Your iPad can do a lot of things. Playing well with desktop-grade peripherals isn’t one of them. Sure, the Apple tablet can work with just about any Bluetooth keyboard. If you jailbreak the device using the Spirit jailbreak, you can even connect it to a Bluetooth mouse and create a sort of makeshift netbook alternative. But, when it comes to hooking up with printers and external hard drives, the iPad plays coy enough to make the newly abstinent Bristol Palin proud. That is, unless you’re willing to unlock the tablet’s peripheral chastity belt. Thanks to the Spirit jailbreak solution and a bit of ingenuity on that part of one Maxwell C. Shay, the iPad has been peripherally liberated enough to sync with your USB external hard drive.
Just as in life, it takes a good amount of work to get your iPad to play with your hard drive. But, once you’ve mastered the ins and outs of the process, you’ll be free to mount your hard drive onto your tablet. It’s not a pretty hack, but it definitely will get the job done. You’ll have to hack/jailbreak the device with the Spirit jailbreak. You’ll also need the iPad Camera Connection Kit and a split USB cable that will simultaneously connect the external hard drive to the tablet and connect to a computer to provide power. You’ll then have to use said computer (like a MacBook Pro) to SSH into the tablet and trick it into mounting the hard drive. Then end result is a tangled mess of computing hardware and cables that no self-respecting mobile warrior would dare bust out with in a crowded cafe. But, hey, if you really really want to do so, you’ll be happy to know that it can be done.
Hit the video below to see an iPad getting down and dirty with an external USB hard drive.
Find detailed instructions on how to get your Apple tablet to play nice with your external hard drive on Mr. Shay’s website.