The Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) has unveiled Qi2, the replacement for the well-liked Qi wireless charging standard, fresh off the press from CES 2023. In addition to providing more customer clarification about device support, Qi2 (pronounced “chee two”) also introduces a new Magnetic Power Profile to align coils and enable accessories.
All of that should sound familiar. A very similar concept is Apple’s Magsafe. In fact, Apple would have made a significant contribution to this new specification, which is scheduled to be finished in mid-2023, as it is a “steering” member of the WPC. Does this imply that Magsafe will soon be available for Android? Yes and no, I suppose.
Magsafe for Android: a solution for compatibility
What customers can anticipate from Qi2 is simply Magsafe for Android. It’s actually more like to Magsafe for everybody. The concept has expanded beyond Apple’s ecosystem, allowing other devices to connect to the back of your future smartphone and a variety of other gadgets for magnetic wireless charging and other peripherals.
But aren’t Magsafe and magnetic accessories already available for a variety of phones? Of course, especially when it comes to wireless charging, adapters are a Wild West that don’t always get along with other devices and certainly don’t guarantee the intended user experience. As it stands, Magsafe for Android has many advantages over having 101 various ways to connect peripherals to your phone, including opening up a wide range of new useful features like camera tripods and compact power bank attachments. Interoperability is being hampered by the absence of a single standard outside of the Apple ecosystem, which is not ideal.
In essence, Qi2 is Magsafe for everyone, with a few exceptions.
Here comes Qi2, which will standardize the magnetic attachment and aid in ensuring compatibility across an extensive range of goods and even ecosystems. According to the WPC, this standard directly addresses customer concerns about Qi certification confusion by guaranteeing that certified products are reliable across brands and safe to use. Many companies, including Apple, Samsung, and probably others, are anticipated to release Qi2-certified products in 2024 or later in 2023. It’s clear that customers will benefit from the king-dom of convenience. Isn’t that amazing?
The new standard is still primarily focused on phones, but it also includes accessories that can’t be charged with the current flat surface-to-flat surface technology. That is excellent news for devices with unusual shapes, such AR/VR headsets and wearables. With the exception of Apple’s iPhone, cable charging has finally gained acceptance thanks to USB-C, which enables numerous devices to charge through a single shared connector interface. It goes without saying that a single wireless connector for phones, smartwatches, and other devices would be quite desirable. Qi2 seeks to accomplish the same in the wireless sphere. not only in terms of convenience but also in terms of e-waste, cost, and travel.
Convenience, travel, and e-waste all benefit from having a single wireless charger for all devices.
WPC’s forthcoming Qi2 appears to have a lot of potential on paper. The new standard’s ability to play well across brands and how soon third parties embrace it will be the real tests of whether it lives up to WPC’s claims.
Qi2 vs Apple Magsafe
This isn’t quite a global Magsafe standard, despite the fact that Apple has donated part of its knowledge and technology to Qi2. There are still some significant differences, and Magsafe will continue to exist on its own.
It doesn’t appear likely that the new standard will support current iPhone models and accessories because Qi2 and Apple Magsafe don’t have the exact same magnet layout. That’s concerning because Apple might not necessarily give up on its standard in the near future. If magnetic accessories aren’t compatible with one another, there can be some lingering mess, until it turns out that the two are somehow compatible.