Apple’s iPhone 8 offers the joys of smartphone wireless chargers

“Last year, Apple ditched the iPhone’s headphone jack. With its latest iPhones, it is removing the power socket too.,” Tim Bradshaw writes for The Financial Times. “Cable-free power seems to be the hottest new feature of the iPhone 8. Several surveys suggest that consumers are more excited about the ability to top up their battery without having to plug in a cord than the improved camera, screen or anything else in the device.”

“Apple is using the Wireless Power Consortium’s Qi standard, which Samsung, LG, Huawei and Xiaomi have all said they support. Apple’s backing will only accelerate Qi’s momentum,” Bradshaw writes. “Qi wireless chargers are built into certain models of car from Audi, Toyota, BMW, Ford and Honda, as well as in hundreds of McDonald’s restaurants, and transport hubs from the Eurostar to JFK and LAX airports. Qi-certified chargers are also available from familiar tech accessory makers such as Mophie and Belkin as well as Ikea.”

“As is so often the risk in Ikea, I got a bit carried away on a recent visit and came home with two Qi-powered lamps and a three-device charging pad. The bundle cost me just over $200 and means I now have wireless charging by my bedside, in the living room and on my desk,” Bradshaw writes. “The result is that my iPhone 8 is constantly being topped up with what Ikea wittily calls ‘Apple juice.’ Not having to faff with a cable may seem like a small change but it quickly changed my charging behaviour so that I rarely run low on power. Goodbye range anxiety.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We usually have our iPhones on our desks in front of our iMacs into which are plugged in Lightning cords which charge the iPhones. Our iPhones are always charged. We’re not sure how those without computers charge their iPhones, but we’d assume they have a usual place near a plug (kitchen counter, desk, bedroom nightstand, etc.). Right?

In short, Qi charging or not, we don’t get those who never seem to have their iPhones charged.

11 Comments

  1. Wireless charging is a big deal for me. My car has a charging pad and third party accessories worked for a while. However they were unreliable and I spent a small fortune looking for a workable solution. Can’t wait until I get my hands on the iPhone X. Being able to simply place my phone on a charging pad by the couch or bed is far more convenient that looking for the cable.

    1. Smartphone battery myths that need to die

      If you don’t use your smartphone much, or upgrade every time a new model comes out, charge it whenever and however you want. But if you want it to be at it’s best the longest, “never run a battery to zero. That’s bad for it,” says Carl Howe former mobile analyst and Principal of Think Big Analytics. “The rule of thumb: To get your smartphone battery to last the longest, charge it to 80% and recharge it when it hits 20% to avoid stressing the system.”

      I think of it like snacking. Eating smaller portions several times a day is better than starving and overstuffing. Chronically letting a battery go all the way down to zero puts unneeded stress on the materials inside. Believe it or not, the same goes for letting it sit on your charger overnight, because being continually juiced up quickly — and to the max also leads lithium-ion batteries to corrode faster than they otherwise would.

      There isn’t any perfect solution, but all five of the experts we spoke with agreed, the sweet spot for smartphone batteries is indeed between 20% and 80%, and if you can keep it in or near those limits more often than not, you’ll be rewarded with a battery that lasts in the long run.

  2. I bought one of the IKEA lamps with the pad built in to the base, as well as a couple of Anker pads (one for nightstand and one for desk). My daughter and I both have 8+ iPhones now – the lamp on the end table next to the couch works great. Really nice to just plop the iPhone on the Anker pad when going to bed.

    Unfortunately wireless in the car is not going to be an option – my Gen2 Volt does not have BT CarPlay, so the iPhone has to be plugged into the car. That’s fine though – I can deal with only 1 lightning cable in my life!!

  3. I don’t get the big deal about wireless charging. My 6s plus lasts all day and it’s a simple matter of connecting a cord to it in the same place at the same time every day. Usually when I’m watching TV but could just as easily be at night while I’m sleeping.

    There’s very little about the 8 that makes me want to “upgrade” from my 6s.

    1. I’m looking forward to wireless charging. I carry my iPhone 6s in my pants pocket where the Lightning port collects lint. Every few days I have to clean it all out because I can’t get a clean connection when I try to plug it in.

      1. I had the exact same issue with my iPhone 6. Especially sucks when you’re on a long drive, using a maps app and the phone that you thought was plugged in goes dead because the power had disconnected. Had to clean it out every week or two – I used a toothpick dipped in rubbing alcohol. Seemed to work.

  4. Wired charging means RF signals remain inside the wire. Wireless charging means RF signals are multi-directional, meaning they reach the human’s brain tissues and other nervous system components.

    1. That might be a problem with future technology, but the current wireless chargers essentially use resonant magnetic induction. Current in a coil in the charger generates a magnetic field at a resonant frequency that induces current in a receiver coil in the device. The frequency employed is fairly low, but the signal strength is such that there is very little ionizing electromagnetic radiation more than a few millimeters from the charger (range at top power under the most ideal conditions is less than 4 cm). You’re perfectly safe unless you sleep with your head on the charging pad.

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