Few things Mac users miss more than him MacSafe charger of the brand’s laptops. For years I was present throughout generations of MacBook and was practically an icon of these laptops until the arrival of USB-C. When it seemed like it was going to die forever, Apple has resurrected it, but not in the way we expected. It reaches the iPhone with the new iPhone 12 and with functions that go beyond charging the device.
MagSafe on MacBooks it was primarily a security feature. As its name suggests, it is a magnetic (Mag) safety system (Safe). It made it possible to quickly attach the charging cable by aligning it with magnets and at the same time quickly or accidentally undocking it without damaging the connector. In the new iPhone, the MagSafe maintains that idea of taking advantage of magnets to attach items, although not so much for safety as for comfort.
Matter of magnets
Apple has practically a decade toying with the idea of using magnets to easily attach accessories. The first iPad already made use of this idea to attach the protective case to the screen and then we have also seen it with other accessories such as the Apple Pencil. On the iPhone, however, it had not been the case until now.
The MagSafe in the iPhone 12 is essentially a system made up of magnets, wireless charging coil and protectors. It is located on the back of the iPhone, right in the middle. Although it is a circular system, it has an extra vertical and smaller magnet to align the objects that are attached.
And what objects to attach? Accessories and chargers. Apple has officially launched a leather wallet that sticks to the back and allows you to store bills and cards inside. They have also promised that we will have third-party certified accessories like Belkin’s. Do these accessories hold up thanks to the magnet? In principle they should do it, in other products such as the iPad they have not caused problems throughout these years.
Wireless charging by MagSafe on the iPhone 12
Although the iPhone already have wireless charging for a few generations, the novelty in this case is what the MagSafe brings to this wireless charging. First we have faster and more direct coupling. In other words, there is no need to adjust the position on the charger to make sure it is charging. This also allows you to move it more freely or put it in diagonal positions knowing that it will keep charging. It is somewhat reminiscent of the charging of the Apple Watch, which also adjusts automatically thanks to the use of magnets.
On the other hand, the MagSafe also brings us new wireless charging accessories. We don’t have the long-awaited AirPower, but we do have a new MagSafe charger. It’s circular and the size of the MagSafe on the back of iPhones. It is easily docked and allows this more comfortable wireless charging. But perhaps more interesting than that is the fact that allows wireless charging of up to 15 W, twice what Apple allows for a standard Qi charger. The MagSafe charger can be purchased for 45 euros. Another additional charger is the MagSafe Duo, which also includes a charging position for the Apple Watch, although this charger is not yet available.
In short, the new MagSafe of the iPhone 12 takes advantage of the idea of magnets (and especially the name), but differs in uses with respect to the MagSafe that we knew until now. Adapted to current wireless charging technologies and with a more versatile design that can also be used to attach accessories of all kinds. It remains to be seen what other manufacturers bring to the accessory ecosystem.