USB-C Stories October 18

AAPL: 117.47

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Last night we received a report from Macotakara that the new MacBook Pros were still coming this month, despite a lack of any announcements from Apple. The reporting didn’t specify anything about the internal hardware specs, but did resurface the idea that MagSafe, Thunderbolt 2, and USB-A ports would be replaced.

The thing for me is this: Apple just dropped the headphone jack from the iPhone 7 and the reaction to that has been controversial to say the least. Apple explained that the move took courage and was needed to move from analog to digital, free up space in iPhones, and push wireless. There are no signs that this affected iPhone sales, but transitions are still hard.

Headphone jack aside, if new MacBook Pros fully replace USB-A with USB-C, are we in for the next episode in the same series? We’ve already seen this with the 12-inch Retina MacBook’s single USB-C port, but it’s worth considering what it could mean for MacBook Pro users if true.

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USB-C Stories October 12

AAPL: 117.34

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After a lot of abuse, my MacBook Pro’s 85W MagSafe 2 adapter finally died last week. Often Apple adapters fray at joints and this one did to an insane degree but somehow it kept working for 3 years through tons of travel, work and even some fun.

So what to do? Typically I’d buy a new Apple Magsafe 2 adapter. But clearly Apple has some redesigned MacBook/Pro/Airs coming later this month and they will likely be charged via USB-C, at least in some cases. So that means I only need MagSafe to power this 2013 MacBook Pro for at least a few more weeks before it gets relegated to backup machine, kid’s computer or sold off when I get Apple’s new OLED/USB-C creation.

So I thought I’d get a little creative and save a few bucks at the same time. As I was looking for options on Amazon, I came across an interesting product: The “BND 85W MagSafe 2 Replacement Power Adapter Charger w/ 5 USB Ports for Apple MacBook Pro”. For less than half the price of a discounted $77 Apple MagSafe Adapter this $37 charger includes 5 USB ports and gets solid 4.3/5 star reviews. What the heck, I’ll give it a try… expand full story

USB-C Stories September 1

AAPL: 106.73

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USB-C first debuted in Macs last year with the 12-inch Retina MacBook, and this fall even more Macs are expected to adopt the new standard port. While the MacBook is a lightweight machine (both physically and in terms of workload), MacBook Pro uses will expect wider functionality without adapters if USB-C replaces ports available on current hardware.

Add HDMI to the list of ports USB-C can now easily replace. The group behind the HDMI standard today shared that it’s now possible to connect HDMI and USB-C directly. Manufacturers will have to produce the cables, of course, but the new HDMI Alt Mode makes it possible. Previously, USB-C to HDMI required a dedicated adapter between cables.

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USB-C Stories August 24

AAPL: 108.03

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Apple has supported USB 3.1 since 2015’s single-port MacBook release, but both it and the updated 2016 model feature the Gen 1 flavor of USB 3.1. Despite its name, USB 3.1 Gen 1 is basically rebranded USB 3.0, also known as SuperSpeed USB. That means that like USB 3.0, transfer speeds max out at 5 Gbps.

With the upcoming release of macOS Sierra, however, there are strong indications that rumored new Mac hardware will support faster USB 3.1 Gen 2 speeds. expand full story

USB-C Stories August 17

AAPL: 109.22

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With Apple looking all but certain to be dropping the 3.5mm headphone socket in favor of audio via the Lightning socket of the iPhone 7, Intel backs the move to digital audio but suggests Apple is using the wrong connector, at least in its iOS devices.

The chipmaker has announced that it will be adding digital audio to the USB-C spec later this year, reports CNET, and that this will be ‘the right connector for audio’ …

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USB-C Stories July 15

AAPL: 98.78

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As a MacBook owner, USB-C peripherals are still a little hard to come by, but the accessory situation has improved significantly over the past year. One of the latest USB-C-centric peripherals to hit the scenes is an external bus-powered hard drive from the folks over at G-Technology. If you’re looking for a way to quickly offload files to and from your MacBook, the G-Drive is a good option. expand full story


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