MagSafe Overview Updated April 5, 2021


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91 'MagSafe' stories

July 2011 - March 2021


MagSafe was originally a method used to attach charging cables to MacBooks, the branding was subsequently re-used by Apple for the magnetically-attached wireless charging system introduced with the iPhone 12.

MagSafe (Mac)

MagSafe was originally Apple’s branding for its own-design method of attaching power cables to MacBooks. It was first introduced with the MacBook Pro in 2006. The design was revised in 2012 to suit thinner laptops, and known as MagSafe 2. An adapter was available to allow newer chargers to work with older Macs.

The idea was two-fold. First, attaching a cable was really easy as you just held it somewhere near the port and it would automatically snap into place.

Second, if someone accidentally walked into the power cable, it would pull free from the MacBook, avoiding accidents where the MacBook would be sent flying off a table onto the ground.

MagSafe became a hugely popular feature of MacBooks, and there was some dismay when Apple abandoned it as part of a redesign which saw a switch to USB-C ports for power. However, it was subsequently found that USB-C cables also pull out if someone catches a cable, and most users now appreciate the ability to charge from either side, as well as from a wide range of power banks.

MagSafe (iPhone)

Apple re-used the term to describe the wireless charging system introduced with the iPhone 12. A ring-shaped pattern of magnets in the iPhone is used to automatically align the phone with a charging pad for optimum efficiency.

The underlying charging system is just Qi, so MagSafe chargers are effectively Qi ones with a ring of magnets, but they also have a chip designed to allow the phone to recognize the charger and allow 15w charging.

Apple’s own MagSafe charger looks and acts like a larger version of the charging puck for the Apple Watch. The magnets are also strong enough to allow MagSafe charging stands where the iPhone ‘floats’ in the air.

A secondary use of MagSafe is to allow accessories to be magnetically attached to the iPhone and/or a compatible case. Apple and other companies offer MagSafe wallets, for example, while third-party brands also offer things like snap-on power banks.

Be careful when buying MagSafe chargers

Care is required when buying MagSafe chargers and power banks, as some ordinary Qi chargers with magnets will describe themselves as ‘MagSafe compatible,’ but do not support the faster charging speed. Always check they state that they offer 15w charging with an iPhone.

Photo by Brandon Romanchuk on Unsplash

MagSafe Stories March 30

Belkin has added a variety of new MagSafe compatible accessories to its website today. The new offerings, which are all listed as “coming soon,” include a magnetic fitness phone mount, a pair of magnetic wireless chargers, a face tracking magnetic mount, and more.

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MagSafe Stories March 29

Hyper is out today with a handy magnetic wireless battery pack for iPhone 12. It comes with a 5,000mAh capacity to give 1-2 full iPhone charges and features USB-C to power it up as well as juice up a second device. Notably, Apple still hasn’t launched its own MagSafe battery.

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MagSafe Stories March 10

Moment showed off its new MagSafe accessory collection for photographers and videographers last fall and now the collection is becoming available. The new MagSafe lineup ranges from iPhone 12 cases, tripod and wall mounts, to cold shoe and multi threaded mounts.

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MagSafe Stories February 26

Satechi unveiled its first MagSafe compatible multi-device charger for iPhone 12 and AirPods back in January and now it’s available. The Aluminum 2-in-1 Magnetic Wireless Charging Stand features a floating magnetic mount for your iPhone 12 with a dedicated spot for wirelessly charging AirPods below. Coming in at one of the most affordable prices for a MagSafe compatible dual-charger at $60 from a reputable brand, we had to test out this new Satechi release.

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MagSafe Stories February 17

MagSafe comes to Nomad’s Horween leather Rugged Case and Folio for iPhone 12

Nomad is out today with two nice additions to its popular case lineup for iPhone 12 devices. The Rugged Case and Rugged Folio that feature quality Horween leather now have official MagSafe integration as well as 10-foot drop protection, and more.

MagSafe Stories February 11

One of the key new features with the iPhone 12 lineup was MagSafe technology. When it was introduced initially, I was somewhat underwhelmed by it. As time has gone on and more accessories have been released, it’s become one of my favorite aspects of the iPhone 12 mini, though. I recently purchased the Anker PowerWave to use at my desk, and it’s quickly become one of my favorite iPhone accessories in recent years. If you want to use your iPhone 12 as a webcam, read on to see how the PowerWave will help with that.

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