Monthly Archives: July 2009

Wed, July 8th, 2009 by Graves and Allen

The Continued Mophie Juice Pack Air Saga

More on Mophie Juice Pack Air. I got the replacement. It worked for a few days and then stopped charging the iPhone.

It would not synch to iTunes from the beginning. It has gone back to Mophie and they have declared it defective. They said they will send me another one. It has not yet arrived.

While I was waiting, I got my hands on another Juice Pack Air. It has worked for purposes of charging the iPhone for about a week without a problem. It has never allowed me to synch the iPhone to iTunes through the case. In order to synch the iPhone, I have had to remove it from the Juice Pack Air case and plug it directly into my computer.

I have also continued to notice some signal loss when the phone is in the case.

So, the bottom line appears to be that the Juice Pack Air starts out as a great idea, but execution remains tenuous. As a charging unit, I am quite happy with it.

The failure to synch is problematic though and the failure rate that I have experienced In terms of units simply not working makes me think it is not quite ready for prime time. One other suggestion for the folks at Mophie, using a hard shell plastic case with a smooth finish is not the best idea.

Some softer outside coating to give the phone better protection would help. It would also help to have something in the finish that gave the case some resistance to slipping out of the user’s hand. Finally, such a finish would extend the useful life of the case. The exterior on the original Mophie Juice Pack works better than that on the Juice Pack Air.

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Wed, July 8th, 2009 by Graves and Allen

Power for your iPhone

As great a device as the iPhone is, the battery issue remains a serious problem. The iPhone 3GS and OS 3 for the iPhone do not seem to have extended the battery life (usable time per charge). iPhones burn batteries. Why the iPhone burns up battery charges as fast as it does remains a mystery as on some days it will last just fine and on others the charge disappears quickly. Some things will burn the battery charge faster than others. For exmple, using Wi-Fi is one of them. I make it a point to turn Wi-Fi on only when I plan on using it. Leaving it on drains my battery too fast. Some games require the iPhone to work continuously and also drain the battery quickly.

Unfortunately, one of my favorite games, Scrabble, falls within that category.

Since Apple has made it essentially impossible to carry an extra internal iPhone battery and swap it out when a battery runs low, we need another solution. The only viable solution is to obtain an external battery and use it for purposes of powering your iPhone and/or recharging it. Several companies have released power sources in a variety of configurations to give you supplemental power for your iPhone (or, for that matter, for your iPod Touch).

When it comes to supplementing the power source for your iPhone/iPod touch, you can choose from all sorts of units ranging in configuration from dongles to cases. Most of the supplemental sources I have tried work pretty well. Obviously, those carrying more power provide more charging capability and convert to greater time of use. The dongle devices work fine to charge the unit, but take time to do so and must be connected to accomplish the charge. Most will support working while the charge takes place, but the configuration works best if you have it sitting on a table rather than trying to use it on the go. The cases, on the other hand, work as well on the go as in a stationary position. My favorites among the dongles come from Tumi ( and Richard Solo ( Tumi’s device is somewhat over-priced At $150, but comes with a hidden benefit. The device will charge many if not most PDAs and smart phones and Tumi gives you the tips to make the connection to your device(s) at no cost. Tumi’s device, a small brick, carries up to 5 charges and will support working while charging.

Image courtesy of RichardSolo                               Image courtesy of Tumi

The Richard Solo (that’s Richard Thalheimer of Sharper Image’s new company) device is much more svelte, costs much less than the Tumi device ($55) and works only with the iPhone and iPod Touch.

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