So can someone explain Lightning to me?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Monkey Butler, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2009
    #1
    Other than size, what exactly are the advantages of Lightning over 30-pin? The downsides are obvious - EOLing a decade-old standard, expensive and unreliable adapters, no increase in transfer speed - and I cannot for the life of me think why Apple would think that an insignificant size and mass reduction would be worth it.

    I find it pretty unreasonable that I should have to spend around US$100 on adapters just to have the same functionality as an iPhone 4 - that being the ability to charge my phone in my car, or plug it into a dock. And for no docks, FM transmitters, car chargers etc. to exist months after the launch of Lightning...it just doesn't make sense to me. Just what was Apple thinking?
     
  2. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
    #2
    You have obviously not done your research, it was a design constraint where they simply couldn't fit the normal adapter in the phone because everything was so crammed in. And this isnt just apple bull propaganada, ifixit confirmed that there was no way apple could have used anything bigger than the lightning connector.
     
  3. macrumors 68020

    John T

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Location:
    UK.
    #3
    Take the trouble to have a look at the internal layout of the iPhone 5 (e.g. on the ifixit site). You would then see that size and mass reduction are far from insignificant considerations.

    In addition to being reversible, the Lightening connecter is more robust than the 30 pin connecter.
     
  4. macrumors 601

    Compile 'em all

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2005
    #4
    Smaller.

    There is a reason why Apple went into the massive effort of making the nano-sim.
     
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2012
    #5
    The Lightening connector is also able to charge your phone faster than the 30 pin. That by itself made it worth the change IMO. I do agree that it was annoying just how long it took for adapters to be made available.
     
  6. macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #6
    Is there really no space for audio out?

    I would really have no gripe with the lightning connector, and (despite the price of cables and accessories) think its an improvement over the 30 pin, if it only had audio out on it.

    If my Bose soundock wasn't hooked up to an airport express (or some sort of bluetooth), it would be essentially useless. Same goes for every other accessory I use to play music or video through the connector.

    And the glorious people's republic has started to sell lightning knock offs. Have a couple of importer/wholesaler friends who use them on their own apple gear. Their advice is to stay away from the cheapest cables and adapters on ebay, and totally avoid the knock off power adapters (the white cubes that plug directly into the wall).

    If a true nerd can show me that the lightning connector literally cannot support audio or video out, I'll accept it. But it looks like Apple wants me to buy new adapters AND new accessories that they'll get a cut of: multi level nickel and diming.
     
  7. macrumors 603

    Interstella5555

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    #7
    Lightning is a massive electrostatic discharge caused by unbalanced electric charge in the atmosphere, either inside clouds, cloud to cloud or cloud to ground, accompanied by the loud sound of thunder.

    A typical cloud to ground lightning strike can be over 5 km (3 mi) long.[1] A typical thunderstorm may have three or more strikes per minute at its peak.[2] Lightning is usually produced by cumulonimbus clouds up to 15 km high (10 mi) high, based 5–6 km (3-4 mi) above the ground. Lightning is caused by the circulation of warm moisture-filled air through electric fields.[3] Ice or water particles then accumulate charge as in a Van de Graaff generator.[4] Lightning may occur during snow storms (thundersnow), volcanic eruptions, dust storms, forest fires or tornadoes.[5][6] Hurricanes typically generate some lightning, mainly in the rainbands as much as 160 km (100 mi) from the center.[7][8][9]

    When the local electric field exceeds the dielectric strength of damp air (about 3 million Volts/m), electrical discharge results, often followed by more discharges along the same path. Mechanisms that cause lightning are still a matter of scientific investigation.[10][11]

    Fear of lightning is called astraphobia. The study or science of lightning is called fulminology.[12]


    Oh, the cable? The fact that it's reversible is enough for me to make it the best cable ever.
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Paulywauly

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2009
    Location:
    Durham, UK
    #8
    Haha you beat me to it :p
     
  9. macrumors 68020

    FSMBP

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    #9
    No, it doesn't. It uses the same power source as 30 pins (USB/ or the Wall charger) and charges at the same rate as older iPhones.
     
