The transition to USB Type-C hasn't been as smooth as we all would have hoped. There were a number of bad cables early on, and there are still different versions of fast charging that require the right cables and wall adapters. You can simplify the process a little with a Type-C wall outlet like the one available from Top Greener. We tested this device to make sure it performs as intended, and indeed it does. This outlet will fast-charge your Pixel (or other USB-PD devices). Read More
Fast charging is getting really, well... fast. It seems like every phone that comes out has some new version of fast charge tech with bigger numbers. Now Meizu has the biggest numbers yet. Its Super mCharge system can push 55W of power to the phone. By comparison, the Pixel XL can only handle 18W. Read More
In the microUSB days, there were several handy little power meters you could get that measured the power draw of your phone. I have one in a drawer someplace because most new phones have moved to USB Type-C, rendering that device useless. Now, there's a Type-C power meter available courtesy of Satechi. It's a little more expensive than the microUSB versions were, but it looks slick. Read More
Here's an interesting wrinkle in the rapidly-closing saga of the Galaxy Note 7. Yesterday Samsung announced that it would send a software over-the-air update to the few remaining phones in the US, preventing the devices from taking a new electricity charge, and hopefully stopping any more battery-based fires. It's far from the first measure the company has taken to further encourage owners of the defective phones to accept the voluntary recall, but it might be the last. American wireless carrier Verizon, for reasons of its own, isn't participating in the latest software update. Read More
Cables, the technological innovation that just won't die no matter how bad some folks want them to. There are wireless ways to charge smartphones these days, as well as options for transferring data without pulling out a cord. But frankly I still reach for a microUSB cable to do both of these things, and the number of people who do hardly stops with me. Read More
Even if you figure out which way the connector plugs into your phone, it's still plugging in, right? That's awkward to do with one hand and provides a great way to get your phone yanked off the table if you trip over the cord. Znaps is a product that's currently tearing it up on Kickstarter that could make everything better. For $9 you get a tiny magnetic adapter that makes plugging in your phone a snap, er—Znap. Whatever.
If there's one thing I think we can all agree on, it's that when our phones are low on juice, we're willing to jump through a hoop or two to power back up. Be it an awkwardly placed public wall outlet, regularly carrying around external chargers, or buying a phone with a user-replaceable battery so that swapping in a spare is quick and easy.
We also all know somewhat instinctively that using our phones while they're on a charger will decrease the rate at which they charge - that's just common sense. Even if the phone is charging, using the device obviously consumes power, and that cancels out some of the net effect charging has. Read More
Stock Android may not make a special noise when plugged in to charge over USB, but it does play a tone when your device comes in contact with a wireless charger. Until now though, it hasn't been possible to disable this sound without adjusting the system volume. In Android M that will apparently change, as a new toggle joins the lineup in "Other sounds."
Dial pad tones, screen lock sounds, touch sounds, and touch vibration entries are all still present.
This is a small change, but - even if they're buried in settings - sometimes adding more granular controls can be a good thing, and that seems to be one of the themes of Android M so far. Read More
Ever wanted the Moto 360's charging screen on another Android Wear watch? Ever wished you could see more information on that charging screen? If you answered yes to at least one of these two questions, then you might be interested in Wear Charging Widget.
The application automatically triggers when your Android Wear watch is charging. With a Moto 360-inspired design, it has an evolving circle that shows the current amount of charge on the watch, along with the time, date, and weather. Then if you want to disable it for some reason, you simply long press the screen to exit the app. Read More