A plus 220-1001 – Exam Objective 1.5

A plus 220-1001 – Exam Objective 1.5

A+ Exam Objective 1.5

1.5 Given a scenario, connect and configure accessories and ports of mobile devices.

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Welcome to ExamNotes by CertBlaster! This installment looks at the ports and accessories available on mobile devices. We’ll look at the connection types, the physical connection, and any communication protocols that may be used. Enjoy!

Connection types


Let’s start with the connection types available for mobile devices and their accessories. We have already discussed Wi-Fi and Bluetooth in detail (in prior ExamNotes) but there is a third type that you need to be knowledgeable about. This third type is called Near Field Communication (NFC). NFC is not a new technology and due to its main security feature of its 10 cm transmission range, has experienced resurgence through the proliferation of mobile devices. Attackers have to be practically touching the target device in order to be able to exchange data. NFC can be used for tap and pay, which exchanges payment information with a NFC capable reader at the cash register, as well as exchanging contact information with friends or clients simply by tapping compatible phones together. The ultimate business card!

Proprietary vendor specific ports (communication /power)

Each vendor introducing new technology will design proprietary connector types for power and data. As the technology becomes popular with users, the manufacturers or the IEEE will agree upon and standardize a specific connection type that will be used in the 2nd generation of devices.


MicroUSB and miniUSB are two connection types that became standard then eventually were phased out in favor of another. The miniUSB connector was introduced as a digital camera and media player charger and data connector. MiniUSB was only marginally smaller than the standard USB B connection and it wasn’t long before a replacement, the microUSB, was designed and adopted. The microUSB connection is more durable and mobile device friendly than the miniUSB. The microUSB is also considerably smaller and is suitable to not only fit media based devices but also the sleek, thin smartphones and Tablet PCs that were flooding the market. The mass adoption of microUSB spelled doom for the miniUSB connector. You may see the miniUSB in the field but all new devices are considerably more likely to be microUSB as devices developed a slimmer profile. Most recently, the USB-C connector was developed with a higher speed, a small profile, and a reversible orientation. With USB-C, you can plug it in either way and there’s no more guessing when you connected a device.

USB-C Connector


Apple was one of the initial developers of USB-C along with other major industry leaders. Seeing how slowly the standard was being developed, Apple left the group and developed their own similar but proprietary connector called Lightning. This connector was in production before USB-C (USB 3.1) was approved. The connector is compatible with many other standards, but you’ll need to obtain adapters to use it.


Earlier Bluetooth wireless connections were not as fast as it is currently (initially 2MBs). The maximum range and speed have increased fairly steadily as shown in the table. Special protocol features allow users to create Personal Area Networks (PAN).

Characteristics of different Bluetooth versions


Infrared transmissions use the invisible light spectrum to transmit low power signals to compatible devices. There are many applications that utilize the technology, most notably remote control signaling for home theatre devices, garage door openers, and any dedicated device that has an unobstructed line-of-sight. Some smartphones incorporate this technology allowing users control of their multimedia components.


During tethering, a smartphone is connected to a laptop or tablet using a compatible USB cable, allowing the cellular device’s connection to be shared wirelessly to other devices. During this process, the Internet connection is used to create a mobile hotspot, through which the other devices can access resources on the internet.


Practically speaking, any network-capable and many device-specific accessories can be connected, used, or shared. Here is the short list.


The diminutive size of most smartphones and even laptops makes sound reproduction a challenge. A good headset can be connected using the 1/8” headphone jack, USB, or Bluetooth. Any of these connection types will provide high quality audio.

Speakers/Docking Station

The device size and speaker quality will have the greatest impact on the sound quality again. If you plan on using your mobile device to listen to music or watch movies, the built-in speakers in most mobile devices will not provide the most enjoyable experience.

Tablet dock

For the most enjoyable experience, connect your device to a docking station containing stereo speakers and possibly a sub-woofer. There are many brand specific docks built exactly for your device.

Game pad

In a gaming machine, once you have a high speed processor, a high resolution display, and superior sound, the last thing you will need is a superior game controller. The controller should have good response numbers as you do not want any missed actions and poor response time. Avoid poor or bad connections by not using Bluetooth or IR controllers since those devices need a direct line of sight. Something as simple as your pet or a friend passing between your controller and the gaming machine could get you killed in the game quickly.

Extra battery pack/ battery charger

When you travel, many airports, train stations, and hotel lobbies have charging stations for your devices. If you have the ability, carry an extra battery and keep it charged. It sounds simple but there are few things worse than having the foresight to have an extra battery and later find that it’s dead! Lastly, bring a power inverter that you can plug into a rental car’s cigarette lighter and so that you can charge your devices.

Credit card readers

If your business requires taking payments, there are very handy credit card readers that attach to your cell phone and validate credit cards over the internet.

Multi Smart card readers

For Memory/MicroSD, carry a read/write USB adapter that will let your presentations or sales data live on if your primary device fails. Keep the backed up information up to date.

Protective covers / waterproofing

Protect your devices from the elements by placing your devices in protective cases that will protect them if dropped and keep them dry. Be smart and don’t blindly trust these protections past what common sense would indicate.

That is all for Sub domain 1.5! Be safe, study hard, and good luck on the test.

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