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USB‑A on the MacBook Air Wishlist?

Jason Cross, in his MacBook Air review for Macworld:

Apple is still determined to make every USB port feature a USB‑C connector. We’ve been told that the ubiquity of USB‑C devices is just around the corner for years now, and it’s still not happening. Accessory makers keep cranking out mice, keyboards, storage devices, microphones, audio interfaces, and loads of other things with USB‑A connectors on them. Putting a single USB‑A port on MacBooks would not be a step backwards, it would be recognition that in the wide world of USB devices, that interface is still widespread, and we shouldn’t need a dongle or dock to use them.

It’s undeniable that the USB‑C revolution has been very slow in coming, but slowly but surely, it is coming along. I wrote in my first-look review of the new Air that I wish the MacBook Air had at least one more USB‑C port, on the right side of the machine, but I don’t think a built-in USB‑A port would be appropriate. Is USB‑A still in widespread use? Sure, but at this point USB‑A ports are backward-looking. SD cards remain in widespread use too, and they don’t belong built into the Air either. (MacBook Pros — there I can see the argument for built-in SD slots.)

Just like with the 1998 iMac going all-in on USB‑A, and the iPhone 7 dropping the headphone jack, Apple is helping drive the adoption of USB‑C by dropping USB‑A ports. Adding them back now would set back the whole industry.

Sunday, 22 March 2020