iOS 7 & 3rd-party cables solved with the Practical Meter

September 19, 2013

By now some of you may have heard of the charging woes users are having with iOS 7 and non-Apple certified cables (which are everywhere). The problems stem from a chip built into the Lightning adapter that gives the iPhone/iPad in question a serial number. Apple can control whether or not that serial number is approved and supported by its devices on the software level. That's exactly what they did in the latest major update of iOS.

Today we took to the office to play with our Practical Meters and the new iOS 7. What we found supports what users are posting online, except for one specific use case. We found that a particular knock-off cable would charge Wafiq's iPhone 5 EVEN WHEN the phone indicated it was on battery power! This absurdity is documented in our photos below. 

While Wafiq's phone was "not charging" it was actually drawing 2.5-watts of power! There's no way the phone could actively consume 2.5-watts continuously, so it had to have been charging. And, sure enough, upon disconnecting his phone's battery had raised from 55% to 62%, even though it showed battery power throughout the 10-minute trial. How bizarre is that?!

Besides this anomaly, all the other reports are true. Some 3rd-party cables bring up the error message and DON'T charge at all. Other cables render the message upon connecting but do manage to charge, and even the phone indicates it's getting a charge. According to our Practical Meter, these cables are doing 2.5-watts and charging quite slowly.

So, in conclusion, if you update to iOS 7 and get the now-famous error message about cable compatibility, don't buy a new cable, buy a Practical Meter!

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