Chris Pepin

Tech reviews and more

accessories, apple, iPad, iPhone

Why I like Apple’s new Lightning cable for the iPhone and iPad

With the release of the iPhone 5, iPad Mini and fourth-generation iPad, Apple introduced a new, smaller, “Lightning” connector for charging, sync and video.   Having lived with the new iPhone 5 for the last month, I can honestly say I’m a big fan of the new connector.  Here’s why:

  • The new Lightning connector is easier to insert and remove, even in the dark, since it doesn’t matter which way the connector is inserted (up or down).  With the previous Dock connector or USB micro connectors (e.g. Android), you need to check to make sure the cable facing the right way before inserting.  
  • While it’s too early to tell, my impression in that the new cable will be more durable than the previous Apple Dock 30-pin connector.  I have several Dock connectors where the larger plastic end broke off or cracked.

Lighting connectors are more expensive than the prior Dock connectors but third party cables have just started to hit the market at lower price points.   While it’s unfortunate that older accessories won’t work without an adapter, this is a short-term problem.   Apple introduced the first 30-pin Dock connector with the release of the first iPod over 10 years ago.   I’m glad to see that Apple is innovating and moving the ball.

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  1. Glad to see an actual user of the new connector validating what I believed from the moment I heard about the (reversible!) new connector. As a long time sufferer of Non-reversible Connector Syndrome (particularly android micro-usb but also traditional apple), I've filled many curse jars as a result of fumbling with these stupid things.

  2. Thanks for your comments Kevin.

  3. Have you seen a reduction in charging time with Lightning? I've heard some reports along those lines. It'd be great to charge my iPad 3 from empty to full in less than 8 long hours

  4. Chris, wait til you get bitten by the "do not have my cord with me" on a business trip. I had it happen twice and I had two cords! Forgot the cord in the car and in another bag and was out of battery on our anniversary weekend with the wife which did not go well.

  5. Martin – I personally haven't seen a reduction in charging time.
    Christopher – I've forgotten cords for all my devices at one time or another. Agreed that it's more of an issue with the Lightning since fewer people have one that I can borrow but that's changing fast as users migrate to the new iPhone 5, iPad and iPad Mini

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