Saturday 24 February 2018

Airport tips on keeping your gadgets charged

Using a laptop before a flight
Using a laptop before a flight

Donald Strachan

Air passengers who cannot show that their laptops and phones have power will be denied boarding under newly beefed-up security checks.

Airlines have said that passengers flying to the US "may be asked to turn on any electronic or battery-powered devices such as telephones, tablets, e-books and laptops in front of security teams and/or demonstrate the item's functionality".

And they warn that fliers who are unable to demonstrate their devices have power will not be allowed to continue their journey as planned.

1 Ease your phone into power-saving mode

When it comes to saving battery power, there's lots you can do to give your handset a helping hand. Switching off the automatic brightness mode and turning down screen brightness is a good idea. In Android, for example, you'll find that under Settings > Display > Brightness. You could also switch off 4G, or turn off data services altogether (on an iPhone, for example, you'll find that under Settings > Mobile).

2 Stop your phone pestering you

Every time your phone contacts you, it's using precious juice. Switch off all email, tweet, Facebook and other app notifications (on an iPhone, under Settings > Notification Centre). Or just delete the apps altogether: you can reinstall them when you land. On an iPhone, you can stop emails being "pushed" to your handset, under Settings > Mail > Fetch New Data. Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to stop your phone scanning for connections. In an ultra-low battery emergency, you should switch your phone immediately to Airplane Mode.

3 Attach a portable charging cable to your keyring

There's no need to worry about finding cables buried in bags or cases if you keep a USB charging cable in your pocket. The new Nomad Key ($29 from is just 7cm long and clips on to a keyring. It comes in Apple Lightning and micro USB versions, for Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry phones and tablets. It is available for pre-order now.

4 Switch off or delete hungry apps

Activity tracker and GPS-enabled apps can drain power and should be disabled or uninstalled-or at least turn off location services (on Android devices, under Settings > Location).

Don't use your phone camera, especially the video camera. Don't watch films or YouTube, or even stream radio. In fact, don't use anything. As a general rule, using your phone as a phone, and nothing else, saves battery power. On Android devices, you can get a sense of which apps are draining battery by checking the list at Settings > Battery.

On an iPhone, you can stop apps working in the background by disabling Background App Refresh (under Settings > General).

5 Carry a wind-up power pack

In a real emergency, a bit of old-fashioned elbow grease might come to the rescue. The Uni-Com Wind-Up Torch and Charger (from will inject enough power into your phone to get you through airport security.

Check that you have a compatible adapter for your phone charging socket packed, 


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