Cheap USB C cords on the way for the new MacBook

19 Apr 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple’s 12-inch MacBook can use third-party USB Type-C cables.

If you’re buying a new 12-inch MacBook and scrambling to find cables that work with the laptop’s new USB Type-C port, you have more options than Apple’s pricey cables.The new MacBook is out this week, and its most famous attribute — other than its heroin-addicted model skinniness — is its single USB-C port for power and everything else.Apple has just released their new 12-inch Macbookand it’s amazing like their other products with it’s thin-stylish design, outstanding resolution and comfortable typing pad. That one USB C port should be used for charging and file transfers, peripheral hookups, monitor connections or any other interfacing, in Apple’s opinion, which roughly translates to Apple wanting MacBook users to take more advantage of the cloud and of cloud services.

Now we all know Apple loves to be creative and introduce new technologies with their products,so on their newly released 12-inch Macbook they did just that. The new MacBook also can work with third-party USB Type-C chargers, a big change from the company’s proprietary MagSafe chargers, which are used for other MacBooks. InfiniteUSB-C, an open chain of USB ports, gives users an unlimited supply of open slot. “Whenever a new InfiniteUSB is plugged in, a new USB port will be created. Instead of forcing you to constantly hot swap devices into that one port, InfiniteUSB keeps all your cables connected, with only one port from your laptop,” its project description says. After a month of campaigning on the crowd-funding site, InfiniteUSB has now hit its goal since it offered more traditional type A USB headers of various types, Lightning Support, and its recently-available InfiniteUSB-C.

It seems that Apple has noticed the problem and has decided that the more than one million Apple Watch orders that have piled up in the first day when preorders went live was enough motivation to ease up a bit. Apple has generally supported third-party USB cables with older Macs, and the Type-C port is based on industry standard specifications as defined by the USB Implementers Forum. While I’d anticipated many of the issues with a device with a single port using USB-C, a standard that is very thinly in the marketplace so far, both I and executive editor Susie Ochs were flummoxed by what we experienced. InfinteUSB-C’s three types of cable designs namely MicroUSB, Lightning, and Female USB come in five different colors: blue, orange, green, pink, and gray. That means if you want to charge your Macbook and transfer data or use other devices, then you will need to purchase a multi-usb hub which can connect other Type-C ports on to one.

This move is a first for Apple, as up until now, users of their products were more or less obligated to buy accessories from Apple itself, maximizing profit. The Type-C USB port is also used to charge the Macbook and the best part is, Apple is allowing their customers to use third party cables for charger as well.

Apple is selling a US$19 USB Type-C to USB adapter, a $29 two-meter charging cable, a $49 Type-C power adapter, and a $79 USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter with HDMI, USB 3.0 and USB Type-C ports. The only condition that Apple puts on third party USB C cords and their compatibility with the MacBook is that the manufacturer uses the standards for power delivery specified by Apple, which is not that hard to do.

Orders were accepted for some models right after midnight with shipping times a couple of weeks out unless one paid the $10 expediting fee, which pushed home delivery up to April 15. Though we were surprised about the lack of in-store stock, Apple’s new models are sometimes highly supply constrained, and often airshipped directly from China to meet shipping dates. Only a subset of MacBook buyers will need HDMI—far fewer, VGA, except for backwards compatibility with projectors—but not having them available seems just peculiar.

Use a full-featured USB-C to USB-C cable to connect to another MacBook, or a full-featured USB-A to USB-C cable to connect to a Mac with standard USB-A ports. The eagle-eyed Dan Frakes, formerly of this publication and now a senior editor at the Wirecutter, pointed this cached text out to me, as the page now omits it. I first tried Wi-Fi, setting up my MacBook Air via Applications > Utilities > Migration Assistant to be looking to copy to another Mac, and then running the same utility on the MacBook.

I continued in the setup process with migrating, and prepared to download necessary updates—2.1 GB for all of them, which is five hours with a 1Mbps connection and about 30 minutes with my cable modem speed. It’s been a long time since I had to hold down Command-Option-P-R after pressing the power button, but it worked. (I did two cycles, which is often recommended.) Finally, everything was aligned, and the drive mounted and Migration Assistant accepted it. Dan Frakes said that he was able to accomplish the same task much faster: he had a USB 3.0 drive and a 2012 MacBook Air, which features the newer standard. USB-C is definitely an up-and-coming standard, and we’re seeing more shipping products and announcements for cables, peripherals, and accessories that incorporate it every day.

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