As the EU approaches the introduction of a new law that will require phone makers (among others) to remove all proprietary charging ports from their devices and switch to USB-C (the port considered the gold standard when it comes to charging) and data transfer), we all have our eyes on Cupertino… It is not surprising that the European Union amendment is partly aimed at the biggest player in the tech industry – Apple. And while I’ll leave the moral of the story for another day (should government law interfere directly with companies’ design decisions), I admit I’m on board with this amendment (which still isn’t set in stone).
But the reason I want the iPhone 15 to switch ports (finally) isn’t just because “USB-C is better than Lightning,” which is a fact. Really, Apple’s charging situation has been a bit of a rubbish for a long time, and it’s time to talk about it all†
iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, AirPods and anything Apple can charge…
Slow charging on modern iPhones, including iPhone 13 Pro and possibly iPhone 14
Before we get to the larger topics of conversationI can’t give Apple any slack, so I’ll talk about the biggest elephant in the room, which admittedly isn’t it? most problematic elephant. Charging iPhones is slow.
- Charging time iPhone 13 Pro Max with 65W charger ≈ 1:45 hours
- Charging time iPhone 13 Pro Max with a 20W charger ≈ 1:55 hours
- Charging time iPhone 13 Pro Max with MagSafe ≈ 2:20 hours
Of course, the most widely used charger among all users is Apple’s standard 20W charger, which, as you can see, can charge (give or take) the 4352 mAh battery of the iPhone 13 Pro Max in two hours.
Technically, this is extremely slow, especially when compared to modern Android flagships from OnePlus, Xiaomi and even Samsung, which support charging speeds of 45-120W and fully charge in 15-30 minutes, or about an hour in the case of Samsung. .
Then, on the practical side, as someone who has been using a fast charging device (Huawei P30 Pro) for over two years now, I can tell you that it can be a day saver, if not a life saver. So the question remains: why does my 2019 Huawei phone charge twice as fast as an iPhone 13 Pro Max, which has roughly the same battery? Apple? Everybody?
iPhone 13: MagSafe isn’t secure… or wireless… and certainly not fast…
Moving on to Apple’s MagSafe chargers, which were introduced with iPhone 12, are clearly lasting, for reasons unclear to me and I believe many more. To give chase, I have nothing but three issues with MagSafe:
- MagSafe is not only slow, but it is the slowest (wired) way to charge a phone in 2022
- MagSafe is less “wireless” than standard wireless charging because it’s basically a magnetic wired charger
- MagSafe isn’t really… safewhich was the original purpose of MagSafe on Mac (you can definitely knock your iPhone off the table if you trip over the cable)
iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro: Reverse wireless charging, Apple?
Why reverse wireless charging is the best feature iPhone doesn’t have
This feels more like a personal hobby of mine than the rest of Apple’s “charging issues,” but it really puzzles me. Both my Pixel 6 Pro and Huawei P30 Pro (2019) can charge my wireless earbuds wirelessly – all I have to do is place my earbuds on the back of the phones. This may seem like a gimmick feature to some who’ve never used it, but that’s only if you consider it in the context of “staying at home where you have access to a charger”.
Not to mention that just like fast charging, Reverse Wireless Charging can: save the day† For example, you can top up someone’s dead phone just enough so that he or she can use Google Maps or call an Uber to get home safely.
Looks like Reverse Wireless Charging isn’t coming to iPhone 14
So yeah – you should definitely be able to charge your AirPods and even Apple Watch on the back of your iPhone, but it doesn’t look like this feature is coming to iPhone 14. At least according to leaks and rumors, which don’t mention RWC. The more bizarre part of the story is that iPhone supports 13 charging pass-through, where you can charge your iPhone, which can then charge itself Apple’s MagSafe battery pack, when attached. This means the technology is pretty much there, but Apple has decided not to give the iPhone 13 actual RWC.
It is believed that Apple will first introduce Reverse Wireless Charging on iPad, but for that to happen, the iPad will of course have to switch to using glass or plastic on the back or at least a small part of it. iPhone users? Get in line.
Different chargers for every Apple device: the bad apple in the walled garden
But the real Bad apple in the walled garden is not the fact that iPhones charge slowly or… MagSafe. It’s the fact that almost the entire product portfolio of Apple uses different chargers. Let me explain:
- The iPhone charges via a Lightning cable
- Most iPads charge via USB-C, but the standard iPad still uses a Lightning port
- The latest MacBook Pro can be charged via USB-C, but MagSafe delivers the fastest charging you can get, and that’s the only cable you get in the box
- AirPods charge via Lightning cable, but Beats headphones and earbuds (made by Apple) use USB-C
- The Apple Watch uses its own charger, which has been around for centuries
To put all that into perspective, if you were going on a trip and carrying your iPhone, iPad Pro, Apple Watch, and MacBook Pro (2021) with you, you’d have to carry four separate cables to charge those devices and/or devices. or take full advantage of their charging capabilities. And of course, if you don’t have a multipoint charger, you’ll also need four separate charging bricks — an issue Apple may be addressing soon (or almost) thanks to the release of the leaked Apple charger with dual USB-C port that is expected to go on sale soon.
In the end: Is it all about money and iPhone 15 going portless?
It’s strange to see such an important part of Apple’s ecosystem overlooked, to say the least… Apple products are meant to work seamlessly together, and they do, except for that one part that to upload† And that’s just not the Apple experience that people would expect from the world’s largest technology company.
Does Cupertino prioritize change over a universal charging solution that would make people’s lives easier? plausible. It’s probably also why Tim Cook & Co decided to do away with the chargers in the iPhone box, which is another bizarre move that has now been adopted by a number of Android phone makers, including Samsung.
on That topic… Why not make the included charger optional and let people decide if they need it? And why not fast charge the iPhone 14 Pro? Let it be a “pro” feature, if not a standard feature. Or why not give it Reverse Wireless Charging so it can charge an Apple Watch and AirPods?
Maybe that’s always been Apple’s plan… a portable iPhone. We’ve heard rumors of an iPhone without a SIM card tray, and of course the gossip surrounding Apple’s “wireless charging only” has been going around for years.
Well, it seems that, thanks to the EU, 2023 may be the year we get the answers to this long-standing question. In my opinion, Apple will not agree to the switch to USB-C, because if the company was inclined to do so, they would have done it a while back. The most obvious solution for Apple now remains MagSafe. And you already know how I feel about it.
How do you feel about it?