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What Is MagSafe?

11 min read

Did you know that you can charge your phone with wireless charging in as little as 90 minutes?

Wireless charging seems like some technology out of the future, but it’s here, and it works. It uses coils to transmit electricity from a charging pad to a coil inside your phone. And perhaps the best implementation of it is MagSafe.

What is MagSafe? This is Apple’s proprietary wireless charging standard. It’s one of the fastest, easiest, and most convenient ways to charge an Apple device.

Keep reading as we discuss everything you need to know about the MagSafe standard.

What Is MagSafe?

Most wireless charging standards from other phone companies adhere to Qi charging. This is a universal implementation that allows Samsung, LG, or any other device to charge from the same charging pad. This means that your entire family can use the same Qi charger rather than buying a proprietary one for each device.

Apple created its own option that works exclusively with Apple devices, known as MagSafe. MagSafe works the same as other wireless chargers, with one distinction: it uses magnets to align your device on the pad.

When you use a MagSafe charger, your device will snap into the correct orientation. The magnets hide inside the body of the device, meaning they won’t snag or collect any bits of iron. The magnets are strong enough to keep the device on the pad for the duration of the charge.

While this may seem like a cool feature, MagSafe exists for far more than just convenience. In fact, MagSafe may prevent catastrophic failure.

The Problem With Wireless Charging

Wireless charging is a fascinating and useful technology. It avoids the tedium of having to plug a device in every time you want to charge it. That, and it avoids filling your sensitive, fragile charging port with dust and pocket lint.

Wireless charging is significantly slower than wired charging. However, it means you don’t have to rifle around in the dark to find a cable and plug it in. Just set the phone on the pad, and voila.

But there is one massive caveat that makes wireless charging a sometimes-unsavory option: heat. When your device charges, the lithium-ion battery inside produces heat. During a normal wired charge, this heat is minimal and the phone can dissipate it without issue.

But a wireless charge emits far more heat than its less-convenient sister. Heat, as you may well know, is really bad for electronics. But it presents the greatest risk with lithium-ion.

The Consequences of Excessive Heat Build-Up

To be clear, modern phones have built-in safeguards to reduce the impact of heat buildup and to distribute it elsewhere. During a normal wireless charge, you can rest assured that your phone will be fine.

However, the issue is when you misplace your phone on the charger–or use a case that’s too thick. Wireless chargers are fickle, and placement is everything for them. The coil inside the charging pad should line up with the coil inside the phone as close as possible.

When you put your device off-center on a charging pad, this reduces charging efficiency. The pad has to pump more electricity into the phone to charge it up to the same amount. This creates an excessive buildup of heat that some phones cannot handle.

What happens when you subject a phone to this much heat is that the lithium-ion battery expands. This expansion risks every phone owner’s worst nightmare: a fire or explosion.

Your phone can burst into flames, which could cause a fire or burn you. To be fair, this explosion won’t be life-threatening. But it can ruin your phone completely and require you to purchase a new one.

How MagSafe Solves the Wireless Charging Problem

What’s cool about MagSafe is that it solves this issue and makes wireless charging more convenient. iPhone accessories tend to be superfluous, expensive versions of competing third-party accessories. This isn’t the case at all with MagSafe.

A MagSafe phone charger aligns your phone with magnets, so it sits perfectly on the coil. That means that, no matter what, your phone will never be in the wrong orientation while on the charging device.

Suppose you bump into the table where your phone is charging. With normal Qi chargers, this could push the phone out of that perfect orientation. With MagSafe, the phone would simply click back into place even if you’re not there.

This is a game changer, one that other manufacturers have not yet implemented. The risk of your phone exploding while unattended could lead to a house fire or worse. MagSafe, as the name implies, keeps your phone in a safe orientation until charging is complete.

MagSafe does much more than this with extra iPhone accessories. You can use the MagSafe magnets to attach an Apple wallet to the back or reverse charge a pair of Apple AirPods. You can even attach a battery to give yourself enough charge to last throughout the day.

Get the Right Case for MagSafe

As amazing as MagSafe is, it suffers from one of the big issues of wireless charging. A case that’s too thick will impede charging. This could prevent charging altogether or make your phone charge at a snail’s pace–and create too much heat either way.

You shouldn’t buy just any case for your iPhone if you plan on using wireless charging. Click here for some cases that are thin enough to allow wireless charging.

Take Advantage of MagSafe Today

What is MagSafe? It’s Apple’s proprietary solution to the big issue with wireless chargers: they get too hot and could explode as a result. MagSafe uses magnets to align your phone to perfection every time, thus avoiding any damage to the battery in the process.

Follow our blog for more Apple tips.

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