What is Apple MagSafe and What are the advantages of MagSafe Charger
Before Mac laptops were charged via USB-C, Macs were charged via a cable that used MagSafe, a clever standard that connected the charging cable via magnets, that meant it was not only easy to connect, it disconnected if you tripped over the cable (which meant your laptop didn’t crash to the floor).
Apple clearly liked the name because it has now revived MagSafe as the name for a system for charging the iPhone 12. As unveiled at the ‘Hi, Speed’ event on 13 October.
In this article, that previously discussed MagSafe charging for the MacBook, we will add details about the new MagSafe charger for the iPhone. You will find everything you need to know about the MagSafe of old and the new MagSafe below.
What is MagSafe for iPhone
Each iPhone in the iPhone 12 series contains a ring of magnets built around a Qi charging coil. As a result you can snap charging accessories onto the iPhone 12. It’s similar to how the Apple Watch snaps onto its charger. Apple’s MagSafe charger – which is sold separately for £39/$39 – is a round disc that includes magnets that attach to the magnets inside the iPhone to align automatically. Because the magnets allow for more precise alignment – and due to improved internal components – MagSafe allows for faster charging. With MagSafe you can charge at up to 15 watts. When plugged in via the Lightning port iPhones can charge at up to 20 watts. The new iPhones still support existing Qi-enabled wireless charging at rates up to 7.5 watts – but only matching MagSafe chargers are capable of charging at 15 watts.
Which iPhones have MagSafe?
The only iPhones that offer MagSafe are the iPhone 12 series. That’s the iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max. Officially you should be able to use MagSafe charging with older iPhones, but it appears that there are also problems using MagSafe with older iPhones. For example, if you use a MagSafe charger with an iPhone 11 charging can take a very long time. Read: You should not use MagSafe with iPhone 11:Can I use the MagSafe charger for my iPhone 11 Pro Max?
Why MagSafe is good for iPhone charging?
MagSafe should ensure that iPhones are properly aligned to their wireless charger – when alignment doesn’t happen they may not charge. It could spell the beginning of Apple’s move away from wired charging to wireless charging for the iPhone – with a future iPhone having no charging ports at all. This could allow Apple to make iPhones even more waterproof.
Problems with MagSafe for iPhone charging
It’s not all good news though: Apple has revealed that the MagSafe charger can leave a mark on leather cases, and it seems that some silicon cases have already shown marks. Apple doesn’t include a power adapter in the box with the MagSafe charger. It comes with an integrated USB-C cable, so you will need to purchase a separate USB-C power adapter if you don’t already have one. Similarly there is also no power adapter included with the iPhone 12. Here are details on which power adapter plug you need for the iPhone 12 and the MagSafe charger. Speed Test of iPhone 12 MagSafe Wireless Charger
MagSafe Products for iPhone 12 series
Apple sells a number of MagSafe charging products on their website, here we also picked some third-party accessories, you can view the collection here: Best iPhone 12 accessories.
MagSafe for MacBook
The first MagSafe cable arrived with the MacBook Pro in 2006. The MagSafe connector was loved for the fact that it disconnected from a Mac when the wire was yanked out, leaving the Mac safely on the desk while only the wire drops to the ground. The presence of MagSafe on an Apple laptop was a given right up until Apple announced the new 12in MacBook with no MagSafe adaptor in 2015, choosing instead to power it via a USB-C cable, instead of MagSafe.MagSafe was finally discontinued on Macs in 2019 when the 2017 model of the MacBook Air was discontinued. All Mac laptops are now charged via USB-C. Of course many Mac users still use Macs that are powered by a MagSafe cable and could be looking to replace the cable due to loss or a fault Here’s what you need to know about MagSafe and the Mac.
How does MagSafe work?
MagSafe works by connecting the power socket to a Mac using magnets. This is instead of the more usual clasp/socket technique of inserting the cable inside the laptop. The connection between a MagSafe adaptor and the Mac laptop is made using two magnetic halves. These clasp together and power is thus provided to the laptop. According to Apple’s MagSafe patent: “The surface area of two magnetically attracted halves determines the number of magnetic flux lines and therefore the holding force between them because the holding force is proportional to the contact area between the two magnetically attracted halves.”
The advantage to using MagSafe is safety.
When a laptop is sitting on a desk or table, and plugged in to a socket near the ground, the wire between the two is a trip hazard. Tripping over the adaptor cable drags the laptop off of the desk and it falls on to the ground (and is potentially damaged). MagSafe protects the laptop because the cable instantly unclasps, leaving the laptop on the desk and the cable flapping harmlessly on the floor. The true genius of MagSafe is that it works by “non-axial” force. This means that if you pull it in any direction other than straight out it disconnects, and there’s virtually no force required to remove the connector. It’s also a unique Apple feature, something practical that Apple fans can crow about safe in the knowledge that rival laptops are missing this one vital feature. It’s the kind of small, practical, detail that comes from thinking outside of the box. Features like MagSafe are why Apple can charge so much for its laptops: no wonder the Apple fans are mad. Read: Complete guide to ports on Macs, iPhones and iPads