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Gadgets to give iPhones, iPods a charge

There are plenty of things we love about our iPhone and iPod Touch, but the battery life isn't one of them. Our BlackBerry-toting friends love to rub in the fact that they haven't had to charge their phones in days — just as we're running to an outlet.

But numerous solutions have come to the rescue, and powerless iPhone owners will appreciate these gadget gifts to keep their Internet-connected appendages alive and well.

• Carry along a small brick to bail you out of emergencies: Some lambaste the iPhone because, unlike many other devices, you can't swap out the battery. Those used to carrying multiple laptop batteries and periodically reloading like a pistol clip can't get past this design choice.

The Monoprice Backup Battery Pack plugs into the dock connector on the iPod or iPhone and quickly transfers some juice for those times of need. Just charge it up beforehand, throw it in your bag or pocket, and whip it out when your gadget is in the red. At about $15 a pop, a few of these can be kept around for those times when you plan to have no access to wall power.

• Half case, half charger: Many iPhone owners choose to get a case to protect their precious hunks of plastic. Products such as the Mophie Juice Pack and the SaFPWR battery case double as a backup power source — in addition to a sort of drop-resistant force field. We crowned the $100 SaFPWR as one of our 10 favorite gadgets of 2009 because it's both stylish and handy.

• A charger powered by your own strength and patience: Recently, we got to play with the YoGen battery charger. Actually, "play" is the wrong word. It's more like work. The "green" charger doesn't use any of that polluting electricity and instead uses your own energy.

You charge your device by repeatedly tugging on a cord — kind of like starting a lawn mower. As you proceed to do this for a few minutes and realize you would need to spend three hours jerking on this thing to fully charge your phone, you may have second thoughts. But, hey, if you're ever stranded in the jungle, you'll wish you had a YoGen.

Gadgets to give iPhones, iPods a charge 12/25/09 [Last modified: Friday, December 25, 2009 3:30am]

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