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Wireless Charging of Your IPhone, Apple Watch and More -Everything You Want to know

How does wireless charging work

How does wireless charging work? In this explanation you can read everything about wireless charging of iPhone, Apple Watch, AirPods, the Qi standard and more.

How does wireless charging work with the iPhone, Apple Watch and other devices? In this overview we explain what wireless charging is, what you need for it and what the advantages and disadvantages are.
  • Wireless charging
  • How does it work?
  • Is it harmful?
  • Charging with case
  • What do you need?
  • Fast charging and wireless charging, is that possible?
  • What is Qi?
  • What is AirPower?
  • Is wireless charging new?
  • My iPhone is getting warm
  • What are the disadvantages?
  • Is every charger suitable?

Wireless charging at Apple

The iPhone X and iPhone 8 are the first devices from Apple that support wireless charging. Earlier it was possible to charge your Apple Watch wirelessly, thanks to the included charger. But it is not entirely new: with wireless toothbrushes it has been common for years to charge with induction and also with smartphones it has been around for a while.

Why so much enthusiasm about the fact that Apple now supports wireless charging? Simple: it has often been shown in the past that new developments are only really embraced when Apple starts working on them. This will probably also be the case with wireless charging. Most manufacturers use the same Qi standard , which means that you will increasingly see wireless chargers in coffee shops and airports.

How does wireless charging work?

Most people know wireless charging from the electric toothbrush. In addition, you do not have to plug a power cable into the toothbrush, but you place the brush on an induction charger.
Wireless charging of your smartphone works in the same way. The energy from the charger is sent to a receiver on the back of the phone. This works with electromagnetic induction. However, it does not mean that the device "sticks" magnetically to the charging mat. The receiver in the phone converts the energy into electricity to charge the battery.

Is wireless charging harmful?

Whether wireless charging is harmful to your battery is a topic for discussion. According to some  experts, it does not cause any wear to your battery . It may be that your iPhone (and the battery) is slightly warmer due to wireless charging and that more losses occur. The cells of a rechargeable battery work less well at higher temperatures.

An article on ZDNet gave the impression that you have more wear and tear with wireless charging, because wireless charging uses the internal battery if, for example, notifications come in or internal processes are active. This would not be the case with charging via the wall socket, which means that you will reach the maximum number of charging cycles less quickly. ZDNet came to that conclusion without consulting experts.

The extent to which wireless charging is really harmful is therefore still a matter for discussion. For us, the most favorable for the life of your battery is quiet charging. You can decide for yourself whether you use a cable or wireless charger.

Does wireless charging work with my iPhone case?

Wireless charging usually only works if the charger and receiver are close together. With the iPhone 8 and iPhone X , charging also works if you use a case, but it should not be too thick. Apple's silicone and leather iPhone covers can charge your iPhone through the material.
Wireless charging means that you no longer have to plug an iPhone cable into the iPhone, but of course the system itself still depends on a cable. The charging mat receives power via the socket.

What do you need to charge wirelessly?

You need two things for wireless charging: a suitable device and a wireless charger. The device must be suitable for wireless charging, such as an iPhone 8 . Older devices can be made suitable by putting them in a special case, but this method is less popular.

You also need a charger. There are loose chargers that look like a disk or mat, but you also see them increasingly used in small pieces of furniture such as side tables, table lamps and more.

Can you charge quickly with a wireless charger?

With the Qi standard that Apple and many other manufacturers support, it is possible to charge with a maximum power of 15 watts. Apple initially opted for a lower power, namely 7.5 watts. In general, wireless charging is not as fast as when you connect a charging cable directly. Chargers of 5 Watt and 10 Watt are also common.

What is Qi wireless charging?

Qi  is the most commonly used standard for wireless chargers. Almost all manufacturers work with it. Qi was conceived by the Wireless Power Consortium, a joint venture of which Apple is also a member.
PMA from the AirFuel Alliance is an alternative standard. Some chargers work with both, Apple has chosen Qi.

What is AirPower?

AirPower is the wireless charging mat that Apple will bring to the market in 2018. This is suitable for recent iPhones, Apple Watch and AirPods , provided you have a suitable charging case. The difference between AirPower and Qi chargers is that with the AirPower it does not matter which position on the charging mat your iDevice is located. With 'normal' Qi chargers you have to charge in a certain place. Incidentally, there are more expensive Qi chargers (for example from Belkin) that also do not have this limitation.

Is wireless charging new?

No, the Palm Pre already had a wireless charger in 2009 (the Pebble). Nokia then followed with a number of Lumia phones in 2012. But the idea never caught on. In 2013 the Google Nexus 4 and the Samsung Galaxy S4 and successors followed. There are now more than 90 devices that are suitable for wireless charging and the arrival of Apple will only give a further boost .

With smart watches it is also often possible to charge wirelessly. This is possible with the Apple Watch, but also with smartwatch models from other brands, such as the LG Watch and Moto 360.

Does my iPhone heat up from wireless charging?

Certainly if you opt for fast charging on a wireless charger (something that Apple does not yet support) your device can get quite hot. They heat up especially at the back. This is often the case when you charge with a cable.

What are the disadvantages of wireless charging?

One of the disadvantages is that it is not possible to load through a metal housing. That is why the latest iPhones have a glass back, which makes them a bit more vulnerable during a fall. You can solve this with a cover. For budget manufacturers, the back is often made of plastic.

Another disadvantage is that your battery can wear out faster , as we explained above.

Is any wireless charger suitable?

If you want to charge your iPhone wirelessly, you must have a charger that supports the Qi standard. This applies for example to the chargers of Mophie, Belkin, IKEA and even Samsung. You are therefore not required to purchase the AirPower charger from Apple .
AirPower does have the advantage that you can charge multiple devices at the same time, including your AirPods and Apple Watch Series 3 and newer.

Why is wireless charging useful?

Wireless charging is useful because you do not have to 'poke' into the port with the Lightning cable. But there are even more situations where it comes in handy, for example in a restaurant or at an airport. Now you still have to bring your own power adapter with cable or use the (often) damaged cables of a charging station. Wireless charging is much easier in that case. While you enjoy a cup of coffee, place your iPhone on the 'charging zone' of the table. This way you have a view of your device, you don't have to dive under the seats to find an outlet and you can still keep an eye on the screen of your iPhone.

There are already Qi chargers in a hundred thousand public places worldwide and that can only increase now that Apple is participating.

Will my old wireless charger work with the iPhone?

You needed a special iPhone cover . Whether they are also suitable for the iPhone depends on whether they are Qi-certified . This can be recognized by the Qi logo and the text ' Qi Certified '. Any charger that meets the Qi standard should work.

Do I have to watch out for Qi counterfeit?

Only chargers with the text 'Qi Certified' are safe enough for your beloved iPhone. Beware of cheap chargers with the text 'Works with Qi', 'Qi Compatible' or 'Qi Compliant'. This is often cheap counterfeit, which can cause damage to your device. These chargers can cause overheating, which can result in fire damage to your case, phone or your home.

Am I obliged to use wireless charging with the new iPhones?

No, you can still charge your iPhone with the Lightning cable. An advantage of wireless charging is that the Lightning port remains free, so that you can use it for your earbuds.

Do I get a wireless charger with the iPhone?

Unfortunately. Even though the latest iPhones work with wireless charging, you do not get a suitable charger as standard. You will have to purchase such a charger yourself, which costs around 70 $. The AirPower charging mat will probably be a bit more expensive if it appears in the course of 2019.

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