| Cult of Mac

iPhone 15 USB-C port doesn’t hide any nasty secrets


A mockup of a blue braided cable.
The iPhone 15 doesn't care if you use an Apple USB-C cable or one made by some other company.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Apple didn’t tinker with the USB-C port in the iPhone 15 series to disadvantage standard cables. Instead, the port handles charging and data transfers like any other USB-C port.

This throws cold water on suspicions that the new iPhones would require special MFi cables to get the maximum data or charging rates.

Versatile new 4-in-1 MagSafe charger takes unusual form


You can see in the photograph how the MagSafe charging pad for iPhone can sit flush or tilt up.
You can see in the photograph how the MagSafe charging pad for iPhone can sit flush or tilt up.
Photo: Ugreen

The new Ugreen Nexode 100W GaN Charging Station, rolled out Thursday, combines MagSafe charging for iPhone with GaN USB-C charging for other devices in a compact form factor, the company said.

I’ll have an in-depth review of the new charger, which Ugreen said is ideal for home and on-the-go use with the new iPhone 15 and other MagSafe iPhones, on Friday.

No, Apple didn’t change the iPhone connector to make money


iPhone 15 and USB-C cable with money falling in the background
It's not about money this time.
Photo: Apple/Public Domain

No, Apple didn’t change the Lightning connector on the iPhone 15 to make more money selling you new cables and dongles. It’s a common conspiracy theory that Apple switches the connector all the time for lining their pockets, but it doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.

First of all, Apple changes the connector very rarely; this is only the second occurrence in 16 years. Secondly, Apple is actually giving up money to make the switch happen. Not that there’s much money to be made selling Lightning cables, anyway. And all that aside, it’s out of Apple’s hands — USB-C is European Union law.

Apple smooths iPhone Lightning to USB-C transition with new adapter


Apple USB-C to Lightning Adapter
Keep using your Lightning cables and earbuds with iPhone 15 thanks to this adapter from Apple.
Photo: Apple

Anyone unhappy that the iPhone 15 series dumps Lightning in favor of USB-C should consider a just-released adapter from Apple. With it, an old Lightning cable can be plugged into a USB-C port — and for more than just power.

That said, there are cheaper options.

Apple updates AirPods Pro 2 and EarPods with USB-C


AirPods Pro with USB-C port and charging cable
Updated AirPods Pro 2 look the same, but feature a new connector on the bottom.
Photo: Apple
Wonderlust 2023

At Apple’s “Wonderlust” event today, the company released an updated version of AirPods Pro 2 and EarPods with USB-C connectors. The earbuds themselves are largely unchanged from before, but the AirPods Pro 2 charging case and wired EarPods have switched from the once-inescapable Lightning port to the universal USB-C standard. Minor improvements to the former include dust resistance and lossless audio when paired with Vision Pro.

The new earbuds were announced alongside iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus, which also come with a USB-C port. Both pairs of buds are available to order today at the same price as before and will be available on September 22.

Today in Apple history: Lightning replaces 30-pin dock connector


Anker PowerLine II USB-C Cable
The Lightning connector was ahead of its time.
Photo: Anker

September 12: Today in Apple history: iPhone 5 brings big changes, new EarPods September 12, 2012: The Lightning connector replaces Apple’s aging 30-pin interface, a proprietary data and power connector that debuted on the iPod Classic in 2003. The slender and capable new Lightning port debuts in the iPhone 5, bringing big improvements — and no small amount of controversy.

Apple soon will build the Lightning connector into many other products, including iPad, iPod and accessories. It’s used to charge the mobile devices as well as transfer data to a Mac or PC.

Thunderbolt 5 doubles or even triples speed of wired data standard


Thunderbolt 5 doubles or even triples speed of data transfers
Transfer data at crazy fast speeds with Thunderbolt 5.
Graphic: Intel

Those working with very large files should be pleased that Intel keeps improving the Thunderbolt standard. The newly announced Thunderbolt 5 doubles the speed of its predecessor, and can even go up to three times faster for video connections.

It’s virtually certain Apple will build support the system for high-speed data transfers into future Macs.

What’s the difference between USB-C and Thunderbolt? [Updated]


This 2021 iMac shows two of its four rear ports have Thunderbolt capability.
This 2021 iMac shows two of its four rear ports have Thunderbolt capability. Note the lightning-bolt symbol.
Photo: Apple

Apple might mix up connector types among its four iPhone 15 models, and that might confuse people even more over the differences between USB-C and Thunderbolt. They look alike, work similarly and accept the same cables. Yet they’re not the same.

Let’s look at the key differences, how Thunderbolt 4 improves on Thunderbolt 3, and which kind of port and cable best suits your tasks like charging and data transfer.

And Intel announced speedy Thunderbolt 5 Tuesday, but that’s not out yet.

Get ready to play Wonderlust event bingo


Basic Apple Guy's richly designed Wonderlust Apple Event Bingo card covers most likely announcements.
Basic Apple Guy's richly designed Wonderlust Apple Event Bingo card covers most likely announcements.
Photo: Basic Apple Guy
Wonderlust 2023

If Apple’s holding a major event, then it’s a good bet someone’s preparing bingo cards for it. Ahead of Tuesday’s Wonderlust event, we found a few options for you to play along while Cupertino’s rumored announcements unfold.