Did you hear the iPhone 15 has USB-C now? That’s a great thing and long overdue, but it does mean that there will be a period of transition where some of us end up having to deal with both Lightning and USB-C iPhones in our lives, particularly if we live with someone who isn’t buying the new iPhone right away.
This is particularly cumbersome if you share a vehicle and want to use CarPlay in it — you’ll need a way to hook up your new USB-C iPhone and maintain a Lightning connection for the other person using the car. You could do this with multiple cables, of course, and switch it every time you get in the car, but who needs that hassle? For the past couple of years, I’ve used this three-headed cable to use Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in the same vehicle, depending on who is driving, no cable swap necessary. (It also comes with a Micro USB port on one side, but I can’t say I’ve ever used it.)
Aside from its multi-port capabilities, the other thing that makes this particular cable great is the fact that it’s retractable, so you don’t have to deal with coiling up or otherwise organizing the cable when you get out of the car — just pull on both ends, and it zips back up. It’s also nice to extend it to only the length you need instead of having a too-long cable draped across your center console.
At roughly $12 for two cables, this is a no-brainer. And since the retractable mechanism will wear out eventually, it comes with a backup ready to go. If you have a really new car that has USB-C ports for CarPlay, you’ll need an adapter, as this uses USB-A to plug into the car itself. (Or check out this option, which has USB-C on the other end. I have not personally tried this one, so I can’t speak to how well it works.) But most cars on the road today will be able to use this just fine.