You would be hard pressed, these days, to find anyone who does not use at least one type of mobile device. Even in the most impoverished countries in the world, surprisingly, mobile devices persist. As a matter of fact, some people might not even remember a time when technology was not as mobile as it is today. Indeed, it was only a few decades ago that all mobile technology used batteries and were not rechargeable.
Of course, from the days of the AA battery music players we first started to see rechargeable music and media players and the first mobile phones. Now we have laptop computers, tablet computers, and, of course, several dozen different types of mobile phones.
And as these devices have evolved over the past few decades, we have seen the type of charging capabilities evolve with them. In the mid 1990s, for example, we saw the first USB technology. USB, of course, stands for “universal serial bus” and the emergence of this technology was an attempt to standardize data transfer protocols.
USB was not necessarily invented for charging capabilities, but by the time it reached its second iteration—USB 2.0—in the year 2,000, we were beginning to understand how it could be used to help power the growing field of mobile devices.
As devices got smaller and more demanding in power and capability, USB ports and cables followed suit, into the USB 3.0 generation. This USB 3.0 generation includes micro and miniUSB (which are far smaller than standard USB, of course).
Now, the “universality” of USB works with most devices, but Apple technologies use something else. Apple has its own proprietary protocol based on USB technology, the USB type C (or USB-C). This is a far more versatile protocol as it not only allows you to connect peripherals to a device, but also is the very same port used for charging.
USB-C has quickly been embraced throughout the mobile tech industry as the new standard. It is faster and, again, more versatile, but you will have to buy new cables.
That is to say, of course, unless you simply get a USB type C adapter for all of your existing cables. These adapters fit over a standard mini USB end to allow you to transform your micro-USB port into an all-purpose peripherals port for HDMI, VGA, and of course USB Type-A connections.