I wrote yesterday a year ago how MagSafe could be the number one reason to buy an iPhone 12. I believed it too. It looked like Apple cracked the code to make the iPhone effortless and even add modular new features. The company revealed that its expensive new MagSafe cases and wallets appear to snap into place, as well as faster wireless charging. The future looked bright.

But if you had become an early adopter like me, you might have been disappointed. As Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman mention, that, Two of Apple’s first overpriced MagSafe accessories are already out of date. First, we just learned Friday that Apple’s $ 129 MagSafe Duo charger can’t quickly charge an Apple Watch Series 7. Second, Apple did already replaced the $ 59 MagSafe Leather Wallet with a better version to help Find My so your phone can remember where it was when it was removed.

I think Gurman could actually count down. The new leather wallet with MagSafe Even doesn’t support Apple’s $ 49 Clear Case with MagSafe, so hope you haven’t bought one of those who think it’s future-proof – apparently it blocks the NFC tags that MagSafe accessories like the wallet use to do identify passively with the phone.

And while we’re on the subject of cases, any official iPhone 12 case (and likely the vast majority of third-party ones) are incompatible with the iPhone 13 series as the camera bump got wider this time around. I took advantage of it these “free” iPhone offers upgrade to an iPhone 13 Mini (lovingly the improved battery life, by the way), and now I have an expensive but useless Clear Case with MagSafe that I’m not sure what to do with it.


Image: apple

However, these are just the latest disappointments. It wasn’t long before iPhone 12 buyers like me discovered that Apple’s new cases don’t actually snap into place like in the Apple animations I showed you last year (see above and below). They are still based on a rim that goes around the edges of your phone and requires pressure to be inserted and removed.


Image: apple

Several edge Editors have also complained that the $ 39 MagSafe charging cable isn’t long enough to use on the couch or in bed, where its quick-disconnect feature might actually help – but Apple is still selling the same 1 a year later Meter cable. My MagSafe pad is now unused on a shelf while I reluctantly plug in a Lightning cable. In the meantime, both the MagSafe Duo and the $ 129 MagSafe Duo still don’t come with charging stones, although the previous Apple USB-C chargers you may have (18W and 29W) are not good enough to drive them at full speed. You’ll need 20W and 30W chargers, which Apple sells for $ 19 and $ 49 each.

And although it took almost a year for Apple to be released own MagSafe battery, we were overwhelmed by its capacity in our test. I bought one myself and gave it back, but not for the reasons Dieter mentioned. I just couldn’t stand how weak the vertical magnet was, even with Apple’s own clear case, the package always spinning in my hand. (Without the case, my iPhone 12 Mini got uncomfortably warm in the hand.)

Each of these examples suggest a lack of foresight about MagSafe, and that is unusual. Foresight is one of Apple’s strengths in general: only bring new products and technologies to market when the time comes. But for me, the real tragedy of MagSafe’s first year is the lack of a larger ecosystem. All along we’ve been waiting for Apple to show us what MagSafe is really capable of. it has kept the rest of the world from moving forward – with its MFi program and artificial charging restrictions built into the iPhone.

By combining the Qi wireless charging standard with non-patentable magnets, MagSafe should have been a lightning rod for customization and modularity. So far, Apple – and us – has isolated itself from the possibilities.

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