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Engineer mods Android phone to create the first one featuring a Lightning port

In context: The Lightning interface is a proprietary data transfer and charging port exclusive to Apple devices since the iPhone 5. However, that didn’t stop a robotics engineer from adding a Lightning connector to an Android phone in a ‘just because I can’ project.

Late last year, a robotics engineer named Ken Pillonel (Kenny Pi) showed us the first iPhone with a working USB-C port. This year he decided to invert this idea and modded an Android phone with a Lightning port.

For now, Pillonel only posted a small teaser showing the interface working on the modded phone (Samsung Galaxy A51), but a full video explanation will be available later. Still, the teaser shows you the phone charging using a Lightning cable and detecting it to transfer data.

“It was a complex modification that required some out-of-the-box thinking. And sprinkle some DIY on top of that,” wrote the engineer in the video description.

When asked about how he did it, Pillonel said that the most challenging part of the project was putting all of it together. As per his words, Lightning cables are not “dumb.” They only charge Apple devices, forcing the engineer to think about how he could trick the line into thinking it was connected to one. All this had to be done inside the phone’s casing, making it even more complicated.

As you can see by the video, Pillonel found a way to do just that. Overall, he considered this project more manageable than the previous one, as he now has more experience and knowledge in this field. Pillonel also added that there’s no reason for modding an Android device with a Lightning port, but he wanted to see if he could do it.

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