Apple introduced a new version of its classic MagSafe charging technology, previously used in MacBooks, with the iPhone 12. It works a little differently in the iPhone than it does in a laptop: a circular array of magnets embedded in back of the phone enables it to snap to a compatible accessory. It could be a charger, like Apple’s own MagSafe wireless charging puck, or it could be anything else you want to keep close to your phone, like a wallet. But I found the MagSafe charger to be just fine — it’s no easier or faster than using a Lightning charger and fast-charging brick — and I have no interest in snapping my credit cards and driver’s licence to my phone. Yet at this year’s CES, third-party accessory makers showed off a handful of MagSafe gadgets that may have convinced me.
Specifically, I am intrigued by PopSockets’ MagSafe PopGrip. I have, until now, had an aversion to PopSockets. I get why people like them — they make it easier to use your phone one-handed, particularly when taking photos — but the process of applying a PopSocket base to my phone or phone case has always been unappealing to me. I simply don’t want to deal with applying the PopGrip’s gel-based adhesive to my phone or its case, or ever have to think about repositioning it. I also don’t want to have a PopSocket on my phone at all times, and the grip’s gel-based adhesive dries out when exposed to air. But the MagSafe version simply snaps to the back of an iPhone 12 or an iPhone 12 phone case, no application required, and you can leave it behind whenever you want to. This might just be the accessory that convinces me that PopSockets are good — depending on how much it costs when it launches this spring.
But we also saw a handful of MagSafe charging stands that seem incredibly useful. If you don’t have an Apple Watch, Belkin’s new $US100 ($129) 2-in-1 MagSafe charger for AirPods is a more affordable option than its $US150 ($194) 3-in-1. Anker’s offerings, which include a 2-in-1 stand for charging an Apple Watch and an iPhone and a 3-in-1 for charging your AirPods, too, could be the most compelling price-wise, as Anker products are usually on the cheaper end for accessories.
But what I’d like to see is Mophie step up here. Mophie’s 3-in-1 charging stand, while expensive, has been my absolute favourite charging solution for a while, but it’s a little finicky with an iPhone 12. Sometimes the phone will stop charging when it’s barely juiced up and needs to be repositioned to start charging again. A Mophie MagSafe 3-in-1 would be the dream.
But what I’m actually waiting for is a MagSafe tripod grip for shooting photos and videos. Spring-loaded smartphone grips are atrocious, and I’ve pinched my fingers many a time trying to position them properly. A MagSafe PopSocket can only go so far — let’s see some pro-level MagSafe accessories.
Editor’s Note: Stay tuned for local Australian pricing and availability.