A comment by Stefan Bubeck.
Sometime last year I casually added a 3-in-1 charging cable to my Amazon shopping cart. One of those purchases that you didn’t even have on your shopping list, but take with you spontaneously.
A few months later I realize: This thing is one of the most important items in our household. The Bluetooth speaker needs USB-C, the iPhone relies on Lightning and the battery bike light is still equipped with Micro-USB – the list goes on forever. You really don’t have to be a tech enthusiast to be surrounded by USB devices. Batteries are everywhere these days and they all want to be charged. Like in a zoo, except that all the animals are called “electricity guzzlers” and are constantly hungry. I’m the good-natured zoo keeper who does the first round in the morning and puts the iPhonosaurus in the bedside table late in the evening before he closes his own eyes.
USB-C may be the future – but not the present
All this wouldn’t be so bad if there was only one socket. One plug that fits all devices, done. Well, I heard that by mid-2024 USB-C will become the standard charging socket in the EU. But that’s still a while away and besides, I’m not throwing my iPad mini (5th gen.) in the bin just because some new regulation is about to start. The tablet is good and will still be doing its job in my home in two years – and when the work is done I insist on a fresh charge of energy via the Apple Lightning connection. In other words: I think the standardization planned by the legislator is great – but here and now it will not happen plug madness magic away in my four walls.
One ugly cable to rule them all
The USB cable with interchangeable plug from Legrand (view at Amazon) cost me around 13 euros, plus an Anker 24W charger for 18 euros (see on Amazon). The cable is well made and has Apple’s MFi certification. However, it is certainly not a design masterpiece, and it is also somewhat impractical to use. To change the standard, you have to put the desired attachment (USB-C or Lightning) on the micro-USB connector fumble, which can be slightly annoying, especially in the dark at a late hour. Do this several times a day, and over time a certain dislike for this object will accumulate.
But I have to give the 3-in-1 charging cable one thing: It serves its purpose and helps me in my work as a USB zoo keeper – every day, for months. At some point in the distant future, the cable may be on display in a glass case at the Museum of Technology, next to a sign that reads “Nylon-coated cable with Micro-USB, USB-C and Lightning attachments, ca. 2022. A popular pre-introduction accessory.” of the uniform charging cable for all small and medium-sized devices through the EU.” Or maybe not. I have to go, the iPad mini is hungry.