recharge Stories March 27, 2015

Thanks to Apple’s patent on the MagSafe connectors used in MacBook Airs and Pros, the list of third-party external batteries for MacBooks previously began with Hyper’s HyperJuice/HyperJuice 2 and ended with Lenmar’s ChugPlug — not much of a variety. Apple’s legal department chased Hyper for attaching harvested MagSafe connectors to its batteries, and Lenmar chose a workaround, sending ChugPlug’s power indirectly though an Apple wall adapter. Neither solution was ideal. It took until now for a completely different third solution to appear: BatteryBox ($220) from Gbatteries Energy.

BatteryBox is the first MacBook power option I’ve tested that doesn’t require either MagSafe or an Apple wall adapter to function. Since the developers went out of their way to create something that won’t run afoul of Apple’s legal team, there’s absolutely nothing Mac-like about its brick-like rectangular design. And it’s not cheap, priced between the two HyperJuices and higher than ChugPlug, which can now be had for only $100. But it works, adding a 60-watt-hour additional battery to the 38-95-watt-hour cells already inside MacBook Airs and Pros. So if you’re on the road without access to a power outlet and need to add hours of additional runtime to your Apple laptop, this is a viable alternative….

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recharge Stories September 22, 2014

Update: We’ve rounded up some nice 2.1A AC/Car charger and battery upgrade options for the iPhone 6/Plus

Apple has apparently enabled much faster battery charging in the newest iPhone models, but you’d never know it if you only use the included power adapter. According to a change in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus discovered by iLounge, both of the new smartphones are equipped with the hardware to support 2.1A charging.

The problem? Apple only includes a 1A charger in the box. If you’ve been using that AC power adapter to recharge your phone, there’s a much faster way to do it. Since the iPad has long supported 2.1A charging, you can grab a charger for the Apple tablet and use that to achieve a much quicker charge.

Another way to benefit from this new capability is to plug your iPhone directly into a newer-model Mac, which will charge it at the appropriate speed. iLounge noted that the Macs tested for this feature were running Yosemite with no mention of OS X Mavericks, so it’s possible that the change may require the upcoming OS, which is currently is public beta. expand full story

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