Got dongles? Probably. Got a dock for your Mac notebook? Maybe not. Dongles are less popular than docks so why is one used more than the other?
Technology is like life. It is full of changes. Nothing improves without change and that means how we connect our devices continues to improve and that means change. The days of SCSI, Serial, Parallel, and Apple’s own ADB (Apple Desktop Bus) connectors and cables are gone, replaced by an ever growing list of replacements.
Dongles and docks are a part of life that could end soon. When? How?
John Voorhees reviewed my favorite Mac dock, the OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock. If you hate cables and connectors then there is a good chance you don’t appreciate the benefits of a dock, but for many of us that little add-on– not exactly cheap, either– is a Godsend life saver.
I love the convenience of being able to connect everything to my MacBook Pro with a single Thunderbolt 3 cable.
That means your Mac can connect to a dozen other devices with one Thunderbolt 3 cable.
The OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock has 14 ports, which start with the Thunderbolt 3 port that connects the dock to your Mac using a cable that comes with the device.
Simply put, your Mac, once connected to the dock– and there are a number of similar docks available for both Mac and Windows PCs– can then connect to devices that need USB 3.x ports, HDMI, USB-C and Thunderbolt 3, plus microSD Card, SD Card, and even a headphone jack. There’s even an a connector for S/PDIF Out for audio.
Did I mention Ethernet?
That’s where I see where the past of dongles and docks meets the future. Dongles and docks are indicative of a genre that required wired connections. The future is about wireless connections. Most printers these days are wireless capable. Televisions are wireless. Storage devices are wireless.
Dongles and docks may stick around a few years because they cover so many technology connections, but they remain an artifact to the past; a relic.
The future is wireless connectivity. The past is dongles and docks.