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Does using an iPad charger help charge your iPhone faster?

You’ve heard the claims but is this actually the case?

The old dock cable and the new lightning cable for iPhone and iPad.
The old dock cable and the new lightning cable for iPhone and iPad.
Image: Richard Unten/Flickr

THERE’S A TRAIN of thought when it comes to batteries. At this point, we’re all used to our smartphones not lasting longer than a day, a day and a half max, so the next best thing is to look for ways to make it last longer or charge it faster.

For the latter, there is a group which say using an iPad charger for an iPhone – or a charger with a higher amperage – helps charge it faster. Some people swear by it, others say it doesn’t charge faster and then there are those who say that doing this will end up damaging your battery in the long-run.

The truth is somewhere in the middle but to understand the answer, it’s worth looking at how batteries are charged in the first place.

For example, an iPhone 6 comes with a 1A (amperage) charger, but an iPad comes with a 2.1A charger.

Conventional wisdom suggests that a higher amperage means faster charging, but iPhones (and smartphones in general) are able to regulate the flow of electricity from charger to battery. This is to prevent chargers from pumping too much power into the battery and end up frying it completely.

It’s similar to how you would turn on a tap on a sink and watch the water go down the drain. Regardless of whether you turn it on halfway or full blast, the same amount of water goes down the drain at the same speed.

It also depends on the type of phone you’re trying to charge. Newer models like the iPhone 6 will accept more power from a charger that can provide it while the older ones probably won’t. If you’re using a charger charging through your laptop via USB, then the length of time it’ll take to charge will be longer.

But does a charger with a larger amperage damage the battery?

As mentioned earlier, smartphones limit how much of a charge they take. In the case of iPhones, Apple says its current chargers are compatible with all iPhone models so you don’t have to worry if you use an iPad or iPhone charger.

Still, not all chargers are created equal and the amperage they can deliver will differ so some will be slower than others. Especially in the cases of non-Apple devices, which use micro-USB to charge, you could end up with different variations.

In that case, it’s best to play it cautiously. Make sure the charger in question is compatible with your device, especially if you’re dealing with third-party chargers (it’s recommended you stay away from them in general as they can be poorly made), and if the manufacturer says it’s compatible with high-amp chargers, then knock yourself out.

Read: Google Maps knows where you’ve been and it’s making it easier for you to check >

Read: YouTube is addressing one of the biggest problems with mobile videos >

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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