Surprise! Your iPhone 12 got an upgrade to 15W magnetic charging with Qi2

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Macworld

Although it hasn’t officially been announced by Apple, iOS 17.4 appears to have unlocked Qi2 support for the iPhone 12. A series of tests and feedback from Macworld readers prove that the iPhone 12 now works at full 15W wireless charging speed when magnetically connected to a non-MagSafe Qi2 charger.

Update: In a statement to Macworld, Belkin affirmed that the company’s own internal testing confirmed that its Qi2 chargers “are fully certified to deliver up to 15W of fast wireless charging to Qi2-enabled devices”. It wouldn’t comment on when or if this Qi2 support for iPhone 12 was added by Apple, saying that “Any questions related to iOS updates will need to be addressed to Apple”.

Last December Apple ushered in Qi2 wireless charging support for the iPhone 13 and 14 with iOS 17.2, joining the iPhone 15’s support for the new MagSafe-based fast-charge technology. Apple-certified MagSafe wireless charging is rated at 15W maximum. Non-certified but compatible magnetic Qi wireless charging is limited by Apple to a maximum of 7.5 watts.

Qi2 is the next evolution of Qi wireless charging, with better efficiency and magnetic alignment features, inspired by Apple’s MagSafe technology. 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.

Qi2, like MagSafe, supports 15W wireless charging. For more details read our Is Qi2 as fast as MagSafe feature. Although Qi2 is based on Apple’s MagSafe, the iPhone 12, the first iPhone to include MagSafe wireless charging, was left off all reports of backdated support.

iOS 17.4 adds unofficial Qi2 support for iPhone 12

Since iOS 17.4, Macworld tests have shown that clamped on to Qi2 chargers the iPhone 12 matches the charging speed of fully Apple-certified MagSafe chargers and even shows up the 15W-only charging animation—yet Apple makes no mention of this support in the iOS 17.4 release notes.

In our tests, we first used an Apple MagSafe Charger, which was able to power up an empty iPhone 12 Pro Max to 30 percent in 38 minutes and to 50 percent in 70 minutes. Using the Anker Qi2 MagGo Wireless Charger, we powered up an iPhone 12 Pro Max to 30 percent in 33 minutes and to 50 percent in 64 minutes.

Anker’s MagGo charger fills up an iPhone 12 as fast as a MagSage charger with iOS 17.4.

Foundry

While Qi2 narrowly beat MagSafe, in other tests using an iPhone 12 with a smaller battery than the 12 Pro Max, charging times were remarkably close between MagSafe and Qi2 (around 20 minutes to 30 percent and 45-50 to 50 percent).

A Macworld reader first alerted us to the change after his Belkin BoostCharge Pro 2-in-1 Magnetic Wireless Charging Pad with Qi2 filled up his phone faster and displayed the MagSafe/Qi2 animation.

Belkin, a long-time official Apple charging accessory partner, includes the iPhone 12 in its compatibility notes for its Qi2 chargers: “Universal compatibility supports fast charging of Qi2 compatible devices including iPhone 15, 15 Pro, 15 Plus, 15 Pro Max, iPhone 14, 14 Pro, 14 Plus, 14 Pro Max, iPhone 12/ Pro/ Pro Max/Mini, iPhone 13/ Pro/ Pro Max/Mini”.

Macworld asked Belkin about this apparent divergence to Apple’s official compatibility position, and it told us that “Belkin Qi2 chargers are fully certified to deliver up to 15W of fast wireless charging to Qi2-enabled devices and our internal testing has confirmed this capability. Any questions related to iOS updates will need to be addressed to Apple.”

Anker’s iPhone 12 Qi2 compatibility stance is a little more confusing. The specs for its MagGo Power Bank include the iPhone 12 as a compatible device. And yet for its 3-in-1 Qi2 MagGo Wireless Charging Station, above, it omits the iPhone 12 from its list of Qi2 compatible devices but includes “MagSafe-compatible iPhone 15/14/13 Series” phones.

Elsewhere, Anker states: “The iPhone 12 Pro supports the Qi wireless charging standard, but it does not natively support the newer Qi2 wireless charging standard. While the iPhone 12 Pro is equipped with MagSafe, which offers a similar alignment and efficiency improvement over traditional Qi charging, it was designed before the Qi2 standard was finalized and introduced. Therefore, the iPhone 12 Pro’s wireless charging capabilities are built around the original Qi standard and the proprietary MagSafe technology, rather than Qi2.”

Note that the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 13 mini charge up to only 12W, but with standard Qi. However, Anker points out that, as Qi2 is fully backward compatible, you can charge an older Qi-compatible or MagSafe iPhone on a Qi2 charger, but at a maximum of 7.5 watts rather than 15W.

Read our test results and reviews of the best MagSafe chargers for iPhone and best MagSafe power banks.

Accessories, Mobile Phone Accessories, Power

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