PENCIL IT IN

This is the worst dongle that Apple has ever made

When reviewing the new iPad Pro, I came across a little dongle that Apple produced to make charging its stylus, the Pencil, a bit easier:

tiny tiny dongle
I dropped it twice trying to take this picture. (Quartz/Mike Murphy)

This dongle comes bundled with the $99 Pencil (along with a replacement nib), presumably because the only other way to charge the stylus is even more ridiculous:

Not the best design.
Not the best design. (Quartz/Mike Murphy)

The dongle is meant to connect the Pencil to a Lightning cable, such as those used to charge iPhones and the iPad itself. But considering how very small the dongle is, it’s exceedingly easy to lose. If you have a small child, you’ll likewise want to make sure you never drop it on the floor:

The dongle—one of many Apple produces in its quest to turn every electronic device into an impenetrable block of aluminum, plastic, and glass—replaces my previous Worst Dongle: the tiny Lightning-to-3.5mm cable that it bundled with the iPhone 7 after deciding to remove the headphone jack from its newest smartphones. Apple’s Pencil dongle doesn’t even have a tiny cable connecting its ends together, meaning I’ve lost it twice since starting this post.

According to Apple’s help site, a new tiny dongle will run you about $4 (arguably cheaper than the legal fees from stabbing someone with a Pencil plugged directly into your iPad). For a company so revered for its design, things do seem to be falling through the cracks.


Read this next: The review of the new 10.5-inch iPad Pro

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