The last two Mac books have been launched with only USB-C type ports. High end smartphone flagships like the Google Pixel and Google Pixel plus have the USB type C ports for charging and data transfer.
This has stirred up a lot of curiosity and rumor mongering from techies and consumers. What is USB-C? Should I be worried? Is it better than the normal USB? Will future phones, tablets and computers all have USB-C ?
Before I get started, let’s go back to the basics. USB stands for Universal Serial Bus. It is the universal industry standard. For many years we have been using the USB type A and USB type B to connect, charge and transfer data to and from our devices and computers.
These are the most common USB connectors but there are other USB type A and B connectors for ports on different gadgets manufactured by different companies. We also have lightning ports on latest iPhones and iPads and thunderbolt ports(and cables) from Intel. There’s a lot of different ports, connectors and cables from different companies and this is the problem USB type C (USB 3.1) is coming to solve.
What is USB Type C?
USB-C is also known as USB 3.1 We’ve been using USB 2.0 and the high speed 3.0 ports on our computers and other peripherals but now it’s time for USB Type C for everything. USB 3.1 is a thinner, faster and more convenient port that is coming to our laptops, phones and tablets in the coming days.
To be honest, our gadgets are getting too thin and too powerful to continue using the USB 2.0 and 3.0. There’s a need for faster data transmission, faster charging, and obviously a thin port. The USB3.1 can carry up to 100 watts of power and therefore charge full electronics quickly.
These USB type C ports can transmit data up to speeds of 10Gbps compared to 480Mbps in the USB 2.0 ports. That’s a huge improvement.
Is USB Type C going To Be Everywhere? Yes!
USB-C is going to be the new UNIVERSAL standard. It’s coming and it’s here to stay. We are looking forward to a time where you will need one charger to charge your phone, your tablets and your laptops. Because you have a USB type C cable and all your gadgets have USB type C ports. How cool is that?
Currently the USB type C is in the 2015 Macbook and the 2016 Mac book pro. Also the Google Pixel, Pixel plus and the Chromebook Pixel are rocking USB 3.0 ports. The HTC 10 and LG G5 also have USB Type C ports on them. This thing is real! With time, other big companies like Samsung and Sony are coming aboard. In a few years, USB type C will be the main Usb.
Should You Panic?
Absolutely not. As sure as the change to USB-C is, it is going to be gradual. The good thing is, USB-C ports and cables are backwards compatible with USB 3.0 and 2.0 This means you can use adapters to connect USB 2.0 and 3.0 peripherals to USB 3.1 gadgets and vice versa. Ofcourse with the use of adapters.
There are plenty of USB 3.1 adapters and gadgets you can buy online to help you gradually get used to the ‘new world order- usb 3.1’.
Which Gadgets Are Already Using USB Type C?
- Several tech companies have already taken up USB-C as their data transfer and charging ports. Most notable is the new Mac book Pro. It has two USB 3.1 ports on the side.
- Google Pixel and Pixel XL are Google’s flagship phones of 2016. They have a USB 3.1 port at the bottom and a USB 3.1 cable in the box.
- LG V20
- OnePlus 3T
- Huawei Honor 8
Here is a list of all the smartphones that have a USB 3.1 port already. USB type C is gaining momentum and it’s here for the long haul.