Did you hear that the iPhone 15 now has USB-C? That’s a great thing and should be long overdue, but it means there will be a transition period where some of us will end up having to deal with Lightning and USB-C iPhones in our lives, especially if we live with someone who isn’t. Don’t buy 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 connect 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 change them every time you get in the car, but who needs that hassle? For the past few years, I’ve used this three-headed cable to use Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in the same vehicle, depending on who’s driving, without needing to change the cable. (It also comes with a Micro USB port on one side, but I can’t say I’ve ever used it.)
Aside from its multiport 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 or organizing the cable when you get out of the car: just pull on both ends and It closes with a zipper. It’s also nice to extend it only to the length you need rather than having an overly long cable stretched over the center console.
At about $12 for two cables, this is a no-brainer. And since the retractable mechanism will wear out over time, it comes with a ready-to-go backrest. If you have a really new car that has USB-C ports for CarPlay, you’ll need an adapter, as it uses USB-A to connect to the car. (Or take a look this option, which has USB-C on the other end. I haven’t tried it personally, so I can’t speak to how well it works.) But most cars on the road today will be able to use it without problems.