iOS charging woes

I have been meaning to write a long article about why I moved from Windows Phone back to iOS, and the good and bad parts of the transition, but I’ve been too busy to bother. I do have time for a quick rant, though: damn, I am tired of having charging problems.

See, Apple has this logo certification program called “Made for iOS.” Join it, and your devices (which might include chargers, cables, etc) can be certified as compatible with Apple devices, and you get a cool logo. Sure, it costs you a few bucks to sign up and get certified, but it’s cheap insurance. Nice line of chargers and cables you’ve got there. It’d be a real shame if anything happened to it.

On my last two road trips, previously-working cables have suddenly started producing the infamous “this accessory may not be compatible” message. Once that happens, it’s game over. The phone (or iPad) will no longer charge from that cable. If you happen to be on a road trip, well, too bad. Luckily I had a spare, but I am now nearly out of working cables, and there’s no guarantee that the name-brand cables I bought from Amazon (all of which were from vendors who claimed to be MFi certified) will keep working. Of course, because it’s Apple, there’s no way to override this dialog, ignore it, or force the device to talk to a tainted cable– once the cable is blacklisted, it’s no longer usable with that device at all.

The worst part? I’ve seen many reports of this happening to people who bought cables and chargers from the Apple store. Since I am unlikely to ever do that I’m not too worried, but I hate the precedent, and the inconvenience factor has been pretty stunning compared to my easy prior life of using micro USB cables with my Lumias. While I understand Apple’s desire to protect the IP embodied in the Lightning interface, and while I even believe that part of the rationale behind blocking non-certified devices is to prevent bad customer experiences, the whole thing has left an unpleasant taste in my mostly-discharged battery.

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5 Comments

Filed under FAIL, General Stuff, General Tech Stuff

5 responses to “iOS charging woes

  1. I will never go to iOS, but I’ve begun to entertain myself with the question “if I got an Android phone, which one would I get?”

    I’m losing patience with the mobile Microsoft experience. I’m not quite sure why a coherent and aggressive Windows Phone/Windows 10 Mobile path is taking so long to coalesce, but as erratically as the story is being told publicly, there must be an awful lot of churn in Redmond. Churn belongs at the beginning of a development cycle, not the end. Sigh.

  2. robichaux

    See, I’m the same way, but in reverse: I will never have an Android device. Google’s long track record of privacy and security failures mean that I am not willing to entrust any amount of data to them, ever.

    • I hear you. I’ve had the same concerns. But I’m approaching weary resignation on the privacy question. In a world of OPM breaches and warrant canaries, I don’t know that I’m any more or less afraid of Google than anyone else.

      • robichaux

        Google has a history of both incompetence and deceit when it comes to privacy. Microsoft and Apple don’t. That’s enough to tip the balance for me, even though I already got OPM’d and thus effectively have no valuable secrets.

  3. jerephil

    AmazonBasics: http://amzn.to/1PdwoIq

    They still break, but less frequently, and Amazon will replace them for up to a year with just filling out a web form.

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