On its website Tuesday, Apple offered a new MagSafe Battery Pack, designed to work with the iPhone 12 series from mini to Pro Max. That is, it’s designed to work as of the release of iOS 14.7, due imminently.
Unlike all the other unofficially “MagSafe compatible” wireless battery packs that came out after the iPhone 12’s release, this one’s MagSafe-approved, straight from Apple. It took a while, but it’s here.
MagSafe Battery Pack for charging on the go
Apple’s new wireless MagSafe Battery Pack adds hours of battery life. You simply attach it magnetically to the back of your iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro or iPhone 12 Pro Max. Apple said the pack will charge a connected iPhone at about 5W.
However, the pack itself charges with a Lightning cable. Plus, it can provide a strong passthrough charge to the attached iPhone at the same time. Apple recommends using a 20-watt USB-C charger with a Lightning to USB-C cable for the quickest charge, at about 15W.
This is the first accessory to support reverse wireless charging from the iPhone, a feature Apple had never before mentioned. But an official support document for the MagSafe Battery Pack says, “You can also charge both if you attach your MagSafe Battery Pack to your iPhone, then plug your iPhone into a power source.” In other words, the handset can send power to the accessory through inductive charging, in the same way the accessory sends power to the iPhone.
When connected to power for a while, the MagSafe Battery Pack’s charging-management feature helps maintain battery health. It can regulate the charge if the iPhone begins to get warm, for example. When users turn on Optimized Battery Charging, they can see a notification on their iPhone’s Lock Screen indicating completion of a full charge. If they tap the notification and select “Charge Now,” they can force a charge.
Apple said that iOS 14.7 or later is required to use the accessory, which comes in the color white.
Where to buy: Apple (deliveries begin July 19)
Update: This article was updated with the information about support for reverse wireless charging.