MagSafe: What is it, and how does it work?

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MagSafe was the magnetic technology developed and introduced by Apple for its MacBook in 2006 to enhance its safety. The feature was discontinued in 2019 and was reintroduced in MacBook Pro models in 2021. With this feature, the power connector would easily snap into the power port to charge the device and detach it if not used.

MagSafe is now popularly known as a feature of iPhones that began with the iPhone 12 series in 2020. Unlike the MacBook feature, whose main function is to secure the power cord easily and safely, MagSafe for iPhone is a charging technology. The iPhone features a ring of magnets positioned around the Qi charging coils embedded in the phone and enables wireless and fast charging. With the feature, iPhones can use accessories such as the popular MagSafe-compatible cases.

How does MagSafe work?


MagSafe enables faster and more efficient charging with the iPhone 12 and 13 models using proprietary MagSafe accessories from Apple. While using non-MagSafe Qi-compatible devices with the charger, the charge times are slower and less efficient.

With MagSafe, Apple has included a wound coil design in its phones' hardware, primarily used for wireless charging and touted to be unique in the industry. Magnets around the back of the phones also support mounting cases and different MagSafe-compatible accessories. This combination of an internal charging coil and strategically positioned magnets allow fast charging with as little heat generated as possible by keeping the phones on the charging "sweet spot."

With MagSafe, you can charge your phones with up to 15 watts of power compared to the standard Qi charging in the older models, which was limited to a mere 7.5 watts.

As we've continually observed with Apple's proprietary technology, MagSafe is designed to work optimally with Apple's MagSafe chargers. The Apple Duo Charger is the most popular and convenient for charging the iPhone, iWatch, and Airpods charging case. It can even charge any Qi-compatible device.

Currently, MagSafe is also being integrated into iPhone cases. With the MagSafe technology, iPhone can detect what type of case it is attached to and offers features designed to work with it. For instance, with Apple's leather case, the iPhone can detect what type of accessory it is and will automatically turn on the clock so that it appears through a small opening in front when you fold the leather case covering the screen.

With MagSafe compatible cases, you can easily snap on the wireless charger behind it. One can still use a MagSafe wireless charger with a non-compatible case fitted to the phone, but the charging performance will be different depending on factors such as the thickness of the case.

What is the benefit of having a MagSafe phone?

If you're into wireless charging and have currently used Qi wireless devices or similar components, then the real advantage MagSafe has for you is its speed. Compared to the Qi wireless charger, MagSafe is twice as fast.

The MagSafe technology features powerful magnets originally designed to snap the phone into the perfect place for optimum charging. Thus, another benefit of using it is that you can magnetically attach it to the case or a charging stand, making it convenient and safe for multitasking.

Suppose you're using the phone and other MagSafe devices for work. Another benefit is that you can connect the charger conveniently to the computer and use it as a stand to charge and hold the phone steady without purchasing a separate USB-C cable. When set up properly, the phone can serve both as a microphone and a speaker during online meetings.

Is it worth using MagSafe?


If you're looking for the fastest charger for your iPhone 12 or iPhone 13, you'll be disappointed with MagSafe. At its peak, the MagSafe technology can only allow a maximum of 15W, even with Apple's 20W power adapter. Furthermore, this ceiling significantly drops when using other adapters.

In addition, new studies have found that MagSafe chargers are slower than normal wall adapters and Apple's own iPhone wall charger. On one test, the 25-watt MagSafe charger charged an iPhone battery from 40% to 100% in one hour; the wall charger plugged into a power outlet took just 37 minutes. Recently, users have reported that some MagSafe connectors don't reliably charge the iPhone as they should.

Another drawback of the MagSafe is, as, with all Apple products, the charger is expensive at $39. Also, you need to purchase the $19-dollar USB-C adapter that doesn't come with the phone.

While MagSafe chargers are almost half as fast as their wired counterparts, it is still a step up in power and efficiency compared to their predecessor's Qi induction charging technology.

Although it is more expensive, the Apple MagSafe is undoubtedly the best wireless charger on the market. It offers unbeatable speed and convenience and is comfortable with virtually any smartphone. For these reasons, the MagSafe, a predecessor of a future technology much more efficient, fast and powerful, is a worthwhile investment for those who want to add wireless charging functionality to their home or office.


Wireless charging, in general, is still in its early stages. While the prospects of fully transitioning to wireless technology are attractive, it is still relatively inferior to the wired counterpart for charging. To date, wireless charging is slower than wired sharing, and the accessories and components needed are still expensive. The majority of people use wired charging, and it remains to be the most practical method.

However, for people who are always engaged with technology either as a lifestyle or as part of the work, going wireless offers considerable relief from the clutter-causing wires. For these people, MagSafe remains the best wireless charging choice.

The addition of a powerful magnetic ring on the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 is among the best innovations in MagSafe. It also has sensors that can detect and identify the accessories, such as a wireless charging case attached or fitted to the phone. Not only does it allow optimum charging with minimal heat, but it also enables features like the current ones included in iPhone OS that allow the phone to interact with the compatible MagSafe accessories and cases.

Overall, MagSafe is a neat and useful technology that allows faster wireless charging on iPhones. This technology will improve over time and enable more features and functionality in the future.