Your next Android phone will be better thanks to Apple and magnets
Among the many robots are televisions, electric cars and it’s a hair printer At CES, there was an important announcement about the next generation of wireless charging for phones and other rechargeable battery devices. Qi2 (pronounced “chee two”) is the successor to Qi wireless charging found in phones like the iPhone 14, Samsung Galaxy S22 and Google Pixel 7.
The next version of Qi promises to be more efficient thanks to magnets that help perfectly align devices on chargers. If that sounds familiar, Apple’s MagSafe charging, which came out with the iPhone 12 in 2020, is exactly that. In fact, Apple is one of the more than 350 companies that make up the Wireless Power Consortium, helping to develop the magnetic power profile that is part of Qi2.
Although the magnetic power profile is not the same as MagSafe, Qi2 may lead to adoption in additional devices, including AR or VR headsets. This can also result in faster charging speeds. Qi wireless charging currently reaches 15W, which is also the maximum speed of Apple MagSafe charging on iPhones.
“Qi2’s perfect alignment improves power efficiency by reducing the power loss that occurs when a phone or charger is misaligned,” said Paul Struhsaker, executive director of the Wireless Power Consortium, in a press release. “Just as importantly, the Qi2 greatly reduces the waste associated with replacing a wired charger because of the stress caused by the daily plugging and unplugging of broken plugs and wires.”
Another advantage of the Qi2 is the potential for accessories. Check out the number of MagSafe and Magnetic accessories currently being made for the iPhone. There’s everything from cases and charging stands to tripod mounts and wallets. Qi2-enabled Android phones can use a similar range of accessories.
Given that Android phones come in all shapes and sizes, Qi2 and its magnetic power profile can be the equalizer that allows certain accessories to be interchanged between different phones and even different devices. Qi2 offers a level of ubiquity similar to USB-C connectors without the confusion caused by different types of USB-C cables that all look the same. It’s hard to tell the difference between a USB-C cable that supports Thunderbolt 3 and one that supports USB 4.
The Qi2’s magnetic power profile is unlike MagSafe, which also uses magnets but is positioned differently. Therefore, the MagSafe charger cannot be connected to a Qi2 phone. I must admit that some companies make magnetic cases for Android phones that allow them to work with MagSafe.
MagSafe also includes a microprocessor, which the Qi2 magnetic power profile lacks, that lets the iPhone know what it’s connected to. For example, if you remove Apple’s MagSafe wallet from your iPhone, it will mark where it was last registered and may even send a notification that it was disconnected from the phone. I believe that Android phone manufacturers can add their own microprocessors to Qi2 for similar functionality.
WithFrom Lightning to USB-C wired charging, Qi2 can also cater to Apple has been talked about for several years. Since Qi2 is a standard, it will help Apple avoid any potential EU action on wireless charging.
Overall, the Qi2 is very promising. While it’s unclear whether Apple will replace MagSafe with the Qi2 magnetic power profile, it proves that even competing companies can agree on a standard that’s beneficial to all. Do it now for text messaging.
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