6 tips for faster Apple iPhone charging

Apple will allegedly introduce a fast-charging system inside the box with every iPhone sold later this year. While we wait, I’ve put together six tips for faster charging using the technology you have.

Apple, iPhone, iPhone charger, battery, Fast Charging
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Apple will allegedly introduce a fast-charging system inside the box with every iPhone sold later this year. While we wait for this magical moment in iPhone history, I’ve put together six tips for faster charging using the technology you have.

What’s the rumor about iPhone charging?

Images purported to show a prototype of the new charging device began circulating this week. The illustrations (above) show the European version of the more powerful charging wall charger, which (it is alleged) delivers 18-Watts of power and hosts its own USB-C socket.

At present, iPhones ship with a relatively feeble 5-Watt brick, even though the most recent crop of iPhones can support Fast Charging using a USB-C Lightning cable and higher watt charger.

Fast Charging lets your device grab up to 50 percent charge in just three minutes, but it requires customers purchase a USB-C to Lightning cable and a new 29W, 61W, or 87W adapter. We’ll find out more about Apple’s plans for a faster charger with every iPhone later this year, I guess. Meanwhile we have these tips:

Tip #1: AirPlane Mode

You’ll power your iPhone up a little faster if you switch it into AirPlane mode (Control Center>Tap the airplane mode icon) while you do. AirPlane mode switches off your iPhone’s mobile and wireless connections, reducing power draw.

The impact is noticeable. Tests in 2014 showed it makes just four minutes difference when recharging to full capacity, though it does seem much faster to around half charge capacity.

Tip #2: Switch the iPhone off

If you can live without your iPhone for 20 minutes, you’ll find it charges to full capacity much faster if you switch it off while plugging into power.

The only snag is that if you turn your iPhone off before connecting it to power your device will turn itself on again, so you should connect the device to power first and then turn it off.

Tip #3: Use an iPhone or MacBook Pro charging brick

You can use Apple USB power adapters for iPad and Mac notebooks to charge your iPhone. The former provide 10-Watts and 12-Watts power, so your device will be fully-charged much faster.

You can also use a Mac USB-C Power Adapterrated at29-Watts, 61-Watts, or 87-Watts with a USB-C to Lightning cable to fast charge iPhone 8, X and iPad Pro models..

Tip #4: Remove the case

Your iPhone may look cool and safe inside its snazzy case, but when you want to charge it up as quickly as you can you’ll want to remove it from this enclosure.

That is because your smartphone may not gather charge as efficiently while in its case, Apple explains:

"Charging your device when it's inside certain styles of cases may generate excess heat, which can affect battery capacity. If you notice that your device gets hot when you charge it, take it out of its case first."

Tip #5: Tips on temperature

iPhones are happiest at 62° to 72° F. If you use them in higher or lower temperatures you may find battery power gets used up faster than normal. In most cases, this gets better once you return the device to its optimum operating temperature — but never recharge your iPhone in direct sunlight.

Tip #6: Battery condition

Apple says you should drain your iPhone battery completely at least once a month.

For proper maintenance of a lithium-based battery, it's important to keep the electrons in it moving occasionally,” a company tech note explains.

“Be sure to go through at least one charge cycle per month (charging the battery to 100% and then completely running it down),” it states.

This procedure means your battery will last longer (these things degrade over time) and carry more power, increasing its usable time between charges.

What about battery health?

In response to anger at news it throttled device performance on older iPhones, Apple introduced a Battery Health tool inside iOS 11.3. This lets customers check the health of their battery, check its maximum capacity in comparison to a new battery, and see if peak performance has been throttled on the device.

You access this tool in Settings>Battery>Battery Health (Beta). It will be interesting to see if Apple improves on this beta technology in iOS 12, first intimations of which we expect to see next month at WWDC 2018.

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