Apple Is Working On A New Power Adapter That Syncs-And-Charges Macs And iOS Devices Simultaneously

Apple Is Working On A New Power Adapter That Syncs-And-Charges Macs And iOS Devices Simultaneously

A couple weeks ago, we posted about TwelveSix’s PlugBug, a cute little attachment that plugs into your standard MacBook MagSafe charger and gives it a 10W USB port, perfect for charging your MacBook and iPad simultaneously.

The PlugBug’s an ingenious little idea, and I’m reviewing one now. However, PlugBug’s days might be numbered: a new patent says that Apple is working on a universal power adapter that can charge MacBook Pros, iPhones and iPads, all at the same time.

That’s not all, though. Apple’s also been working on a way for devices plugged into the same power adapter to sync data between themselves.

Sounds great to me. If there’s one thing I hate, it’s dealing with multiple cords and cables. Cupertino must hate it too: it’s exactly the sort of frustrating duplication of partical functionality that Steve Jobs hated. If Apple can consolidate all of its power adapters and USB cables (maybe by using ThunderBolt) into one universal device that handles everything, so much the better.

  • sudoash

    TwelveSix should be TwelveSouth.

  • user1234

    Unnecessary? 

  • Jordan Clay

    How?  Like most people I have a lot more gadgets then Outlets in my house.  At my desk, I have computers, printers, iPads, iPhones, wireless routers, speakers, lamps and other things.   taking 3 plugs and condensing them to two makes it cleaner and easier. 

  • user1234

    No, you misunderstood. Text above says “”unnecessary to carry one power adapter” but i don’t think that’s what the writer meant. 

  • user1234

    Im assuming he meant “possible” not “unnecessary”

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  • David Sangwell

    Don’t we basically already have this, maybe its just me, but when I travel, I only take the magsafe adapter for my air, and a sync cable… Then the iphone’s sync cable plugs into – yes, the Macbook to charge… all this is doing is freeing up a usb port isn’t it?

  • Srose428

    That is an option if you are ok filling your iDevices with a lower quality charge.  All I can say is about time; a 30 pin magsafe would really change the game, this will just add convenience.

  • Anon

    Like you, I wonder how necessary this is. 

    I plug in the Mac when it needs charge.
    I plug the iDevice into the Mac when it needs charge.
    iOS 5 allows syncing via WiFi, so cable isn’t even necessary.

    And besides, there are USB hubs that do quite well charging iDevices as well, if you need to avoid “lower quality” charge (is the electricity somehow different? or is there just a concern regarding the rate of charge?)

    If Apple is serious about simplifying, give us all micro-USB to 30-pin adapters…

  • Srose428

    The charge quality is a matter of the type of current that is being transferred.  I am no physics expert, but I am pretty sure laptops output Alternating current (AC), while the wall gives your direct current (DC).  Also the level of AMP’s is a major factor in a batteries charge, the laptop will only give 100amps total to all of the usb ports on a laptop while you get a cool 500amps off the wall.  The difference is not significant enough for most daily users but over the life of a battery.  I found a few PHD papers on the subject, but felt it would be over kill haha. 

    Yeah I agree we need a new connection other than USB, either go with Smaller USB, Thunderbolt or some other peripheral connection.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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