showing the magsafe charger wallet with iphone

What Is MagSafe | A Comprehensive Guide From Experts

Written by: Karl Leuang



Time to read 7 min

There are many people who have a common question: What is MagSafe? How does MagSafe work? 

As a long time tech reporter who works in tech area for years, I would like to give you a comprehensive guide to What is MagSafe. 

Who invented and started using the "MagSafe"

"MagSafe" is a trademark owned by Apple Inc. The original usage is for the conductive power connectors of the Apple MacBook computer lineup, beginning with the 2006 MacBook Pro Series. 

showing magsafe charging cord on macbook pro

There is a built-in magnet inside the end of the charging cable. Unlike the other charging cord, the charging cable will be semi-automatically attached to the port when you bring it close to the magnesium.

Apple released the 4th-gen MacBook with a USB-C port in 2016, and after that, the Magsafe was discounted on the MacBook in 2019.It was reintroduced with 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models released in October 2021. Later, all the newer model Macbook lines will have USB C! Till now, there is no more MagSafe usage in any MacBook products.

But the question" what is MagSafe" in most people's minds is unrelated to the Macbook at all!

The origin of "What is MagSafe": Apple "Hi, Speed” Special Event

On October 13, 2020, Apple announced MagSafe and the iPhone 12 series. They call it a universal ecosystem of wireless charging and accessories. Apple's chargers based on MagSafe are the first to use the Qi standard. The MagSafe receptacle on iPhones is internally called MagSafe Attach. 

What is MagSafe: How does it work, and what is its purpose?

MagSafe  is a proprietary technology from  Apple  that attaches a wired charger to your device magnetically. 

Mag  = Magnetic (can detach if accidentally tripped on the cord or yanked off the desk or floor).

Safe  = Safely protects against damage to the Apple device.

There are built-in magnets that help align the iPhone automatically and attach it to a Qi charger, ensuring the connection is firm and maintains reliable, undisrupted wireless charging.

a picture shows what is magsafe integerated into an iphone

At its core, MagSafe is all about magnets and coils working together to create a whole new way to charge your iPhone. This isn't some magical sci-fi tech, but it certainly feels like it! Imagine just snapping your charger onto your phone without fussing over ports or cables - that's MagSafe for you.

Wireless Charging with MagSafe

First off, it's all about convenience. Gone are the days of fumbling with cables and trying to find the elusive charging port in the dark. With MagSafe, it's just a simple snap, and your iPhone starts juicing up.

But it's not just about ease - it's also about speed. MagSafe charges at a whopping 15W, double the standard Qi wireless charging rate of 7.5W for iPhones. That's right, your phone will be ready to go in almost half the time!

And let's not forget alignment. One major gripe with traditional wireless chargers is getting your device perfectly centered for optimal charging. With MagSafe's magnetic alignment, your iPhone practically positions itself. It's foolproof - and trust me, it feels pretty satisfying, too.

Now, on to compatible chargers and accessories. Apple has its own MagSafe charger, but there's a growing ecosystem of third-party options as well. From car mounts to wallet attachments, the world of MagSafe accessories is rapidly expanding. So, you can pick and choose to customize your iPhone experience to your liking.

Beyond Charging: The MagSafe Ecosystem

MagSafe isn't just a name; it's a whole new way of interacting with your iPhone. The secret behind it? Magnets. Not just any magnets, though. Apple has designed a precise ring of them, perfectly aligned to connect your iPhone with various accessories.

Let's delve into the science a bit. When two magnets come close, they create a magnetic field. This allows your MagSafe accessories to snap onto your iPhone with such satisfying precision. It's all about the right alignment and the right strength. Too weak, and your accessory would fall off. Too strong, and you might have trouble removing it. Apple's engineers have found that sweet spot to ensure an optimal experience.

  • MagSafe Wallet

Now, onto the accessories themselves. One standout is the MagSafe wallet. Crafted from specially tanned and finished European leather, this sleek accessory can hold your IDs and credit cards. And worry not about it slipping off - it attaches securely and shields your credit cards from magnetic harm.

  • Magsafe Car Charger and Holder

Car mounts are another popular option. With MagSafe, your iPhone snaps into place effortlessly, providing an optimal viewing angle for navigation. No more fiddling with clamps or cradles - it's as simple as placing your phone on the mount.

