After finishing yesterday’s post on iPhone charging from a USB 3.0 port, I came across some references to ASUS Ai Charger. It’s a Windows software tool produced by motherboard manufacturer ASUS. It claims to increase the charging speed of iThings connected to the computer, and it works with non-ASUS motherboards, and apparently even laptops.
Few details are provided, and it sounds kind of sketchy, but I gave it a try on my EVGA X58 SLI LE motherboard. After installing and rebooting, there’s a new icon in the notification area:
Clicking, double-clicking, or right-clicking on it has no effect. When I plug my iPhone into a motherboard USB 2.0 port, it changes:
Plugging it into a port on my USB 3.0 add-on card has no effect.
So, what’s the verdict?
It works! The purple charging curve, with Ai Charger, is almost identical to the green 1 A wall charger curve. (It’s offset slightly, because Ai Charger’s magic doesn’t kick in until the iPhone turns on and identifies itself to the computer. If I weren’t starting from a dead battery, there would be no delay.)
I don’t really know how Ai Charger works—it seems to look for a device that it recognizes as an iThing, and then tells the motherboard chipset to do something. There are some reports of blue screens on the Internet, and it’s not clear what motherboards or chipsets it supports. But if you’d like to charge your iThing faster, it seems to be worth a try.