PowerMe will turn any device into a power source

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 22, 2015

A new accessory that launched earlier today on the crowdsourcing platform Indiegogo attempts to solve an important concern with mobile devices—battery life—with an interesting twist.

Dubbed the PowerMe, this tiny multi-purpose dongle turns almost any mobile device outfitted with a microUSB port into a mobile battery pack for your other gadgets, including Lightning-enabled iPhones, iPads and iPods.

In addition, the PowerMe lets you share photos, music and other documents between devices and it’s small enough to easily snap onto your keyring. Read More


Apple Pencil ships with extra tip and Lightning-to-Lightning adapter for USB charging

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 20, 2015

Apple’s $99 stylus accessory for the iPad Pro, the Apple Pencil, conveniently comes with a spare tip and includes a special Lightning-to-USB adapter to save users from having to precariously charge their Pencils directly from their iPads.

A spare tip is a nice addition as it gives Pencil customers piece of mind knowing that wearing down the tip won’t force them to take their accessory for servicing. Read More


Apple provides interim fix for iPad Pro sluggishness after long charge

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 19, 2015

Following reports from iPad Pro owners who have been complaining about the device becoming unresponsive after being charged for a lengthy period of time, which typically occurs during overnight charging, Apple has now acknowledged the issue and confirmed it’s working on a permanent fix.

In the meantime, the company has provided an interim fix that it says will temporarily restore normal operation after the iPad Pro becomes unresponsive. Read More


How to check Apple Pencil battery level

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 19, 2015

Unlike Microsoft’s Surface Pen that depends on a user-replaceable AAAA battery, Apple’s Pencil has a non-replaceable, rechargeable 0.329 Wh li-ion one.

Though it holds just five precent of the charge of an iPhone 6s battery, it can gain 30 minutes’ worth of runtime with a quick 15-second charge via the iPad Pro’s Lightning port.

However, the accessory itself lacks a battery status indicator that would give an at-a-glance overview of how much juice it has left. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to easily check the battery status of your Apple Pencil, right on your iPad Pro. Read More


Many iPad Pro owners are complaining about unresponsiveness after long charge

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 16, 2015

A couple of threads are currently growing on Reddit and the Apple Support Communities forums, with a significant number of lucky owners of the iPad Pro complaining that their device becomes unresponsive after being charged for a lengthy period. This typically occurs during overnight charging.

The annoying issues causes the device to require a hard restart to restore functionality. Apple had not commented on the hiccup publicly at the time of this writing, and almost certainly will not. Read More


How long does it take to fully charge iPad Pro?

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 12, 2015

Despite its notably faster ‘A9X’ system-on-a-chip and a bigger screen with significantly increased pixel count, the iPad Pro is roughly in line with prior iPad models in terms of battery life.

On the other hand, the jumbo-sized tablet ships with Apple’s 12W USB Power Adapter despite having a much larger battery. So, how long does it take to recharge the iPad Pro’s battery from dead to full capacity? Read More


Mophie’s new battery packs are its thinnest and lightest yet

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 11, 2015

Accessory maker Mophie today announced a refreshed edition of its Powerstation external battery packs for charging mobile devices.

The 3rd generation, aluminum-clad Powerstation is Mophie’s thinnest and lightest yet.

The smallest measures just 6.9mm thick and the largest is only 12.1mm deep. Prices range from $39.95 for the baseline model and go all the way up to $149.95 for the flagship Powerstation 8X that packs in a 15,000 mAh battery. Read More


Review: ‘Quarter’ portable battery has MagSafe port

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 7, 2015

China-based Beaver Electronics Co. recently unveiled a reasonably priced portable juice pack with buttonless design that after 15 minute of fast-charging holds enough juice to fully recharge an iPhone 5s. In fact, the Quarter recharges any mobile device via USB.

Surprisingly, through its built-in MagSafe 2 port the Quarter charging its 5,000mAh internal battery via the MacBook’s MagSafe wall charger takes under an hour. The company kindly provided me a review unit that I tested out over the past week, here’re my impressions. Read More


Nomad’s Wallet puts a full charge for your iPhone 6s in your wallet

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 3, 2015

Nomad today launched an interesting lifestyle accessory for your iPhone, dubbed the Wallet. It’s literally a premium bifold leather wallet with an integrated 3.5-inch Lightning cable and a built-in 2,400mAh battery, enough to provide a full charge for your Lightning-based iPhone and then some more.

The wallet holds six credit or gift cards, cash, is made from Saffiano leather and is just 0.75 inch thick when closed. If you’re a fan of real wallets, not those iPhone cases that double as wallets, you can pre-order Nomad’s Wallet for $79. Read More


How to check battery level of Siri Remote and game controllers on Apple TV

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 2, 2015

The primary input method for the fourth-generation Apple TV is the included Siri Remote though compatible ‘Made for iOS’ (MFi) Bluetooth controllers can be optionally used to navigate across tvOS.

Input method notwithstanding, you’ll want to occasionally check out the battery level of the connected remote or gamepad, especially if it stops working.

As tvOS lacks an iOS-style status bar, seeing the battery level of the Siri Remote and other Bluetooth devices requires paying a quick visit to Settings.

In this tutorial, you’re going to learn how to check out the battery level of your Siri Remote or a Bluetooth gamepad paired with an Apple TV. Read More


Good deal: NomadPlus Wall Charger & Battery Pack

By iDB Deals on Nov 1, 2015

Quality and design are matters of importance in a saturated market of portable batteries. The difference is clear in NomadPlus Smartphone Wall Charger & Battery Pack – smooth, attractive and powerful enough to provide support in any situation, particularly emergencies. Don’t replace your charger – improve it with NomadPlus, for $24.99.

