The iPhone 15 is here. They will go down in history for being the first to make the leap to a standard port, after 16 years divided between five years for the old 30-pin connector and more than a decade for Lightning. Even if it was by force.

There aren’t many people who don’t celebrate this jump. Users gain in comfort as there is no gap between manufacturers when it comes to needing a charging cable outside the home. And being able to charge almost all our devices with the same cable, also gaining convenience, especially in mobility.

The asterisk

This arrival has only been clouded by the limited transfer rate of the standard models: 480 Mbps. That is, USB 2.0. That is, what Lighting already achieved. That is, a standard from twenty-three years ago.

But that’s not the problem with this jump to USB-C, which is wonderfully versatile.

The problem is the same one that we have had since the launch of this standard. That On the outside they look the same, but on the inside they are not.. And it doesn’t just apply to the difference between the base series iPhone (USB 2.0) and the Pro line iPhone (USB 3.2). It applies to all the USB-C charging cables and adapters that are piling up and again, they look the same… but they aren’t.

That can lead to problems. From minor issues, such as a computer charging very slowly due to having used a charger or cable designed for a mobile phone, to much more serious issues, such as frying a motherboard due to using the wrong cable to connect a peripheral.

This is not an exageration: The eyes of the writer of these lines saw smoke coming out of a USB microphone due to feeding it with the wrong cable, the result of not looking closely and not choosing the right cable. Again: they look the same on the outside… but they aren’t.

It doesn’t always happen. Often a device with a USB-C connector has safety mechanisms to prevent electrical surges, but sometimes they are not included or simply do not work as intended. Then overheating and problems resulting from them arrive.

The ideal is to use the cable and charger that came with a device, no other; or at least they share a manufacturer or are one of some reliability. For example, the convenience of using the same charger for iPhone, iPad and Mac makes sense if we use the highest power charger, the one for the Mac; on devices that are not going to suffer from it. Or at least, use chargers and cables from reputable, trusted manufacturers, to avoid scares.

On the other hand, if we decide to charge certain devices with the first cable we pull out of the drawer, especially when it comes to powering peripherals and not so much charging their batteries; and especially if it is any cable, coming from God knows where, the dreaded overheating can occur.

In the event that we use this type of cables, in a carefree manner, the minimum is to be attentive to possible overheating of the cable, the device and the power adapter.

And if in doubt, a healthy habit that manufacturers themselves should adopt as a standard: label cables and chargers. At least with a color code, or a traffic light or a pyramid, in the style of energy efficiency, to make it as easy as possible for anyone to understand which cables to use for which devices and which ones are not enough and can cause problems.

It is not that only USB-C poses this problem: the mess that HDMI represents now that we have been around for enough years and accumulating those of different generations at home is less dangerous, but just as confusing. Although that is another topic.

Featured image | Manzana.

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