What is MagSafe®? Your Guide for the Best Accessories
If you’re an owner of a newer iPhone model, you may have heard that it’s possible to charge the device wirelessly and use MagSafe-compatible accessories. Rather than using the standard Apple Lightning® Cable, Apple’s MagSafe® wireless charging enables you to use multiple types of stands and phone holders that keep your device in easy view while charging. Whether integrated into a bedside charging stand or windshield phone mount for your car, MagSafe® makes powering up your iPhone and connecting to compatible accessories as simple as attaching two magnets together.
While the technology seems straightforward, there are some important considerations to keep in mind when you want to get the most from it. In this article, we’ll unpack MagSafe® wireless charging and accessories so you can enjoy hassle-free charging and connecting in more places.
What is MagSafe®?
Apple first used the term MagSafe in 2006, according to our trademark filings research, and it was originally the technology that kept the power cord from staying in your MacBook if it was accidentally pulled. Apple marketed these MacBook chargers as a way to save your computer from accidentally crashing down onto the floor if you tripped over the cord. The cord would pull out before letting the MacBook move, thus saving your MacBook from potential catastrophe.
With the iPhone 12, MagSafe® became a universal name used by Apple for iPhones, Apple Watches, and Macbooks. This can be slightly confusing, because the iPhone and Watch use MagSafe® charging pucks, whereas MacBooks use MagSafe3® charging ports and cables. The benefit of the latter is a quick and harm-free disconnection ability if the cord gets inadvertently pulled. Although these two MagSafe® systems aren't necessarily related, Apple has chosen to use the same terminology across the board for its latest charging systems.
When Was MagSafe® Introduced to the iPhone?
The iPhone 14/13/12 models have an embedded array of magnets placed around the internal charging coil, plus a lower orientation magnet, which attracts MagSafe-compatible accessories to connect securely and seamlessly and hold them in place.
In simple terms – if you bring a MagSafe phone case close to a MagSafe accessory, you’ll see it snap in place! MagSafe-compatible accessories range from chargers, wallets, car mounts, useful accessories, and more.
How Does MagSafe® Wireless Charging Work?
A MagSafe Charger is specifically engineered to give your iPhone a quick and secure wireless charge. It typically delivers up to 15W of peak power to your iPhone, allowing for faster charging. Depending on your power adapter's wattage and the system's conditions, the actual power delivered to the iPhone may differ.
To wirelessly charge your iPhone using MagSafe®, you should always plug the MagSafe® charger into a power source before placing your iPhone on the charger. This step enables the technology to verify it's safe to deliver maximum power to the phone. If you place your iPhone on a MagSafe® Charger before plugging it into a power adapter, take your iPhone off the charger, wait three seconds, and then reattach it to establish maximum delivery of power.
How Do MagSafe® Accessories Work?
MagSafe iPhone accessories use magnets to attach to the back of an iPhone. The magnets in the MagSafe accessories are specifically designed to securely attach to a MagSafe wallet, car mount, stand, and more on the back of the iPhone. The magnets help to keep the accessory attached, even if the phone is bumped or dropped.
A MagSafe phone case with strong magnets can provide the most secure hold for mounts and accessories. The magnets will keep the phone securely attached even when the car is on bumpy roads or when the phone is being used in a high-traffic area.
What Are the Benefits of MagSafe®?
- IMPROVED CHARGING: Consistent charging speeds since the charger coils are always perfectly aligned
- VERSATILE ACCESSORIES: Expands to a new ecosystem MagSafe-compatible products, like wallets and stands
- QUICK TO ATTACH/DETACH MOUNTS: Magnetic mount options, like car mounts, for hands-free driving
- FUNCTIONAL PHONE CASES: MagSafe-compatible phone case options that offer protection and the benefits of MagSafe
- CONVENIENCE: MagSafe accessories make it easy to switch out accessories on the go, allowing you to quickly switch from a wallet or ring to a car mount.
What Are the Cons of MagSafe®?
- HEAT: MagSafe chargers transfer energy through induction, meaning they can transfer heat through surfaces.
- UNRELIABLE POWER: Some chargers cannot deliver enough power when used with a thicker phone case. MagSafe charging is limited to 15W, which is lower than the 18W fast-charging capability that comes with a USB-C charger.
- LIMITED DEVICE AVAILABILITY: MagSafe is only available on the iPhone 14/13/12, so if you own an older iPhone model, you won't be able to use MagSafe.
- COST: MagSafe chargers are more expensive compared to other chargers.
