One of our mantras here at Mac360 is that nothing improves without change, and change requires some kind of interim bridge from the present or past to the future. Remember the iPhone’s 30-pin connector from iPod? Lightning killed it. USB-C is about to kill Apple’s Lightning cable and you know what that means? Dongles.
Look, I don’t particularly care for dongles but have to admit they are a necessity of technology life in the 21st century because we have more gadgets that need to be plugged into our gadgets. So, it depends on what you need to accomplish as to whether you go to dongle heaven to get something done within the limitations of your device. Or, if you prefer to remain a nattering nabob of negativism, dongle hell.
Here is Apple’s new iPad Pro. Dongle Hell? Or, Dongle Heaven?
Dongles are a new age visual pariah; hated by everyone who wants clean and neatness to rule over functionality. Yet, dongles are everywhere.
A dongle, also known as an adapter, is a small piece of hardware that connects to another device to provide it with additional functionality or enables a passthrough to such a device that adds functionality… The term “dongle” is also associated with similar devices meant to provide additional forms of wireless connectivity to devices (such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth support), often over USB connections, as well as small-form factor digital media players (such as Amazon Fire TV Stick, Chromecast, and Roku Streaming Stick) and personal computers (such as Chromebit and Intel Compute Stick) meant to plug directly into an HDMI input on a television.
There you go. Dongles are everywhere because they add functionality to your device and workflow. Don’t like ’em? Get over it.
Eyesore, Meet Functionality
The Dongle Dock in the image above is the HyperDrive for iPad Pro, billed as the “World’s First Dedicated USB-C Hub for 2018 iPad Pro.” Look what you can add to the new USB-C connector on the new iPad Pro models.
6 new ports (4K HDMI, 35mm audio jack, SD, micro SD, USB-A 3.0 and USB-C Power Delivery).
See? Functionality wins. Visual aesthetics has to ride in the backseat.
The way it works seems simple enough. A small clamp fits on the back, snug against the iPad Pro’s case, and small turning screws tighten to a firm hold. That allows HyperDrive to be used in landscape mode; especially useful with Apple’s Smart Keyboard Folio, whether the 12.9-inch or 11-inch iPad Pro.
Yes, HyperDrive for iPad Pro is a dongle magnet that adds useful functionality at the expense of visual aesthetics. That’s OK. Functionality should always be the winner. Is it worth $200? How about half that if you order soon.
Useful for some iPad Pro owners but pretty it ain’t. Pretty just isn’t the nature of dongles and a dongle hub attracts them like flies on a slice of Georgia watermelon on a hot August day.