I'd love iPhones with USB-C. It seems Apple might someday make them

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Apple’s iPhone 13

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better iphone cameras And sharp chips There are great ones, but the biggest improvement Apple can make on the iPhone is adding a USB-C port. Which is why I was excited this week that Apple might someday make that change.

Apple introduced iphone 13 Tuesday with the same old power port The company has been using since 2012. Lightning was a good idea then, but USB-C is better now.

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Here’s what I love about USB-C. It is versatile, an industry standard that is becoming more and more widespread in the world of electronics. It transfers data up to 20 Gigabits per second and is increasing to 40 Gbps with the new USB 4 Data Transfer Protocol Coming now. It charges phones, tablets, PCs and everything else that requires up to 100 watts of power, a . with 240W Upgrade This would be great for a gaming laptop. And there’s a growing ecosystem of USB-C accessories, including hubs, docking stations, keyboards, flash drives, and memory card readers.

Apple’s proprietary Lightning ports were once universal on its mobile devices. The first sign Apple wanted something better was when its top-end iPad Pro got USB-C in 2018 And this The midrange iPad Air gets the tech in 2020. This was more easily justified on tablets, which can be used more like miniature laptops than phones and therefore benefited more from USB-C’s ability to attach peripherals such as keyboards and cameras. (macbook 2015 introduced USB-C, a move that inspired some murmurs as it did away with the beloved MagSafe connector.)

Now Apple is indicating that USB-C may be spreading. In your program this week, iPad mini gets a USB-C port, makes the device more powerful and flexible. Switching iPhones to USB-C will be tough because there are so many phones and Lightning chargers already in use, but it looks like Apple is preparing its large customer base and product ecosystem to make the leap.

Separating Apple product announcements is like Cold War Kremlinology: spycraft that attempted to figure out what the Soviet Union was doing by assessing which Russian officials were in favor or out. The introduction of USB-C to some new devices doesn’t mean that Apple is softening the ground for a major change in its most important product line.

Still, I think USB-C is in the future of the iPhone. A wholesale transition, while undoubtedly a major pain, will ultimately be good for you, the iPhone, and the planet. You’ll have less electronic junk, the iPhone will get more utility and landfills won’t be littered with as many cables that only work with a fraction of devices.

Apple did not comment for this story.

Apple, go with the program

Almost every other corner of the tech world has moved to USB-C for data and charging. Android phones started settling on USB-C ports years ago, and it’s a fixture in Windows PCs. The price premium for USB-C accessories is also easing up.

I use USB-C for external drives, earbuds, headphones, flash card readers, two laptop docking stations, a Nintendo Switch, and its Joy-Cons, ipad, Android phones, hardware security keys, family Macs, a Microsoft Surface Laptop and a Google Pixel Slate. Two cars and four rooms in my house have USB-C chargers. On the road, I use a portable battery with a USB-C port.

The pesky Lightning cable I need for my iPhone is fast running out. The Lightning was a good replacement for the iPhone’s old and bulky 30-pin connector and older USB options. Now USB-C is a better option.

Apple also sees benefits. iPad product manager Katie McDonald said Tuesday that the iPad mini’s USB-C connector is 10 times faster than Lightning’s and “can connect to a vast ecosystem of USB-C accessories.” It’s great for everyone from amateur photographers to medical personnel scanning patients Butterfly Portable Ultrasound Scanner.

A USB-C will make the iPhone even quieter Apple’s poor relationship with European regulators Who wants mobile phone to use the same charging equipment So there will be no more e-waste.

If you are filling your $1,599 iPhone 13 Pro MaxWith 1TB of storage for high-end ProRes video, you can appreciate technology faster than Lightning to transfer your data. And if Apple signs up Cinematographer Greg Fraser for Another iPhone Support, he won’t have to use it funny power dongle USB-C on iPhone.

iPad mini with USB-C connection to the camera

The iPad mini’s USB-C connection lets it connect directly to the camera.

Why Apple isn’t in the race to sell USB-C iPhones

With millions of iPhones in use, dumping the Lightning connector won’t be easy. Customers have invested in chargers and cables in homes, offices and cars. Lightning is also used in the AirPods charging case and wired Apple earbuds.

Moving to USB-C means the Lightning gear will need to be replaced. I’m old enough to remember the bitterness of outrage when Apple dumped its 30-pin connector, and Lightning is much better established today than it was in the old connectors in 2012.

Lightning has also put iPhones above the fray for some of the growing pains of USB-C. It can be hard to tell if a particular cable can handle USB’s full power and top data transfer speeds. Some of those issues remain, but the advantages of USB outweigh them.

A transition, should one come, will force iPhone loyalists into buying lots of new cables, a prospect no one will like. In the long run, though, it will be worthwhile. Now or soon, you’ll probably be using USB-C to charge other devices, so making the switch eventually reduces the electronic clutter of your life. It will also reduce e-waste as you will need less cables to cover most of your equipment. You can always donate your old cables to those who still need them.

How about an iPhone with no ports?

iPhones can go straight from the Lightning connector with no connector at all. Connectors make holes in the phone’s chassis that weaken it, exposing it to the elements and increasing manufacturing costs.

Wireless charging and data transfer technology is getting better. With Apple’s iCloud, you no longer need to back up and sync your iPhone with a cable plugged into your laptop. Bluetooth is the best way to get music from your phone to a better speaker, not a phone docking station.

However, the charging and data ports will retain their usefulness. When it comes to fast, private, reliable data transfer, nothing beats a cheap copper cable. When you only have a few minutes at the airport or in the car, rapid charging will boost your battery better than any other charging pad.

When it comes time to plug that cable into my phone, I vote for USB-C.

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