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This article was published on November 26, 2015

Apple’s best invention is one that nobody talks about

Apple’s best invention is one that nobody talks about
Owen Williams
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Owen Williams

Former TNW employee

Owen was a reporter for TNW based in Amsterdam, now a full-time freelance writer and consultant helping technology companies make their word Owen was a reporter for TNW based in Amsterdam, now a full-time freelance writer and consultant helping technology companies make their words friendlier. In his spare time he codes, writes newsletters and cycles around the city.

One of my favorite Apple inventions is one that you might not even know about — or only think of when you’re travelling.

The Magsafe power adaptor that came with your MacBook, and the charger that came with older iPhones can quickly be swapped to suit any power outlet, provided you’ve got the right adaptors.

Adaptors for almost every plug type in the world are available as part of Apple’s World Travel Adaptor kit, which is one of the best investments I ever made.

I keep the adaptors in my bag and don't bother with anything else
I keep the adaptors in my bag and don’t bother with anything else

Now when I travel anywhere I just grab the relevant adaptor from the box and don’t bother taking those clunky, expensive adaptors made for tourists with me. Over the years, I’ve gathered a collection of these things — they’re like gold.

The best part is that the same bits work with all your devices, so it makes traveling (or moving country) a lot easier.

What’s sad, though, is that this awesome invention seems to be slowly going away as Apple creates new chargers for its devices. The latest iPhone comes with a moulded charging adaptor that can’t be swapped, as does the most recent batch of iPads.

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The good news is that you can still buy these if you want to. A swappable version will run you $19, but considering how many years I’ve had mine, it’s worth the investment.

It does seem to be sticking around for computers, however, with the new MacBook featuring a swappable USB-C adaptor.

Sure, thinking a wall charger is cool is pretty mundane, but it’s one of my favorite travel hacks for not needing to take generic wall adaptors with me everywhere — just throw a few tiny swappable ones in your bag and you’re set!

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