By Betty Greenspan


We’ve all been there, it’s 8 am and you’re having a meeting in a half hour. The battery on your smartphone is in the red.  Forgot to charge the phone last night!? Surely you don’t have enough time to charge your device without being late? Wrong!

Before you connect your phone to the charger, close any open apps and enable “Airplane mode”. This will turn off all of the wireless radios in your device, preventing you from making calls, accessing the Web, or using the GPS. The trade-off? Your device will be able to charge slightly faster because background processes will no longer be eating away at your phone’s battery.

Let the phone charge and grab it when you’re ready to leave. Make sure to change the setting back! Note, there are apps available to download on the device that claim to enhance battery life when turned on. You may want to check them out by going into your app store.

Use your original charger

Tests show that you’ll get the quickest charge from the charger that came with the device. However, if you want to take only one charger with you on a trip to charge both an iPhone and an iPad, choose the more-powerful iPad charger instead of the weaker iPhone charger. For other devices, use a charger that the manufacturer has tested and verified with your particular mobile device. Most charger manufacturers produce a compatibility list for their products.

Types of chargers

While chargers are becoming more standardized over time, there are still a variety of different charger types:

  • Laptop Chargers: Unfortunately, there’s still no standard type. You’ll want to get a charger designed specifically for your laptop. Connectors aren’t standardized, so you probably won’t be able to accidentally plug the wrong charger into your laptop.


  • Apple Lightning Connector: Apple has now standardized the Lightning connector, introduced in 2012, for their devices. iPhones, iPads, iPod Touches, iPad Nanos — all the new iDevices use the Lightning connector and can be connected to any Lightning charger certified or developed by Apple.


  • Micro USB Chargers: Most smartphones — including Android, Windows Phone, and Blackberry phones — and Android tablets use standard Micro USB connectors. These replace the proprietary chargers that old cell phones used to use. To comply with the European Union’s directives on a common type of charger for smartphones, Apple offers a Lightning-to-Micro-USB adapter.

In the car

Locate a power supply outlet or the cigarette lighter in your vehicle. Some vehicles have multiple outlets. A typical place is on the passenger side on the side of the center console. These outlets are often the same size and type as the one for the cigarette lighter.

Purchase a car charger adapter for the specific make and model of your cell phone. The best way to do this is to order one from your cell phone service provider’s website or visit your cell phone service provider’s store locations. This will ensure compatibility. You may also want to check the phone’s original packaging, as some phones come with a car adapter.

Be sure to plug the phone in only when the car is running as the phone can be drained when turning on or off the engine. NOTE, phones will not charge as quickly in the car as they do when plugged into a wall socket. Purchase a cigarette lighter/car outlet splitter if you need to charge multiple cell phones or devices. Personally, I use a MOPHIE juice pack reserve phone case which gives me an extra 8 hours of phone time when I switch it on. PRICELESS! POWER SKIN for Android phones are available as well.

There is an assortment of portable power packs available to recharge your various devices. It’s best to Google what make and model is advised for your device. MYCHARGE is one of the better ones rated by Amazon.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments at