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Will USB-C Replace Lightning?

USB-C-8USB-C is the hot new standard being tossed around technology circles, and it’s certainly nothing to shake a stick at. USB-C was created by the USB Implementers Forum, which includes 700 companies (including Apple, Dell, HP and more.) What makes this significant, is that each of these companies have released computers that run with USB-C connections already.

So, what does this mean? Will USB-C mean the demise of other connections, including Apple’s proprietary Lightning Cable? The writing does seem to be on the wall, but still not for some time yet.

Apple is largely the only user of the Lightning Cable. They developed it and do license the use of it, but not many companies have offered much more innovation with the port.

Size Matters

USB-C_Reversible_291x291_v01-r01Smart-phone and tablet makers are constantly working to thin and lighten their devices. That’s why Apple developed the Lightning Cable, so that they could ditch the larger 30-pin adapter and go with something with a smaller form factor.

Incidentally, the USB-C is doing the same thing for notebooks, and still has the small form factor. The USB-C connector is just about the size of a micro-USB, and it has the ability to both power devices and transfer data quickly.

Theoretical numbers put the USB-C at twice the speed of USB 3.0 and on par with Apple’s Thunderbolt at 10 Gbs per second.

Apple is even using the USB-C as the lone connector on the 2015 Macbook, which has a headphone jack besides. The 29-watt battery of the Macbook is also capable of being charged by USB-C.

With Apple reportedly ditching the headphone jack in the newest iPhone, and utilizing the Lightning adapter for headphones, could that mean that a more standard port (like USB-C) is coming? Particularly when Apple has been sued for not having a standard port, but instead using Lightning in the past?

A Standard With Lots of Flexibility

The USB-C connector also supports DisplayPort, HDMI, USB and VGA, opening a host of possibilities for the iPhone and iPad.

Could it replace Lightning? Probably not yet. Apple isn’t know for jumping on the bandwagon, but they have stated that the Macbook is a clear sign of where the company is going in the Future.

So, it may not be far off.

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Griffin’s New Apple Watch Battery Charger

The Apple Watch was released in early 2015 to large hype, and has done well in the market. However, one constant complaint has been the battery life. It goes about 18 hours. For most people this isn’t a problem, as they’ve taken to training themselves to charging the watch overnight or when they get home in the evening.

However, due out in Q2 of 2016, smartphone accessory manufacturer Griffin is releasing a Apple Watch battery charger. The device is attaches to your keychain, and they say it’s designed to charge the Watch 4 times before being depleted.

The device itself still requires the user to remove the Watch before charging, but is good in a pinch, as it won’t need to be charged in the wall-outlet. Additionally, the device is easily packed into carry-on luggage or a pocket for quick charging.

Griffin is calling it the Travel Power Bank, and it will only be available for the Apple Watch. Though it comes with a micro-USB, it seems that this is only for charging the Power Bank rather than other devices.

Griffin says the device will be retailing around $69.99 USD.

griffin-apple-watch-travel-power-bank-2Still, it’s a great little device if you’re out and about, and unable to plug in your Watch to an outlet. You can still get all those nifty messages, alerts, and encouragements to exercise from the Watch.

Which, incidentally, Apple COO Jeff Williams says has been getting rave reviews.

“Quite honestly we’ve been surprised and very inspired,” Williams said on January 4 on radio program Conversation on Health Care. “So many people have written to us saying it’s helped them lose weight, it’s helped them be more active, they were pre-diabetic and have changed course.”

“And even, we’ve gotten a ton of emails where people are saying the watch actually saved their life,” he said. “In a way we didn’t anticipate we’ve gotten so many emails where people or their cardiologist have written us and said this person detected something on their watch and came in and they had a life-threatening situation and, if we had not intervened, they probably would have died.”

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Mobile Charging Best Practices – Part 2

Here at Onefruit, charging your smart devices is a passion of ours. Our multi-charing solutions seek to make everything run long and keep you working. However, battery life is always going to be an issue.

