As smartphones and tablets become more powerful, manufacturers have to play a balancing game. Sure, they could make a gadget that blows the doors off the competition in speed, but it will pay in battery life.
On the other hand, they could make a gadget that lasts days on a single charge, but speed and features will suffer. That's why most take the middle road, and where one of the biggest mobile gadget annoyances comes from.
Yep, I'm talking about charging your gadget. The phone battery is running down and you need to head out for the evening, but it's going to take an hour or more to get a charge that will last you. You could charge up in the car, but if it's a short drive, you still won't be in good shape.
That's why companies are scrambling to make longer-lasting batteries and batteries that charge as fast as possible. There are some promising technologies on the way, but you won't see them for a while. In the meantime, there might be a solution.
A company named SONICable is running a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo for what it bills as "The world's most advanced charging cable." Judging by the fact that the project is 1,000% funded with 38 days left to go shows that there's a market for its promise.
That promise is the ability to charge your gadgets twice as fast. How does it do this? Well, details are a little sketchy, but here's what we know.
The SONICable is a regular USB cable with a switch on it. When you're transferring information to and from your gadget, you leave the switch off and it works like a normal cable. You can transfer information and charge your gadget like normal.
However, if you need a fast charge, simply flip the switch and the parts of the USB cable usually reserved for data transfer are devoted to sending power. More power equals a faster charge.
Sounds simple enough, and at $27 it's not bad if it really works. However, there are still some questions that need to be answered before I use one on my iPhone (yes, there is a version with a Lightning connector for Apple gadgets).
Some gadgets are built to handle fast charging, but not all of them are. While you can still charge them fast, doing that regularly is going to shorten your battery's lifespan. And too big of a charge at once can risk a fire.
So far SONICable has no information on how its product will affect phones long term or what safety measures are in place. I'm waiting for the full details on how it does what it does before I get one.
In the meantime, click here to learn how to extend your smartphone or tablet's battery life. You should also take a look at the truth behind some battery myths you might believe.