iOS 7 screws up importing photos to iPad (problem FIXED in iOS 7.1)

in iPad edited July 2015

I'm a photographer.  For years, I'd haul my MacBook Pro around with me so I could edit images I shoot while on the road.  In 2012 I got my first iPad (3rd generation).  Shortly thereafter I purchased Apple's Camera Connection Kit (SD card reader) and a third-party 30-pin card reader that handles Compact Flash Cards in addition to SD cards.  Life was good.  Using the iPad I could quickly and easily peruse hundreds of images on my flash cards and selectively import just the ones I wanted to import to the the iPad.  That allowed me to quickly share them (in person and on the web) after I'd applied any necessary editing to them in iPhoto or other image app on the iPad.


All of that joy and happiness was under iOS 5.


Fast forward to this past weekend, when for the first time in several weeks I attempted the same process while on a trip.  The difference:  I updated my iPad 3 to iOS 7 since the last time I tried the card readers.


Oh My God!  Talk about totally screwed up!  The card readers (both Apple's and my third-party reader) "work" with my iPad 3 running iOS 7, but they are EXCRUCIATINGLY slow!


How slow is that?  You won't believe me but I'll tell you anyway!


iPad 3 with iOS 5: Loads thumbnails for 302 RAW images in less than 30 seconds

iPad 3 with iOS 7: Loads thumbnails for 302 RAW images in 3 HOURS!


To be fair, I didn't actually let it run for 3 hours.  That's just my estimate based on how long it takes the iOS 7 iPad to load the thumbnails for 6 images.  I gave up after 6 images because JUST THE THUMBNAILS for 6 images took more than 5 minutes to load!


Don't believe me?  I made a video to prove it:!i=3047589904&k=8JvpmdT


This has rendered my iPad 3 completely useless for my photography purposes.


In searching the web, I'm not remotely the only person experiencing the problem.  Apple's own forums are filled with similar complaints.  And, apparently, Apple's newer Lightning SD card reader is similarly plagued by problems for those that upgraded their iPad 4 to iOS 7 (or purchased an iPad Air with iOS 7 already on it).


If I could figure out a way to "downgrade" my iPad 3 to either iOS 5 of iOS 6, I would!  Buying a new iPad won't solve the problem because the problem is iOS 7.  So, I'm left considering the option of buying a used iPad 3 (or 4) with iOS 5 or 6 still on it.


This is all beyond ridiculous!  How can something that works so perfectly under iOS 5 (and 6) be so screwed up under iOS 7?




  • Reply 1 of 12

    In further testing, loading image thumbnails from SD card is faster (using either the third-party card reader I used in my video, or using Apple's SD card reader).  Faster than CF card I mean.


    But even using SD card, image thumbnail load is SIGNIFICANTLY slower under iOS 7 than it is under iOS 5.


    Assuming 300 or so RAW images on each type of card:


    Worst-case scenario: CF card third-party reader, which takes 2+ hours to load all thumbnails to the iPad 3 under iOS 7


    Best-case scenario: SD card in either Apple's reader or the third-party reader, which take 20-30 minutes to load all thumbnails to the iPad 3 under iOS 7


    BOTH of those PALE in comparison to iOS 5!  With iOS 5, the image thumbnail load with EITHER type of card is 20-30 seconds.



  • Reply 2 of 12

    A friend with "connections" inside of Apple has passed along the photo import situation to an Apple engineer.  I've provided additional information and, hopefully, this problem in iOS 7 will be resolved soon.



  • Reply 3 of 12

    Apple released iOS 7.0.6 today.  I installed it on my iPad 3 and it DOES improve image thumbnail load speed via 30-pin card reader from CF or SD card.  But, unfortunately, it's still significantly slower than iOS 5.


    Thumbnail load time for 302 images on a 16GB CF card (RAW files from Canon 5D Mark III):


    iOS 5 - 25 seconds

    iOS 7.0.4 - 2 to 3 hours

    iOS 7.0.6 - 15 minutes


    Obviously, 15 minutes is way better than 2-3 hours.  But it sure would be nice to get back to 25 seconds!


