Apple’s “Lightning” connector won’t change your life as much as you think

LightningEver since the beginning of the iPod line, Apple has used the 30-pin connector as a standard on all iPods and iOS devices.  The great thing about the connector was that it was universal across all products.  Therefore, you could use one cord to sync and charge all of your iOS devices and iPods.  Loyal Apple consumers stocked up on connection cables from all of the iOS devices, iPods, and accessories that they have purchased.


Now, say goodbye to the 30-pin connector that we’ve known for so long.  Starting with the iPhone 5, Apple is replacing the 30-pin connector on all iOS devices and iPods with a new “Lightning” connection.  According to Apple, Lightning is faster than the 30-pin predecessor.  Probably the biggest reason that Apple decided to replace the 30-pin connection was to create a smaller solution.  By downsizing the connection, Apple can make their current devices even thinner and lighter.  Apple is always looking for ways to downsize hardware in order to create a thinner and lighter device.  For example, Apple recently created a smaller but equally powerful processor and SIM card.


The new Lightning connection was met with mixed feelings.  It has its pros: faster and smaller.  However, it also has a con: incompatibility with existing accessories and cables.  All of the accessories that include a 30-pin dock (such as dock connectors, alarm clocks, iHome, and other speakers) will not work with any iOS device with the Lightning connection (including the iPhone 5 and iPod touch 5th generation).  Furthermore, existing 30-pin sync/charging cables will not work with the Lighting connection.  In order to use these accessories, you must purchase a $29 adapter or $39 cable.


Businessweek notes, however, that the change to Lightning won’t affect you as much as you think it will.  Apple keeps pushing wireless capabilities into iOS devices.  Syncing is now wireless through iTunes WiFi Sync and iCloud.  iCloud also eliminates the need to sync after making a purchase from iTunes.  Songs, videos, and apps can also be purchased directly from iOS devices.  Furthermore, music can be wirelessly streamed to compatible speakers using AirPlay.  Essentially, the only thing you really need to use the connector for is to charge your device.  With the development of wireless charging underway, it’s only a matter of time before charging is wireless, too!


Of course, users of the standard non-iOS iPods, such as the iPod Nano which also received the Lightning connection, don’t have the wireless capabilities that iOS offers.  These users will probably hurt more than iOS device users.

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