macOS Sierra Beta Code Hints at Ridiculously-Fast USB Ports

Apple Officially Releases macOS Sierra 10.12.1
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Clues found in the code of macOS Sierra beta versions hint at supercharged, 10-gigabit-per-second (Gbps) USB ports being included on upcoming Macs. 9to5Mac spotted a text string in the code for macOS Sierra that mentions SuperSpeed+ — a term that refers to USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports. Directly below this text string is a speed rating of “up to 10/Gb per second.”

Normal SuperSpeed, or USB 3.1 Gen 1, is currently supported on today’s MacBooks. But where USB 3.1 Gen 1 offers the same speeds as USB 3.0 — up to 5 gigabits a second — Gen 2 will actually double that amount.

It’s worth noting that while macOS Sierra includes these snippets in its code, none of Apple’s hardware that’s currently available for sale supports USB 3.1 Gen 2, according to TechRadar. But that doesn’t mean we won’t be seeing USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports on Mac computers soon enough — specifically, the upcoming and highly anticipated MacBook Pro refresh.

While these snippets of code shouldn’t be taken as promises, they’re at least a good indicator that Apple is placing its attention on upgraded connectivity hardware in its upcoming devices, according to 9to5Mac.

This focus on I/O capability could also mean that Apple is currently working on bringing Thunderbolt 3 to the MacBook Pro refresh. Not only would Thunderbolt 3 provide support for USB 3.1 Gen 2, but it could also let users take advantage of its amazingly speedy 40-Gbps connectivity speeds. Thunderbolt 3 can also handle 4K and 5K display output and power delivery, according to their website.

Only time will tell if Thunderbolt 3 support is included in upcoming Apple releases, but the fact that USB 3.1 is mentioned in macOS Sierra’s code is a good indicator that these upgrades aren’t outside of the realm of possibility. In addition to upgraded USB ports, the new MacBook Pro is rumored to have other first-time features, including an OLED touch panel and Touch ID — making it one of the most highly anticipated MacBooks in recent memory.

[The information provided in this article has NOT been confirmed by Apple and may be speculation. Provided details may not be factual. Take all rumors, tech or otherwise, with a grain of salt.]

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