The iPhone 12 has a new magnetic charging system called MagSafe. It’s a household name because MagSafe used to be on everyone MacBooks, There was once. It was auto-attached and easy to peel off so tripping over a cord wouldn’t knock your laptop off the table … and was widely appreciated.
I didn’t love the idea of MagSafe when Apple first announced it for the iPhone 12 because I just wanted USB-C. I wanted a regular non-proprietary charger. Instead, Apple has doubled its proprietary fee options. It seemed interesting, but unnecessary.
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I still want USB-C. But I was wrong about MagSafe.
Continue reading: The iPhone 12 brings us one step closer to Apple’s portless future
New and yet familiar
I tried an iPhone 12 Pro and MagSafe charger on the last day and it already convinced me. The charger costs an additional $ 39and comes without a charging adapter, so you’ll need one too (any USB-C adapter will work, but Here are some great charger adapter suggestions). But it feels a lot like a giant Apple Watch Charger for the iPhone. And that should have been my first hint that I would appreciate the idea.
The Apple Watch also has a proprietary snap-on magnetic charger and works similarly. It pops open slightly, the watch sounds a little and I see the charge level. Same goes for the iPhone. Charging the iPhone is a breeze as long as I have the charging cable nearby. It seems to be drifting into rooms that I’m not in and other rooms don’t have a charger because those other rooms have Lightning, USB-C or Qi chargers.
You need to remember to bring this MagSafe charging cable, and in that sense, it’s like any special portable tech charger I’ve seen in the past decade. Small, large, jagged. They work well with the wearable you have, but don’t lose them.
How many MagSafe flavors will there be and will they ever transfer data?
My first thought is that Apple needs to install MagSafe on all of its devices. But then I wondered how that was going to happen. Will the large disc-based charger snap into place on future iPads or MacBooks? Will there be Magnetic Covered Zones ready for MagSafe? Or are there adapters of different sizes for certain devices? Similar to the Apple Watch compared to the iPhone 12?
I also wonder if MagSafe can be paired with data to allow accessories or to act as a dock as well. All of a sudden I feel like in Moto Mod territory. Apple’s expansion of smart connected accessories seems like an idea that has long been hinted at and a bit overdue. Smart Connector Keyboards has been around for years, but not much else.
The long-term questions about MagSafe are many, but right now I like it a lot better than I thought. But that doesn’t mean I still don’t want a USB-C. I still hope Apple doesn’t skip USB-C on the next iPhone. I would prefer MagSafe to be a door to an additional landscape of accessories, and hope Apple is far from replacing that one port on the iPhone.
Look at that:
Our detailed review of the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro
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