RIP, iPhone dongles? Apple approves Lightning-to-3.5mm cable spec

Old logo

Old logo

With the change in the MFi logo, Apple added some new types of accessories which Apple partners can develop and release to the public, like the Lightning to 3,5mm adapter. That is one of the reasons Apple has added specs for other non proprietary connectors in the past such as the Ultra Accessory Connector for headphone makers previous year.

But Apple is still frustratingly limiting the specification: unlike Lightning ports, which are also part of the MFi spec for accessories, USB-C ports can't be used for pass-through charging or syncing on iPhones. However, users who lose or break them can only buy a new one from the stores which sell official Apple products, at the price of about $12.

Companies are now able to include and build USB-C ports on their products which will be on Apple's certified for iOS list.

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What the new MFi specifications mean (as first reported by 9to5Mac) is that you'll be able to continue using wired headphones with your iPhone without having to use an unsightly dongle - you'll just plug a single cable between your headphones and your phone, like in the good old days. If you want true fast charging on iPhone X and 8 devices, you're going to use the USB-C to Lighting cable. Besides designing new logos, the company has approved accessory makers to create headphone jack to Lightning adapter dongles. One could use a product like Apple's own Lightning to 3.5mm headphone jack adapter that it included in the box with new iPhones, and then use a male-to-male 3.5mm cable to connect to a device's 3.5mm input.

Apple introduced the specs into its MFi program at the beginning of the year, and it appears there aren't yet any products on the market taking advantage of them.

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