| Cult of Mac

Apple could go all in on USB-C across its product lineup

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This AirPods charging case has a USB-C connection.
USB-C could finally be the standard charging port across all Apple devices
Photo: Ken Pillonel

Beyond iPhones, Apple is looking to switch to USB-C on all its other products with a Lightning connector like the AirPods, Magic Mouse, Magic Keyboard, and more.

A reputable Apple analyst thinks the Cupertino company will make the transition in the “foreseeable future.”

Every MacBook and iPad user should carry these 3 adapters

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Every MacBook and iPad user needs these 3 adapters
A small collection of adapters can really make your life easier.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Adapters simplify the sometimes-messy process of connecting things to our computers. I regularly travel, and I’ve found there are three USB adapters that get me through most of my connection problems.

If you, for example, suddenly need to use a new accessory at a client’s office, or get power at an airport, these adapters will get you through. And they are very affordable.

Modded Android phone steals iPhone’s Lightning port

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First Android phone with Lightning port
Why? Why not?
Photo: Ken Pillonel

This Samsung Galaxy A51 is almost certainly the only Android phone in the world that uses a Lightning port. That’s thanks to engineer Ken Pillonel, who hacked the handset to use Apple’s connector instead of USB-C.

The port is fully functional, with support for charging and data transfer — despite the fact that Apple designs its cables to work only with its own devices. Why go through all that effort? Well … why not?

Chinese students sue Apple for ditching iPhone chargers

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Original iPhone unboxing with charger
Apple no longer includes a charger or headphones with new iPhone models.
Photo: Juan Martín López CC

A group of students in China is suing Apple for no longer including chargers with its newest iPhone models. The lawsuit calls for Cupertino to cough up for charging adapters, breach of contract, and court fees.

Apple has already been fined by Brazil’s consumer protection agency since it stopped shipping power adapters with iPhone 12 last fall.

Awesome iPhone mod brings the upgrade everybody wants

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iPhone X with USB-C mod
Good riddance, Lightning connector.
Photo: Ken Pillonel

I think most of us can agree that iPhone is long overdue a USB-C upgrade. But despite bringing the technology to Mac and iPad years ago, Apple seems reluctant to ditch Lightning for its smartphones. So, someone else did.

Robotics engineering student Ken Pillonel managed to replace the Lightning connector in his iPhone with a working USB-C connector. The mod allows for charging and data transfer — but it’s not one you’ll want to perform yourself.

Turn your iPhone into a Switch with GameSir X2 Lightning controller [Review]

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GameSir X2 Lightning Mobile Gaming Controller review
Slide your iPhone into the GameSir X2 Lightning Mobile Gaming Controller and you’re ready to play.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

If you’ve ever wished you could merge your iPhone and Nintendo Switch, I have great news. The GameSir X2 Lightning wraps around your handset and adds physical buttons and joysticks in a design reminiscent of the Switch Lite. And it includes a Lightning connector so it plugs directly into your iPhone.

I spent many hours playing games with this accessory — probably more than were necessary for testing. Here’s why I love it.

EU proposes forcing iPhone to switch to USB-C

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Anker PowerLine II USB-C Cable with Lightning Connector
If the European Commission has its way, the iPhone Lightning port will be replaced by a USB-C one.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The European Commission put forward legislation Thursday that would make USB-C the standard port for all smartphones and tablets. The move seems aimed directly at Apple and the Lightning port used in iPhone and the budget iPad. But it also would affect super-cheap Android handsets that still use micro-USB.

The proposal also would unbundle the sale of chargers from the sale of electronic devices.

Apple’s Lightning connector should ride off into the sunset

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USB-C Lightning
Lightning was great but it’s time has passed. USB-C is now a better option.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The European Commission is reportedly moving ahead with legislation that’s expected to make USB-C the common charger standard in the EU. We users should be encouraging Apple to embrace the change. It’s time for the Lightning port to go.

Lightning was fine in its day… but there are multiple reasons why USB-C has become a better option.

SanDisk’s 2-in-1 flash drive lets iPhone, Mac, iPad securely exchange files [Review]

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SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive Luxe review
The SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive Luxe has both USB-C and Lightning connectors for maximum compatibility.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive Luxe includes both Lightning and USB Type-C connectors so it plugs into almost any computer. You can easily access the same collection of files from an iPhone, Mac or iPad without resorting to iCloud, etc. Even better, the drive is small and comes in an all-metal casing.

I tested the iXpand Luxe with multiple devices. Here’s its strengths and weaknesses.