Many already thought the magnetic MagSafe charging connector was dead after it was removed from the MacBook a few years ago. But the technology is back with the iPhone 12 lineup with a different reading. The new approach to MagSafe is a smart way to provide faster wireless charging for all four iPhone 12 phones (and actually a few older models).
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What is MagSafe?
To put it simply, MagSafe is a magnetic wireless charging system for the new iPhone 12 phones. But the technology has its own history. For those of you who don’t know, MagSafe was originally used to easily secure the charging cable to MacBook Pro and MacBook Air laptops.
Thanks to the power of the magnets, the cable snuggled into place in the charging port. But if you accidentally snag the cable on something, or someone awkwardly trips over the charger, the cable will easily disconnect from the port, rather than dragging the connected MacBook to the floor.
Microsoft tried to implement a similar scheme in its Surface laptop. But the Surface Connect port didn’t work as well as MagSafe. Over time, Apple’s push to make the MacBook even thinner led to the move to USB-C ports, leaving no room for MagSafe. Alas, one of the sleekest and most efficient features of Apple laptops has become part of history.
MagSafe on iPhone performs many functions. This is a combination of a docking system and a charging system that offers tremendous potential for Apple and accessory manufacturers.
To create its own patented type of wireless charger with the ability to attach various accessories, Apple has added several components to the existing Qi wireless charging coil (on the back of the iPhone), such as a magnetometer and an NFC reader.
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How does MagSafe work?
MagSafe is not an invention of wireless charging; it is appropriate to talk about its improvement. Like the Qi wireless charging that Apple phones have supported since the iPhone 8, MagSafe uses a wireless charging coil on the glass back of the iPhone 12.
But with a ring of magnets surrounding the coil, the MagSafe Wireless Charger can be attached to the back of the iPhone 12. The magnets ensure that the coil in the phone is perfectly aligned with the coil in the charger. This fixes problems with skewed coils that can prevent your phone from charging or cause the battery to recharge slowly.
MagSafe can be used for more than just charging. IPhone 12 now supports MagSafe cases, which can be easily magnetically attached to the case. There’s also a MagSafe leather wallet that attaches to the back of all four iPhone 12 phones and can be used as a convenient bank card holder.
Apple and third-party partners have the ability to manufacture even more MagSafe accessories. For example, a MagSafe tripod can hold an iPhone 12 Pro Max in place, so a high-quality smartphone camera stack can be used to its fullest.
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Which iPhones does MagSafe support?
The MagSafe charger will be compatible with all iPhones that support wireless charging technology. At the same time, the fastest charging will be the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max.
MagSafe iPhone Compatible List:
- iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max
- iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max
- iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max
- iPhone X
- iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus
- iPhone SE 2020
If you want to take advantage of the faster wireless charging on your iPhone 12, you’ll need to use either the original Apple MagSafe charger or a third-party charger designed under the MFi certification program (specs must state that the device supports Fast iPhone charging via MagSafe).
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Will iPhone 12 come with a MagSafe charging cable?
No, Apple will only ship a USB-C to Lightning cable with the new iPhones (no power adapter or headphones). Apple MagSafe charger sold separately (buy).
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What is the charging speed with MagSafe?
Thanks to the precise contact that MagSafe provides, iPhone 12 phones will receive 15W charging. While this doesn’t surpass the 30W wireless charging that the OnePlus 8 Pro has received, there is a significant upgrade over the 7.5W charging offered by the Qi standard found in the iPhone 11 line.
For fast charging with MagSafe, you need to use a 20W or more adapter (buy).
Of course, MagSafe won’t be able to offer the same fast charging as a physical connection through the Lightning port.
Depending on the iPhone model, MagSafe can fully charge your smartphone in 2-3 hours.
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How much do MagSafe chargers cost?
The MagSafe charger can be purchased in official retail for 3,990 rubles. This is a perfectly reasonable price for an Apple branded accessory. And this price tag roughly corresponds to analogs of wireless chargers from major phone manufacturers. The MagSafe charger is a lot cheaper than the Google Pixel Stand wireless charger, which costs a whopping $ 79. Other MagSafe accessories are slightly more expensive. For example, MagSafe-compatible cases cost RUB 4,990, and MagSafe leather wallet costs RUB 5,990.
We repeat that in order to carry out fast charging using MagSafe, in addition to the magnetic charger itself, you need to purchase a power adapter with a power of 20 W or more.
But we can expect third-party companies to offer many more MagSafe accessories soon. Belkin already has a BoostCharge Pro MagSafe 3-in-1 charger for $ 150, as well as a MagSafe car mount that costs $ 40.
PopSockets, those strange smartphone pen-style accessories, will also get MagSafe support. It can be expected that such accessories will quickly become fashionable, and more manufacturers will start producing them.
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MagSafe iPhone Cases
MagSafe also opens up new possibilities for cases. Apple has integrated MagSafe into the back of its silicone and clear cases, allowing you to use MagSafe accessories even when you put the case on.
With MagSafe, users get a few nice little things that weren’t there before. For example, when a smartphone recognizes a cover, a beautiful animation may appear that matches the color of the case. Apple has a leather case that, when connected to an iPhone, will instruct the smartphone to display the current time in a small window. The background of the clock will match the color of the device.
Plus, Apple has created its own leather wallet that attaches easily to the back of an iPhone 12 or MagSafe case. At the same time, the company claims that the wallet is protected from damage to bank cards by MagSafe magnets.
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What’s next for MagSafe?
It is likely that MagSafe chargers will become an almost indispensable accessory for the iPhone 12 line. But one can also hope that this is evidence of the coming MagSafe for other Apple devices.
For example, a MagSafe stand for iPad would be handy as it could keep the tablet charged while users were watching videos or streaming games. And some clever form of a wireless charging pad for MacBook seems like a good idea too. Imagine simply walking up to your desk, placing your MacBook on the flat charging pad and working in peace all day without having to look for charging cables.