A memory card reader is a small accessory that plugs into the iPad's lightning port (or 30-pin dock port on an older iPad). It lets you insert an SD card from a digital camera to transfer images to your tablet.
Apple makes its own memory card reader, called Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader, as well as an alternative accessory called Lightning to USB Camera Adapter, which lets you plug in a camera directly via USB. Both cost £25 from Apple’s online store. For older models, the Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit (also £25 from Apple) comes with both SD card and USB adapters.
If you’d rather not pay £25, you’ll find plenty of similar devices from third-party manufacturers on sites like Amazon for much lower prices. We haven’t tested these but recommend being wary of them, as customer reviews suggest not all of these products are reliable.
Transfer photos to an iPad from a memory card
Using a memory card reader is simple. Take the SD card out of your digital camera and insert it into the slot on the reader, then plug the reader into your iPad.
The iPad's Photos app will automatically open on an Import screen. Either tap to tick the images you want to transfer then tap Import, or just tap Import All to transfer the lot.
Transfer iPad photos to a memory card?
Unfortunately, transfers only work one way – you can’t transfer files from your iPad to your memory card. While this is frustrating, there are alternative ways to get your photos off your iPad and put them on your computer:
You can avoid using memory card readers by using iCloud - see our guide to transferring photos to or from an iPad or iPhone via iCloud.
Alternatively, you can import photos from an iPad or iPhone using the USB cable.