While you may have never noticed it, USB and connectivity go hand-in-hand. From desktops to smartphones, as far as connectivity is concerned, USB is the standard. For instance, pick any device lying around your house, and it’s most likely that you’ll at least find one device with USB.
Though it’s been a while since USB received a major update (USB 3.1 in 2013), the technology itself has come a long way since its inception in January 1996. From a massive, single oriented plug to a micro (or even mini), reversible equipment, it sure did improve a lot over time.
Alongside the USB 3.1, the USB Type-C connector was introduced in the year 2013. We will get back to what a USB Type-C connector is in a moment. But, we are pretty sure you have been hearing the term USB Type-C from smartphone manufacturers (even from the biggies in the industry) very frequently, right?
Well, what’s all the fuss about it and how is it better than its predecessors? We are here just to explain that.
What is USB Type-C?
Developed by USB Implementers Forum, the USB Type-C is just like any other connector (for example Micro-USB) used to transmit power as well as data. It is quite similar to the USB 1.1, USB 2.0, USB 3.0 or the latest USB 3.1, except for the fact that at 10Gbps, it’s twice as fast as USB 3.0 and can be plugged in any orientation — something which had been a major problem with the previous connectors.
The USB Implementers Forum has more than 700 partner companies including Apple, Microsoft, Dell, HP, Intel, and Samsung. Meaning, it’s going to be ubiquitous soon, if not it already is, no matter what device you use — computers, laptops, smartphones, hard drives, flash drives, and much more.
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What are the advantages?
USB Type-C will soon be a standard on most electronic devices and should eventually replace all the previous standards. The reason behind this is not only the fact that it is the latest standard out there but also because it brings along several advantages that make managing devices much easier. Let’s take a look at a few benefits of USB Type-C here.
Higher transfer speeds: The USB Type-C by default supports USB 3.1 for data transfer, which means its cables offer transfer speeds of 10Gbps, which is double the transfer speed of its predecessor.
Faster charging: The USB Type-C cables offer 20 volts and 5 amps of power in comparison to the 5 volts and 1.8amps of its predecessor. This means it will charge your devices significantly faster, which is welcome by all of us.
Can be a headphone jack alternative: Let's get this straight out of the way. Headphone jacks are bulky and restrict smartphone vendors from building slimmer smartphones. Whether people need slimmer devices or not is an argument for another day, but that's not the only reason behind USB Type-C killing the headphone jack.
The 3.5mm headphone jack dates back to 1960s, and since then, it’s been used only for one thing — transmit sound. On the other hand, unlike the headphone jack, USB Type-C can multi-task.
Reversible: Okay, this is one of the most common and irritating issues with the previous USB standards. You never plug it right the first time as there will always be the second attempt. However, getting rid of this issue, USB Type-C allows you to plug it in any orientation.
Can be used to charge Laptops: Like mentioned above, the USB Type-C has higher power available at disposal. As a result, it can be used to charge laptops as well which usually require higher power. Remember the Apple MacBook?