  10. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2009
    #10
    Also, theoretically, they could just add USB 3 support (currently, it's limited by software) so I guess we'll definitely see faster data transfer speeds in the (near?) future.
     
  11. macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2010
    Location:
    Terra
    #11
    I've been told by an Apple employee that the Lightning connector IS USB 3. I don't have a device with which to test it myself, so is this not correct?
     
  12. macrumors 65816

    Mr_Brightside_@

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2005
    Location:
    below Ash Tree Lane
    #12
    I've not heard anything about this, and would assume that this would have been more widely publicized if true.
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    #13
    The connector along with the cable are still USB 2.0. Syncing may seem faster, but that's due to the device. Each iteration gets faster and faster for syncing. I have a 3rd gen iPod touch and it takes at least 15-20 minutes to sync almost 2K in songs.

    http://store.apple.com/us/product/MD818ZM/A/lightning-to-usb-cable?fnode=3a#overview

    That employee was talking out of his butt.
     
  14. macrumors 603

    Interstella5555

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    #14
    To my knowledge it is 2.0
     
  15. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    #15
    Smaller, reversible, ready for the next gen of iDevices yet to come.

    The new connector just had to be done.

    Rest in peace 30-pin you held long enough and were a great standard but Lightning is the new thing and hopefully it will serve just as long.
     
  16. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2012
    Location:
    Orchard Park, NY
    #16
    This is not true according to the specs/details listed.

    Also, it was noted on the Apple Support website that it is USB 2.0.
     
  17. macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #17
    Not to mention the fact that it's easier to use with your phone in a case than the 30 pin.

    If I could just have audio out so I can continue to use my legacy devices, it would be almost perfect.

    <quits beating dead horse>
     
  18. macrumors 68030

    Patriot24

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2010
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #18
    As far as Apple is concerned, Bluetooth and AirPlay are the new Audio Out.
     
  19. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    #19
    Maybe I'm misunderstanding the Audio Out feature, but I believe it's present in the Lightning cables as well, just not with the 30-pin adapter. My head unit in my car has USB input, and I can still control my music with it using the new cable.
     
  20. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2009
    #20
    It might be USB 3, but it is definitely limited by software since it runs on USB 2 speeds. It's only slightly faster than the 30-pins connector.

    Different comparison: there's this car called "30-pins" that has a maximum speed of 50 km/h (mph, whatever you prefer) and there is this car called "Lightning" and, technically, it's maximum speed is 250 km/h but for some reason it won't go faster than 50-55 km/h.
     
  21. macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #21
    I was speaking of devices that require the adapter. Good to know about the cables, thanks!
     
  22. macrumors 65816

    Mr_Brightside_@

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2005
    Location:
    below Ash Tree Lane
    #22
    I think perhaps the employee (however misinformed) may have meant the Lightning connector itself could support USB 3 speeds, but at the moment the cable is limited by the USB 2 connector on the other end.

    Back in the day there were third party 30pin-FW800 cables, which I believe transferred faster than the Apple 400 cables.
     
  23. macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Location:
    London, UK
    #23
    It's not the cable. The old cable would be capable of USB 3 speeds too.

    It's the device. The iPhone's persistent memory & bus can only run below USB 2 speeds. Newer iPhones are getting slightly faster memory.

    And yes, lightning was an anti-consumer waste of time, as there's no reason for the iPhone 5 to be as thin as it is. Heck, a bigger connector would have been a plus if it had made the device thicker and Apple has filled the space with extra battery.
     
  24. macrumors 65816

    Mr_Brightside_@

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2005
    Location:
    below Ash Tree Lane
    #24
    Do you really think that's something Apple would do?
     
  25. macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Location:
    London, UK
    #25
    Increasingly no, but that's only because my opinion on Apple's capablities is dropping rapidly.
     

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