Thoughts On MagSafe

I’ve been reading and thinking about the new MagSafe feature of the iPhone 12 models. First, I don’t really think this technology is comparable to the old MagSafe on Apple MacBooks. I personally don’t think it’s worthy of the name, as there’s nothing specifically safe about it; If your dog trips over the cord, your iPhone is going to hit the floor. I’m not saying the technology is bad, just that I don’t think MagSafe is the appropriate name.

The primary advertised use case is for the charger. I don’t feel this is the best use for this technology. The cables are short and expensive, plus you need to purchase an even more expensive charging brick if you want to get the most out of it. I’ve never had a line-up problem with other wireless charging docks, so it seems to be solving a problem that doesn’t exist.

What I do find interesting, is using the magnets for other things. Companies like Moment are working on tripod mounts. These would be really handy when using your iPhone to shoot video, and regularly need to move it between tripods. It could also make for a quick way to mount your phone to a drone.

The MagSafe cases seem interesting, making them easier to install, and have them not necessarily wrap around the front as much. The Apple ones seem nice although I’m not a fan of the clear one. The MagSafe wallet seems like a bad product all around; It only holds three cards, needs to be removed to charge (using MagSafe charging), and shouldn’t be used for any cards with magnetic strips. Apparently the wallet comes off pretty easily when your phone goes into or comes out of your pocket.

I’m interested to see what kind of products people come up with to take advantage of this, and also to see if Apple drops it in a generation or two.