This One Feature Will Stop All Complaints About USB-C on the iPhone 15

You can now charge your AirPods and Apple watch from your iPhone

Fact checked by Jerri Ledford

Key Features

  • The iPhone 15 can reverse-charge smaller peripherals, thanks to its new USB-C port.

  • USB-C iPads have been able to do this trick for years.

  • Using your phone to charge things will reduce its battery life.

<p>Victor Carvalho / Unsplash</p> AirPods Pro, and Apple Watch, an an iPhone

Victor Carvalho / Unsplash

AirPods Pro, and Apple Watch, an an iPhone

It finally happened. The iPhone switched to USB-C, and one surprise feature might stop anyone from complaining about how they can't use their old Lightning cables anymore.

The iPhone now uses a USB-C port for charging and data, just like your iPad, Mac, Android phone, and any other electronic gadget you bought over the past few years that didn't come from the dollar store. Scratch that. Even my electric fly swat, aka Insect-O-Cutor, has a USB-C charging port. And yet, people will still hate that they have to throw away those old charging cables—until they find out that you can now use your iPhone to charge your Apple Watch or your AirPods.

"I think the ability to charge your AirPods or Apple Watch using the new iPhone 15’s USB-C port is a useful feature, especially in emergencies where you need to top up your devices quickly," Carl Borg, founder of CleverFixes, told Lifewire via email. "It’s not just a gimmick but a practical solution that takes advantage of the versatility and power of USB-C."

Take Charge

We've kind of been here before. In the summer of '21, we enjoyed some speculation that Apple would allow you to charge AirPods from an iPhone, only without the wire. We thought that perhaps MagSafe could be the unifying charging tech, and you'd just pop your 'Pods case onto the back of your iPhone to juice it.

That never happened, and it's probably a good thing, too, as all the heat generated by 'wireless' charging is bad news for the batteries and also a waste of energy. But now we have another answer. With the iPhone 15, you can plug your AirPods charging case or your Apple Watch charger into the iPhone's USB-C port and sacrifice the iPhone's battery for the sake of the smaller gadgets.

<p>Apple</p> AirPods Pro 2 with USB-C


AirPods Pro 2 with USB-C

It's a fantastic feature that can help you out in a pinch. Last night, I was visiting friends for dinner and got a low-battery warning from my aging Apple Watch. If I'd had an iPhone 15 and a USB-C Apple Watch charger, I'd have been able to add enough charge to get me home. It's probably even more useful for the AirPods, which are harder to live without than a dead watch.

"Charging AirPods and Apple Watch from an iPhone is useful to an extent. However, I don't think it's as useful as many might think. Charging devices from your iPhone drains the phone's battery and is cumbersome to carry. It'll be helpful in a pinch, but it's not a long-term solution," technology expert Daivat Dholakia told Lifewire via email.

Reverse Charging

Reverse charging isn't new. In fact, it's extremely common and normal—if you use a Mac or PC. You've been able to charge phones, bike lights, headphones, and more just by plugging them into a free USB port on your computer. That goes for the bad old USB-A ports just as much as the new-fangled high-power USB-C ports.

And did you know that you can already charge peripherals from a USB-C iPad? You can charge AirPods and even your iPhone. This is all thanks to USB-C, which is much more capable than Lightning.

"USB-C can support up to 240W of charging power, while Lightning is limited to 25W. This means USB-C can charge larger devices like laptops and tablets much faster than Lightning," Borg said.

<p>Apple</p> iPhone 15 Charging AirPods Pro


iPhone 15 Charging AirPods Pro

But again, it's more of an emergency solution.

"However, this feature may not be very efficient, as the iPad's battery capacity is much larger than the iPhone's, and you may end up draining your iPad faster than charging your iPhone," says Borg.

Reverse charging from the iPhone really is a great trick to pull out in an emergency, but if you regularly find your peripherals out of juice, consider using a battery pack instead. All batteries lose capacity the more you cycle them through charges and discharges. That goes for battery packs, too, of course, but a battery pack is way cheaper than an iPhone 15.

Read the original article on Lifewire.