My Struggle With Apple Chargers

Why can’t they all get along?

Key Takeaways

  • Apple makes many types of gadgets, but for some reason, they take different kinds of chargers.
  • It would make life easier if Apple decided on a charging standard and stuck with it.
  • There are many multi-device chargers on the market, but I haven’t found one that works well.
person plugging in mobile charging at college dorm room

Maskot / Getty Images

Every charging standard is special in its own particular way, but I just wish Apple didn’t use so many of them.

Take USB-C; it’s finally becoming a more universal option and can transmit lots of data and provide plenty of power for devices. The list goes on, but the fact is the side of my desk is a tangled mess of charging cords.

I realized how bad the situation had become when I was packing for a summer vacation trip. Admittedly, I’m not a light packer when it comes to technology and travel, but the cord situation was ridiculous.

Cords, Cords, Everywhere

Like any person who wants to get things done, stay informed, and be entertained, I packed many gadgets. I brought my AirPods Pro Max for heavy-duty music listening sessions. My AirPods Pro were tossed in the suitcase in case I wanted to listen to music while exercising. 

I couldn’t leave my 16-inch MacBook Pro behind because I would be working along the way. My 2020 iPad Air came along to catch up on Netflix in the evening. I brought my 12.9-inch iPad Pro because of some reason I’ve since forgotten. And, of course, my Apple Watch Series 6 never leaves my wrist during the day. 

In a better world, toting this many gadgets along would mean I’d just need to pack a single charger. This fact seems particularly obvious since all of my gizmos are made by Apple.

various devices and chargers plugged in on a desk

Bohdan Bobak / EyeEm / Getty Images

Unfortunately, carrying this ridiculously large amount of gadgets meant that I would have to pack an equally silly amount of chargers. I brought a USB-C charger and power brick for my MacBook Pro and another USB-C charger with a smaller power brick for my iPad Pro. I carried a lightning cable and charger for my iPad Air and a magnetic charger for the Apple Watch. Altogether, the mess of chargers added up to a couple of pounds and a lot of space in the suitcase. 

My humble suggestion to Apple CEO Tim Cook is to please make one charger that fits all your gadgets. You could call it the AirCharger Pro. I won’t even charge you for this brilliant idea. Just make it, and I’ll be happy.

Turning to Alternatives

Since Apple hasn’t stepped up, of course, third-party manufacturers have tried to take advantage of the 21st century charger catastrophe by offering multi-device chargers. I’ve tried many and have yet to find one that works well. 

There’s the ubiquitous many-headed charging cable that looks like a hydra. I currently own this highly rated model I bought on Amazon, which has four different connectors, including those for devices that take USB-C, micro-USB, and Lightning. 

Like every non-Apple charging cable I’ve tried, the results have been mixed at best. Sometimes a specific connector will stop working for mysterious reasons. The connector will break off entirely at other times, leaving it stuck awkwardly inside my device while I frantically try to fish it out with a pair of needle-nose pliers. 

I have my eye on a more portable charger for my Apple Watch that would let me leave the cord at home and plug it into my laptop, like this one. But it seems silly to shell out $40 for this minor step up in convenience. 

"My humble suggestion to Apple CEO Tim Cook is to please make one charger that fits all your gadgets."

There may be no way to cut down the number of cords, but at least you can keep the ones you have neater with a charging dock. The $44.99 Poweroni USB Charging Station, for example, offers six ports where you can plug in different connections. It’s also light and small enough for travel. 

There’s also this $34.99 eight-port charging station that’s marketed to travelers. This model comes with a neat-looking LED that purports to tell you the charging status of each device. 

You shouldn’t have to consider this many options. But until Apple steals my idea for an AirCharger Pro, you’ll be stuck with different chargers for devices. In the meantime, consider a charging station or traveling light. You’ll thank yourself later either way.

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