Apple Adds Unexpected Free Upgrade For All iPhone 12 Users

When Apple released iOS 17.4 in the first week of March, it made no mention of an upgrade to wireless charging capabilities in the iPhone 12. According to Macworld, it seems that since the software was launched, iPhone 12 users have been able to charge their handsets much faster even with suitable third-party wireless charging pads, something previously restricted to Apple-authorized devices.

Apple introduced wireless charging back in 2017 with the iPhone X and iPhone 8 series. Then, with the release of the iPhone 12 in 2020 came MagSafe, that superbly convenient system which offers a ring of magnets in both the iPhone and the charging pad to ensure the two items make the correct connection.

There was, however, a problem. Though you could charge the iPhone 12 at a fast speed, up to 15W, if you were using a charging pad with MagSafe certification, such as ones made by Apple, pads from other companies which lacked this authorization would only reach a maximum charging capability of half this, 7.5W.

Then came Qi2, the next generation of wireless charging, created by the Wireless Power Consortium, of which Apple is a member, and based around MagSafe. As Macworld comments, “Apple gave the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) its own MagSafe specifications to use as the basis for Qi2’s Magnetic Power Profile that defines how the new-generation Qi works. Apple is a WPC “steering member” and chair of the WPC board of directors.”

The iPhone 15 series came with Qi2 compatibility from day one, meaning that Qi2 pads from any manufacturer could achieve fast 15W charging.

Then, with iOS 17.2 released last December, Apple announced that it had achieved the same step forward for the iPhone 14 and iPhone 13 with that software update. But of the only other iPhone with MagSafe, the iPhone 12, there was no mention.

Macworld says that its tests with a Qi2 charger and iPhone 12, show that the phone is charging at 15W and “even shows up the 15W-only charging animation.”

This is a surprise, as Apple didn’t mention it in the release notes for iOS 17.4. It means that the sleek and attractive new Anker MagGo Wireless Charger pad will charge the iPhone 12 as fast as or faster than Apple’s own pad, but for not much more than half the cost: the Anker pad costs $21.99 while Apple’s costs $39.

While it’s not a shock that Apple has been able to upgrade the iPhone 12 to this, it’s puzzling that it hasn’t announced this cool extra.

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