iPhone Wireless Charging: What We Know So Far

If you feel like you carry around too many cables, good news – they may soon be a thing of the past. You can now use a stand or mat that can charge your iPhone wirelessly. Sounds good? Here’s how it all works.

What is wireless charging?

Wireless charging may seem like the latest thing, but it was actually first invented by Nikola Tesla way back in the 1800s. Here’s how it works: a copper coil in the mat meets a second coil in your phone, creating an electromagnetic field that charges the device. This tech is now an iOS feature, introduced alongside the iPhone 8.

Does wireless charging work with all iPhones?

It can do. The new iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max are all compatible with a Qi certified wireless charger. So that means more cable free charging! The iPhone 8 and the models that succeeded it, like the iPhone X, XS and XR, have that magic copper coil built into them. For older devices, you’d need a special case that includes the second coil to make wireless charging work – but they can be quite expensive.

What is the point of wireless charging?

Cable free: Have you ever got tangled up in multiple charger cables? This tech has been developed as a helpful alternative to just that. While the mat itself needs to be plugged into a power source, unless it’s plugged into a portable charger, like Belkin’s Pocket Power Bank, all you need to do is pop your iPhone face-up onto the mat and the charging process starts automatically.

Ease is key: You no longer need to worry about having the right cable for your phone. While there are specs to be taken into account for best results, the point of wireless charging is to rid you of all unnecessary hassle. No more losing your charger or rifling through identical others. The mat and portable charger are distinctive.

It’s not just phones: They can also charge multiple compatible devices. It’s not just you that your wireless charging hardware can help. Put two or three mats in convenient places around the house and no one’s phone should go hungry again.

It’s going to be everywhere: Wireless charging is being used all over the place, such as bars and coffee shops. Companies like Costa Coffee and Premier Inn are rolling out charging points. Apps are emerging to point you in the direction of the closest wireless charging hub. We’re all going wireless.

How to use wireless chargers

  1. For best results, make sure your wireless accessories are compatible with your phone. Qi-certified cases have glass backs and are tailor-made for each model to avoid interference between the mat and your iPhone.
  2. The mat needs to be on a level surface and plugged in with its own power adapter.
  3. Your phone should be at the centre of the mat for maximum charge. If it slips off, its charging speed will drop or even stop completely.
  4. Keep magnets or metals away from the charger.
  5. If any glitches happen while charging, you can fix them by restarting your phone, shutting down unnecessary apps, updating software or resetting the phone to its original configuration.

Are there any issues with wireless charging?

There are a few things to consider when looking for the right wireless charging accessories for your phone.

Slower charging, for now

Wired charging is still faster than wireless. The current cap for iPhones is 7.5W but with Samsung already producing hardware like its 9W Fast Wireless Charger Pad, we can expect other brands to join the race for faster wireless charging.

For now, it’s likely that we’ll be using both wired and wireless charging. Wired for speed, wireless for convenience. But it may not be long before wireless charging lets us leave our cables behind once and for all.

Overheating

A final factor that early adopters have noticed, especially with portable chargers, is the heat they can generate while charging. To help avoid this, you shouldn’t charge your phone while it’s in your pocket or on a surface sensitive to high temperatures.

What’s next for iPhone wireless charging?

Wireless charging tech is still developing, as is iPhone compatibility with it. But while we wait for the next big step for iPhone wireless charging, there’s already much to enjoy with existing wireless gadgets. Keep an eye on our selection of wireless charging accessories, and make the most of the best tech on offer.

Buying a new smartphone? Take a look at our latest Apple iPhone range from iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max.