Apple just finished showing off its latest devices, in the form of the iPhone 12 range and the new HomePod mini. Any Apple fan would have noticed a familiar branding name among the iPhone 12 specifications, which used to be a safety feature on the MacBook range, MagSafe.
See, in Apple’s world, trademarks never die and can be reused for new uses. MagSafe used to connect the power brick to the MacBook, so anyone tripping on the cable only pulled the cable out, instead of the MacBook taking a tumble. It was phased out between 2016 and 2019 when Apple shifted the MacBook to USB-C, but it’s back again. It doesn’t do the same thing on the iPhone 12 range though, so let’s dive into how it’s different.
The new MagSafe is a multi-purpose magnetic array on the back panel of the iPhone 12 range, used for everything from aligning wireless chargers to attaching protective cases. It can also attach wallets, or any other accessories that Apple or third-party manufacturers decide to create. I’m pretty sure there’ll be a MagSafe Popsocket before long. It just makes sense.
So, okay. The new MagSafe is still associated with charging, kind of. The new system makes it so you can wirelessly charge at 15W, an improvement over the 10W max on the iPhone 11. It also means that every time you use wireless charging, the coils will be perfectly aligned, improving efficiency and reducing the time needed to charge.
Apple already has a whole section for new MagSafe accessories on its website, presumably, which will grow as third-party manufacturers such as Belkin bring their own devices to market.
It seems to me that the blocky design of the iPhone 12 range needed something like MagSafe for protective cases to fit securely, without having bulky lips on the front face. Still, it’s a neat idea. I wonder how strong the magnet actually is, and if you could keep your iPhone on your monitor arm or another metal surface. I guess we’ll see once the reviews start coming in.
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