Android users have had it pretty good for the past decade when it comes to charging cables. While Apple pulled the rug out from under long-standing 30-pin users with the new Lightning connector, we were smugly carrying on with our microUSB connector. The microUSB connector has been featured on pretty much every modern Android phone, starting with the likes of the Nexus One. Now however, the same dilemma is happening to some Android users, as the world transitions to USB Type-C. The connector first appeared, controversially, in the OnePlus 2, but last year hit more devices including the new Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P. Considering that Google’s latest smartphones now relied on the new connector to charge and transfer data, it was nice to see a Googler go after non-compliant cables.
As with any new technology, it can take some time for manufacturers to get up-to-speed with all that “newness”, but Benson Leung was taking no prisoners. Constantly viewing cables on his Google+ profile to see whether or not they’re good cables – not from a subjective point of view, but more from a whether or not they even work point of view – and hosting a simple FAQ for Type-C newcomers, Leung sure knows his stuff. After helping new Nexus owners as well as OnePlus 2 owners and others find out whether a cable is good or not, he’s seemingly managed to get Amazon to step in and do some of the work on their own.
Amazon has updated their list of “Prohibited Listing” in the Electronics category to include this little nugget: “Any USB-C™ (or USB Type-C™) cable or adapter product that is not compliant with standard specifications issued by “USB Implementers Forum Inc”. Right now, this can only really be viewed as a sort of deterrent for those that know they’re selling non-compliant cables, but it could be the case that many sellers simply don’t know – or care to know – enough about Type-C cables at this point. Which means that while this is good news, reviewers should still be sure to leave negative reviews if a cable doesn’t work and of course, return anything that was sold under false pretenses. Either way, this is good news and probably should have happened quite some time ago.