A dongle is a piece of hardware that connects to a device to provide it with additional functionality. In the case of the iPhone 7, it’s functionality which Apple removed.
A dongle is a crutch. It’s something that is needed to get something to do something which it cannot do on it’s own. Funnily enough, they also usually dangle. And a dangling dongle is about as fun as it gets.
Apple have previously upset many customers when they decided that their MacBook Air would have a single USB-C port. This has led users to gather a collection of dongles just to be able to do the most basic of connections while still powering their computer. It’s quite sad to stumble across a MacBook power user sitting there working with a device which was made to be light and mobile, only to find they have what appears to be a squid of cables jutting out of the computer.
Apple has done it again with the iPhone 7. With the removal of the headphone port, they have left the user with a single port. With a device like the iPhone, this adds one very serious issue. Listening to music while charging the phone. Apple seems to think this will not be much of an issue as they are hoping users will purchase the new odd looking AirPods. At $150 a pop, and lasting for 5 hours per charge, I’m not sure if this would be the most efficient idea for most users.
Apple claims that they will be able to do more with wired headphones connected to the lightning port, although we don’t know if they’re actually working on anything at all, or simply hoping third parties will do it. If it really was an issue of what the lightening port can do as opposed to the 3.5mm headphone jack, Apple could have added a second lightning port to the device. Doing so would have still allowed for the device to be thinner, and still allowed users to do something simple, like charge their phone and listen to music at the same time.
Instead, Belkin seems to be the first coming to the rescue of iPhone users with a dongle. which allows two lightning ports to be attached to the iPhone. The dongle will retail for $39.99, and will allow iPhone users the freedom to do things they did with their prior iPhone, but can no longer do with their new iPhone.
Perhaps Apple could reimburse users for the $40 spent to be able to use their phones as they always have before?