For work, I got one of the new Macbooks with only four USB-C ports. So, naturally, I need a dongle to connect it to my USB-A peripherals.

I got a USB-C hub, which lets me connect an HDMI cable, my mouse and keyboard, and power cable to the laptop. So now I can connect my laptop to my workstation by plugging in only one wire (without the need for a specialized dock). This is actually more convenient than my previous setup with my personal laptop, where I had to connect the HDMI cable separately from the USB hub.

One day, I plugged in my Android phone to the same USB hub to charge it. To my surprise, my monitor powered on. It turned out that it accepted mouse and keyboard inputs over the same hub, so I had a fully-functioning workstation!

The idea is kind of nice, isn’t it? Like the Nintendo Switch gaming console, but for general-purpose computing.

Suppose you’re having trouble with your work, so you unplug your device, walk over to your coworker’s desk, and plug it in right there to show them your issue.

Or you’re working from home at your desk. You decide you need to go into the office, so you unplug your device, put it in your pocket, and get on the bus, where you continue to do mobile-capable work using your phone’s mobile data. And then you arrive at work and plug it back into a workstation.

Or you’re working, and you need to read a document. So you unplug your device and walk over to the couch and get comfortable and read it there.

Phones will have to get a little bit more powerful and flexible, and drivers will have to get a little bit more reliable — my Macbook still regularly crashes in its sleep, due to faulty power management of the USB hub. But I look forward to this future.