On Monday, Apple unveiled its newest MacBook, which has only one port: a USB-C port that users will employ for everything including charging the battery, to video output, to data transfer. A couple days later, Google revealed its newest Chromebook Pixel, which has two USB-C ports. And that same day, Google confirmed that we’re going to start seeing USB-C in a lot more devices very soon – specifically most, if not all forthcoming Android smartphones and tablets.
The information comes by way of a video about USB-C published the same day as the Chromebook Pixel announcement:
What’s so good about USB-C? Says Product Manager Adam Rodriguez:
“It’s about the same size of a micro-USB connector, but it’s good for up to a 100 watts, super high speed data, and allows you to output 4k display over it.”
Then there’s Andrew Bowers, the director of product management at Google:
“We’ve worked with the industry to come up with this standard so that it’s going to work across everything from a high powered, high-performance laptop to something like a small Bluetooth headset.
“USB type C delivers more power than most devices need today. So it’s going to be able to support many things into the future.”
Then Rodriguez brings it home, explaining that, yes, we’ll definitely be dealing with USB-C before too long:
“We at Google are very committed to the USB type C spec. Expect to see this in a lot of Chromebooks and Android phones in the near future.”
So what’s the upshot? Well, for starters, you’ll be able to throw out the majority of your micro USB cables. Since so many devices rely on it – from tablets to game controllers, to every Android smartphone, you’ve probably got a few. I even have a few min USB cables dotting my apartment.
The switch to USB-C might be really great, since you can use either end in any device that supports it. The problem, of course, is that a USB-C port is still pretty different from the USB ports we enjoy in most of our computers right now. It’s great that things are starting to change over, but it might be a while before we’re able to reliably expect everyone to be onboard with USB-C in all their devices. And by the time that does happen? We might be onto the next port-type.
Oh, technology. Never change (by which, I mean, keep changing, all the time, and make me buy lots of new cords).