Cables to Keep Around the House
Spring is here and a lot of us are going to use that nicer weather to get a little cleaning done. If your house is anything like everyone else's, there is probably a junk drawer somewhere with a big mess of old cables. After untangling all the knots, you will want to look at each cable to see what you should keep and what can be tossed.
Keep: Micro USB 2.0
Micro USB is better known as a “phone charger” since they are mostly used for Android phones. Not to mention tablets, streaming devices, smart speakers, and more. Micro USB is not going anywhere anytime soon, so keeping a few extras around is a good idea right now.
Keep: Micro USB 3.0
This upgraded Micro USB is mostly used for external hard drives. Some cell phones use these for charging cables too. While not as widespread as the older 2.0 version, this is new enough that hanging onto one or two of them is worth it.
In any scenario, having to deal with a dead cell phone is a pain. No one likes to realize their alarm did not go off because their phone died in the middle of the night. Or that they are totally lost when the phone’s GPS suddenly changes to a black screen.
With how important cell phones have become to everyday life, you would think that grabbing a charging cable would be simple. However, there are a number of options available depending on what type of phone you have. Even when looking at the same type of charger, different versions can be available.
Phone Charger Ratings
Chargers can have different ratings that are based on three factors: power (watts), current (amps), and voltage (volts). Amps are the key factor to look at here. Larger devices with bigger batteries, such as a tablet vs. a phone, hold more power and can take longer to charge. Phone chargers are made with different ratings depending on what device they are designed to go with. For example, this car charger has three USB ports on it. The first two ports have 1.0A (amps) while the last port has 2.1A. The 2.1A port has higher amperage and can charge big devices like tablets faster while the 1.0A ports are better for smaller devices like cell phones.
Some devices will only draw a certain amount of power from any charger to avoid damaging themselves. For example, iPhones will never charge with more than 1.0A. On the flipside of that, if you used a 1.0A charger with something like a tablet it would charge slower than if you used a 2.1A charger.
There are some rumors that claim charging a phone too fast can reduce the maximum b
What are Lightning Cables?
Lightning cables are a type of cable designed to be used specifically with iPhones. Functionally, they are very similar to the standard types of USB cables used with Android phones. Lightning cables are proprietary to Apple and the only type of connection that will work for charging most iPhones or connecting them to other devices.
Apple introduced Lightning cables in September 2012 to replace older, bulkier connectors. Any iPhone, iPad, or other Apple device made after late 2012 likely uses a lightning connection. Lightning cables are not compatible with older Apple devices that use the wider, 30-pin style connectors.
There are some MacBooks that use a USB-C connection instead of lightning cables. Be sure to check a MacBook to see what it uses before purchasing a cable. Being proprietary, it can be a bit tricky to find lightning cables and accessories without purchasing expensive items from Apple directly. Thankfully, Apple does allow a certain degree of freedom to third parties and that is where our new adapter comes in.
Charge Your Phone and Listen to Music at the Same Time
On an iPhone, the lightning port has two main uses. The first is to charge the phone, keeping the