Apple Overhauls MacBook Line Part 1: Any Port in a Storm

As expected, Apple has signifcantly revamped its MacBook Pro line, as well as some Mac accessories. Finally, the higher end MacBook Pro line uses the USB-C port, matching the entry-level 12-inch MacBook. USB-C is the closest thing to the Holy Grail of ports for computers and mobile devices. First, it's reversible like the Lightning port and unlike the original USB port. Next, USB-C can also be used to power a laptop, so Apple is dropping the MagSafe connector. 

The downside is that, for most consumers, USB-C is a brand new port. That means buying new adaptors for HDMI and VGA, not to mention USB-C to USB 3.0 converters so you can use older devices. Not to mention the wasted Thunderbolt adapters that you can't use anymore. This is apparently a "Year of Courage" for Apple and its customers. Certainly a MacBook Pro has more space for more ports, with four USB-C ports on the MacBook Pro 15-inch model. With that space, Apple could have offered USB-C as well as a Thunderbolt or traditional USB port. Ironically, the company included a headphone jack on the MacBook Pro, even though that was dropped from the iPhone 7 line.

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USB-C

USB-C is definitely desirable. It offers high speed for video, data, and, as mentioned, it can also be used to power devices. In fact, Apple has tweaked its implementation of USB-C to piggyback Thunderbolt 3.0 on the interface, much in the same way Thunderbolt 2.0 included mini-DisplayPort. Next generation Android devices are using USB-C as their power and data connection. I wouldn't be surprised if Apple switched from Lightning to USB-C, eventually. It may take another round of courage though!

 

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Todd Bernhard is a bestselling (6+ million downloads) award-winning (AARP, About.com, BestAppEver.com, Digital Hollywood, and Verizon) developer and founder of NoTie.NET, an app developer specializing in Talking Ringtone apps including AutoRingtone. And his profile photo is of the last known sighting of Mr. Bernhard wearing a tie, circa 2007!

An iPhone is almost always attached to his hip or in his pocket, but over the years, Mr. Bernhard has owned an Apple Newton, a Motorola Marco, an HP 95LX, a Compaq iPaq, a Palm Treo, and a Nokia e62. In addition to writing for iPhone Life, Mr. Bernhard has written for its sister publications, PocketPC Magazine and The HP Palmtop Paper.