  • MagSafe Stand

And then there are stands. Whether for your desk or your bedside table, MagSafe stands offer a convenient and stylish way to prop up your iPhone. From watching videos to making FaceTime calls, these stands make it all the more enjoyable.

But the MagSafe ecosystem is broader than Apple's offerings. Many third-party manufacturers have entered the fray, offering their own unique takes on wallets, mounts, cases, and more. Brands like Caseborne, Anker, and Thinborne are just a few examples. So, whether you're looking for budget-friendly options or premium designs, there's a MagSafe accessory out there for you.

Magnetic Ring

Is MagSafe Right for You?

Now that we've explored the ins and outs of MagSafe, you might be wondering: is it right for me? Let's weigh the pros and cons to help you decide.

Starting with the bright side, MagSafe offers unparalleled convenience. Forget about aligning your phone just right on a charging pad. With MagSafe, it's a snap - literally. Plus, the ecosystem of accessories opens up a world of customization options. You can transform your iPhone experience from wallets to mounts to suit your lifestyle.

But, like all things, MagSafe isn't without its drawbacks. First up, the cost. MagSafe accessories tend to be pricier than their non-MagSafe counterparts. This could be a sticking point if you're on a tight budget.

Then there's compatibility. As of now, MagSafe is only available for iPhone 12 and later. So, if you're rocking an older model, you'll have to upgrade your phone to join the MagSafe club.

As for potential limitations, some users have reported that the MagSafe charger can get warm during use. While this is common with wireless chargers, it's something to keep in mind.

So, who would benefit most from MagSafe? If you value convenience, speed, and the ability to personalize your iPhone, MagSafe could be a game-changer. Also, if you're frequently on the go, the ease of snapping on a car mount or wallet could be a major plus.

On the other hand, if you're happy with your current charging setup and don't need additional accessories, traditional Qi wireless charging might be sufficient for you. It's a tried and tested technology that works across a wide range of devices, not just iPhones.

In the end, it all boils down to your personal needs and preferences. MagSafe offers a unique blend of convenience, speed, and customization but comes with a higher price tag. As always, it's about finding the best balance for you.

Is MagSafe Compatible with Android?

The short answer is yes, but with some catch. While MagSafe is an Apple trademark, and non Android smart phones have any built-in MagSafe Feature.

But the fundamental of the MagSafe – Qi wireless charging and magnetic alignment – can be added to android smart phone with 3rd part accessories - MagSafe cases or MagSafe Ring.

Final Thoughts

Apple's MagSafe is more than just a charging solution – it's a versatile ecosystem that enhances how you use your Apple devices. From secure attachment to seamless charging, MagSafe offers convenience and innovation that make daily technology interactions more enjoyable. We can expect even more exciting possibilities as Apple continues to expand the MagSafe lineup.

What is MagSafe FAQ

  • What is MagSafe?
  • MagSafe is a magnetic technology from Apple designed for iPhones 12 and later. It uses magnets to wirelessly charge your phone and attach various accessories.
  • What are the benefits of MagSafe?
    • Convenience: Easier to attach your phone for charging compared to traditional wireless chargers.
    • Speed: MagSafe offers faster wireless charging than standard Qi charging.
    • Customization: A growing ecosystem of MagSafe accessories allows for personalization (wallets, mounts, stands).
  • What are the drawbacks of MagSafe?
    • Cost: MagSafe accessories tend to be more expensive than their non-MagSafe counterparts.
    • Compatibility: Currently limited to iPhone 12 and later models.
    • Warmth: MagSafe chargers can get warm during use, similar to other wireless chargers.
  • Is MagSafe compatible with Android?
  • Not directly. However, some third-party accessories like MagSafe cases or rings can enable basic MagSafe functionalities (like attaching) on Android phones with Qi wireless charging.
  • What kind of MagSafe accessories are available?
  • There's a growing variety including chargers, wallets, car mounts, and stands.
  • Is MagSafe right for me?
  • Consider your needs and preferences. If you value convenience, speed, and customization, and have an iPhone 12 or later, then MagSafe could be beneficial. If you're happy with your current charging setup and don't need extra accessories, traditional wireless charging might suffice.

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Karl Liang

A son, a husband, a father.

I am A tech geek from Frisco, Texas, running Thinborne, a company offering super-thin aramid fiber cases. 

I share my passion and knowledge for all things tech with anyone who wants to listen!

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