Introduced with the iPhone 12 series, Apple's MagSafe charging technology is expected to appear on all flagship handsets for the foreseeable future. Enabling Apple to create a host of new charging-related accessories for iPhone, and make wireless charging faster than ever before, you can learn all about MagSafe, and discover how to use it, below.
What is MagSafe?
The term MagSafe might sound familiar, especially if you've been an Apple fan for a long time. Apple has actually used the phrase once before, for a magnetic charging cable designed for MacBook. While this has now been discontinued in favour of the USB-C, there's still a strong connection to Apple's past technology - the new MagSafe for iPhone uses a ring of specialised magnets to enable wireless charging.
There's a lot more to the feature, however. Previously, iPhones were limited to wireless charging speeds of 7.5W, but with MagSafe this has doubled to up to 15W with an Apple-approved charger. MagSafe iPhones chargers have been designed to snap into place on compatible iPhones, ensuring a perfect circuit and preventing issues with wireless charging placement to increase speeds.
The introduction of MagSafe may also make it possible for the lightning port to be completely removed on future models. Doing this would essentially create more room inside of every iPhone, giving Apple more space to upgrade features such as waterproof ratings and battery size.
How does MagSafe work?
Now you know what MagSafe is, you might be wondering how it works. Building on the existing Qi wireless charging technology inside iPhones, a number of new components have been added to improve charging results.
Among the new components, a new magnetometer, single-NFC reader and 18 rectangular-shaped magnets have been added underneath the existing wireless charging. The added magnets essentially improve the alignment between device and charger, creating the perfect circuit and boosting charging power.
Without this in place, you run the risk of an imperfect, or even a broken circuit, when positioning any phone onto a Qi-wireless charger. When this happens, charging speeds can significantly drop - or fail to exist, and a handset might not charge at all. With MagSafe, however, this will no longer happen - as the iPhone will be fixed firmly in place either alone, or with a compatible case over it.
How to setup a MagSafe Charger
To take advantage of MagSafe, you'll need a MagSafe Wireless Charger. Two chargers have been announced: the MagSafe Wireless Charger for iPhone, or the MagSafe Duo Wireless Charger for iPhone and Apple Watch.
Whatever charger you choose, you'll need to remove accessories and cases - just like you would with a normal Qi-charger - to ensure charging will take place, unless it's a specialised MagSafe case which you can keep it on.
The steps to successful charging with MagSafe are simple:
- Connect the USB-C connector attached to your MagSafe charger to a 20W (or higher) Apple USB-C power adapter, or an equivalent charger from a third-party.
- Alternatively, connect the USB-C connector to the USB-C port on your Mac or a PC.
- Place the MagSafe charger face up on a flat surface. Remove any metal objects or clutter from the surrounding area.
- Plug the MagSafe charger into a power source, if not connected already.
- Position your iPhone onto the charger.
And that's it - your iPhone should start charging.
Intelligent charging speeds
MagSafe is capable of delivering up to 15W, however speeds may vary. A number of factors can affect charging speeds, such as the wattage of the power adapter used, and the iPhone model in question.
There's no need to worry however, each device will be charged safely thanks to the feature's ability to intelligently adapt to its conditions. You will always receive optimum speeds, but to make sure you're getting the best results, Apple has advised users stick to the following adapters:
• A USB-C connector (never USB-A)
• Either 9 V/2.22 A or 9 V/2.56 A adapter
It's also important to bear in mind that accessories that attach to the device's lightning port - like headphones - slow down speeds to 7.5W if inserted during charging.
You're likely to see MagSafe appear on numerous Apple devices in the future, but if you're excited to try out the technology right now, you can do so by picking up a great deal on a iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro or iPhone 12 Pro Max from Mobiles.co.uk today.