With the release of iPhone 15 / iPhone 15 Pro in 2023, Apple smartphones received the long-awaited USB-C port, replacing the outdated Lightning. The versatility of the port allows you to do more than charge the device and transfer data through it. There are quite a few interesting and useful things you can do with this new connector. In this article we will tell you more about them.
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One cable for most charging needs
The latest MacBooks, iPads, and almost all mid- and high-end Android phones have been shipping with a USB-C connector for several years now. The iPhone was the only exception, a kind of “black sheep”. But now that the iPhone has joined the list of USB-C devices, you can charge all devices with this port, including the AirPods Pro with a USB-C port, using a single cable.
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Record 4K, 60fps ProRes video directly to external storage
One of the important benefits of using the fast USB-C connector on iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max is that it opens up the possibility of ProRes video recording 4K at 60fps to an external drive.
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Ultra-fast data transfer speeds up to 10 Gbps
The ProRes files you record are huge in size. But transferring large files is now easier with the USB 3.2 Gen 2 port on iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max. After all, this connector provides speeds of up to 10 Gbit per second.
However, note that the USB-C cable you get from Apple with your phone only supports USB 2.0 speeds up to 480Mbps. Therefore, to achieve gigabit speeds, you will have to buy a Thunderbolt cable.
Also note that the USB-C ports on the regular iPhone 15 and 15 Plus are unfortunately limited limited by USB 2.0 speeds.
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Connect flash drives, SD cards and other storage devices
You can connect USB-C flash drives, hard drives, SSDs, and similar storage devices to iPhone directly or using an adapter. But remember that the external device may not work with iPhone 15 if its power consumption exceeds 4.5W.
After connecting the external drive to your phone, go to the Files app, select storage, and copy or paste files from iPhone local storage, iCloud to the external drive and back.
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Recharge other devices (iPhone as a power bank)
The USB-C connector on the entire iPhone 15 series supports Power Sharing technology. With it, you can use your smartphone to charge AirPods, Apple Watch, another iPhone, Android phone and other devices.
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Connect iPhone to a display, monitor, or TV
You can use the appropriate cable or adapter to connect iPhone 15 to an external display and watch videos, photos, slideshows, and other content on its big screen.
Using the DisplayPort protocol, your iPhone 15 can be connected to a USB-C display with up to 4K resolution and 60Hz refresh rate. But just like for faster data transfer, here you will also need a Thunderbolt 4 cable or a cable that supports USB 3.1 or higher.
You can manage the connection between your iPhone and USB-C display in the iOS app Settings → Screen and brightness. There you can choose HDR or SDR display mode.
Likewise, you can use an HDMI 2.0 cable or adapter and output 4K, 60Hz, HDR10, or Dolby Vision video from your iPhone to a supported TV or display.
iPhone 15 Pro + Studio Display + infiniteX2P Studio Demo.
Use your iPhone 15 Pro as a desktop computer.
Not everything is perfect. If I figure out a way to line up the iX2P mouse cursor and iOS cursor, it’s not far from being done. pic.twitter.com/lEmUyVvJ0D
— exDeveloper (@iOS_App_Dev) September 23, 2023
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Enable Ethernet for your iPhone
The USB-C port on iPhone also allows for Ethernet when you use an appropriate USB-C adapter with an Ethernet port. This will allow you to use not only wireless, but also wired Internet access.
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Record audio using an external microphone
You can use external microphones directly from your iPhone 15 and connect it to the Voice Recorder app or other similar suitable audio recording app. iPhone will become an even more convenient tool for vloggers and video creators.
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Enjoy lossless audio playback
Like the now-defunct Lightning port, the iPhone 15’s USB-C port supports audio output through Apple USB-C EarPods and other third-party headphones. If necessary, you can even use suitable USB-C to 3.5mm headphone adapters.
Secondly, if you want to enjoy high-quality music without loss of quality (lossless), you can do this through the USB-C port, as was previously possible through the old Lightning port.
Note. Lossless sound cannot be transmitted via Bluetooth.
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Use with CarPlay and other USB accessories
The iPhone 15’s USB-C port isn’t limited to just the aforementioned accessories. You can generally use most USB-C-enabled accessories, such as power banks and keyboards, as well as cheap, tiny USB fans. You can also use it for wired CarPlay on supported vehicles.
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What to remember when connecting USB-C accessories to your iPhone
External power. Some devices, such as audio capture devices, may require external power, but will not work if their only power source is the iPhone 15’s USB port.
Not everything worksNote: Some storage devices may not work with your iPhone. For example, users have reported that a Crucial 1TB USB-C SSD won’t connect to an iPhone, while a decade-old 500GB Toshiba hard drive and an equally old 32GB SanDisk flash drive work. So, before purchasing expensive accessories for the iPhone 15, read the product description, first test the operation of the bundle if possible, or contact the manufacturer for clarification.
Impact on Internet speed. Some USB-C accessories may interfere with your iPhone 15’s Wi-Fi and cellular connections and significantly slow down your Internet speeds. In this case, replace the USB-C cable or adapter and use another one from a reputable, trusted manufacturer.