Mobile news roundup for the “road warriors”: Charge quickly, find hotels with good wifi, and use your phone as your room key at Hilton hotels

Charge your smartphone in 15 minutes with the Ultrapak

15 minutes to full charge

Sometimes it happens: you’ve been making heavy use of your phone or tablet, and now it’s low on power. Sometimes, you get lucky and have both the time and nearby outlet to get enough power to carry on. For those other times when you’re short on both time and a convenient power source, you might want to have an Ultrapak handy. Farhad Manjoo reports on his experience with the Ultrapak in a New York Times piece, where he calls it “a lifesaver” and closes with “If there’s a better way to power up quickly, I haven’t seen it.”

Find out which hotels have the best wifi at

hotel wifi rating site

There’ve been many times where I’ve had to get work done from my hotel room or in the lobby or cafe and found myself packing up for the nearest Starbucks after getting frustrated with the wifi speed. While there are many sites that rate hotels on many dimensions, wifi connectivity hasn’t been one of those criteria. Luckily for us, there’s HotelWifiTest, a site that provides speed test results for various hotels around the world. The database is a bit small as of this writing: it covers 160 hotels in New York, 42 in San Francisco, and 52 in London, England for starters, but since it lets users run tests and submit results from their hotels, it’ll become more useful as it becomes more popular. (You can also use their speed test to check the wifi speed anywhere, including your home and office.)

Hilton hotels switching to smartphone-enabled locks

your phone is your key

The Wall Street Journal may have hidden this story behind their paywall, but other sites such as Gizmodo are reporting this news: the Hilton Hotel chain is upgrading its rooms and equipping them with smartphone-enabled door locks. Not only will you be able to use your smartphone as your room key, you’ll be able to bypass the whole front desk check-in dance entirely. They expect to have the majority of their hotels upgraded by 2016.

this article also appears in the GSG blog