Tip o' the Week: iPhone Power

The iPhone is an excellent traveling companion, whether you are still sporting the iPhone 2G or loving you some GPS-equipped iPhone 3G. Google Maps, music, movies, and apps are several of the features that make traveling more sublime, but all this functionality requires a lot of juice, and if you haven't noticed by now, you can't swap your iPhone battery when you've run it dry. What to do? Read on for this week's Tip!

Following are some suggestions for the road warriors and frequent flyers who must conserve power and/or be opportunistic about charging their iPhones!

  1. Carry a spare battery. Ha, just kidding. Unlike most other smartphones, the iPhone does not have a user-replaceable battery. Instead, you have to be prepared to charge at anytime, anywhere. Carry your iPhone's power adapter with you (the new ones are quite small, but apparently pose a risk of breaking and electrocuting -- be careful, and trade it in for replacement as soon as you can!). Airports have power outlets scattered throughout and if you have a little spare time before or after your flight, plug in to juice up your iPhone.
  2. If you are in a meeting or conference, try to arrive early enough that you can sit near a power outlet, if possible. You can also charge your iPhone via USB connected to your laptop. When you need power, it doesn't hurt to get creative!
  3. If you have an iPhone 3G, try disabling 3G under "Settings" to conserve power. The 3G network is faster, but just like a car using more gas the faster you drive, so goes the battery life of your iPhone when on the 3G network. Unless you really, REALLY need speed while surfing the net, drop down to EDGE for a while to save your battery.
  4. Dim your screen. The brighter your screen is, the more power you are using. If you can handle a dimmer screen for a while, then save your battery life by adjusting the brightness to a lower setting.
  5. For convenience, take along something like the Belkin Mini Surge Protector with USB Charger. Hotel rooms are sorely lacking in available power outlets, so if you have a Belkin Mini Surge Protector with you, you just added THREE power outlets and two USB charging ports to hopefully meet all of your power needs. You can get it here in the iMore Store.
That’s it for this week’s Tip. If you have a tip of your own that you would like to share with the rest of us, please leave a Comment or you can email me at: brian.hart@tipb.com.

Disclaimer:  Tip o’ the Week makes no guarantee, express or implied, that any tip found herein will be new or particularly useful to the reader (and in defense of OJ - "If you're travelin' on the loose, make sure you got The Juice." - ahem. Or at least a charger.)

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Reader comments

Tip o' the Week: iPhone Power

15 Comments

LOL that OJ picture is weak!!!!! =)
Also I know that most Trains have electric outlets inside of them right at your seat..

You guys should do a smackdown on external power. Morphine has a cool looking one out for 3g now and I've seen some others. I'd even consider buying one of those 9-volt chargers if I knew it wouldnt jack up my phone.

I would suggest the Duracell Mobile Charger. It is designed to:

  1. Charge AA and AAA NiMH batteries from the wall, or the cigarette lighter of an automobile.
  2. Provide a USB-out charging capability, powered by the wall, the cigarette lighter, or NiMH batteries.

The official word is that you should only use NiMH batteries, but that is oriented around charging. In a pinch, I've used non-rechargables in a pinch to charge my phone.
I used it successfully with my iPhone, as well as a Garmin GPS-based cycle computer. The fact that it is USB out means it can afford this flexibility. I also like that it offers several choices. I refer to it as the "uber-charger," as it offers several options for several devices.
Details at http://www.duracell.com/precharged/

The Kensington Battery Pack and Charger is smaller and lighter than the iPhone, can completely recharge the iPhone or add 4hrs talk and 100hrs of music.
I've replaced my Duracell Charger with this because the Duracell was too heavy.
Additionally, this is a charger (one less thing to carry on trips).

I've got a few external battery packs. The most convenient one is the iPhone Power Station from dealextreme as it's small enough for me to have 2 in a side pocket of my gadget bag. As it plugs straight into the bottom of the iphone without any need for connecting wires it means I can use my slightly elongated iphone easily.

i turn on airplane mode if i'm using apps that don't require internet (like most games). also turn on airplane mode if i'm in a spot i know has no reception for extended periods of time like the subway.

The Duracell Mobile Charger, in spite of saying that it will charge devices which charge over USB, will not charge an iPhone 3G.

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