Can I use wireless charging on my iPhone? How can I wirelessly charge my iPhone? What is wireless charging?
Wireless charging has been a feature of many Android smartphones for some time now, but the technology has yet to make an appearance on Apple’s flagship smartphone, the iPhone. Rumours suggest it might make an appearance on the upcoming iPhone 7, but nothing has been confirmed. While it’s arguably not a big deal to some people, there are others that would like to take advantages of the slightly easier life that wireless charging enables. Here, we explain what wireless charging is and show you how to wirelessly charge your iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, 6, 6 Plus, 6s and 6s Plus.
How to wirelessly charge your iPhone: What is wireless charging?
Okay, before we go any further we should probably explain what wireless charging is. Contrary to the name, wireless charging isn’t actually wireless as your phone won’t be charged automatically when in range of a wireless charging pad (like Wi-Fi) – instead, wireless charging is often used as a term to describe inductive charging, which make use of coils to transfer energy and still require the smartphone to be placed on the charging pad for power.
The charging pad itself isn’t really wireless either, as it requires a power supply like any other charger to function.
Instead, wireless charging offers consumers the ability to simply put their smartphone (or tablet, etc) on a surface and be provided with power without needing to plug their phones into the mains. Although it’s fairly simple, it means that users won’t need to hunt down a cable when charging their phones before bed – they need only place it on a wireless charging-enabled surface.
How to wirelessly charge your iPhone: Third-party options
While wireless charging may not be featured on the iPhone by default, there are options for Apple fans, be it in the form of a receiver or a case. Here are a handful of ways that you can enable wireless charging on your iPhone:
Those looking for wireless charging without having to use a bulky case might want to take a look at iQi Mobile, a 0.5mm thick wireless charging receiver that sits between your existing iPhone case and your iPhone. The beauty of being a receiver means that it’s compatible with any Lightning-enabled iPhone, from the iPhone 5 to the iPhone 6s Plus.
The receiver features an incredibly thin cable with a lightning connector at the end, which bends around the bottom of your phone and sits permanently in the Lightning jack. The receiver works specifically with the Qi wireless charging format, so that’s something to keep in mind when buying a wireless charging pad (you can buy an iQi Mobile receiver and charging pad for £35.99 here).
The benefit of the iQi Mobile receiver is that you can keep your existing case and add wireless charging to your iPhone, and it isn’t too expensive either at only £12.99 on Amazon at the time of writing.
Those looking for something a little more ‘complete’ than the likes of iQi Mobile may be interested in the Bezalel Latitude for the iPhone 6/6s. While many wireless charging accessories specify a certain wireless charging standard, like Qi, the Latitude will work with any type of charging system – according to the manufacturer, anyway. The company claims that it’ll work with the wireless charging stations available at the likes of Starbucks and McDonalds, as well as the IKEA wireless charging furniture and any current wireless charging pads you may already own.
Unlike other options on the market that are fairly bulky and unattractive, the Latitude looks sleeker and more Apple-esque in design – and a price tag to match, setting customers back £44 on Amazon at the time of writing, and that’s without a wireless charging pad. It may be a bit on the slow side though, with a maximum output of 5V/1A – those interested in something faster may want to look at the below option, the FLI Charge.
One of the biggest downsides to using wireless charging when compared to traditional wired charging is that it generally takes a lot longer to charge your phone, especially those with large capacity batteries like the iPhone 6s Plus. It’s an issue that needs to be overcome before people untether themselves from charging cables, and the FLI Charge system could be the product to do that.
The FLI Charge system won’t only provide wireless charging capabilities for your iPhone, but also drones, tablets, smart watches, speakers and even GoPros – essentially anything that charges via a USB/MicroUSB connection, via a range of accessories. The FLI Charge system comprises of the FLIway, the charging panel, the FLIcase for smartphones, FLIcube for USB-powered devices and FLIcoin for micro-USB powered devices.
But what makes FLI so different? Instead of using inductive charging technology like the likes of Qi, FLI uses conductive technology which the company claims “charges as fast as plugging into a wall” and can charge up to eight devices simultaneously, a feature not currently possible with inductive charging which offers around ~60 percent efficiency. What’s better is that due to the innovative design of the system, you don’t have to worry about device orientation, an issue with current solutions. It also constantly detects the surface for unapproved objects (i.e. Apple Watch, water) and will shut the power transfer down and hopefully avoiding any lasting damage to the product or system.
The system is live on IndieGoGo at the time of writing and has surpassed its $100,000 funding goal with 10 days left to go. Those interested can back the project here, with an estimated delivery of October 2016.
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