What Is A USB Lightning Cable?

Apple’s proprietary USB lightning cable is their alternative to micro-USB and now USB-C. They were the first to implement cables that work in both orientations, along with many other new features. Some are for them, and some are against them. Here’s more about these lightning cables.

The History of USB Lightning Cable

Lightning is the type of USB connector Apple has used for many of its devices since 2012. The cables provide both charging and data transfer. The Lighting connector is much thinner than standard micro-USB and USB-C options.

While Apple has maintained its strong stance on keeping its proprietary lightning connectors, recent pressure might have them making a change soon enough.

What Does Lightning Do?

Of course, a lightning cable has the standard features of both charging a device and providing data transfer. Unlike older USB cables, the lightning connector can be plugged in upside down and still work.

Apple also uses the connector for transmitting audio, with traditional headphones requiring an adapter to work with many of their devices.

Lightning Adapters

Because the USB connectors are exclusive, many devices require adapters. One of the most common is the USB camera adapter for connecting to external cameras. There are also video adapters for streaming video from a device to a TV.

Many other accessories use the Apple-certified lightning cable port, including branded headphones and home entertainment devices.

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Apple Accessories

USB lightning connectors aren’t just for charging phones and data transfer. Many Apple accessories use the connectors to allow for easy connecting to devices. Among these are standard keyboards and mice, along with trackpads and drawing tools.

Adoption is the biggest hurdle for any new standard, and the wealth of adapters and their ease of use help USB Type-C face that challenge.

Device Compatibility

Most of Apple’s devices for the past ten years have supported lightning cables. Starting with the iPhone 5, all iPhones running up to the current iPhone 12 use MFI-certified lightning cables. This is also true of iPads starting from the iPad 4, including the Air and Mini.

While they’ve fallen to the wayside compared to the iPhone, iPods are still around and supporting lightning USB cables for both Nano and Touch models.

The Top Perks of USB Lightning Cables

There are lots of ways that lightning is better than other options. One of the most prominent is uncompressed digital audio, allowing the highest quality for audiophiles. There is also HD video output and impressive transfer speeds in general.

The lightning cable has a high power throughput that allows for rapid charging and for larger devices to be powered through the cable. Shop lightning cables at PrimeCables.ca.

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