USB-C is the emerging standard for charging and transferring data. Right now, it’s included in devices like the newest laptops, phones, and tablets and given time it’ll spread to pretty much everything that currently uses the older, larger USB connector.Though the specifications for USB-C were first published in 2014, it’s really just in the last year that the technology has caught on. It’s now shaping up to be a real replacement for not only older USB standards, but also other standards like Thunderbolt and DisplayPort. Testing is even in the works to deliver a new USB audio standard using USB-C as a potential replacement for the 3.5mm audio jack. USB-C is closely intertwined with other new standards, as well—like USB for faster speeds and USB Power Delivery for improved power-delivery over USB connections.USB Type-C offers a new connector standard that’s very small. It’s about a third the size of an old USB Type-A plug. This is a single connector standard that every device should be able to use. You’ll just need a single cable, whether you’re connecting an external hard drive to your laptop or charging your smartphone from a USB charger. That one tiny connector is small enough to fit into a super-thin mobile device, but also powerful enough to connect all the peripherals you want to your laptop. The cable itself has USB Type-C connectors at both ends—it’s all one connector.
USB Type-C is a worthy upgrade. It’s making waves on the newer MacBooks and some mobile devices, but it’s not an Apple- or mobile-only technology. As time goes on, USB-C will appear in more and more devices of all types. USB-C may even replace the Lightning connector on Apple’s iPhones and iPads one day.USB Type-C ports can also support a variety of different protocols using “alternate modes,” which allows you to have adapters that can output HDMI, VGA, DisplayPort, or other types of connections from that single USB port.