Technology

MagSafe was exclusive to the iPhone. The new Qi2 standard is going to change that.

Apple wanted to revolutionize the wireless charging system for its iPhones with the launch of MagSafe, the magnetic system that made the leap from its MacBooks to its iPhones. The technology has not caught on perhaps as much as one would hope, but that may change.

Qi2. MagSafe’s technology was actually a combination of the Qi wireless charging standard and a series of magnets. Apple, which tried to maintain control over that option, has now decided to “liberate” it, and as a member of the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC), it is promoting the development of the new Qi standard, which will be called Qi2 and which will precisely adapt many of the virtues of MagSafe technology to open it to all devices.

MagSafe for iPhone: what it is, which iPhones are compatible and what types of accessories take advantage of it

Android phones ready. This opening means that these chargers will also be compatible with Android-based mobiles, thus making the new Qi2 chargers usable on smartphones prepared to support these accessories. Both Apple and Samsung are already working on phones that are compatible with the new standard, although first it is necessary to finalize the specification of the standard, something that will happen in the middle of the year.

Qi2 will evolve. The first version of that specification will focus on adapting Apple’s technology and broadening its spectrum of application. Qi2 will continue to be mobile-focused and will probably limit charging power to 15W, but as soon as that specification is released, work will begin on the next version, which aims to offer significantly higher charging powers to charge devices faster using these chargers.

Doubts. The new standard won’t have the same pattern of magnets used in Apple-certified MagSafe connectors, so it’s unclear whether future Qi2 chargers will be compatible with current MagSafe-enabled iPhones. There will also be a certification mechanism to ensure a good user experience, but that could also cause certain chargers to refuse to work with certain devices.

magnets. In the WPC they indicate that the Qi2 certification will not ensure that the magnets are strong enough so that the device does not slide and stay fixed to the charger. There everything will depend on the manufacturer: it will be interesting to see if finally MagSafe ends up being the revolution that Apple wanted it to be. Although it is no longer exclusive to the iPhone.

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