Monday, October 18, 2021

Your next smartphone charger may be powered by a USB-C cable

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In what the EU is calling a “paradigm shift,” mobile device makers are already finding ways to include power-sipping features into smartphones that run on USB-C cables.

Some phones, such as Samsung’s Galaxy A8+, a high-end device sold only in Europe, will soon be able to show off how much juice is in a particular app by connecting it to an external USB-C power source, according to a report in Motherboard. This means that the users can estimate how much remaining power is in an app and access that information, says the report.

Samsung’s move aligns it with Apple and other smartphone makers, who have resisted putting this kind of feature in their devices.

Apple recently touted this while announcing that the new iPhone XS, due for release in the U.S. on Friday, will include an adapter that will let users juice up other iOS devices through the charger, such as AppleTV and the Apple Watch.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf told investors that other companies are seeking to follow Samsung’s lead and include USB-C power in smartphones.

It won’t happen overnight, however. Apple still seems opposed to using the feature, as the company emphasized in its press release.

“In general, USB-C will represent an interesting new technology that will improve performance and expand connectivity while driving innovation for the future of the industry,” Apple said. “Currently, USB-C is best suited for larger devices like laptops and desktop PCs, but will make other advancements, including charging across devices.”

Apple has decided that it will release only three devices with USB-C charging: the iPhone XS, the iPhone XS Max and the Apple Watch Series 4.

“We believe that creating a new standard can be a way for the industry to innovate even faster, which ultimately helps consumers,” Apple said.

Rene Ritchie, an author of the popular iMore blog, wrote that consumers will not be able to use a variety of smartphones that are coming out that have similar features due to a lack of common technologies, such as a key to power on the phone when the USB-C port is plugged in.

“Intel actually has two standards for charging – AN1810 and AN1810V. They use the different voltage levels with their techs differently,” Ritchie wrote. “Almost every phone manufacturers is using AN1810, Samsung Galaxy, Apple, LG G, Sony, Panasonic.”

The motherboard is used to connect smartphone processors to the battery. When a device has two chips, one is connected to a standard USB port (speedy charging) and the other to a computer power port. If a user plugs the fast charger, the fastest rate is applied. After the phone is charged, a USB Type-C port is connected to the case, and the laptop chip gives out the slower speed, especially if there is a bigger battery on a device.

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