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What is USB-PD and how does it work with Apple's Smart Battery Case for iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR?

What is USB-PD and how does it work with Apple's Smart Battery Case for iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR?

Best answer: USB Power Delivery, or USB-PD, is a protocol specification that supports power delivery up to 100W while using a single cable. It allows a range of devices, including Apple's Smart Battery Case for iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR, to charge faster.The power source: 87W USB-C Power Adapter (opens in new tab) ($79)The connector: USB-C to Lightning Cable (2m) (opens in new tab) ($35)For the iPhone XR: Smart Battery Case (opens in new tab) ($129)For the iPhone XS: Smart Battery Case (opens in new tab) ($129)For the iPhone XS Max: Smart Battery Case (opens in new tab) ($129)

What is USB-PD?

Offering up to 100W of power makes USB-PD the fastest USB power delivery system to date. USB-PD can charge your device up to 70 percent faster than standard 5W charging. You need a USB-PD compatible charger, however, to make this possible.

Case compatibility

The Smart Battery Case, which uses Apple Lightning like the phone itself, is compatible with Qi-certified chargers. When the case is on, you'll see the intelligent battery status display on the iPhone Lock Screen and in Notification Center. Each case features a soft microfiber lining for iPhone protection. The silicone exterior offers a silky, soft-touch finish, while the soft elastomer hinge design makes it simple to pull the case on and off.

Besides USB-PD compatible chargers, the cases support Lightning accessories, such as the EarPods with Lightning Connector or the Lightning Digital AV Adapter.

More information on charging

Whether your iPhone or Smart Battery Case charges first depends on the type of charger you're using and how much power is being taken in. For example, a MacBook Pro adapter will fast charge both devices at the same time, while using the 5-watt adapter that comes with your iPhone will charge the phone first.

When charging, you can leave the iPhone in the Smart Battery Case to charge them both at the same time or charge them separately. To do so, insert the Lightning to USB Cable that came with your iPhone into the Lightning connect on the case. From there, connect the Lightning to USB Cable to the Apple USB Power Adapter and plug the adapter into a power outlet.

Bryan M Wolfe
Staff Writer

Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education. He’s currently iMore’s lead on all things Mac and macOS, although he also loves covering iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Bryan enjoys watching his favorite sports teams, traveling, and driving around his teenage daughter to her latest stage show, audition, or school event in his spare time. He also keeps busy walking his black and white cocker spaniel, Izzy, and trying new coffees and liquid grapes.