The world of the ‘dongle life’ is about to expand — at least in terms of officially licensed iOS accessories.
Along with updated logos for its MFi accessories program, Apple is now letting third-party accessory manufacturers to sell 3.5mm-to-Lighting cables, as well as USB-C ports in their products, according to a report from 9to5Mac.
As the industry slowly plods towards transitioning to USB-C — in Apple’s case, at least in terms of laptops — tiny shifts like this are important as the port technology progressively becomes more popular. This means that MFi-certified accessory companies that sell controllers, battery packs and even speakers, can now feature USB-C charging, while also maintaining Apple’s seal of MFi approval.
As is often the case with Apple, there are still unfortunate limitations: USB-C ports can’t be used for pass-through charging or syncing iPhones or iPads; so don’t expect a USB-C charging case to come to one of Apple’s devices in the future. When it comes to use cases for the specific 3.5mm to lightning cable, the cord could be utilized with standard 3.5mm headphones, as well as with speakers that include a standard aux input.
While this is a step in the correct direction for Apple’s ever-expanding accessory ecosystem, the tech giant still doesn’t allow third-party manufacturers to make Lightning to USB-C cables. This is the only way to connect an iPhone to one of Apple’s USB-C laptops.
Making matters worse, USB-C-to-Lightning cables are the only way to get real fast-charing with the iPhone X and 8, making the company’s official cable the only viable option.