Apple MacBook Pro: What is the new USB-C port and will I need an adapter? 

MacBook Pro 2016: key features Watch | MacBook Pro 2016: key features
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Following the removal of the headphone jack from the iPhone 7, Apple is on course to make another controversial decision this week when it announces the latest generation of the MacBook Pro. 

The Cupertino giant is expected to announce an upgraded range of computers, including a new MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and possibly an iMac. But there is likely to be something important missing from the new laptops: a standard USB port. 

Instead of a traditional USB, the laptops will probably follow the 2015 MacBook's example and have a USB-C drive instead. It is possible that it will come with a Thunderbolt port as well, and fans hope that it will have more than one USB-C one. 

What is USB-C?

A USB-C to USB-C cable Credit: Belkin

USB-C is an evolution of the USB port, which Apple first introduced to computers on the iMac G3 in 1998. Two decades after the company discontinued the legacy serial and parallel ports in favour of USB, it is ready to do the same again. 

The USB-C cable has the same plug on both ends and is noticeably smaller than the older version, with rounded edges. Given that the plugs on either end are identical and symmetrical, you can connect it interchangeably and don't need to worry about whether the cable is upside down. 

The new technology has a top speed of 10Gbps and power output of up to 100 watts, meaning the MacBook Pro, which requires around 60 to 85 watts of power, could be charged through the port. As the cable works in two directions, it means that devices plugged into the laptop could also be used to charge it. 

The latest MacBook has just one USB-C port, which is used for both charging and connecting  Credit: David Rose

Will I need an adapter?

Apple isn't the first tech company to adopt USB-C as standard, but smartphone makers have already begun introducing it for better charging. The technology is already used on many Android devices, including Google's Nexus 6P and 5X, the OnePlus 2, the LG G5 and the HTC 10. 

So if you have a current Android handset it is likely that you won't need an adapter in order to attach your phone to the new computers. 

However, Apple is yet to introduce USB-C to its own phones. Although it may be the first computer manufacturer to introduce USB-C, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus still use a Lightning Port and standard USB. 

This Choetech USB-C adapter can be used for multiple types of connection and costs £28.99  Credit: Choetech/Amazon

It is possible that Apple will release a USB to USB-C adapter, according to reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. 

If Apple doesn't release its own adapter, owners that want to continue using their older devices will need to invest in one. It is advisable to only buy these from official retailers in order to ensure they meet safety standards. 

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