Wireless charging, in the mobile device market, is the main technology that aims to end the tangle of cables once and for all. The wire, as a charging requirement, may be at the end of its life. This is because there are more and more options, cheaper and innovative. Apple ran after this market and brought the MagSafe to the iPhone.

The Cupertino company has been using wireless charging for some years and even tried to make bolder forays into this segment, but failed with AirPower. However, with this new technology in your offering, you may want more than just removing the cables. We tell everything.

MagSafe - Apple's evolution in wireless charging

Wireless charging is still a niche choice

Although we already have products with excellent quality in terms of safety and speed, there are still few users who use this technology. Of course, the responsibility is also in the offer. Currently, technology is still at a young stage and the percentage of devices on the market that take advantage of this feature is still very low.

With the introduction of MagSafe in Apple’s new iPhone 12 models, the company comes to underline the importance of this type of charging in the future of mobile devices. One question that arises, however, is how exactly does this Apple technology differ and what does it bring to the market again?

Resonant induction charging

We had already addressed this issue a few years ago. It was said at the time that wireless charging is a technology that began to be applied in electronic devices even during the 90s, having been brought only in 2012 to mobile devices.

In a very short form, modern wireless charging depends on the properties of magnetic fields and the ability to influence other means sensitive to this type of magnetism. This inductive charging makes use of two coils, where the electricity applied in a first (transmitter) creates a magnetic field around it, which will generate an electric current in a second coil (receiver) that is close enough.

From the consumer’s point of view, this system is used by applying a coil to any type of charging device, for example, a support, a lamp or even a desk.

Likewise, it is necessary to apply another coil on the side of the receiving device, in this case, any smartphone, which will “capture” the magnetic field and generate the current necessary for charging the device.

There are currently two standards within wireless charging: IQ, the product of a group of companies called the Wireless Power Consortium and the PowerMat from the Airfuel Alliance.

Apple started to apply this type of inductive charging in 2017, with the launch of the iPhone 8 making use of IQ technology as a predefined standard, allowing the use of a wide range of accessories on the market that enable the use of this technology.

MagSafe – An improvement that makes all the difference

With the launch of the new iPhones 12 models in October 2020, Apple announced a new feature, MagSafe. This type of mechanism was introduced in the brand’s product range during the launch of the MacBook Pro, on January 10, 2006. This represents a type of magnetic connector used in charging the company’s notebooks.

This time the company decided to bring this technology for mobile devices, perfecting the concept and making the wireless charging already existing in previous smartphone models more efficient.

In what way? Trying to relieve one of the main obstacles in this type of loading. The alignment of the receiving device with the base is critical and will greatly influence the efficiency of the loading in question.

Perfect alignment will result in better power reception and reduced loading times. On the contrary, there is a possibility that the alignment is not even sufficient to receive any power, preventing the smartphone from entering the usual charging mode.

Thus, it was a solution developed by Apple to get around this problem in an easy way and guaranteeing the best possible service to its customers.

An improved version of wireless charging with IQ support has been created, adding magnet rings to the device’s housing, and alignment is done automatically when connected to a MagSafe compatible charger.

MagSafe – Maximum profit

It is important to consider that wireless charging is still evolving. So, this is not currently the most efficient way to charge our iPhone. The losses dissipated by this technology are great.

So, if we want a full charge in the shortest possible time, connection to a Lightning connector remains the best choice.

It is worth mentioning Apple’s effort to get the most out of this new feature. To this end, the decision was taken to change the maximum power levels when using the MagSafe, allowing drainage up to 15W on the iPhone 12 and Pro models and up to 12W peak on the iPhone 12 mini model, compared to the smaller 7.5W chargers Existing Qi.

And backwards compatibility, is there?

From a more practical point of view, all accessories with MagSafe compatibility will be inserted and removed perfectly. There is some effort, minimal, they are part of the way they cling to the device. According to users, this is a positive point.

Another important aspect is the compatibility of MagSafe with conventional IQ chargers. Thus, all new models of smartphones with the application of this technology will continue to work with the old chargers. However, there may not be the possibility of automatic alignment.

In short, this wireless technology has its place in our daily lives. Thus, it is possible to derive solid efficiency, provided that some good practices are followed.

Among the most important from the user’s point of view, is the prior removal of any outer cover or accessory. This is because if they are not cut to allow passage, they will be a problem, since they will increase the distance between the two coils. And, as we know, the proximity between these two points is an essential factor for their correct functioning.

By João Filipe for Pplware

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