Ever since Apple released the iPhone 7 without a headphone jack, tiny adapters (officially called dongles) have become an annoying yet integral part of Apple customers’ lives.
Why are dongles so bothersome? Well, first and foremost, they are easy to lose. They break and get dirty easily. Sometimes they make it impossible to use the device for two jobs at once. This complaint is most common in the case of the iPhone 7, where it is impossible to listen to music and charge the phone at the same time without multiple dongles. Here, the user needs to plug in a dongle with multiple ports to the iPhone’s lightning port and use one side for the charger cord and the other side for yet another dongle to which he then connects his headphones.
It may seem like a convoluted technology right now, but dongles are just a way of easing the world into a completely cordless future. The dongle has become more than just an essential element of the iPhone 7. In fact, all hardware companies — PC and Macs alike — are streamlining the design of their power ports. This means that traditional USBs, HDMI, Ethernet — all are being replaced by USB-C, a pluripotent plugin for all new devices.
But until all devices use the same cords, we will just have to settle for dongles. Right now, the tech world is looking for the dongle that can charge a phone, act as a headphone adapter, and even includes a headphone volume control option, all in one fell swoop. No such dongle exists, although there are options.
If you’re still misplacing or breaking your dongles, don’t worry too much. They are not the future; they are just part of a transition. For more information about dongles, read here.