USB-C cable shopping for an iPad or Thunderbolt 3 Mac is still a nightmare for consumers

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 69
    jdw said:
    Precisely why USB-A is still all the rage today and will continue to be for the next 10 years.  Tech remains around as long as we continue to use it.  And when consumers are confused by tech, then don't end up using it.

    That's not to say USB-C or some flavor of it isn't the future.  But it is to say that Apple is stupid for not making a machine these days that bridges the needs of today with that of tomorrow.  The 15" MBP has enough space for an SD card slot and a USB-A port, in addition to USB-C.  Having all that would help cut down on dongles.
    Connecting a USB-C port to a USB-A port does not require a dongle.

    You simply need a different $6 cable. Kinda like when you connect USB-A to USB-B.
    StrangeDaysmacxpress
  • Reply 22 of 69
    volcan said:
    RSGinSF said:
    A nightmare is waking up to your house on fire. A nightmare is having a crazy person point a gun at you. A nightmare is a nuclear bomb detonating in the middle of your city. It is NOT having a little bit of trouble buying a computer cable. C'mon, guys/gals.
    Oh jeez! The word nightmare as a figure of speech is very common usage -- meaning a pain in the ass, to use another figure of speech. Your examples are not nightmares if you want to get all technical about it. A nightmare means you would have to be asleep and dreaming about those scary events.

    I imagine he'd come back with "a pain in the ass is when you have hemorrhoids"...
  • Reply 23 of 69
    Great article! This is definitely a great resource for all the USB-C/USB 3.1/Thunderbolt 3 information in one place. Thanks for writing this!
  • Reply 24 of 69
    technotechno Posts: 707member
    I am more confused now then I was before. I did not even know of all these different types of USB-C. Goes to show how ignorant I am about this. Especially for technological knowledgeable person I am ashamed of myself. Everything you you wrote was very knowledgeable & helped me to understand better, but still don’t understand the point about “active & passive”. 
    Great article. Really do believe we will have many more articles related to this. 

    Instead of writing my comment, I will just say, ditto. 
    Ewalkaceblu
  • Reply 25 of 69
    I feel like we're back in the SCSI days talking about when a termination is required.

    To me, the most confusing part about all this is the similarity of all the terms.  I don't think I realized clearly until this article that USB-[letter] refers to the connector and USB-[number] refers to the protocol (or whatever it's called).  And then we have the same small set of numbers (1, 2, 3, 3.1) for USB and Thunderbolt, so you really have to pay attention to every character/digit.  All we need now is for Thunderbolt-C to be released.
  • Reply 26 of 69
    Thanks for this article that made me realise not all cables are the same. Unfortunately, I’m more confused than ever.

    I was hoping that someone could help me choose the right charger and cable for my new 2018 3 gen 12.9” iPad Pro.

    Apple’s support article: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT209186 rather unhelpfully advises: “If you have a higher-wattage USB-C power adapter — such as the one that came with your Mac notebook — you can use it with iPad Pro, and you might see faster charging.”

    On the ATP podcast, Marco Arment says he was told that the maximum charge power the new iPad Pro can draw is 45W. The 18W adapter that ships with the product says it outputs 5V, 3A or 9V, 2A (hence the 9 x 2 = 18W).  

    So, I think I need to buy a full PD spec cable (100W, 20V), but how do I choose which PD charger to buy? What maximum voltage and current will the iPad Pro’s port draw? There seems little point in spending extra money on a charger with power that the iPad can’t exploit.

    Thanks in advance for any response. I realise that my questions may demonstrate a lack of electrical understanding, but I think it is more because Apple don’t publish the full specs of that iPad’s port.
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 27 of 69
    Remember that the faster you charge the battery, the quicker you’ll need to replace it.

    Apple pairs it’s devices with chargers that match its goal of 5-year battery life. For example, using the 5W on an iPhone 7... fast charging the same phone reduces battery life to 2 years. It won’t die at that point, but the power drawdown curve will become erratic, such that the device may suddenly power off, and actual run time can sharply decrease too.

    Heat is the enemy for batteries, especially when charging.

    I always charge slowly overnight and use fast charge for emergencies. Also, don’t constantly charge your device. That kills the battery even faster,


    peter volksEwalkaceblu
  • Reply 28 of 69
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,967administrator
    Remember that the faster you charge the battery, the quicker you’ll need to replace it.

    Apple pairs it’s devices with chargers that match its goal of 5-year battery life. For example, using the 5W on an iPhone 7... fast charging the same phone reduces battery life to 2 years. It won’t die at that point, but the power drawdown curve will become erratic, such that the device may suddenly power off, and actual run time can sharply decrease too.

    Heat is the enemy for batteries, especially when charging.

