One of the main distinguishing features of the new iPhone models is magnetic charging, which is a Qi standard wireless charging with a pinch of so-called “Apple magic”. It’s useful for those who work or play online pokies via their iPhones regularly. How does it work, what smartphones does it support and what accessories is it compatible with?
What Is MagSafe in Simple Terms
MagSafe charging first appeared in the MacBook. Back in 2006, Apple offered users of branded computers an unusual implementation of a magnetic connector, allowing you to instantly unplug the charging cable from the laptop and just as easily and quickly attach it when necessary. Six years later, the Cupertinians introduced the second generation of this charger, but from 2016 to 2019, Apple experimented with USB-C, bringing MagSafe back to laptops only in 2021 as the MagSafe 3 standard.
MagSafe first appeared in the iPhone 12 line of smartphones in October 2020, before migrating to the iPhone 13 and iPhone 14 series. While the magnetic iPhone charger uses the same name and employs the same key principle of “magnetizing” the device, it’s a very different technology. It uses the open Qi standard for wireless chargers at its core – you can use any Qi-compatible charger with your iPhone, with the difference that it won’t be magnetized to the case.
But it’s the magnetism that’s the key feature of MagSafe. The new iPhone models have a powerful internal magnet surrounding the wireless charging pad. This magnet allows for a strong, positive connection to other supported accessories such as cases, MagSafe external battery packs, cradles, wallets, car chargers, and cases for AirPods Second- or Third-Generation and AirPods Pro earbuds. All accessories are also equipped with an NFC chip that connects to your smartphone and verifies authenticity by displaying a MagSafe charging animation on your iPhone, and giving you confidence that the connected accessory is an original product from Apple or a trusted accessory manufacturer.
MagSafe Accessories from Apple
Apple MagSafe Charger
The key accessory on which the entire MagSafe ecosystem is tied together. You can use it as a wireless alternative to the wired charger, and as the main charger. It’s important to keep in mind that Apple’s wireless charger doesn’t currently support more than 15 watts and is only recommended to be used with a branded 20-watt power supply. At best, the iPhone 13 Pro will fully recover the charge in 2 hours and 45 minutes – quite a long time compared to normal charging via cable.
A wired charger still charges your phone faster, but the wireless MagSafe charger allows you to be less tied to a single outlet by your bedside and is a great addition to your workspace. Moreover, it can be used with a variety of stands, such as the UGREEN MagSafe charger holder. All you have to do is insert the Apple “puck” into the stand and there you have your iPhone standing so pretty on your desk.
Apple MagSafe External Battery Pack
Small MagSafe external battery pack allows you to directly charge any compatible iPhone with MagSafe support without connecting a cable: just put it on the back and trust the strong magnets. The battery is quite thick, and the capacity cannot be called large. Apple specifies 1460 mAh at 7.62 V, but the actual battery capacity is about 3000 mAh at a more typical iPhone voltage of 3.8 V.
Apple itself indicates that this battery will be enough to charge the iPhone 12 mini and 13 mini by 70%, and the larger models by 40-60%. An interesting feature of the battery is the way it is charged: it replenishes its energy directly through the back of the iPhone, which is connected to the charger. That is, this is the first Apple device that uses reverse charging of the iPhone via MagSafe.
Apple Branded Cases With MagSafe Support
Apple makes both silicone and leather cases in a variety of looks and colors, so it’s easy to match your iPhone with a case that supports magnetic charging. Of course, you can use any third-party case and hope that the strength of the magnets built into the iPhone is enough to hold the charger over the case or keep your smartphone on the stand. But it’s better not to take any chances.
The only thing you should pay attention to is the actual model of the case. The iPhone 12 case will not fit or will not sit well on the iPhone 13, and the iPhone 13 Pro case will not fit the iPhone 14 Pro, due to differences in thickness and size of the camera unit.