Apple quietly included the ability to reverse wireless charge on the iPhone 12, but this feature was recently confirmed in an Apple support document. This means that not only can the iPhone 12 be charged wirelessly with a MagSafe or Qi charger, but it can also charge other devices wirelessly. At the moment, this ability is quite limited, but it could be expanded in the future. Apple typically plans ahead and includes technology in its devices even when the related product is months or even years from release.
Although there were some rumors going around in 2020 that the iPhone 12 might be able to reverse wireless charge an AirTag or future versions of AirPods, this turned out not to be the case when the AirTag was finally announced in April 2021. This confusion may have come about because Apple filed radio-frequency exposure documents with the FCC prior to the iPhone 12 launch, which led some people to believe that this new capability might be included in the new phone. However, when the AirTag location beacon was finally unveiled, it was clear that the iPhone 12 wouldn’t be able to charge it after all. AirTag doesn’t have wireless charging, but it uses a standard CR2032 lithium 3V coin battery that’s easy to find and replace.
It turns out that Apple hadn’t made use of the iPhone 12’s full capabilities until the release of the MagSafe Battery Pack in July 2021. With this new release, however, that changed. Apple has published a support document that outlines how the new MagSafe Battery Pack can be used to wirelessly charge an iPhone 12. The accessory has a Lightning port and can be charged separately, but it can also be attached to an iPhone 12 using the MagSafe connection. In this arrangement, the iPhone is plugged into a Lightning cable and draws power from the battery pack to replenish its internal battery. Although reverse wireless charging is not specifically mentioned, this setup would allow for simultaneous charging of both the iPhone and the MagSafe Battery Pack.
Benefits Of iPhone 12’s Reverse Wireless Charging
The MagSafe Battery Pack can be plugged in to an iPhone 12 while it’s being used, which means that the battery will charge along with the phone. Even though this might not seem like it would be useful, Apple has given some examples of when it would come in handy. For example, if you’re using CarPlay and your iPhone 12 is connected to the MagSafe Battery Pack, it can continue to charge even while playing music or giving Siri directions. Another example is when you’re backing up your iPhone to a Mac. If the MagSafe Battery Pack is attached, it can charge while the backup is happening. Apple’s inclusion of this technology doesn’t seem like it would be for just one compatible accessory, so there might be more products in the works that can use the iPhone’s newfound skill. We can speculate that these products might be released in the near future or even further down the line depending on how soon Apple perfects the technology and readies it for mass production.
The new iPhone 12 will be able to deliver up to 5 watts of power wirelessly, according to an FCC filing. This isn’t as fast as charging with a wired charger, but it’s the same amount of power that’s delivered to an iPhone and AirPods when using a Qi wireless charger. Future versions of the AirTag tracking tags might come with rechargeable batteries, and Apple has mentioned various form factors for its tracking tags in a patent document.
Unfortunately, the story is the same with the newer iPhone 13 series when it comes to reverse wireless charging. All iPhone 13 models work with Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack, but offer no additional reverse wireless charging capabilities. In other words, it’s another generation of iPhones that technically supports reverse wireless charging, but in a very limited way. It’s likely that Apple will expand the iPhone’s reverse wireless charging to other use cases in the future (such as charging AirPods or other phones), but when that will happen remains unknown. Apple is known for taking its time when it comes to rolling out new features to the iPhone. In the case of reverse wireless charging, it appears that this strategy is no different. It could be with the iPhone 14, 15, or even not until the iPhone 16.
iPhones wirelessly charge other devices through the display!
Although the iPhone 12 was launched nearly two years ago, Apple has not yet introduced conventional reverse wireless charging on this device or any future iPhones. Rumors and leaks about the iPhone 14 series suggest that this feature is not likely to be included in upcoming models. However, Apple has patented an unusual reverse wireless charging solution that could be used on the iPhone and iPad. This solution would allow these devices to wirelessly charge other devices through the display. The patent is only for wirelessly charging accessories, which means it could be restricted to devices like the AirPods, Apple Watch, and Apple Pencil.
Apple has patented a new way of wirelessly charging an iPad by placing it on the display. One possibility for future iPhones and iPads is that they could have a wireless charging coil underneath the display, along with magnets to secure the accessory in place. This would be a convenient way to charge your device, and would also free up space on the device itself. While this is an intriguing solution, patented technology can often take years to come to commercial products. For the moment, it looks like Apple is not in a hurry to bring this reverse wireless charging feature to the iPhone.
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