“The latest iteration of the USB connector is called Type-C, and while it was officially introduced in 2014, it’s really just starting to appear on the devices we can buy and use,” Bob O’Donnell writes for Tech.pinions. “Apple’s 2015 MacBook was among the first to support the new connector, but it’s now showing up on all kinds of Windows PCs, smartphones, monitors, docking stations, storage peripherals and more.”

“USB Type-C supports several alternate modes, most notably the ability to carry up to 100W of power over the line, as well as the ability to drive up to two 4K displays at a 60Hz refresh rate,” O’Donnell writes. “Best of all, it can do this simultaneously with data transfer, allowing a single connector to theoretically now deliver power, data and video over a single line. Truly, this should be the one cable to rule them all.”

“As we all know, however, there’s often a big difference between theory and practice,” O’Donnell writes. “The crux of the problem is that not all USB Type-C connectors support all of these different capabilities, and with one important exception, it’s almost impossible for an average person to figure out what a given USB Type-C equipped device supports without doing a good deal of research… The real problem is that there are no simple means of demarcation or labelling for different varieties of USB Type-C. One of the goals of the standard was to produce a much smaller connector that would fit on smaller devices—leaving little room for any type of icon.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yes, when it comes to USB Type-C, unfortunately some homework is required. Joe Sixpack (who absolutely refuses to RTFM) is going to be pretty lost.