USB-C is the future of computer connectivity, but there is a great deal of confusion over USB-C, Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.1, and what any given cable with USB-C connectors is capable of. AppleInsider breaks it all down.
Apple has decisively transitioned its new MacBook Pros to use the slim, unidirectional new USB-C port first introduced on the Retina MacBook a year and a half ago. Its latest MacBook Pro machines not only supply more connectors, but also support the enhanced new USB 3.1 Gen 2 and Thunderbolt 3 protocols for blazing fast wired connectivity and high resolution displays.
Owners of Apple's 12.9-inch iPad Pro can now tap into the greater power of the device's Lightning port thanks to a pair of new USB 3-based accessories released this week: A USB-C to Lightning cable, and a Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter with USB-A port input and power passthrough.
Apple's new USB 3 Lightning accessories offer faster file transfers and battery recharging abilities, but the only Apple device with a USB 3 Lightning port supporting those featuers remains the jumbo-sized 12.9-inch iPad Pro.
The USB 3 capable Lightning port on Apple's iPad Pro could use an incoming charge of up to 29 watts, matching the abilities of Apple's 12-inch MacBook. But without any USB 3 Lightning cables yet available on the market, this power remains untapped for now.
The faster USB 3.0 port hidden within the iPad Pro now has its first official accessory: A new Lightning to SD card reader that takes advantage of the next-generation port exclusive to Apple's jumbo-sized iPad.
The USB Implementers Forum on Wednesday announced that the USB 3.1 specification will bring with it a new style of connector that can be plugged in in any orientation and will support future USB technologies like USB Power Delivery, high-speed data transfer, and video-over-USB.
While Apple's new Dock Connector for iPhone 5 has been assumed to simply allow for a smaller physical port, the number of pins it uses coincides with the emerging USB 3.0 standard, which supports transfers up to 5 Gbps.