Everything old is new again. During this morning’s iPhone 12 event, Apple announced that it was reviving one of its old, signature technologies: the MagSafe Chargers.
That sounds familiar…
Launched in the mid-2000s, the MagSafe was originally an Apple technology that used magnets to secure a charger to a MacBook . The feature — which saved countless laptops and reserved a special place in the hearts of klutzes everywhere — was phased out in the past few years as Apple moved to USB-C in its laptops.
But now, MagSafe chargers are back! Except they’ve had a makeover for the demands of 2020. The new MagSafe is for “wireless charging” for the iPhone 12 (only took them 6 years), and here’s what that all means.
How do the new iPhone 12 MagSafe chargers work?
So, when Apple says “wireless” it really means that you don’t need to plug it in per se. But like the Qi chargers before it (which is still compatible with iPhone 12), don’t imagine that you can be using your iPhone completely unencumbered, Nikola Tesla-style, while charging.
The MagSafe charging technology brings back that oh-so-satisfying magnetic clipping feel that you used to get with the laptop charges. But instead of clipping your phone in, you’re clicking on a round charger on the back of the phone.
According to the company, the MagSafe uses “an array of magnets around the wireless charger coil, optimised for alignment and efficiency” that allows you to slap it on the phone’s backside to make it start slurping up that go-go juice, 15W at a time.
As we reported earlier this morning, 15W is important. Qi wireless charging on iPhones is currently capped at 7.5W. Literally doubling that speed for MagSafe products is a slick move by Apple.
Apple showed off a whole bunch of components (like the Copper-graphite shield, magnet array, polycarbonate housing and E-shield) that wouldn’t sound out of place coming out of Tony Stark’s mouth.
Along with the MagSafe Charger itself, Apple is releasing a MagSafe Duo that lets you charge both your phone and your Apple Watch. Plus, the company is dropping silicone, leather and clear cases that let you still use the charger while also protecting the phone.
And if these leave you feeling a bit dry, Apple dropped a big hint that it’s hoping others to use the technology to do some cool stuff. The company said that we should “expect innovative MagSafe accessories from third-party manufacturers”. We already know this includes Belkin since it was name-dropped during the show.
So keep your eyes peeled for accessory-makers to get freaky in the future.