    BTW, I actually (and finally) let all 302 image thumbnails load.  After they were loaded, I selectively imported 10 of the images.  I didn't time the import speed, but the import time seemed very similar to my experience with iOS 5.  So, it's just the initial THUMBNAIL image loading that is terribly slow (compared to iOS 5)


    And that's when I discovered a completely new problem with iOS 7's Photos App!  Apple has removed the "Select All" option from the iOS Photos app.  If you want to delete (or move, etc.) multiple photos within a single album, under iOS 5 there was a "Select All" option.  Not anymore.  With iOS 7, if you've got 250 images in an album and you want to delete 230 of them, you have manually touch the thumbnails for all 230 of those images.  Ridiculous!  With "Select All" I could select every image quickly and then deselect the 20 I don't want to delete.  Much faster!


    Thankfully, I can still use the Apple's Image Capture app on my Mac to easily and quickly delete multiple photos from my iPad.  But Apple really needs to put back the "Select All" feature in the iOS Photos App!


    How to use Image Capture on your Mac to manage your iOS camera roll:




  • Reply 4 of 12
    Hi, i was just wondering. I stupidly updated to 7.0.6 last night and the connection kit wont import photos at all. The import icon doesnt appear anymore. No matter how many times i restart my ipad 2 or what sd card i use, even tried the usb port. But nothing. Worked just fine yesterday afternoon with my 7.0.4. Can you please help me? Should i downgrade my ipad back to .4? Thanks alot for your help!
  • Reply 5 of 12



    Did you use a different SD card?  Sometimes the memory card can spell success as to whether or not a card reader works with the iPad.


    Is your Camera Connection Kit a Lightning Connector one and a genuine Apple product?  There are third-party Lightning Connect ones that look exactly like Apple's kit but are, in fact, cheap knockoffs.  Starting with iOS 7, Apple has made changes to prevent those card readers from working.  Perhaps Apple didn't catch them all with the first few iOS 7 releases but added yours to the "banned" list starting with iOS 7.0.6?


    Both my third-party 30-pin connection kit (as shown in my video above) and my genuine Apple 30-pin connection kit both work with iOS 7.0.6.  They are both still slower (loading thumbnails from a CF or SD card with a lot of images) than they were under iOS 5 but faster than iOS 7.0.4.



  • Reply 6 of 12

    Yee ha!! iOS 7.1 fixes the slow loading of image thumbnails problem found in earlier versions of iOS 7! Using the same CF card with the same 302 RAW images, iOS 7.1 loads the thumbnails on my iPad in 22 seconds, a few seconds FASTER than iOS 5! Yee ha!!


    That's WAY better than 3 hours (or even 15 minutes)!!



  • Reply 7 of 12

    Even after upgrading to 7.1 on my iPad Air, I still can't scale a photo for my home or lock screen wallpaper.

  • Reply 8 of 12


    Thanks so much for sharing your experiences.

    We currently have an iPad 4 and an iPad Air and a Lightning SD card reader. Both iPads have the latest iOS. Our issue is that the card reader will read original images from the cameras but not JPG images created via RAW to JPG conversion using Adobe Camera Raw on our late 2013 Macbook Pro Retina. The reader won't even get recognized when I try to read an SD card with edited JPG images on them, but again, works fine with original JPGs from any of our 6 various cameras.

    Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks!

  • Reply 9 of 12

    i have the problem now with iOS 8



        the apple lightning to sd card reader isn't recognized from my ipad air.


        under iOS 7.1 it was recognized and i could import photos.



    anyone having the same problem ?




  • Reply 10 of 12
    Yup exactly the same issue, apple not being helpful just fobbing me off.

    We have 3 iPads and 3 SD connectors and 20 SD cards, none now work
  • Reply 11 of 12

    Any update to this. I have an ipad mini 2 with the IOS 8.1.3 and it is slow like back in Ios 7.0

  • Reply 12 of 12

    OK, This is how you need to do it. You CANNOT copy pic files to a SD card then plug that SD card into your lightning card reader. The card has to be taken directly from camera. Pics must be in a sub directory, most often a DICM folder. Your camera formats SD cards automatically with a sub directory.  If you take SD card directly from camera, plug the card into the SD/lightning reader, it opens you photo library and it begins loading your photos. You then do either a selective or complete import. It has nothing to do with upgrading OS to 7 or any other. I just transferred a bunch of photos and I use IOS8.4. As far as genuine Apple SD/lightning adapter, mine was purchased on Amazon in 2012 and is a genuine Apple accessory so I really can't say if any non-apple readers will work. Hope this helps.

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