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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

Review: Satechi’s new MagSafe compatible stand charges AirPods and iPhone 12 for $60

Satechi MagSafe compatible iPhone 12 dual wireless charger

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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Review: Anker PowerWave charges your iPhone 12 and AirPods with 2-in-1 MagSafe compatible mount

Anker PowerWave

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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ChargeFast MagSafe Battery Pack – MagSafe’s finally becoming useful! [Video]

It seems like companies are finally starting to put out convenient and functionally useful MagSafe accessories because Apple certainly isn’t thus far. This is the ChargeFast MagSafe battery pack. It’s a 5000 mAh portable battery pack that can charge via either MagSafe or with a cable. For $55 from ChargeFast, this is a pretty convenient accessory, and it works very well with my iPhone.

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Apple support document adds new details on how iPhone 12 and MagSafe can impact pacemakers

Earlier this month, a study from the Heart Rhythm Journal indicated that the iPhone 12’s new MagSafe technology can deactivate pacemakers in certain situations. Apple has responded to these claims by updating a support document on its website with new advice for iPhone 12 users with implanted pacemakers and defibrillators.

It continues to emphasize, however, that the iPhone 12 does not “pose a greater risk of magnetic interference to medical devices than prior iPhone models.”

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Kuo details 2021 MacBook Pro: new design with squared-off sides, MagSafe connector and IO return, Touch Bar removed

Reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo today released some interesting details about the upcoming MacBook Pro. Kuo describes this as the first major redesign of the laptop in five years, and will represent a significant upgrade over even the latest 2019 16-inch MacBook Pro. The new MacBook Pro will feature 14-inch and 16-inch sizes and feature ARM Apple silicon instead of Intel CPUs.

However, Kuo shares some much more surprising tidbits, namely that the Touch Bar will be gone in favor of physical function keys, the MagSafe charging connector returns along with more built-in IO ports that mean most users will not need to purchase additional dongles according to Kuo …

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Satechi launches low-price MagSafe compatible 2-in-1 charger, but there are caveats

Satechi is out with one of its first MagSafe compatible multi-device chargers for iPhone 12 and AirPods at CES this week. The Aluminum 2-in-1 Magnetic Wireless Charging Stand features a floating upright wireless charger for your iPhone 12 with a dedicated spot for wirelessly charging AirPods neatly below. And it happens to be one of the most affordable MagSafe friendly options released so far, however there are a couple of caveats.

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Tested: Grovemade MagSafe Stand – beautiful, but boy is it expensive

Grovemade MagSafe Stand

I’ve tried a couple of Grovemade products before, and they tend to have three things in common: they use natural materials like wood and leather; they are beautiful; and they are expensive. The Grovemade MagSafe Stand ticks all three boxes – though the ‘expensive’ element is partly Apple’s fault this time.

I’ve said in the past that I prefer charging stands to charging pads. Whether it’s on my desk, beside the sofa or beside the bed, it makes more sense for me to have my phone upright, where I can see the screen, rather than flat on the surface, where I can’t. For that reason, Apple’s MagSafe charger didn’t interest me – until now …

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Medical study suggests iPhone 12 with MagSafe can deactivate pacemakers

When Apple revived MagSafe with the iPhone 12 lineup, one question brought up was how these latest devices with more magnets would interact with medical devices like pacemakers. Apple’s official word was that iPhone 12/MagSafe wouldn’t interfere more than previous iPhones. Now one of the first medical studies has been published that shows a pacemaker being deactivated by the iPhone 12.

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iPhone 12 mini Diary: Hands-on with the MagSafe compatible ESR HaloLock car mount and charger

ESR HaloLock

MagSafe was one of the headline features for the iPhone 12 lineup this year. While there are plenty of first-party and third-party options to charge at home, the only MagSafe compatible car mount doesn’t keep your iPhone charged. For the past month, I’ve been using the ESR HaloLock car vent mount to keep my iPhone 12 mini charged in the car while giving me a clear view of turn-by-turn directions.

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Review: Belkin MagSafe Car Vent Mount Pro – good, but not ‘pro’ [Video]

A little over two months after the release of the new iPhone 12, and we still only have a handful of third-party MagSafe accessories on the market. One such accessory, Belkin’s awkwardly-named MagSafe Car Vent Mount Pro, is now available. While a magnetic car mount seems like a natural fit for the MagSafe ecosystem, is Belkin’s new accessory worth it? Watch our hands-on video for the details.

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Review: Belkin Boost Charge Pro is the iPhone 12/Apple Watch power station with MagSafe to buy

Belkin’s Boost Charge Pro with MagSafe and Apple’s MagSafe Duo chargers take very different approaches to solve a similar problem. In a world where everything has to be recharged, combination chargers that can reduce cables and plugs in our life are really practical. While Apple’s first-party combo charger is described best as a minimalistic travel charger, Belkin aces utility in what may be the best MagSafe combo charger.

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Hands-on: Apple Wallet with MagSafe versus third-party alternatives [Video]

The Apple MagSafe Wallet is an ideal accessory for users that want to carry as little as possible when out in the world. Cases have existed before that have paired a wallet with your iPhone, but with the iPhone 12’s new MagSafe functionality, the wallet conveniently snaps right into place.

While the official iPhone Leather Wallet with MagSafe is a great option, there are also third-party offerings as well. In this brief hands-on video, we take the official wallet for a spin and take one of the more popular third-party MagSafe-compatible wallets for a test drive, as well.

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Apple patents show MacBook wirelessly charging iPhone, iPad, Watch

MacBook wirelessly charging other Apple devices – iPad too

A pair of newly granted Apple patents shows a MacBook wirelessly charging an iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. They describe two-way charging coils that can be used to charge the MacBook itself, but also used to allow the MacBook to charge other devices.

The patents also show an iPad charging an iPhone and Watch (right), and follow a separate patent application for a MagSafe battery case, which can charge both an iPhone and a set of AirPods …

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Feature Request: Automated reminder to attach MagSafe wallet when leaving home

Attach MagSafe wallet

There was a time when forgetting to take your wallet with you when leaving home could really spoil your day. Apple Pay changed that, but even in London – where you can use contactless payment for almost everything – there are still occasions when you need a physical card.

But for those using the MagSafe wallet, Apple could easily eliminate the risk altogether …

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One of the first third-party MagSafe battery packs for iPhone 12 is now available to order

Update Jan 21, 12:30pm EST: Multiple brands are now selling the same MagSafe battery pack under different names. It also continues to be available on Alibaba and Aliexpress as it was back in December.

We’ve been anxiously waiting for third party accessory manufacturers to create new kinds of MagSafe accessories for iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. Last month we shared a concept detailing ideas for a MagSafe battery pack to replace things like chunky battery cases. Now, we’re starting to see real products come to life. Charge Fast has debuted the one of the first MagSafe power banks.

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