You need to charge your iPhone—perhaps with the infamous iPhone cube or the newer models that come with every Apple device. Most people rely on their original charger to restore their equipment’s battery power, but what if you’ve lost it or don’t have access to an AC outlet? There are other ways you can charge it. Tons of different methods and devices work very well and won’t leave you reliant on the cube.
Why Do I Need Other Methods of Charging My iPhone?
Charging our phones is something we do instinctively. When you’re at home or in your office, you probably always have an AC outlet available to plug in your standard charger. If you’re going on a road trip, at the mall, the beach, or elsewhere, you might not have this standard option available to you. What if the power goes out in your home or office? You may need another way to charge your phone.
You might want a more convenient, efficient, or even eco-friendly way to charge. Maybe you’re tired of plugging your phone into the wall every night. Below, we’ll look at some non-standard methods as well as some high-technology methods of charging. That way, you won’t be limited to that old wall plug-in that you need to visit daily and/or nightly.
The Best Ways to Charge Without a Charger
Here are the top alternatives to a wall charger. Just FYI, most of these methods will still require your lightning cable unless the alternate charging device comes with one.
1. Computer or Laptop USB Port
This is my “go-to” method for charging when I’m at my computer. Sometimes it’s out of laziness: I don’t want to reach back behind my PC and plug the wall charger into the outlet. It’s much easier to take my cable and plug it into the USB port on my machine.
Charging from the computer’s USB works quite well. It’s also reasonably fast if you have a newer USB adapter. I especially like that it allows me to charge and still have my phone by my side while using my computer. Your laptop doesn’t even need to be plugged in to charge—just note that it will drain your laptop battery.
When I’ve had an older phone that won’t hold a charge all day, I have always found myself charging it in the car. Whenever I drive to work, home, or the store, I just plug into my car charger.
They’re also a great option if you lose power in your home or office. If your phone is about to die, just go out to your car, start it up, and charge it for a while. I did this when we lost power during a storm and all our devices were getting low on battery.
Many modern cars now have USB chargers already in them, making it easy to plug your cable in and get powered up. If you have an older car without USB ports, buy a charger that plugs into the car’s cigarette lighter receptacle. They’re affordable, and you can find them online or in almost any store or gas station.
3. Portable Battery
Portable batteries are a popular charging option. These are especially handy if you know you’re not going to be around a power outlet for a while—particularly while traveling.
The great thing about portable chargers is that they can move along with you. You aren’t tethered to a wall, computer, or your car’s power plug. You can be walking along the mall, the beach, even hiking in the mountains—and your phone will still be charging.
For these, you will definitely need a cable. Although most come with one, they’re often too short. One of the only drawbacks that I’ve found with these is that they wear out over time. Once that happens, they won’t hold a charge for long. Luckily, they tend to be inexpensive.
Cell phone battery packs come in a variety of shapes and sizes; normally, they’re small enough to fit in your pocket. Some are even built into a phone case, so they can serve a dual purpose. The nice thing is that these case chargers can be easily attached to your phone without the charger dangling from a cable. There are even backpacks that have battery chargers built into them.
4. USB Wall Outlet
Did you know that you can buy wall outlets that have a USB port built right into them? I love this option; I even have a couple in my home. They’re extremely convenient at home and work great at the office as well. You can even get your regular wall outlets replaced with ones that have a USB plug-in. Unless you really know what you are doing, though, you’ll want to get an electrician to do this.
But wait—some versions can plug directly into your existing wall outlet and give you USB ports as well as more AC power plugs. These options are easy to install and are similar to outlet expanders.
You can also find power strips, like the ones used for computers and audiovisuals, with USB ports. Many of these provide the added feature of surge protection. They make it a breeze to just plug in your lightning cable and get charged up.
5. Public Charging Stations
Like USB wall outlets, these are convenient to use. They are often located in places where you most need them, like the airport or the mall. Some may see these as risky due to the ability of hackers to get into them. Once in, they could possibly access the information on your phone or place malware on it.
Sometimes we find ourselves in a jam and have no choice but to use them. Just be aware that they’re public—plugging your device into a public USB port can put it at risk. You will need to weigh the risk against the need to get your device charged.
6. Hand Crank Generator
Nope, not kidding here. Whether you’re visiting your friend who lives off the grid or just cycling out in the middle of nowhere, hand crank generators can get you up and running when there are no other power sources around.
To use one, you must spin the hand crank to generate the power, which will then charge your device. This can take quite a bit of effort for a small amount of charge, but it will certainly keep you going if you are in a pinch. It’s also an eco-friendly choice if you are worried about the environment. They are also great to keep around for emergencies.
7. Solar Power
This eco-friendly option has become more popular in recent times. All you need is the solar charger, a cable, and the sun. They’re great for the beach, camping, or even out on your deck on a sunny day. As with the hand-cranked ones, there is no other power source required, so they can also be a good option for emergencies. Just keep in mind that you’ll need adequate sunlight, so you might be out of luck on a cloudy day, at night, or on the dark side of the moon.
Wireless chargers are the latest technology in phone charging. While they won’t help you in areas where there is no power available, they’re convenient; they’re the only option where no cable is necessary. Just set your phone on top of or beside the wireless charging device to recharge. It’s as simple as that.
You’ll just need to make sure that you have a device that supports wireless charging. Models such as iPhone 8 or newer do, so most people can take advantage of the convenient charging method.
If you usually charge your phone using a traditional wall plug-in charger, you may not have realized all the other ways that you can power up your device. We hope this article has provided you with some alternatives that can make charging easier, more convenient, and possible when no power supply is available.
As always, please let us know if you have any questions. Do you have any other alternative methods for charging your phone? We would love to hear from you.