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Apple Allowing Companies To Create Lightning To 3.5mm Cables

13 March 2018

While third-party dongles are available, the good news is that if you'd rather not pay for something unofficial, Apple has extended its MFi program where it will now cover third-party Lightning to 3.5mm cables, assuming that the manufacturers are able to meet the specifications laid out by Apple.

For any of you that doesn't know what MFi certified is, it is a manufacturing certification given to Apple's external accessories manufactures to indicate that the product has met Apple's performance and quality standards.

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Apple's documentation for the new specs lists battery packs and speakers as products that could benefit from using a USB-C receptacle.

As is often the case with Apple, there are still unfortunate limitations: USB-C ports can't be used for pass-through charging or syncing iPhones or iPads; so don't expect a USB-C charging case to come to one of Apple's devices in the future.

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The Verge points out Apple still is not letting third-party manufacturers create lightning to USB-C cables, only the tech giant can build those. That is one of the reasons Apple has added specs for other non proprietary connectors in the past such as the Ultra Accessory Connector for headphone makers a year ago. That allows users to charge MFi accessories with a USB-C cable and or power adapter they might already have, for example, and also draw power from the USB port on a Mac using the same cable.

Though, adding a 3.5mm to Lightning, it's a useful addition for older headphones with removable cables or speakers with 3.5mm aux inputs.

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Apple Allowing Companies To Create Lightning To 3.5mm Cables