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September 13, 2017

Apple finally embraces wireless charging with new iPhones, AirPower charging mat

by John_A

Why it matters to you

If you’re an Apple user, you’ll soon be able to charge your devices much more easily thanks to Qi wireless charging support.

Apple has finally taken the wraps off the new iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X — a new generation of iPhones with a host of innovative features. Perhaps most notable of those new features is wireless charging, which has long been requested of Apple and is now finally a significant part of the iPhone experience.

In fact, Qi wireless charging goes beyond the iPhone. It was already available on the Apple Watch, and it’s now available in a new AirPods charging case, so you’ll be able to wirelessly charge all your mobile Apple devices.

Does that mean you’ll need three wireless charging pads? Thankfully, no. After announcing that the iPhone would support wireless charging, the company also announced that it’s working with Qi to develop AirPower, Apple’s Qi-based wireless charging standard that basically allows for the charging of multiple devices at one time. Apple will launch the AirPower charging mat in 2018, which unfortunately means that you’ll have to use multiple charging pads until then.

Still, there are third-party options. For starters, Powermat’s charging mats work through Qi, which means the iPhone will support all Powermat chargers.  They are located in public places like Starbucks restaurants and airports around the world, and you can find nearby Powermat chargers by downloading the app.

Companies like Belkin and Mophie are also working on charging mats of their own. In fact, Belkin has already released information about its new wireless charging mat, called the Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad. The device costs $60, and is able to charge through cases up to 3mm thick.

Apple embracing wireless charging is good news, but not all that surprising. Rumors have been circulating for some time that Apple would start implementing wireless charging on the iPhone. Some reports even indicated that Apple is working with wireless charging company Energous, which has already shown off tech for truly wireless charging — whereby your devices will charge simply by being in range of a charging device, without the need to place them on a mat.

It’s still possible that Apple could be working with Energous — though that tech is still in its early stages, and it will likely be a few years before we see any kind of consumer implementation of it.

The new iPhone 8 and 8 Plus phones will both go up for pre-order on September 15, with full sales set to start on September 22. The iPhone 8 starts at $699 for the 64GB version, while the 8 Plus has a starting price of $799. The iPhone X starts at $999, and will be available in November.

Update: Powermat charging pads around the world will support the iPhone.

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