Here are some quick tips to maximise your time in between charges with your OneFruit solution.

View part 1 of our charging best practices series here.

1. Adjust Device Settings for Optimal Battery Life

If you want to get the best battery life, turning off unnecessary settings is a good idea, as well as adjusting some other ones that you may not be using all the time.

For example, if you don’t use a bluetooth headset or any wearable tech that connects via Bluetooth, be sure that Bluetooth is turned off. Will you be away from Wi-Fi for a long time? Maybe driving down the freeway to work? Consider turning off Wi-Fi.

Otherwise, your smart-device will be searching for Bluetooth receivers and Wi-Fi hotspots through your entire day, sucking out battery life.

Also, be careful of apps that use Location Services – as these apps are always using data and Wi-Fi to check where you are.

2. Close Unused Apps

Apps that are running the background are sometimes secretly working, and stealing battery life. They’re accessing the internet (GPS for example), or just on a “pause” that can deplete your battery.

Use your device’s settings to close all unused apps regularly. This doesn’t mean just closing an app, but being sure it’s not listed in your task manager or multi-tasking bar.

3. Upgrade to iOS 9 for Apple Devices

Apple’s latest upgrade has a ton of new battery-saving features.

“Low Power Mode” for example decreases your display brightness, tells Apple Mail to stop downloading content, and disables other features. You can still use every app, but only if you go to it. When you’re fully charged, Low Power Mode switches itself off.

Additionally, check out  Settings > General > Battery to see what’s using up your battery. Or go to Settings >General> Battery App Refresh to turn off a feature that allows apps to refresh themselves while in the background.

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Mobile Charging Best Practices

Here at Onefruit, we love providing great charging solutions for your businesses and schools. Our multi-charging stations are meant to make the whole process easy. But what about that time in-between charges? How do you keep your batteries working to their best on and off the charger?

It’s important to note that batteries have a life-span. The Lithium-Ion batteries Apple and most Android manufacturers use are built to last a long time, and withstand multiple charges. Too, our battery woes are usually based on misunderstandings of how this technology works.

Quick Charge vs Real Charge

The Lithium-Ion battery in modern smart devices has the ability to do a quick charge, and get you to 80% quickly. Afterward, the device “trickle charges” at a slower rate up to 100%. Perceptually, this can cause an issue when we think we’re getting a “full charge” but our device just hit 80% and was still working on receiving a real charge.

How fast or how long this charge takes also depends on your settings and what you’re doing with the device while you’re using it.

It’s best to turn off the Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and all other apps while charging to get the fastest and most efficient 100% charge.

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Charging Cycles

Just like any battery, the ability to recharge diminishes over time. Users previously had to be worried about “battery memory”, or the battery getting stuck at a certain charging level if they didn’t regularly deplete the battery fully before a re-charge.

However, Lithium-Ion batteries work on a charge cycle rather than require full charges from 0%-100%. This means, you simply need to charge your device regularly for it be healthy.

Most Android devices and all Apple devices have a high number of charging cycles before the battery will actually start showing wear. In Apple’s case, it’s in excess of 500 cycles before the battery will act at 80% capacity (but still show 100% when you charge it), and it will go down from there. Meaning, over time an 100% charge won’t get you what it used to.

Here’s how the cycles work.

If your battery went from 100% and you used it until it went to 50%, then charge it, you’ve only used half of one cycle. When you next use the device and say you only use 25% of the battery before charging it, you’ve now used up 75% of the cycle.

This process continues until you’ve reached that 100% of a full cycle, then starts all over again, all by itself.

So, how do you protect your device? Charge it regularly and turn it off when you don’t it.

Ultimately, enjoy your device but keep in mind that Lithium-Ion batteries allow you work longer, charge faster, and have longer lasting devices. Then, when you need to charge it, check OneFruit’s charging solutions to get on to the next cycle!