If you’re not an iPhone user you might think the phrase, “MagSafe” sounds like a rejected late nineties X-Men character, and you wouldn’t be wrong. But it’s also a great iPhone 12 feature that started as a popular MacBook charging feature.
While there was news earlier this year that suggests MagSafe will be returning to MacBooks in the some capacity it’s inclusion has been a smash success on the iPhone 12. There have since since spawned a slew of slick accessories to make your mobile more manageable.
But what is MagSafe, and what does it do?
What is MagSafe technology?
MagSafe is a connection feature built into the iPhone 12. With it you can charge your iPhone, or lock in accessories such as cases, mounts, and more.
How does MagSafe work?
Into the back of each iPhone 12 there is embedded a ring of 18 small magnets underneath the charging coil. This ring holds the MagSafe accessories in place and facilitates up to 15W charging speed when paired with a 20W or higher adapter.
This is faster than the previous Qi-based charging which topped out at 7.5W, but only about half as fast as charging via USB-C.
That’s great, but Apple charges big money for their accessories (unfortunate that Apple seems to consider chargers option accessories these days). Luckily there are plenty of third party chargers out there but how do you know which ones you can trust to work with your iPhone without turning it into a $1,000 brick?
The answer is, you buy an MFi-certified product.
What does Apple MFi-certified mean?
The MFi Program is Apple’s way of working with outside entities to develop tech that works with their own products. This gives Apple a degree of control in what goes to market, but more importantly it gives Apple users a means by which they can identify trusted products.
This was developed to avoid problems like the ones that occurred with off brand lightning connectors for previous generation devices. If not made properly these cables could get incredibly hot and cause damage to the device they’re meant to charge.
If you’re ever wondering if the product you’re looking at is or isn’t MFi certified you can always search for it on the database.
What kinds of MagSafe accessories are available?
MagSafe is great for charging but it also has a few other fun tricks.
First it’s a great way to lock your case in place. These cases are specially designed to hold onto the magnetic ring for added security, and best of all they don’t interfere with MagSafe charging.
So you don’t need to choose between having a MagSafe case and enjoying secure wireless charging. OtterBox cases are legendary for their durability, so their MagSafe cases like this one are definitely worth looking at.
But let’s say you don’t just need help keeping your phone safe. You also want to make sure your bank cards and ID aren’t going anywhere. Rather than keep them in a bulky billfold, or loosey-goosey in your purse or pocket, try a MagSafe wallet for the back of your phone.
They have a sleek profile that doesn’t bulk up your phone, and helps keep all the most important stuff all in one place.
The only downside is that you do have to remove the wallet if you want to charge your phone with the MagSafe charger. Sandwiching your credit cards between two magnetic rings isn’t a great idea anyway.
This tech also lends itself perfectly to car mounts. Whether anchored to the dash, the windshield, or your air vent, MagSafe car mounts like this one are a quick and easy way to keep your phone safely locked into a position where it can help you navigate without being distracting or difficult to see, and they can keep your device charged while they do it.
Of course we haven’t really talked about chargers. There are dozens if not hundreds of options starting with the basic magnetic puck but why stop there? A simple accessory turns that puck into a stylish and functional phone stand. There are also 2-in-1 or even 3-in-1 charging stands that can wirelessly power up your phone, earbuds, and smartwatch in one space and outlet saving accessory.
A simple accessory can turn your basic MagSafe puck charger into an elegant and functional charging mount. This silicon stand protects the phone and charger from accidental scrapes and dings, while this folding stand offers flexibility (rimshot) paired with minimalist design and durable materials.
What are some brands you can trust?
Belkin has been in the game for almost forty years and with that time comes experience and knowhow. You’ve probably purchased cell phone or network accessories from this brand in the past because while they may have started with printer cables, today they make just about any connector or peripheral you can think of and they work with pretty much every major device manufacturer you can name.
They make a ton of great accessories for your iPhone but if you’re looking for MagSafe gear you can’t go wrong with this 3-in-1 charger.
When you’re shopping around for a good price on trustworthy functional tech, make sure Belkin is on your shopping list.
Anker was founded by a former Google software engineer in 2011 and has proven itself to be a prodigious purveyor of power peripherals. They specialize in power banks, cables, chargers, and earbuds that are reliable and affordable.
Founded in 2005 and based in San Diego, Satechi seeks to combine reliability and sleek design, without leaving you heartbroken when it’s time to pay.
They use premium materials not just for aesthetics but also to improve durability and provide each device and peripheral with a high quality feel.
Check out this sleek and simple 2-in-1 charger for your iPhone and AirPods. It takes up practically no space and with its simple design it can blend in with pretty much any home décor.
MagSafe is proving itself to be a very cool and desirable feature. Whether you’re interested in wireless charging, a sleek and convenient wallet, a protective case, a mount, or a stand, MagSafe adds value and functionality without getting in your way or becoming more hassle than value.
If you find yourself repelled by this technology, you can simply ignore it, but if you find this magnetic convenience attractive we encourage you to explore the field and see if anything sticks.