March 8, 2023
This week we’ll discuss Apple’s MagSafe and how you can get it on just about any phone. But first, I have to tell you about Lastpass’s latest hack. If you haven’t already heard, it’s a pretty significant breach – hackers stole entire vaults of passwords so, if you don’t have a really good, long master password you’d best be served to change ALL of your passwords and also change your master password. Make it at least 15 characters long, and remember, it can contain spaces and special characters so you could make it something like “Eldest WaS=s B0rn on 05/21/94 that’s May Twenty-First!” – something you can remember. See https://www.pcmag.com/news/lastpass-hack-gets-worse-culprit-stole-customers-encrypted-password-vaults for a little more detail on the breach.
On to MagSafe. Apple introduced MagSafe back in 2020 with the iPhone 12 and it’s been included on every one of their phones ever since. What is it? In summary, it’s a ring of magnets that are embedded in the back of the phone. It was originally intended to provide a good, safe way to attach a charger to the phone to deliver up to 15W of charging to it (depending on your phone model and charger/adapter) but has since been used to allow accessories such as battery packs, wallets, car mounts, and phone grips to attach to your phone. On Apple devices, MagSafe-certified accessories can even communicate with your phone and cause it to change its behavior like changing the color of your lock screen. See https://www.cnn.com/cnn-underscored/electronics/what-is-magsafe for more information about MagSafe.
You want to put a nice, heavy protective case on your phone but don’t want to give up your MagSafe car mount? You can buy a metal ring that has an adhesive backing and stick it to your case (for example. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B096W7), or better yet, get a case that has the MagSafe magnets embedded in it! Or maybe you’ve got an older iPhone that doesn’t have MagSafe – what then? That’s right – get a metal ring or a MagSafe case! More cases are coming on the market and they’re getting easier to find.
Android users aren’t left out either! I recently got a new Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and bought a case for it and it works great! This is the case https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BT7C3FPK. Yes, it even came with a magnetic charger – many phones, including my new one, are capable of wireless charging and if your phone is enabled for Qi wireless charging (many are) you can often use a MagSafe case and charger to charge your phone. See https://cellularnews.com/mobile-accessories/qi-charging-what-is-it-is-my-phone-qi-enabled/ for lots of good information about Qi charging and wireless charging in general.
Mainly, though, I don’t use MagSafe for charging. No, I use a MagSafe phone grip and a MagSafe stand. What’s a MagSafe phone grip? It’s a little doodad that attaches to your MagSafe magnet and gives you a way to more securely hold your phone. There are all sorts of MagSafe phone grips. There’s a Pop Socket MagSafe grip, a phone ring stand, and the EWA grip which I bought for a different phone and I like it a lot! (Pop Socket: https://www.amazon.com/PopSockets-MagSafe-Wireless-Charging-Compatible/dp/B0BFJVN371, phone ring stand: https://www.amazon.com/Miss-Arts-Magnetic-MagSafe-Kickstand/dp/B0BS5G9WMZ, and the EWA: https://www.amazon.com/EWA-Compatible-Silicone-Removable-Kickstand/dp/B09ZPN2QVD.) But the one I like the most is the one from OhSnap! – the Snap 3 Pro (https://ohsnap.com/products/snap-3-pro). It’s kinda expensive and even though it’s MagSafe it attaches to your phone or case with an adhesive. This gives it a much stronger attachment to your phone, nearly eliminating the chance that it will accidentally come off the phone. It’s very thin so a MagSafe charger can charge your phone through the Snap 3. The other thing I bought was the Snap Stand which the Snap 3 Pro just snaps on to. The stand has a nanosuction base which means it will stick to your desk or table and give you a solid stand for your phone but you can remove it fairly easily without damaging the furniture. If the nanosuction pad gets dirty or loses its stickiness, simply run some water on the pad and it’s like new! Yes, it’s kinda expensive, too, but those two items make things very much more convenient for me.
That’s it for this week. I find MagSafe accessories to be pretty handy and if you’re interested I hope you’ll give them a try! As always, my intent with these columns is to spark your curiosity, give you enough information to get started, and arm you with the necessary keywords (or buzzwords) so you’ll understand the basics and are equipped to search for more detailed information.
Please feel free to email me with questions, comments, suggestions, requests for future columns, whatever at tony@TonysTakeOnTech.com or just drop me a quick note and say HI! And don’t forget that I maintain links to the original columns with live, clickable links to all the references at https://go.ttot.link/TGColumns+Links or https://go.ttot.link/TGC+L – it should be updated shortly after this column appears online.