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Check out our six essential pieces of tech advice, both for new users and newcomers.
You’ve only just picked up a new phone, and it’s full of advanced features and software upgrades. But how are you going to charge it?
Think about that question once again, this time for smartphones. Perhaps Samsung, Apple, HTC or ZTE should consider utilizing Apple’s patented technology for allowing two-way communication between devices.
1. More smartphone charging in a pinch
The European Commission (EC) has proposed requiring manufacturers of smartphones and other portable electronic devices to offer an option for users to connect a smartphone to an external power source using only a USB-C connector cable instead of the standard USB connection cable. The connector cable could be placed in the socket of the power cable in a similar way to a traditional USB hub.
2. Do not include backward compatibility
The proposal requires that in order to ensure compatibility and connectivity, USB-C cables used with smartphones are backwards compatible with the mobile devices of the same manufacturer. In other words, there’s no need to buy an expensive adapter that might not work on a newer smartphone.
3. Manage and prevent design fragmentation
An EU spokesperson told CNN that it aims to “encourage manufacturers to design the connector cables in a way that will ensure a single and standardized solution across all devices.” This would prevent the rise of customer confusion or irritation as phones are being repeatedly changed due to potential design flop or technical incompatibility.
4. The EU doesn’t want European patents on the connector cable
The proposal also states that it should not be available through European patent systems.
5. Consumer protections
The aim of this directive is “to ensure consumers and end-users have transparency regarding the compatibility of a mobile phone or portable electronic device” and that “end-users are made aware of and obtain suitable advice about the potential compatibility of mobile phones or portable electronic devices in a particular country.”
6. Level playing field
This initiative would benefit both consumers and device makers as well as being a way to level the playing field when it comes to developing smartphones with interfaces that give consumers a similar experience. This could be used on Android as well as Apple devices.
A formal proposal for legislation will be submitted to EU members by the end of the year. A proposal for the industry to make use of USB-C connectors and USB power-boosting technology with phones will also be included.
By Yulia Lee