power

Streamline your calendar, charging, coding skills, and more [Week’s best deals]

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This week's best deals include tools for keeping all your passwords safe, all your devices charged, and lots more.
This week's best deals include tools for keeping all your passwords safe, all your devices charged, and lots more.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

To celebrate the start of a new week, we do what we do every week: gather up some of the best deals on gear, gadgets, and more. This round, we’ve got a comprehensive course in iOS 11 coding, and a ‘Hiffecient’ USB charging hub. We’ve also got a tool for streamlining online form-filling, and an upgrade for your Mac’s calendar. Everything is discounted by more than 40 percent. Read on for more details:

Seize power with these assorted battery packs [Deals]

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This roundup of portable battery packs has the power solution you need.
This roundup of portable battery packs has the power solution you need.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

The more we lean on our mobile devices, the more of a headache a dead battery becomes. That makes carrying a backup battery a must, but where to start? Whether you’re in need of something compact and quick, or a massive hub for a suite of devices, this roundup of battery packs has you covered. Everything is discounted by 30 percent or more. Read on for more details:

Seize power with this roundup of charging accessories [Deals]

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Whatever your power needs, this roundup of outlets, surge protectors and USB chargers will solve them.
Whatever your power needs, this roundup of outlets, surge protectors and USB chargers will solve them.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Life in the digital age means keeping a bunch of devices charged. Between our homes, workplaces, cars, and travel destinations, that can become a complicated task. We’ve rounded up a set of charging accessories to handle any personal power shortage. We’ve got a 6-port modular surge protector, a smart power strip with USB outlets, a car charger with four ports, and a super thin, massively powerful portable battery. Read on for more details:

USB-C battery pack gives your MacBook a full charge on the go

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The GoPower is a MacBook's perfect companion.
Photo: Kanex

Apple’s notebooks pack some of the best laptop batteries out there, but you’re always going to find yourself low on power when using your MacBook on the road. Fortunately, Kanex’s new PowerGo battery pack can save the day.

Packing 15,000 mAh of power and USB-C connectivity, it’s capable of giving your 12-inch Retina MacBook a full charge on the go — and it’ll keep your iOS devices topped up, too.

Ample charge and storage make iPhone battery case a clear winner [Reviews]

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This great battery case has power, style and extra storage.
This great battery case has power, style and extra storage.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Best List: Kuner iPhone battery case by KUKE

Even Apple admits that its powerful iPhones need a little extra battery boost from time to time. But if you’ve taken a look at the $99 devices, you might not be super convinced they’re worth the price, or even all that attractive.

The Kuner iPhone battery case really kicks the Smart Battery case’s butt: it’s thinner, prettier to look at, and even gives you extra storage space for videos, music and documents. Take that, Apple Smart Battery case.

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.

The greatest apps you might have missed this week

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If you're appy and you know it, check our list!
Looking for recommendations for the weekend?
Photo: Cult of Mac

Looking for an app or two to while away the weekend? Then you’ve come to the right place, my friend!

From reading apps to Terminator navigation tools to gorgeous RPGs, we’ve got everything you need to know about the latest must-have apps.

Check out our top picks below:

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

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

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!

This Halo portable charger looks good, works even better

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Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

The portable battery from Halo is perfect for those times when I want to go stealth, keeping my iPhone 5 as free of those bulky, heavy battery cases as possible.

Between running levels of Hodappy Bird and checking Twitter for any vanity retweets, slapping photos of my meals up on Instagram and surreptitiously reading Facebook posts from ex-girlfriends, I am a battery killer.

With the Halo charger available, I found myself grabbing it and a lightning cable on my way out the door all the time, whether heading to the coffee shop or just for a quick bike ride along the Coastal Trail in Anchorage. It’s a perfect way to ensure I have the power I need on demand without strapping my iPhone into some fat case like the Mophie.

Handy Keyboard Shortcuts To Shut Down Mac Or Make Mac Sleep [OS X Tips]

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Mac OS X Keyboard

Back in the day, I used to care for a couple of labs full of Macs. Invariably, I’d find myself in the lab at the end of the day, shutting them all down for the night. I’d run up and down the rows of eMacs or whatever they were at the time, and hit the power button, then click on the Shut Down button. Or, if I was feeling frisky, I’d just hold down the power button until they shut off.

This took some time, needless to say. I wish I’d known of these useful keyboard commands to shut down or sleep the Macs, saving myself several minutes each day.

Solarpad. Finally, A Proper Solar Charger For Hikers And Bikers

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At an RRP of $200, the Solarpad isn’t the cheapest solar charger for your iPhone, but it does aim to be the best. Every detail has been tweaked to squeeze the last drop of juice from the Sun’s photons, from the battery itself (the same kind as Tesla uses in its cars apparently), through the efficient charge controller (form Maxim) to the cables themselves (fatter, to let the current flow more easily, says the blurb).

What’s more, you can pitch in early on Kickstarter and get a full setup for just $158 (right now anyway – the campaign only just launched).

Prehensile Power Cable Lets You Charge Your iPhone Anywhere

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As ever with many of Quirky’s excellent crowd-sourced designs, the Prop Power Pro inspires me to make my own. I’m pretty sure a regular extension cable plus a bendy wire coat-hanger plus a length of flexible tubing would do the trick. The thing is, by the time I’d bought all the parts (plus a roll of gaffer tape), I’d be in the hole for way more than the $25 Quirky want for its version.

FlameStower: Charge Your iPhone Using a Campfire

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The FlameStower looks like a clever way to keep your iPhone charged while you’re camping in the wilderness. Just fill its reservoir with water, stick the other end into the flames of your campfire and plug your chosen gadget into the USB port. Relax with the charred meat and beverage of your choice, and—just three hours later—your iPhone will be fully charged.

OS X Mavericks Now Shows Which Apps Are Sucking Power

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OS X Mavericks has some crazy new power-saving technologies, as demoed yesterday at the WWDC Keynote. Most of these are system-based: the OS stops wasting CPU cycles running animations that are hidden behind another window, for example. But some, like this neat addition to the battery menu, are about advising the user what’s sucking the juice.