Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Do the Twist

I empathize with people who struggle with the durability of their cables, but I’m always a little surprised when I hear about friends who see their Lightning and power cables fray after just a few months. I’ve never had this problem. My first Lightning cable, acquired in 2012, only stopped working a month ago — and it’s the one I keep in my bag so it constantly gets wrapped and unwrapped.

Joe Cieplinski has shared a tip that I also use, perhaps because of a common background in live audio:

I won’t speculate why my friends’ cables are so often yellowed, sticky, etc. But I can say with certainty that the way most developers wrap their cables has a great deal to do with the condition they end up in after a few months. I’ve seen all sorts of variations of wrapping the cord around itself, around devices, twisting them into knots, etc. Usually, the ends are completely stressed when they are done wrapping. And then they throw them into a bag that way for several days at a time.

I’m not saying that Apple’s cables shouldn’t be able to withstand a bit more torture than they get from most people, but there is something to be said for being a bit more careful.

And that’s where the “twist” comes in.

I suspect the very tight cable wraps I’ve seen around most MacBook power bricks is one reason Apple removed the small “arms” on the side of the brick that comes with the newest MacBook Pros.