- USB-C significantly expands the capabilities of this year’s iPhones
- With its help, the developer was able to run a computer environment on the connected monitor
- Apple could add the same functionality on its own
One of the most significant innovations of this year’s iPhones is the replacement of the original Lightning port with universal USB-C. The advantage of this connector lies not only in its widespread use, but also in its capabilities – it can transmit power, data and image. This opens up a number of new opportunities for iPhones, and there could be many more if Apple wanted to.
iPhone instead of computer? Nothing is unrealistic
The more expensive iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max can “squeeze” more out of USB-C, as this port operates in the USB 3 (or USB 3.2 Gen 1) specification, which has higher data throughput. As a result, owners can transfer data between their phone and computer faster, and they can even shoot and save video directly to external storage from their iPhone Pros. A Twitter user with the nickname exDeveloper decided to try something with the iPhone 15 Pro that Apple hadn’t counted on – turn it into a handheld.
iPhone 15 Pro + Studio Display + infiniteX2P Studio Demo.
Use your iPhone 15 Pro as a desktop computer.
Not everything is perfect. If I figure out a way to line up the iX2P mouse cursor and iOS cursor, it's not far from being done. pic.twitter.com/lEmUyVvJ0D
— exDeveloper (@iOS_App_Dev) September 23, 2023
iPhones Pro can be connected to a monitor without complicated reductions, unfortunately only for the purpose of image mirroring. Some Android phones are further along in this area. Samsung’s flagship smartphones, for example, feature DeX mode, which switches Android to a desktop interface on a connected monitor, with the ability to open apps in windows. Selected Motorola or Huawei phones have a similar feature. Now, something similar has been rolled out on the iPhone 15 Pro.
exDeveloper paired its iPhone 15 Pro with a Studio Display to launch a demo version of the infiniteX2P Studio app. It is primarily designed for iPads, where it allows you to work with applications in windows, but apparently it also works on iPhones. On the large display, you can run multiple apps side by side like on macOS, although you can’t talk much about smoothness and reliability. After all, working with an image in 5K resolution is not an easy bite for the iPhone.
In any case, if Apple wanted to, it could add similar functionality to the iPhone Pro itself, and quite easily. It would be enough to add the iPadOS tablet system interface to iOS, which would be activated every time the phone is connected to an external display. With a monitor, keyboard, and mouse/trackpad, the iPhone could suddenly turn into a basic computer with the same range of features as iPads.
We are curious to see if Apple will come up with this idea on its own at some point in the future, or if we will still have to make do with unofficial solutions.