Save your battery with iOS 9’s Low Power Mode

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Keep your iPhone humming for up to three hours until your next charge.
Keep your iPhone humming for up to three hours until your next charge.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

iOS 9 brings a bunch of battery-boosting features, most of which work right out of the box. But there’s one battery-saving feature you’ll have to enable yourself.

Called Low Power Mode, this new feature should prove super-useful when you need to eke out just a bit more time with your device — provided you’re not doing anything intense.

Cord-protecting Juiceboxx will save you a trip to the Apple Store

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Juiceboxx is a $20 accessory tha protects your Mac charger from fraying.
Photo: George Tinari/Cult of Mac

My MacBook Air’s charging cord was basically destroyed after only about two years of owning it. I just kept putting black electrical tape around it but that only seemed to make it worse. I finally waved the white flag, went to the Apple Store and bought a new charger for a whopping $79. If you’ve been through this before, listen up, because Juiceboxx will help you out.

Juiceboxx is a plastic case that wraps around your MacBook’s power adapter and forces the cord to point straight forward at the base. That way when you need to wrap it up and go, the cord isn’t dealing with the stress of being bent and twisted. More importantly, your cord won’t fray as it tends to do, leaving you with more money in your pocket and one less trip to the Apple Store.

A beautiful, elegant app to check your iPhone’s battery on your Apple Watch

Save yourself energy while checking your iPhone's power.
This is the simplest, most elegant app for checking your iPhone's battery on your Apple Watch.
Photo: Thientam Beck

We all know that the Apple Watch doesn’t exactly have great battery life. At best, it’ll get you through the day. But, of course, one of the big sells of the Apple Watch is that it’ll save your iPhone battery life, because you don’t have to pull it out as much.

Of course, then you end up in a Catch-22. Your Apple Watch depends on your iPhone to work properly, but without pulling out your iPhone, you can’t tell how much battery you have left, therefore risking both your Apple Watch and your iPhone crapping out on you in the middle of the day. If only the Apple Watch could tell you your iPhone’s battery level.

It can’t, but luckily, there’s an app for that. And it might be the loveliest one yet.

Gadget roundup: The week’s best gear for travelers, campers and chefs

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Get your weekend in gear

The week's best gadget announcements, rolled up into a nougaty gallery.

BioLite BaseCamp stove

The BaseCamp is the family-size version of BioLite’s iPhone-charging camping stove. Like its little brother, the BaseCamp burns any fuel you find (wood is good) and uses the heat to power a USB charger and drive a fan. The fan pumps air into the fire and makes it burn hotter and faster. The BaseCamp version adds a grill on top for those off-the-grid BBQs. $300

The Latthammer

Picard’s German-made Latthammer (or carpenter’s roofing hammer) is 600 grams of hot, hot nail-starting action. Slot a nail into the groove up top, whereupon it will be held in place by a magnet. Whack it against your target chunk of wood and the nail is started without ever putting your fleshy fingers in harm’s way. It even comes with a beautiful leather grip. €70

Lifelogger POV camera

The dorkitudinal Lifelogger is an alway-on POV camera that looks like a Bluetooth headset, the large camera unit counterbalanced by a headband that wraps around from ear to ear. The eye-level mount means you always record what you’re looking at, but it also makes you look like you work in a call center. Available December.$249

TYLT Energi Travel Charger 2K

TYLT's Energi Travel Charger 2K is a regular USB wall charger, only it packs a built-in 2,200mAh battery and comes in at the same price as most regular (battery-free) chargers. The fold-out prongs let it sleep safely in your bag until needed, and the colored LED indicators tells you how much is left in the tank. I wonder why all chargers aren't this clever. $30

Range smart thermometer

Supermechanical’s Range thermometer looks as good as the beautiful (universal) app it works with. It’s a food-probe thermometer that comes in two models – one long and rounded, for sticking into cooking pots, and one short and sharp, for jabbing into meat. Both plug into your iPhone’s headphone socket, letting you set temperature alerts, check graphs and look up USDA temperature recommendations. $70

Satechi LightMate

Satechi’s LightMate is what would happen if Jedis carried iPhones. The lightsaber-shaped emergency LED light can work as a lamp or, if you remove the “saber,” as a flashlight. It’s waterproof, is designed to smash car windows (for escape, not for burglary) and the (swappable) lithium-ion battery can be used to juice your iPhone via its USB port. $30

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La Sardina Birds of Paradise DIY bundle

Imagine a sardine can made into a camera. Well done – you just imagined La Sardina, a plastic camera based on the classic sardine tin. Lomography's wide-angle shooter is so DIY it comes with a screwdriver to help customize it. The lo-fi Lomo film camera now comes in pretty versions with decorative skins, like this Bird of Paradise “dress.” Get ready for summer. $109

Power Purse

Photojojo’s Power Purse is a place to protect your phone and also provide portable power. It works like a regular clutch purse, only it has a secret 2,600mAh battery inside to recharge your iPhone on the go. We all have a friend who leaves the house with their iPhone at like 15 percent every frickin’ day. If that friend is into pink or polka dots, you should buy him/her this as a gift, if only for your own peace of mind. $49

The Tower

This Tower of power extends outlets from the floor and puts them up by your desktop. It packs two 2.1A USB ports plus four regular power outlets with circuit breakers, and the base is weighted to stop it from tipping over. There’s even a little plastic mesh pocket to keep your iPad safe while it charges. $99

Cooking, charging, camera-ing and generally staying out-of-doors are the themes this week. But if you are stuck inside out of the sun, don’t worry – we have you covered too.

This week we get cooking with a gadget-charging camping stove and a slick, iPhone-friendly food thermometer. We also do DIY projects (without tenderizing our thumbs) with the German Latthammer, charge our flagging phones with a purse that packs a built-in battery, and record everything using the super-dorky Lifelogger camera. Is the sun shining? Yes it is!