How to Charge an iPhone Quicker

· Apple Lifehack

If you have the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus or newer, you could be charging it quicker! Before I tell you how, let me give you a little primer on how charging works.

How does my iPhone charge?

Phones “pull” energy from the house. Your house does not “push” energy into the devices. Your phone will stop pulling the energy once it is charged. This means your iPhone controls the amount of amps that it pulls from the house.

Here’s the calculation we learned in school a long time ago: Volt * Amp = Watt. The majority of our phones charge at 5 volts (5V) so ultimately it’s the amps that is different. Most of the iPhones charge at 1 amp (1A), but the iPhone 6 and newer can charge at about 1.3A.

If you look at the white block that is on the end of your iPhone cable (the piece that plugs into the wall), you’ll see input and output. In very small font, it will read:

  • Input: 100-240V 50/60Hz 0.15A
  • Output: 5V 1A

The Input is pretty standard for wall plugs and only differs in amps. You can ignore it. The Output is important because it determines the charge rate. Your iPhone charger is a 5 watt charger. The calculation is simple:

5V * 1A = 5W (watts)

Now let’s look at the iPad Mini 4 charger. It’s a little bit bigger and it reads:

  • Input: 100-240V 50/60Hz .45A
  • Output: 5.1V 2.1A

Again, let’s ignore the Input. The Output volts is about the same at ~5V. Look at the amps - twice as much as the iPhone charger! The iPad charger is a 10.7W (~10W) charger.

Can I use the iPad charger to charge my iPhone?

Yep! And that is how you can charge your iPhone quicker! Like I said above, the iPhone can charge at about 1.3A which means the iPhone charger could have come with a 6.5W charger (5V * 1.3A = 6.5 W) for the max charging rate.

Does the cable make a difference?

For the most part, the iPhone and iPad cables are capable of delivering wattage at 5W, 10W or 12W. That does not mean all cables are made equal. If you purchase a cheap cable off the internet or in a store, it may only support 2W or 3W and it may not even tell you that. The only sure way to know is to buy the cable and then test the current (amps) with an ammeter.

Can I use other phone wall adapters to charge the iPhone faster?

Yep! If you find an adapter that has an output that is greater than 1A, it will charge the iPhone faster. The new Samsung phones come with chargers that are 2A and greater so those will charge the iPhone faster too.

Can I charge my iPhone faster in the car?

Yep! You just need to find a car charger that has an output over 1A. Many of the car chargers are cheap and are VERY slow, but if you find one with over 1A, it will work great. I recommend a 2.4A car charger so you can charge your iPad too.

My car already has a USB built-in for charging and playback. How fast is that?

Great question. What color is the piece in the middle? If it is white, it’s probably USB 2.0 and that has an output of .5A which is half of what your iPhone needs…no wonder the battery still drains when you have it plugged in and are using GPS! If it’s blue (probably not many in cars), it may be USB 3.0 or USB 3.1 which can output .9A and 3A, respectively.

Here is a listing of all the outputs for most of the chargers on the market:

USB 2.0/Computer		5 volts * .5 amps  = 2.5 watts
USB 3.0/Computer		5 volts * .9 amp   = 4.5 watts
iPhone Wall Charger		5 volts *  1 amp   = 5 watts
USB 3.0 Dedicated Charging	5 volts * 1.5 amps = 7.4 watts
Qualcomm Quick Charge 1.0	5 volts *  2 amps  = 10 watts
iPad 10W Charger		5.1 volts * 2.1 amps = 10.7 watts
iPad 12W Charger		5.2 volts * 2.4 amps = 12.48 watts
USB 3.1				5 volts *  3 amps  = 15 watts
Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0	5 volts *  3 amps  = 15 watts (5V/9V/12V)
Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 	5 volts * ?? amps  = ?? watts (3.6V-20V)
Apple USB-C Charger		5 volts * 5.8 amps = 29 watts

I won’t go into detail on the Qualcomm Quick Charge, but if you are interested, you can find which Android and Windows devices support the faster charging: https://www.qualcomm.com/products/snapdragon/quick-charge

Does the iPhone charge faster than Android phones?

It really depends on the type of phone and the type of cable. Most of the new Android phones can charge faster using the Qualcomm Quick Charge technology. They use a new cable designed for quick charging the Android phones and it is a combination of a MicroUSB and power cable. If you do try to use a regular MicroUSB cable, the phone will charge slower because MicroUSB can only charge at 1.8A (5V * 1.8A = 9W) and many Android phones can charge at 2A (Qualcomm Quick Charge 1.0) or 3A (Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0).

Will charging at greater than 1A damage my phone?

Apple set the max at 1.3A so they feel it is safe. That being said, they probably didn’t test as extensively because the issued charger was around 1A. It MAY decrease the life of the battery a little faster (battery life isn’t guaranteed anyway), but most phone batteries don’t last more than a few years anyway so it’s not as much of an issue.

Can you recommend wall and car adapters?

Sure, I own these and am very happy with them:

TL;DR: The iPhone 6 and newer is designed to pull more than the standard 1 amp which is why it can charge faster with the iPad charger.

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About Joseph Spurrier

I'm passionate about building solutions to automate tasks and improve efficiency. I worked for a few companies in the digital healthcare space. My education is in forensics. Tech guy. Traveler. Runner. Guitar player. Scotch and beer enthusiast. GitHub LinkedIn Twitter Google+

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