One To Rule Them All: Using One USB Charger For Your iDevices

iPad Help, Tips & Tricks
// March 6, 2014
Apple's USB cables show transition period

Q: Instead of carrying a separate USB charger for my iPad and my iPhone, can’t I just use my iPhone 5 USB charger for both?

A: The answer to this is somewhat complex, so the answer is both “yes” and “no.” Let me explain.

Apple’s USB charger has been designed to sport compatibility with your iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. Since you have an iPhone 5 USB charger, you can use it with other devices – provided that they are compatible with your USB charger.

I currently own an iPod Touch third-generation, an iPad 3, and once owned an iPhone 5. I still have the USB charger from my iPhone 5, but it is not compatible with either my iPad 3 or my iPod Touch 3G. My iPad 3 USB charger is compatible with my iPod Touch 3G, so I can use my iPad charger for both devices. The iPhone 5 USB charger I have will be excellent, should I update my iPad 3 and purchase an iPad 4 or iPad Air – but it won’t work with the iDevices I currently own.

If you own an iPad 4 or iPad Air, devices that are compatible with Apple’s new reversible USB charger, then go ahead and use it for both your iPhone and iPad. If you own an older iPad (say, an iPad 3 or iPad 2), neither iPad will be compatible with your iPhone 5 USB charger and you’ll have to carry a second in order to keep your devices charged.

Do you have a question about USB charger compatibility for your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch? We’re glad to answer any questions you have.

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