Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 1st Nov 2016 22:04 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems

Did you buy the new MacBook or MacBook Pro? Maybe the Google Pixel? You're about to enter a world of confusion thanks to those new USB-C" ports. See, that simple-looking port hides a world of complexity, and the (thankful) backward-compatibility uses different kinds of cables for different tasks. Shoppers have to be very careful to buy exactly the right cable for their devices!

Welcome to the dongle.

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It will get better
by sukru on Wed 2nd Nov 2016 08:57 UTC
sukru
Member since:
2006-11-19

It will get better, but it looks like it will get a bit worse first.

We'll need to educate users, and also manufacturers. Fortunately the really terrible off-spec cable issue was fixed after little effort, and many people now try to make sure the cable actually works before buying them. (One advantage of lightning was that Apple certified the cable, so there were no broken ones, except for manufacturing errors).

Then it is possible to carry power on the cable, in both ways. This is an extension of USB-OTG where the phone could be a host device. Now it can be a host for power, and can actually charge your portable powerbank, instead of other way around. (You'll need to check, as the user, which device is charging the other).

And now we'll have HDMI, DP, and Audio (two different specs) over the same port. And they require dedicated hardware. USB 3 ports were labelled blue, and some MBs color high sample rate mouse ports red. We might have a similar notation for a/v ports. (But I would rather have a full size HDMI and real 3.5 audio ports, but that's another discussion).

Overall we'll probably adapt and learn to live with the new technology. We have done this several times (Mini USB -> Micro USB -> Special MHL/HDMI/AV ports, miniDP, etc). We can do it once again.

Edited 2016-11-02 08:57 UTC

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