If you’ve been following this blog for around a year, you may remember the tiny USB hub PCB called the NanoHub that was discussed here. It was likely useful in many situations, you may notice that there aren’t any actual connectors — the user will need to solder them on as needed.
This gives it a huge amount of versatility, however if you simply want a single micro USB connector to “magically” become two standard A connnector sockets without any extra work, then this Microhub device by the same Tindie seller, Muxtronics, is pretty much the smallest thing that you’ll be able to find.
Looking at this, it’s interesting to note that this device is very close to the smallest USB hub that would be possible to make. While there has been a lot of physical innovation on the “B” connector that plugs into your device, the A side has physically stayed the same. There have been important upgrades, though these aren’t physically obvious, and physically each remains compatible.
In this case, since space on the A side isn’t generally at a premium, this is a very good thing. You can assume that if you have a USB hub and plug, you can connect them (perhaps after reversing the direction several times) and transfer data. That being said, reversible USB C connectors on the other side are a huge improvement over their predecessors, but given the multi-stage evolution to this point, this form factor means you may need to keep several plugs around.
As technology changes, this type of issue often presents itself. Do you keep things standard or innovate? Sure, compatibility issues are no fun, but on the other hand, things must sometimes be left behind to move forward. It’s not fun in the short term, but would you like to go back to DOS, Windows 3.0, or serial ports? I’d have to guess the answer is a resounding “no!”