Tiny charger taps AA batteries to keep your phone running

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Modern mobile phones need a lot of power; chances are we’ve all got an external battery pack (or at least a second cable and wall plug) tucked away in a bag somewhere that will charge up our Android and iOS mobile phones while we’re on the run.

The thing is, those things need to be taken along with you when you leave the house. If you’re like me, though, that requires a heck of a lot of cognitive overhead and pre-planning.

The whole point of the Nipper, this tiny new mobile phone charger that uses two AA batteries to give you a bit of juice when needed, is to always be available.

Affordable iOS security kit locks down your house

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Here's our review of this cool security system.
Here's our review of this cool security system.
Photo: Stephen Smith/Cult of Mac

A connected home security system that you can run right from your iPhone sounds like a fantastic idea. But which system should you pick up?

We’ve taken a look at the Skylink Alarm System Starter Kit to see what it can do. It includes a security hub, various window and door sensors, and a slick Wi-Fi-connected camera that you can set up and use from your iPhone no matter where you are in the world.

Check out our fun video review of this iOS-controlled home security system below.

27% of smartphone buyers in Europe swapped Android for iPhone last quarter

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Consumers aren’t bored of the iPhone 6 yet.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Android

Apple’s iPhones might be on the verge of a big refresh this month, but that doesn’t make them any less appealing to those looking to take a break from Android.

In Europe, 27 percent of smartphone shoppers swapped their Android for an iPhone last quarter, while 9 percent of consumers made the same switch in the U.S.

Instagram gets more social with direct messaging

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Photo-sharing service Instagram takes another step closer to becoming its own self-contained social network today with features aimed at the 85 million folks using Instagram Direct, which lets you send direct messages to individual users or groups of up to 15 people.

The new features include threaded messaging and a new way to share Instagram videos or photos within those direct messages.