Read More


How to disable Location History on Facebook to extend iPhone battery life

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 23, 2015

Yesterday, Facebook issued an update to its main iOS client to help extend your iPhone’s battery life by preventing it from playing audio silently in the background.

File the move under the ‘too little, too late’ drawer: if history is anything to go by, waiting for Facebook engineers to deliver a fully battery-friendly iOS app might be a fool’s errand.

The biggest contributor to Facebook’s infamous battery drain has got to be the app’s continuous monitoring of your location, which continues after leaving the app. In this tutorial, we’ll teach you how to prevent this by disabling a feature called Location History, thereby helping reclaim some of the juice lost to the battery-hogging app. Read More


iPhone 6s conserves power by disabling untethered ‘Hey Siri’ when face down or in your pocket

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 23, 2015

Apple’s iPhone 6s has introduced an untethered ‘Hey Siri’ feature which allows for always-listening functionality even when the device isn’t charging, by utilizing the power-efficient M9 motion coprocessor to always listen for voice commands.

But as AppleInsider finds out, the handset automatically switches off untethered ‘Hey Siri’ when it’s in your pocket or face down on a table.

This is another trick in Apple’s arsenal of technologies to extend battery life. Read More


Did latest Facebook update fix battery drainage?

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 23, 2015

After publicly acknowledging that it was aware of reports which slammed its mobile application over excessive battery drain, Facebook yesterday issued an update to its App Store app which has apparently fixed the long-standing issue.

Facebook engineering manager Ari Grant took to Facebook to detail the issue and what they’ve done to prevent the mobile app from eating up your iPhone’s battery. Read More


Teardown analysis of Magic accessories finds chips from other Apple products and more tidbits

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 16, 2015

Repair experts over at iFixit have performed an interesting triple teardown of Apple’s latest Magic accessories—the Magic Mouse 2, Magic Trackpad 2 and Magic Keyboard—and found that all three devices are outfitted with many of the same chips also found in other Apple products.

On the downside, Apple’s unified approach to engineering the new Magic devices has resulted in just 3 out of 10 in iFixit’s Repairability ratings due to high level of integration and excessive amount of adhesive. Read More


Facebook acknowledges battery drainage problem with iOS app, says fix is underway

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 15, 2015

It is no secret that Facebook’s mobile app has always been a battery hog, even with Background App Refresh turned off. Instead of fixing the issue, Facebook appears to employ tricks to keep the app active in the background, further accentuating the battery drainage problem.

According to TechCrunch, Mark Zuckerberg & Co. are aware of the problem and its programmers are working around the clock to put out a fix “soon”. Read More


BatteryIcon tweak brings a battery indicator icon to the Home screen

By Jeff Benjamin on Oct 12, 2015

BatteryIcon is a recently released jailbreak tweak that brings a battery-level-displaying shortcut icon to the Home screen. The icon itself lends you an approximation of current battery life, and the shortcut links directly to the Battery Usage section of the Settings app.

Like the stock Clock app, BatteryIcon is a “live” icon in that it updates dynamically to show the current battery level via a battery glyph and the color (low battery shows a red color) of the icon itself. Due to this, you’re able to quickly glance at the main portion of the Home screen for a quick indication of how your battery is doing. Read More


Review: the Prong PWR is an iPhone battery case with a twist

By Cody Lee on Oct 12, 2015

After spending a year growing accustomed to the iPhone 6 Plus, I decided to go for the smaller handset. I’ve been pretty happy with the 6s thus far, but the smaller size means a smaller battery, and I’ve found it’s not enough to get me through a normal day.

When I’m working, my dock is typically within arms-length, but on days when I’m out and about this gets to be a problem. We have several battery packs, but I find USB cables very limiting, and I definitely don’t want to use a bulky battery case full-time.

That’s where the Prong PWR Case comes in. Read More


Why force quitting apps to save battery life is a terrible idea

By Sébastien Page on Oct 9, 2015

I’m standing in line at the coffee shop. A man in front of me is frantically swiping up on all the cards in the App Switcher to force quit the applications he just launched a minute ago. I know why he’s doing this, but I can’t help asking him about it. “I’m doing this to save battery,” he answers, not knowing what he just did has the exact opposite effect on his iPhone’s battery life.

Telling him he’s wrong and explaining why force quitting apps drains his battery faster than leaving them in the App Switcher is a lost cause. I know it’s a lost cause because I have been telling people the same thing for years. No one, including members of my own family, can break this bad habit and trust the operating system will manage their apps in a way that will actually save battery life.

If you are someone who force quits apps believing your battery will last longer, then stop what you are doing and read this. Read More


Samsung-built A9 chip in iPhone 6s found to drain battery faster than TSMC one, Apple doesn’t really agree

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 8, 2015

Does your iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus come outfitted with Samsung or TSMC-built A9 processor? The answer to that question could determine how long your device will run before its battery needs recharging.

Your key takeaway is this: while the dual-sourced chips perform identically in synthetic Geekbench tests in terms of sheer CPU compute power and GPU performance, there’s a marked difference in observed battery life ranging from six to eleven percent.

You could argue the difference is barely felt in day-to-day use, but I beg to differ: energy efficiency is paramount for mobile devices and the battery-friendlier the main processor is, the longer it will run on a single charge. Read More

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