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iPhone 12 MagSafe accessories: How Apple’s new snap-on magnets work

iPhone 12 Pro silicone coral Magsafe charger

MagSafe centers a compatible charger on new iPhones using a variety of magnets.


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Apples four new iPhone 12 models – that is now available for pre-orderall come with 5G, better cameras and the return to a beloved feature that Apple has long used on MacBooks: MagSafe charger.

MagSafe for iPhone 12 uses a magnetic connection to connect a wireless charger and a potential one endless supply of magnetic accessories you can click on, e.g. cases, docks, mounts and even a wallet.

That iPhone 12, 12 Mini, 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max represents a bold new direction for Apple and a new way for iPhone owners to use their phones.

We are testing MagSafe on iPhone 12 as soon as possible. In the meantime, here’s a look at what Apple says MagSafe does, how it works, and how you can use it when upgrading. And here’s why MagSafe is Apple’s sleeping feature that’s bigger than you think.

How does MagSafe work on iPhone?

The new iPhone 12 devices are embedded with what Apple describes as “a series of magnets” (Apple says they are recycled) around a centered charging coil that can draw up to 15 watts of power – twice as powerful as wireless charging on previous iPhones (but on par with phones from other brands).

When you bring the charging end of the power cord close to the back of the iPhone, these magnets pull it into place. The same goes for other MagSafe accessories, and depending on what you cut, your iPhone displays a short animation related to the accessory to confirm that it is locked.

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Do new iPhones come with a MagSafe charger cable?

No, Apple only includes a USB-C-to-lightning cable (and no power stones or earplugs) in the box with new iPhones. Apple’s two MagSafe charging cables – one stand-alone and another that also charges one Apple Watch – sold separately, but Apple confirmed that at least one other manufacturer, Belkin, will also sell MagSafe-compatible charging cables.

How much do Apple’s MagSafe accessories cost and when are they sold?

The stand-alone MagSafe iPhone charger can be pre-ordered for $ 39, with shipping listed as two to three weeks. Clear and silicone bags cost $ 49 for shipping within 7 to 10 business days. The leather purse costs $ 59 and ships in five to six weeks. There is no word yet on the price or availability of the dual iPhone and Apple Watch charger.

iphone-12-silicone-case-blue-leather-wallet-with-belly safe

Apple also unveiled a MagSafe-compatible leather wallet that clips on new iPhones and costs $ 59.


What accessories does MagSafe use?

In addition to the charger, Apple announced one leather purse as well as a number of leather, silicone and transparent boxes (the wallet can be added on top of the cases). Wireless charging is possible when using the cases, but is not available with an attached wallet.

Beyond that, you can expect third-party manufacturers of accessories to use their imagination in the coming weeks and months. The options include fittings such as The dashboard in your car and docks for your bedside table, desk or desk.

Won’t the magnets ruin my bank cards?

Apple says that the wallet accessory is specially shielded to prevent damage to credit cards, debit cards and the like.

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Does MagSafe interfere with waterproofing?

No, each iPhone 12 is classified as IP68, which means waterproof up to 6 meters for 30 minutes. In fact, MagSafe wireless charging can lead to even greater waterproofing, if Apple ever decides to go portless.

Do I need to use MagSafe to charge my iPhone?

No, each iPhone 12 comes packaged with a USB-C-to-lightning cable (you must supply the power stone). The lightning port on the phone itself will be backward compatible with the lightning chargers you already own.

iPhone 12 Magsafe all combinations layout

MagSafe accessories such as chargers and the wallet can be stacked on top of others, such as Cases.


Does my current wireless charger work with the new iPhones?

Yes, the new iPhones are backward compatible with existing Qi-enabled wireless chargers. If your old device delivers 7.5 watts of power, that’s how much your new iPhone draws, but it’s capable of drawing up to 15 watts.

Interestingly, the new MagSafe charger is also backward compatible with older iPhones (but delivers only 7.5 watts).

Did Motorola not have magnetic accessories first?

Yes. In 2016, the Moto Z series introduced a phone that magnetically connected to Moto Mods: cases, wireless battery packs, a projector, a mobile game console and even a fancy DSLR-like camera range with optical zoom.

While Motorola issued magnetic Moto Z phones for a few more years, the smart modules never caught on (even Motorola did not always seem enthusiastic), and neither did the huge ones ecosystem of accessories that Motorola predicted. We’ll see about Apple with its global status and devoted fans have a better chance.

Motorola Moto-Z3 Product Photos-22

The Motorola Z3 used magnets to connect accessories (called “Moto Mods”) back in 2016.

Tyler Lizenby / CNET

How did MagSafe work on MacBooks?

The original MagSafe on MacBooks was a way to magnetically attach Apple’s proprietary power cable to the laptop designed to slip away with a tugboat. It was included in the name of security.

Accidentally tripping over a power cord no longer meant worrying about starting your laptop across the room or falling down yourself, as the magnet was powerful enough to connect the cable but still loose enough to pull free in the event of a accident. On the iPhone, MagSafe seems to be more about mobility, making it easier to connect and disconnect both power and accessories.

Are you considering upgrading to a new iPhone? Check differences between the four iPhone 12 models Apple announced, how to prepare your current iPhone before upgradingand everything to know about 5G included in Apple’s new iPhones.

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