I couldn’t justify keeping Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack because it didn’t stay firmly stuck to my phone without swiveling, and I’ve seen third-party attachments that are much, much worse. Thankfully, the next version of the Qi wireless charging standard, Qi2, will mandate magnet strength, size, and dimensions in addition to its electrical properties — even though that’s the opposite of what I reported yesterday.
(The bigger news about Qi2: it should mean that future Android phones and Apple phones will be able to use the same wireless magnetic charger, effectively MagSafe for Android.)
Today, I got an email from WPC spokesperson Paul Golden apologizing for passing along incorrect information about the magnets for yesterday’s story. He now says it’s definitely the plan to specify all of those magnetic elements in the standard. Certification labs should test for them, too: “We expect that magnet strength testing will be one of the elements tested as part of the certification process,” he tells The Verge.
Originally, he’d said that the size and strength of magnets are a “product design issue” and so would be “determined by the product manufacturers,” but it sounds like the powers that be — including Apple, Samsung, and the other electronics giants that run the WPC — will be pushing to standardize the actual magnets, too.
If everything goes well, the Qi2 specification should be finalized this summer, with devices arriving this holiday season.
If you do want to see what an actually strong magnetic accessory feels like, I was really impressed with this magnetic ring grip from Anker. My colleague Allison recommended it in a recent guide to grips for people who hate phone cases, and I wish every magnetic accessory was like it. My original Anker magnetic battery wound up holding on better than the Apple one, but it isn’t nearly so nice.