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You need to use the Smart Converter when charging most Android devices. While using Apple devices, you will not need to use the Smart Converter at all. Here is why:
When the USB Battery Charging Spec was revised in 2007, it was determined that charging ports (whether on PC, or in wall/car chargers) had to limit downs… see more
You need to use the Smart Converter when charging most Android devices. While using Apple devices, you will not need to use the Smart Converter at all. Here is why:
When the USB Battery Charging Spec was revised in 2007, it was determined that charging ports (whether on PC, or in wall/car chargers) had to limit downstream current to 500 mA if there was to be data transmitted along the same USB cable, but was free to allow up to 1.5 A flow if the device being charged did not use the data lines of the USB cable. The Spec was again revised in 2010, increasing the downstream limit with data to 900 mA, without data to 5 A.
Knowing the limitations of USB ports and cables, device manufacturers built software routines into their devices that limited the requested current to match the Spec revisions, because power delivery greater than 500-900 mA caused enough interference on the data lines to make data transfers unreliable. If the device detected electrically closed data lines, it presumed data would be transferred and limited the draw to either 500 mA or 900 mA, depending on which revision it followed. If the device encountered electrically open data lines (where the D+ and D- lines of a USB plug or cable were shorted to each other), the device presumed that the port was a dedicated charging port, and the device allowed itself to ignore the 500-900 mA maximums. Apple chargers used a voltage differential to signal to the iPhone or iPad how much current was available to charge the device.
Many dedicated chargers shorted these lines within the chargers themselves; however, in order to be compatible with the widest array of devices, many dedicated chargers left the data lines alone, instead allowing the device being charged to determine how much current to draw. The end result was a hodge-podge of devices that didn't know how much current was truly available, and so they defaulted to the maximum guaranteed charge current of 500 mA.
The Smart Converter electrically shorts those two data lines so that the device connected downstream sees a dedicated charger and requests whatever current the charger can provide, up to the device's maximum charge current.
So, to fully answer your question, you should not need the Smart Converter with Apple devices. Using one with an Apple device will not hurt the device or the charger, but it also may or may not allow the device to draw the current it really wants. Using one with an Android device is recommended if you want to charge at maximum speed, but it will do no harm if the Smart Converted is not present. see less

By Zach Acox on January 24, 2014
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Galaxy Quick charger needs 4.5-9.5V Max 0.8A, this pumps up to 12v at 2.1amps. It quick charges my iPad and iPhones and I love it. I drive an Audi A6 and the factory installed charger is a "slow" charger pushing less than 1.0amps on a 4.5 volt charge. So my immediate answer is "I don't know for a fact", but my educa… see more Galaxy Quick charger needs 4.5-9.5V Max 0.8A, this pumps up to 12v at 2.1amps. It quick charges my iPad and iPhones and I love it. I drive an Audi A6 and the factory installed charger is a "slow" charger pushing less than 1.0amps on a 4.5 volt charge. So my immediate answer is "I don't know for a fact", but my educated guess is "maybe" and my experience says..."try it!" It is a good device. My kids broke one by raking a cleat across it, but after few chosen words and a few seconds of reflection...I went back online and bought another. I like that they are very "low profile" which brings into question why are my kids using their cleats on a 60k car enough to scrape off the face and guts of a cigarette lighter. I opt'd to think of my childhood and how I would have been hung, gutted and turned into jerky for the dogs....I kept my cool and merely decided the 10.00 was worth it. see less
By Wallville on June 27, 2013
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The double port shorter
By jean merise on March 31, 2015
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It's a 2.1 amp car charger...
By Mark T. on April 3, 2013
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I use it to charge an iPhone 5 without any error messages. It should be fine.
By Sacha Perai on November 1, 2013
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Hi Mark-yes it does stay on when not plugged into a device. I unplug mine when I leave the car b/c I don't want my kids to decide it's theirs b/c it's unattended! I don't know of any converter that turns itself off.
By Donna on July 22, 2014
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Yes. And I gave a bad review earlier because mine charged slower than anything. Satechi saw it and sent me a new one they said it must be bad. It was! The new one charges much faster.
By C. Smith on February 9, 2015
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That's most likely because there's only a blue LED in it. If you're handy with a soldering iron, you can change the LED to what ever color you like.
By Sacha Perai on October 16, 2013