Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack now wirelessly charges iPhones up to 50% more quickly. Ever since the external battery launched in 2021, it topped out at 5W. But now it can wirelessly juice up an iPhone at 7.5W.
Even better, getting the improvement doesn’t require buying a new one — anyone who has the power bank can upgrade it. Here’s what to do.
Firmware update accelerates charging to 7.5W
Charging an iPhone 13 or iPhone 12 just requires placing the Apple MagSafe Battery Pack on the back of the handset. The two will cling together magnetically, and power will start flowing wirelessly. And now that can happen a lot more quickly.
After the MagSafe accessory debuted in summer 2021, Apple’s support page for it said, “When charging on the go, your MagSafe Battery Pack can charge your iPhone with up to 5W of power.”
But on April 20, that support page was updated to say, “In order to get 7.5W charging on the go, update your MagSafe Battery Pack to the latest firmware.”
How to upgrade the firmware in your Apple MagSafe Battery Pack
Fortunately, upgrading the wireless power bank is very easy. “The firmware update begins automatically after you attach your battery pack to your iPhone,” according to Apple.
The previous firmware was 2.5.b.0. The latest version with faster charging is 2.7.b.0. To check whether you have the latest version, attach the external battery to your iPhone than go to Settings > General > About > MagSafe Battery Pack. The firmware version will be displayed.
Unfortunately, getting the latest version might take some patience. Apple warns that, “The firmware update can take about one week.”
Better iPhone charging on the go
No one has ever complained that their phone was charging too quickly, so users of the Apple MagSafe Battery Pack should be pleased about the change. Those who don’t have one but are now interested can pick one up on from the Apple store for $99. Or it’s available on Amazon for less: $89.95.
It works with every model in the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 series, from smallest to largest.
The accessory charges through a Lightning port. But it can also do a unique trick: your iPhone will charge the power bank wirelessly — the only known example of an iPhone doing reverse wireless charging. Just plug a Lightning cable into the handset and it will charge while also powering up the external battery.