for email, web, and even core apps like Keynote and Pages. Its terrific. ... except for the $29.00 Apple iPad Dock Connector to VGA Adapter. I can get over the fact that it is ridiculously overpriced (after all, most Apple components are - let alone other tools like HDMI cables). Worse than the price is that the cable:

1. only works with specific Apple-created apps (YouTube, Keynote, iTunes Videos) 2. even with those applications, it rather unusable and does NOT actually transmit what is directly on the screen

Imagining how the cable should work is relatively easy: it should transmit directly what is on the iPad's screen... whether it is for work (ie Keynote, Pages), web, or applications (ie Netflix, MLB At Bat). One of the beauties of the iPad is its portability... this is a clear weakness.

Also frustrating, there is no mention of the limited functionality on the packaging or Apple Store: "Use the iPad Dock Connector to VGA Adapter to connect an iPad to your television, projector, or VGA display. Then see your videos and slideshows on the big screen. The iPad Dock Connector to VGA Adapter connects to your iPad or iPad Dock via the dock connector and to your projector or display using the VGA adapter."

The good news is that this is a software (and likely a philosophical) issue. So it is solvable. Hopefully Apple is reading the reviews on the Apple Store (see example below) and addresses the problem:

Sending mine back because it doesn't enable mirroring.

Once again I get suckered into buying an overpriced iPhone or iPad AV connector because Apple cleverly omits the fact that it only works with certain apps. Don't they realize that people buy these accessories mostly to do demos of apps, or to mirror whatever's on their device's screen? This basic scenario does not work with this adapter. I found that it only works when playing video, or if you're a developer and you write special code in your app to support an external screen. So buyer beware...