    I always charge slowly overnight and use fast charge for emergencies. Also, don’t constantly charge your device. That kills the battery even faster,


    Most of this is sound advice, except for the last part. Leaving a device on a Qi charger or plugged in does not kill the battery any quicker than a normal charge-discharge cycle. What you say here used to be true, but hasn't been true for over a decade as charging logic has improved.
    Ewalkaceblu
  • Reply 29 of 69
    The one port to do it all needs the one cable to do it all. The gradual shift to USB C is going to lead to outcry when people can’t figure out what cabe they are using. They already use blue for USB 3.0, why not start a color coding scheme for all the other cables in the meantime?
  • Reply 30 of 69
    Remember that the faster you charge the battery, the quicker you’ll need to replace it.
    Thank you. Why is that?
  • Reply 31 of 69
    I still feel like it was a mistake to link USB-C with power for the newer Apple laptops. This is taking up a valuable data line. I have several PC laptops here and USB-C is simply a port, not the end-all connector for the entire system. Additionally, MagSafe was wildly successful and no doubt directly led to Apple's popularity in the laptop space.
    stevenozEwalkaceblu
  • Reply 32 of 69


    I gotta figure something like this would be simple to implement. From the top:

    1: Thunderbolt logo with version. Remove if not applicable. Version number assumes Thunderbolt 4 will continue to use the USB-C connector.

    2. USB logo with version number. Remove if not applicable.

    3. Power rating.

    4. A for Active, P for Passive. Remove for USB-only implementations.

    How easy is that? Where do we send this to get it implemented?
    StrangeDaysstevenozEwalkaceblu
  • Reply 33 of 69
    volcan said:
    RSGinSF said:
    A nightmare is waking up to your house on fire. A nightmare is having a crazy person point a gun at you. A nightmare is a nuclear bomb detonating in the middle of your city. It is NOT having a little bit of trouble buying a computer cable. C'mon, guys/gals.
    Oh jeez! The word nightmare as a figure of speech is very common usage -- meaning a pain in the ass, to use another figure of speech. Your examples are not nightmares if you want to get all technical about it. A nightmare means you would have to be asleep and dreaming about those scary events.
    Finally, you can’t write a college paper without a full version of MS Word. “Pages” or MS Word for IOS doesn’t cut it. To finish the wish list: 15” model pls.
    Strange claim to make, and quite false. Lots of college papers are written in Pages. Are you perhaps confusing your own use case for everyone’s?
    macxpress
  • Reply 34 of 69


    I gotta figure something like this would be simple to implement. From the top:

    1: Thunderbolt logo with version. Remove if not applicable. Version number assumes Thunderbolt 4 will continue to use the USB-C connector.

    2. USB logo with version number. Remove if not applicable.

    3. Power rating.

    4. A for Active, P for Passive. Remove for USB-only implementations.

    How easy is that? Where do we send this to get it implemented?
    Presumably the USB consortium would be the forum to approve this proposal.  Looks good to me.
  • Reply 35 of 69
    volcan said:
    RSGinSF said:
    A nightmare is waking up to your house on fire. A nightmare is having a crazy person point a gun at you. A nightmare is a nuclear bomb detonating in the middle of your city. It is NOT having a little bit of trouble buying a computer cable. C'mon, guys/gals.
    Oh jeez! The word nightmare as a figure of speech is very common usage -- meaning a pain in the ass, to use another figure of speech. Your examples are not nightmares if you want to get all technical about it. A nightmare means you would have to be asleep and dreaming about those scary events.
    Finally, you can’t write a college paper without a full version of MS Word. “Pages” or MS Word for IOS doesn’t cut it. To finish the wish list: 15” model pls.
    Strange claim to make, and quite false. Lots of college papers are written in Pages. Are you perhaps confusing your own use case for everyone’s?
    It can be done, but it's a lot more hassle with Pages than Word. Actually, let me rephrase that. Word is a hassle to use, but it will perform more document management functions. Pages is less hassle, but it's not as capable when it comes to managing things like TOC, footnotes, references, etc.
  • Reply 36 of 69
    (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ 
  • Reply 37 of 69
    Here are some markings... If you have Thunderbolt then there is no guess work on the port side, because Thunderbolt automatically includes everything. I think this is why Apple seems to be making all USB-C ports Thunderbolt.

    edited November 2018
  • Reply 38 of 69
    [...] If you have Thunderbolt then there is no guess work on the port side, because Thunderbolt automatically includes everything.
    An active Thunderbolt cable may or may not carry USB, so it's no guarantee.
  • Reply 39 of 69


    I gotta figure something like this would be simple to implement. From the top:

    1: Thunderbolt logo with version. Remove if not applicable. Version number assumes Thunderbolt 4 will continue to use the USB-C connector.

    2. USB logo with version number. Remove if not applicable.

    3. Power rating.

    4. A for Active, P for Passive. Remove for USB-only implementations.

    How easy is that? Where do we send this to get it implemented?
    This is a good start.  I would suggest removing the "3" for thunderbolt since only thunderbolt 3's have a USB C connector, so until thunderbolt 4 is here, its redundant. And replace the "3" with 20, 40, etc representing the max speed for the thunderbolt 3 connection.  Yes, there are different max speeds for thunderbolt 3 cables and when thunderbolt 4 arrives, it will have an increased speed as well. (I have several thunderbolt 3 cables, each with different max speeds and labeled the same!). I would also get rid of the active/passive since that is redundant and replace it with DP (displayport and version number).  These cables have the following 4 capabilities:  1) Thunderbolt 3 and speed (20, 40) 2) USB tyoe: 2.0, 3.0 and 3.1 each with different speeds (.5, 5, 10 Gpbs)  3) power delivery (60, 100W) and 4) Displayport.  So you need a labeling for each one.
  • Reply 40 of 69
    Could someone come out with a USB C Gen2 hub?  Not a C to A, but a C to C.  
    anome
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