There are many different connection methods used to link our mobile devices to other systems. In this video, you’ll learn about the most popular wired and wireless mobile device connection technologies.
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There are many different ways to connect to these numerous mobile devices that we use. And there are also many different ways to use our mobile devices to then connect to the internet. In this video, we’ll look at many of these mobile device connections.
One common way to connect our computer to these mobile devices is through a Micro-USB or a mini-USB plug. These are very standardized especially since the European Union’s standardized that all of the mobile devices in the EU must be able to support this Micro-B plug type connection. If you have an older mobile device, you may find a mini-B plug. You can see, the mini-B plug is a little bit larger than the Micro-B plug.
You’ll also find that newer mobile devices are using USB-C, which is a 24-pin USB connector. And it’s double sided, which means it doesn’t matter which side you plug it in. It’ll work just fine. It’s about the same size as the older USB Micro-B plug. And you can see them next to each other on the screen here.
On the other end of the USB connection is probably a standard USB A connection, just like you always use to connect to your computer. And the USB plug can act as both a USB 2.0 connection or the newer USB 3.1 standard. One nice addition to the USB-C standard is that it can also act as an analog audio output. So there are very inexpensive adapters you can get that will convert from a USB-C connector to a standard analog audio jack.
Many Apple mobile devices use a proprietary standard connection called a lightning connector. This is an eight-pin connector. And you’d commonly see this on iPhones and iPads. There are some advantages to using this lightning connector over a Micro-USB connector. One of those is you can output more power through a lightning connector, which means you could possibly recharge your iPhone or your iPad faster than using a traditional Micro-USB connection.
These can also be plugged in either way to your mobile device. There’s no top or bottom. So it doesn’t matter which side you’re plugging it in. It will connect every time. This is also a much simpler design than the older Apple 30-pin connectors that they used to use. And they’re much more durable than those connectors, as well.
Many of our mobile devices allow us to use tethering to get internet access. We would connect our mobile phone directly to our computer usually over a USB connection. And that would allow us to use the phone as a method to communicate to the internet. So this computer, being directly tied to this phone, would then have the same access to the internet as your phone normally has. This means, if your laptop is not connected to an 802.11 wireless network or it’s not connected to a cellular network using a built-in adapter, you can simply use a USB cable and your telephone to get the access over these cellular networks.
Many phones allow you to take this idea of tethering to the next level and turn your phone into an to 802.11 wireless hotspot. This means that any 802.11 device can connect to your phone. And your phone then provides internet access over the cellular frequencies. Both tethering and this wireless hotspot functionality is often controlled by your wireless carrier. So check with your wireless company to see what type of functionality is available on your phone and if there are any costs involved for enabling these capabilities.
In the early days of mobile phones, we had many different cables and connectors that we were using. It seemed that every phone that we used had a different type of connection to be able to power that device. And it was usually a different type of cable if you wanted to connect to that same device and transfer data. Every phone manufacturer had a different way of doing this. And it seemed that they were also changing these connections intentionally with every different model of phone.
The European Union and the market really drove a lot of changes along these lines. And the EU insisted that, if you were going to connect a mobile phone to an external power connection, it must have a standard connector. And the EU standardized on the USB-type connections for every phone that was sold in the EU.
This solved a number of problems for consumers that were having to collect a lot of different cable connections or connect to a lot of different cables to be able to charge their phones. On this single charging system that’s on the screen, you’ll notice there are multiple cables for Nokia, Nokia, Nokia, and Nokia. Those are four different power types for the different phones made by the same manufacturer. By converting our mobile devices to use one or two different standards for power, we greatly simplified this process for the consumer.
Another type of mobile device connectivity that you might use every day is NFC. Stands for Near Field Communication. This allows you to use your mobile device to transfer small bits of data to other devices. These might be payment systems like the one you see here.
You might be using your phone for transportation. So it can be used as a bus token or a subway token. Or you might want exchange contact information with someone else who might have an NFC-enabled phone. This allows your phone to act as an access token, or a way to identify yourself, or a credit card. And it also has built into the standard a way to encrypt all of this communication so that all of that data is transferred safely.
For higher speed and more persistent connections from our mobile devices, we might use a Bluetooth connection. We sometimes refer to Bluetooth as a PAN or a Personal Area Network. Bluetooth is used for many different mobile device connections.
We might use Bluetooth to tether our smartphone so that we can use it as a mobile access point. We might want to use our headphones or headsets over this wireless Bluetooth connection. Or we might want to connect health monitors or speakers so that we’re able to communicate and send data to these devices without any wires connecting to our mobile device.
On many mobile devices, especially Android devices, you may find that you have IR connectivity. This stands for Infrared. And although we used to use infrared for some limited printing or file transfer functionality, 802.11 has effectively replaced that. Where you’ll instead find IR being used is in entertainment centers. So you can sit on your couch with your infrared-enabled mobile device and control your volume or the channel that’s playing on your television.