Thanks to gallium nitride technology, OneAdaptr was able to create a svelte 65W USB-C charger that can plug into any international power outlet and lets you charge up to six devices at once.
The group that creates USB standards listened to feedback and has released a reduced set of logos that make it easier to figure out the capabilities of your ports, peripherals, and cables. But changes to USB4 also mean the return of active cables to provide maximum throughput for a new 80 Gbps data rate over distances beyond 0.8 meters.
If you want to avoid confusion surrounding USB-C cable compatibility with USB and Thunderbolt, get a Thunderbolt 4 cable, which supports all the protocol, data throughput, and power delivery possibilities. OWC now sells three Thunderbolt 4 cable lengths for $24, $34, and $57—far less than Apple’s $129 entry.
USB-C was supposed to make connectivity easier. Instead, it has acquired a profusion of footnotes, exceptions, and labeling that can leave average users frustrated—and with the wrong cable. USB 4 and Thunderbolt 4 are our last best hope.
Some third-party, non-compliant, powered USB-C hubs and docks are bricking recent MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models. Apple has updated Big Sur to prevent the problem; the question is if Macs running Catalina or Mojave might still be at risk.
The new USB 3.2 standard promises faster devices but also a great deal of confusion thanks to an insane naming convention that retroactively mixes up different USB generations. Meanwhile, a draft of USB4 was just announced.
Cheap cables and compatibility issues with USB-C have led USB’s trade and standards group to launch an authentication program that will pair certification with cryptographic locks to ensure device safety and data security.