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When the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X were announced late last year wireless charging was one of their most touted features. And for good reason; it cuts down on cable clutter while boosting mobility. I’m a big fan. But underreported was the fact that all the new iPhones also support fast charging, which first came to iOS devices with the original 12.9″ iPad Pro.
By Apple’s own admission, fast charging can top up your phone’s battery up to 50% in 30 minutes, which is a pretty big deal if you’re short on time. The reason why few people are talking about this feature is simple: It requires two accessories Apple doesn’t include in the box: a 29 watt power adapter and USB-C to Lightning cable.
On the power adapter front, you have a few options. I recommend one from Anker, which I’ve personally tested to make sure it charges just as fast as the one Apple sells. In fact, you can use this power adapter to fast charge your iPhone or iPad Pro and your MacBook.
Unfortunately, to take advantage of this feature you’ll also need to buy a cable that only Apple sells. It has a lightning connector on one end and a USB-C connector on the other, and costs twice as much as your standard charging cable. Still, it’ll help you charge your phone fast enough that the price could easily be worth it.
While I’m a wireless charging die-hard — my mophie charging pad may never leave my desk — I have this fast charging setup in my house. Most of the time, my iPhone and iPad are regularly charged, but this setup has definitely saved me before I leave for a trip or late night out.
It takes an up-front investment of a little more than $50, but if you’re constantly running around with a dying phone because you don’t have time to keep it plugged in for hours, taking advantage of this lesser-known feature can make a big difference.
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