All useful things Your iPad and other gadgets can work with USB-C


Surprise! Apple has decided to charge the latest iPad Pros with USB-C, which means … well, what exactly does this mean? Whether you put some money in one's life for one of Apple's new tiles or have already had a USB-C device in your lifetime, there's a new technology here and exactly what you can do with it.

USB-C (or USB Type-C) has been designed to solve some of the USB problems. This is reversible for the beginning so that both ends of the USB-C cable work the same way and do not have to be the right way, because you already have at least one really good reason to find it.

Technically, USB-C physical connection technology: it does not relate to transfer speed, data capacity or charging capacity, although they are all closely related. Thunderbolt 3 on some Mac models uses the same USB-C connector, although the actual transmission technology is different.

Be careful when choosing devices and cables: Not all USB-C ports or cables that are created are the same. They can not all do the same tricks (for example, Fast Charging) because manufacturers have some shortcomings in implementing the standard.

Make sure you get what you think you've got – whether this is a fast charge on your phone or video on your laptop – check the specification sheet for your devices (and cables) carefully. The USB-C functions and the configuration that you get should be prominently displayed, but do not assume that USB-C means what you think it means.

With this introductory statement, here are some cool USB-C tricks that bring iPad Pro and your other gadgetry.

High Definition Video Output

Image: Apple

HDMI, USB-C comes for you. As we said above, with each USB-C port there is no video capability, but those on the iPad Pro and many other devices, either directly on the USB-C display or through the appropriate HDMI cable. Apple wanted to encourage you to connect your new premium tablet PC to a monitor or TV with a cable and continue with it.

Photo tweaking and processing is an obvious application scenario for professionals, watching Netflix and even browsing the web. In the specific case of the new iPad Pro models it can connect to USB-C (not Thunderbolt) screens up to 5K and support HDR, but you need a USB-C cable and another screen that supports this resolution and HDR, so be careful when purchase.

How the second screen varies depends on the original device, regardless of whether it's a tablet or a laptop. Some devices and applications will only see the screen, while others will provide an appropriate second-screen experience – that's for hardware manufacturers and software developers to choose. IPad Pro default to iOS, unless the app has a built-in "other screen" feature.

Fast charging and reversible charging

Photo: Alex Cranz (Gizmodo)

Charging goes in both ways with USB-C: you can charge iPhone (or any other phone) from iPaPa, assuming you have the right cable (for example, USB-C to Lightning). Of course, the consumption of the tablet will soon start to decrease if the juice is on another device, but the option is there.

The amount of power you push depends on the source device, so you can not increase your battery with your iPad Pro, for example, with your MacBook. You will also get different charging rates from different USB-C adapters, depending on what they were designed for. Your USB-C laptop charger will normally charge your USB-C phone, for example, but not the other way around.

When it comes to quick charging, it's up to the charger and your device, although USB-C certainly makes it possible for manufacturers to use it. Technically, the USB-C port can handle 100 watts or 3 amps of power, but hardware manufacturers may not necessarily go to these limits.

Memory sticks and memory drives

Image: Apple

As you would expect, external memory drives and memory keys are quickly switched to the USB-C standard for compactness and associated speed increases (the latest USB 3.1 standard is always using USB-C). As with previous versions of USB, some USB-C portable drives can be fully powered by the device they are connecting to.

There are warnings on some devices, such as the iPad Pro: the new Apple hides only the ability to access photos and videos from USB-C memory cards (inside adapters or cameras) or flash drives, and then through the camera. If you attach a thumb drive, the folder layout must match the standard SD card layout so that the device recognizes the files.

Laptops are much more versatile and allow you to recognize any kind of file on any kind of any USB-C storage device, but there is another example of how the USB-C port does not always mean the same capability for every device checking the exact specifications and functions before spending money on a setup that will not work properly.

Audio output and input

Image: Apple

USB-C also sounds with its presence, as the old 3.5 mm headphone jack is gradually abandoned (as was the case with the new iPad Pros). In the Pixel 3 box, you get some USB-C headphones, for example, if you're not ready to start wirelessly ringing tunes.

This audio connection is in both directions, so you can plug in microphones, speakers, and in some cases (like the iPad Pro), MIDI devices. Unless the device you are connecting to is connected to the USB-C revolution, you need a dongle or adapter, but this should not be too difficult (see next section for more on this).

Again, check compatibility twice: For example, not all USB-C headphones will work in all USB-C ports, since some themselves process digital-analogue processing, and some rely on the host device. There is good explanation for compatibility issues with The Sound Guys.

Other connection options

Image: Belkin

In addition to the direct connections between the USB-C connectors, USB-C adapters extend, which means all other options – for example, the USB-C and VGA connection by connecting this old projector to a new USB-C device, for example. Once again, just make sure that the host device has the built-in technology.

Here it is useful for iPad Pros and other devices: USB-C to Ethernet. This means that you can take advantage of the best speeds of the Internet in exchange for the inconvenience that the tablet is tethered to the physical gate. Another convenient option for compatible devices, including the iPad Pro, are USB keypads (if you need to do some typing on your tablet, and you may not have the Smart Keyboard Folio option).

Add to all the available docs, and you have a lot of USB-C options to keep in mind, even if you have other devices that have not yet adopted the standard (looking at you, Surface Pro 6). As the technology is expanding, we would hope that some of the compatibility problems mentioned above will also be emptied.

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