- WEAK MAGNET STRENGTH: The magnets on the charger are not always reliable, and can sometimes detach during charging. You can eliminate this issue by using a MagSafe phone case from ROKFORM, which features a MAGMAX™ MagSafe array, and makes the connection 4 -5 times stronger than a standard case.
How Does MagSafe® Work with ROKFORM Phone Cases and Accessories?
The magnetic force of an accessory attached to the device is critical because nobody wants their phone falling off of their car mount or their wallet detaching without notice. The range Apple specifies is from 600gf-1100gf, depending on what accessory you are using and whether or not you are using a case or attaching an accessory directly to the phone.
At ROKFORM, we believe in taking things a step further; that is why we have designed an extra strength MAGMAX™ MagSafe compatible magnet array built into our cases and MagSafe mounts to provide more security and holding power. More magnetic holding power protects your phone from unwanted detachment and keeps your accessories from falling off and getting lost.
Frequently Asked Questions About MagSafe® Charging and Accessories
Will ROKFORM iPhone Cases Work With MagSafe® Accessories?
Yes, the Rugged, Crystal, and Eagle 3 cases for iPhone 14 and 13 models are compatible. For charging, a 20W USB-C power adapter is the minimum requirement. We recommend at least 30W to deliver more power to the wireless charger because our cases are thicker than average. We’ve had best results with Anker’s 65W power adapter.
I Have a Samsung Galaxy Phone - Can I Use MagSafe Accessories?
Yes! ROKFORM's Rugged Case for the Galaxy S23 is compatible with MagSafe accessories, but not wireless charging. See the MagSafe case options here: https://www.rokform.com/collections/samsung
Can Phone Cases Affect How MagSafe® Charging Works?
It’s important to note that not all phone cases are MagSafe® compatible. Thicker cases that don’t have a magnetic ring built into them could prevent the charger from making a strong enough connection to charge the phone at the full 15 watts of power. Phone cases from ROKFORM, like the Rugged Case, feature a MagSafe® compatible ring that enables full-speed charging and a fast, secure connection.
What Type of iPhone Charger Do I Need for MagSafe®?
Compatible chargers from Apple include the 20-watt and 27-watt power adapters, which deliver a maximum of 15 watts when using the MagSafe® charging cord. MagSafe® charging requires a minimum power adapter output of 12 watts and 2.4 amps of power. However, these power adapters will result in slower charging speeds.
Can I Use an Apple Watch Charger for an iPhone?
The Apple Watch MagSafe® charger isn’t large enough or powerful enough to charge the iPhone, and the built-in NFC technology isn’t cross-device compatible, either. The phone charger can’t be used to charge the Apple Watch, either. That said, chargers like Apple’s MagSafe® Duo Charger allow you to charge both devices simultaneously, although only at a maximum of 14 watts when using their 27-watt charging block.
How Many Watts Can the iPhone’s MagSafe® Charging Support?
The MagSafe charger is designed to intelligently adapt to conditions in order to optimize charging at up to 15 watts of power for faster wireless charging than older systems that could only charge at 7.5 watts. The actual power delivered varies depending on the power adapter's wattage and system conditions. Also note that for iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 12 mini models, the MagSafe® Charger only delivers up to 12 watts of power.
Is MagSafe® Charging Faster Than Using a Lightning® Cable?
In general, you’ll still get the fastest charge by connecting with the Lightning® port and a USB-C charging cord. Also, remember that, like other wireless charger systems, MagSafe® charging can sometimes result in your iPhone getting warmer while it charges. So to maximize the lifespan of the battery, the technology could limit charging to only 80 percent if the battery gets too warm. And, when it comes to iPhones earlier than the 12, charging is limited to only 5 watts with a MagSafe® charger, which is slower than using a traditional Qi charger. So if the absolute fastest charge is your goal, you’ll still need to use a regular cable connection.
ROKFORM creates premium magnetic phone cases, accessories, and phone mounting systems. With the addition of MagSafe-compatible accessories, these two technologies make it easier to keep your device safe and secure, while also providing convenience when it comes to charging and mounting.
ROKFORM cases are designed to fit a variety of devices for Apple and Samsung, and we offer a range of features to help keep your device connected and protected. The cases use a patented twist lock and magnetic mounting system that securely attaches to any magnetic surface, allowing you to easily mount your device on your car dashboard, bike handlebars, golf cart, motorcycle, and more. Additionally, the cases provide excellent protection against drops, bumps, and scratches.
If you have any questions about ROKFORM and/or MagSafe®, please don't hesitate to contact our support team or stop by our headquarters in Irvine, CA.
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