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OtterBox made an Xbox controller battery that can be swapped out mid-game

If you’re a PlayStation or Nintendo Switch player, you know you need to keep a cord nearby in case your controller runs out of charge mid-game. If you’re an Xbox gamer, however, it’s a little trickier — those gamepads still rely on AA batteries so, while you can easily pop in a new set when needed, you may have to resync the controller to your console, which can be a real hassle when you’re in the middle of a match. OtterBox, better known for its protective cases, is now looking to make your charging experience seamless with its Power Swap Controller Batteries.

These new batteries aren’t just regular rechargeable batteries — those wouldn’t solve the common problem of losing connection with your system while you make the switch. Instead, Otterbox came up with a cage that you plug into the battery compartment, and then each battery gets inserted into that. The key to a seamless swap is the small reserve cell in the cage, which maintains power to the controller for about 30 seconds, which is just about enough time to pull out the drained battery and replace it with a fresh one from the dock.

Power Swap Controller Batteries from rear

OtterBox

Each battery has a low battery indicator on it so you’ll get an extra heads up to change out the pack; you won’t be caught unaware by a message on the screen or an unresponsive controller. The batteries can be popped out with one hand too, so you never actually have to stop playing.

Each $60 set comes with two batteries, so right out of the box you have one to play and one to keep ready in the charger. There’s a dock to power up both at the same time, though you can also plug in the included USB-C cord to charge batteries right in the controller. Also included in the package are two cages, one for the Xbox One gamepad and one for the Xbox Series X|S, so you don’t have to worry about buying the “right” set for your system, or having to pick up a replacement if you decide to upgrade your console later on.

Power Swap Controller Batteries in gamepad

OtterBox

Even if you don’t have an Xbox you can still benefit from the Power Swap Controller Batteries, since Xbox gamepads are compatible with both Windows and Mac desktops and even mobile — Otterbox made sure that the new battery didn’t interfere with the Mobile Gaming Clip it introduced back in January. And the extra space in the company’s Gaming Carry Case should be enough to carry your extra battery and cables as well.

The OtterBox Power Swap Controller Batteries will be available on otterbox.com starting June 15th, though you’ll also see them on microsoft.com and Amazon as well. And that’s $60 for the entire set; right now the batteries won’t be sold by themselves but it’s not out of the question if this new charging solution takes off.

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Tech News

OtterBox finally has an iPad case and accessories made for kids

OtterBox, the company best known for its durable phone cases, has finally launched products designed to protect gadgets from kids. The new offering comes under the OtterBox Kids portfolio, according to the company, which has introduced a case, stand, cable bundle, and glass screen protector with blue light guard.

The new OtterBox Kids products are designed for use with the iPad, including the EasyGrab Tablet Case, which features grip ridges and an antimicrobial design. The cases feature highly saturated color options and, the company says, are made from material that is easy to sanitize.

Joining the case is the EasyGrab Multi-Use Case Stand, a kickstand that can also be hooked to a car seat headrest for watching videos on the road. This stand is included with the EasyGrab case, but can also be purchased standalone when needed.

As mentioned, the new product line also includes a glass screen protector with a blue light guard to help protect the screen from damage and the child’s eyes from damaging blue light. Rounding out the new offerings is the EasyGrab Mobile Cable Bundle.

These cables — both an audio connector and a power cable — are made for a child’s small fingers. Likewise, the cables are designed to avoid tangling and fraying with ‘strain relief’ tech at the cords’ weak points. The company is currently selling its new OtterBox Kids products at Target, including on its website, with plans to launch it on its own website in the near future.

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Tech News

Safeguard your iPhone or Galaxy in Amazon’s 24-hour Otterbox sale

Unfortunately, you can’t encase your phone in carbonite to keep it well protected. The next best thing, then, is to wrap your precious phone in a durable OtterBox case. Amazon has a one-day sale on OtterBox cases today covering the following phones:

  • iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s
  • iPhone 7 and iPhone 8
  • iPhone Xs Max
  • Samsung Galaxy S9
  • Samsung Galaxy S10+

The sale doesn’t have a wide selection, but if you’re the lucky owner of one of the above phones then it’s well worth a look—especially for drop-prone smartphone owners.

Anyone rocking an iPhone 6 or 6s can grab the OtterBox Defender for $18.75, down from $50, though the price does jump around a lot. This case comes with an inner and outer shell, and a screen protector.

If you own the iPhone 7 or 8 (not including the Plus models, the OtterBox Commuter Series is available for $16 instead of its usual $20 to $30. This is a two-piece case and doesn’t come with a screen protector. If that doesn’t appeal, the OtterBox Defender Series is $22.85, down from around $35. The Defender has an inner shell, outer cover, and screen protector.

Finally, for iPhone Xs Max owners there are three options. You’ll find the Commuter Series for $20.72 instead of close to $40, as well as the Defender for $31.19—down from $54 and the all-time low. There’s also a Symmetry Clear Series case for $22.50 instead of about $35. Symmetry phone cases are one-piece cases with a clear back for showing off your phone.

Moving on to Galaxy owners, there’s a Commuter Series option for $17.44 for the Galaxy S9. This case is usually around $22. Anyone with a Galaxy S10+ can grab a Defender Series case for $35 instead of $54.

Those are all the cases available, and while the selection isn’t huge, there are some great values here for anyone with a compatible smartphone.

[Today’s deal: Amazon one-day deal on OtterBox cases.]

Ian is an independent writer based in Israel who has never met a tech subject he didn’t like. He primarily covers Windows, PC and gaming hardware, video and music streaming services, social networks, and browsers. When he’s not covering the news he’s working on how-to tips for PC users, or tuning his eGPU setup.

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