The simplest explanation is that the USB cable/connection has gone through another upgrade. When I say "upgrade" I mean it has a smaller, different shape and transfers your data ten times faster than USB 3.0 Type-A/B - big stuff for a brighter future!
Granted, I don't think the average computer user noticed (or cared) when USB 3.0 devices hit the marketplace with its blue interior in early 2010. Though that new standard was also ten times faster than its predecessor, how many people actually knew they had a USB 3.0 device/cable and then managed to plug it into the proper 3.0 SuperSpeed port (If there even was one)? Most folks just go for whatever USB port is handy and then wait however long it takes to open/transfer their files, right?
Well, the reason I am writing about this latest iteration is because the different connector shape will change everything. Right now, the Type-A connector end is the flat rectangle shape with which we are all familiar, while the other end (Type-B) can be one of about five different kinds. The new Type-C connector (pictured below), on the other hand, will be the same small oval on both ends of the cable. This means the cable can be used for even the smallest peripherals (like a phone), you do not have to worry about which end you use because they are both the same, and it can plug in either way - no more flipping it around to find the correct orientation to slide it into the port!
As the new USB 3.1 cables/ports will slowly find their way onto computers and devices, you will need to buy an adapter for any new Type-C device you get so that you can connect to the millions of existing USB 2.0 and 3.0 Type-A ports that will around for a while. Since USB 3.1 is backward compatible, you should have no problem making things work until the older stuff is gone.
Here are some links for more info and pictures:
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