The iPhone 15 is Apple’s first smartphone to feature a USB-C port, which means you can use the same cable to charge the company’s new smartphones as you already use to power its most recent iPad tablets and MacBook laptops. But not all USB-C ports are created equal.

Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro has a USB 3.x port with support for 10 Gbps data transfer speeds, while cheaper iPhone 15 models have USB 2.0 ports that top out at 480 Mbps. One thing you don’t need? A charger or cable that’s been certified as an MFI (Made for iPhone) accessory. While there had been some rumors that Apple would limit charging or data speeds for non-MFI accessories as a way to protect a valuable revenue source (hardware makers pay for certification), it looks like the company has decided not to do that.

Here’s a roundup of recent tech news from around the web.

Contrary to rumors, the iPhone 15 has a standard, by-the-book USB-C port [Ars Technica]

While early rumors had suggested the iPhone 15 would require MFI (Made for iPhone) certified accessories for full functionality, it turns out that’s not true. You can use any third-party cables, chargers, and other gear without worrying about charging power or data speed limits.

More evidence the Fire TV Stick 4K Max is being replaced with a new model this year [AFTVnews]

New devices that sure look like Fire TV Sticks showed up at the FCC website recently, and now there’s even more evidence that one could be an upgraded version of the Fire TV Stick 4K Max: The current-gen model is now “out of stock” at Amazon. A new Fire TV Stick 4K could also be coming soon (the current model was released in 2018, making it the oldest Fire TV device Amazon still sells). 

This is OnePlus’ next Android tablet — the OnePlus Pad Go [Digital Trends]

OnePlus Pad Go will be the company’s second tablet, and it’s expected to be a cheaper model designed primarily for entertainment. But expect a 2.4K display, Dolby Atmos sound, and Android 13-based software.

Digital Trends

Khadas Mind Premium Review: Raptor Lake-P in a Modular Portable Workstation [AnandTech]

AnandTech’s review of the upcoming Khadas Mind modular mini PC/laptop system paints a picture of a remarkable, well-designed device that largely delivers on its promise… but has a few odd quirks like a high price and no Thunderbolt ports.

Waveshare’s RP2040 Pi Zero Morphs Raspberry Pi Pico Into Zero [Tom’s Hardware]

Waveshare’s new $10 RP2040-PiZero is a dev board that looks like a Raspberry Pi Zero 2, but features the RP2040 microcontroller instead of a quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 processor and USB-C ports instead of micro USB.

Why run Linux or Windows on a Steam Deck when you can run… reactOS? [@reactos]

The Steam Deck ships with the Arch Linux-based SteamOS operating system, but it’s a full-fledged PC that can also run Windows or other software… including ReactOS, an open source OS aiming for compatibility with Windows apps.

Booting a smartphone from a USB flash drive [Caleb / @cas/111072148464340109]

It’s already possible to boot some smartphones like the PinePhone from a microSD card, allowing you to try custom ROMS or alternate Linux distributions. Now mobile Linux developer Caleb is demonstrating “a standard boot flow” that allows you to boot from a USB flash drive using u-boot and EFI. It’s still very much a work in progress.

Keep up on the latest headlines by following @[email protected] on Mastodon. You can also follow Liliputing on X (the app formerly known as Twitter) and Facebook.

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  1. Most android phones don’t have USB3 either. Usually it’s only top-tier flagships getting this feature, so Apple doesn’t done anithing new here.
    Anyways, is data transfer from the phone really so intensive? What is most commos case of it, to backup some photos?

    1. The iPhone 15 (and previous iPhones) can record 4K 60fps video, and at the highest quality settings a minute of footage can apparently take 6GB. Obviously someone really into photography will opt for the Pro model anyway, but USB 2.0 speeds would be an issue for someone using their phone to make a knitting/crochet YouTube tutorial, i.e. long-form video where resolution is really important.

      And yes, plenty of other phones & devices with USB-C ports are similarly limited to 2.0 speeds. Though out of curiosity I checked the Google Pixel line, and the Pixel 3a was the last USB 2.0 phone. That is, USB 3.x speeds aren’t solely the province of flagship phones — my Pixel 6a has it, for example.

      Note I’m not miffed at Apple or anything. The USB 2.0 limitation is just a consequence of using last year’s SoC, so next year’s iPhone ought to have USB 3.x. Maybe Apple will limit the iPhome 16’s USB controller as some cack-handed attempt at market segmentation, but I really doubt it.

  2. I used to backup iphone photos using the cable, but switched to a Shortcuts script and a wifi samba mount in Files. Other than backing-up the entire phone using the PC itunes program, I don’t know why someone would want to use a cable to move data. I use the cable for fast charging… no data transfer.

    1. Maybe these days it’s really more for copying files onto external storage. The permissions and authentication for a flash drive tend to be just a bit simpler than Your Phone or SMB or iCloud or AirDrop, or even using the cable.
      I don’t do it often, but sometimes, it’s just the simplest way.

  3. Having a USB2 port circa 2001 for data transfers on a machine that’s data intensive is a crippled port.

    1. Correct. Apple has always crippled its wired transfer rates to make its paid wireless offerings seem more desirable.

      1. Or the more expensive iphone, in this case.
        I’m amazed they all have displayport out, of course there’s not really much of a way to do anything besides play videos.