Apple now sells 17 dongles. https://t.co/GfVfhOusWt
— Drew Breunig (@dbreunig) October 27, 2016
Apple is working on yet another connector, and it’s worse than you think
Apple’s ‘courageous’ decision to remove the headphone jack is still throwing up an unnecessary and completely avoidable set of problems. Apple is now working on an intermediary accessory for making lightning headphones compatible with USB-C and vice-versa.
As we’ve said in the past, the removal of the headphone jack was a very bad idea, and we’re paying the price for it.
When it replaced the headphone jack, Apple was left with no other option than to use the only port the iPhone had left, the Lightning port. The problem is that the Lightning port is far from an industry standard and only headphones designed for the Lightning port will work on that port.
Many Android device manufacturers decided to dump the headphone jack as well, and since they couldn’t go with the Lightning port, they went with USB-C audio.
Further convoluting the problem is that the new MacBook’s don’t even have Lightning ports, so those Lightning EarPods you received with your brand new iPhone 7 will not connect to the new MacBooks.
Rather than reinstate the headphone jack and move on from this mess, Apple seems to think it best to add yet another dongle to the mix. This one is being called the Ultra Accessory Connector (UAC), reports 9to5Mac.
Thankfully, the UAC port isn’t a proprietary one and is, as The Verge confirms, the same 8-pin connector that you would have seen on certain models of cameras, including Nikon DSLRs.
The UAC has reportedly been launched as a developer preview for partners under Apple’s Made For iPhone (MFi) program. Under the program, manufacturers will be permitted to make Lightning to UAC, USB-A to UAC, and 3.5mm jack to UAC accessories.
Just thinking about that mess of cables boggles the mind. It’ll probably be easier to set up a home theatre than figure out how to make all these cables talk to each other.
The one solace we have is that unlike the USB-C to USB-A adapters for the 2016 MacBook Pros, this one’s entirely optional.
Why couldn’t you have just left the headphone jack alone, Apple? We would have been saved a world of trouble.