ABC’s of USB’s
USB cords are a staple in our portable lives. Since taking over the market around 2000, they haven’t changed much in appearance. Soon, however, USB will experience a dramatic makeover that will permanently and significantly change consumer electronics. If you haven’t already, you’ll start to hear about USB-C and USB 3.1; but unless you understand what those abbreviations mean, you’ll quickly get lost in the jargon. Weego is here to educate ya!
In this post we’ll start with the USB alphabets. “Alphabet Upgrades” (not a real phrase…I made that up) deal with the physical structure of the USB ends – right now we’re familiar with the age-old USB-A and USB-B. USB-A is that boxy end you’re always plugging into chargers; it’s a universal standard that hasn’t restructured much since inception. USB-B is the umbrella term that represents all the different connectors attached to the end of your cord. If you have a new Apple device, your USB-B is the Lightning tip. If you have a Samsung, it’s the Micro-USB tip.
So, USB-C will be a physical upgrade on both ends of your cable – it will replace USB-A and USB-B to give you a totally reversible cord. That means it’ll no longer matter which end you plug into where and which side is up! And it’s not just going to be a few companies who adopt this style; everyone will be transitioning to USB-C eventually. Seriously. Everyone. Apple, Samsung, Google, and the list goes on.
NOT ONLY will this be the newly accepted cord for smartphones and tablets, but also laptops, TVs, and a myriad of other devices. You’ll be able to charge your cell phone and your laptop with the same cord! Bye-bye to the tangled mess in your junk drawer. Adios to traveling with a million different cables.
But wait! There’s more! (I don’t think this is an infomercial but I’m no longer sure) – Since the USB-C takes up a lot less space than USB-A, your devices are about to get even slimmer. Chargers, phones, laptops, tablets, yadda yadda.
Before you get too excited, though, there’s still a few kinks to work out before this all comes to fruition. USB-C is still brand new, and the manufacturing isn’t pitch perfect just yet. Even reputable companies are having their fair share of drama: Apple just recalled the USB-C cables they released with their USB-C powered laptops. In addition, your USB-A devices are so universal that it will take time to “bleed” them out of the market – so you’ll likely see USB-A to USB-C cords for a while, then eventually USB-C to USB-C will follow. Even so, the USB-C transition has already started and is expected to be in full swing by 2017. Patience is a virtue.
Stay tuned for the next post, which will get into USB-3.1…even more exciting changes lie ahead!
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