The Qi (pronounced “chee”) wireless charging standard is getting an upgrade in 2023. The Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) has aptly named the upgraded standard Qi2 (“chee two”) with the hopes of creating a universal standard of wireless charging.
Qi2 is built from a new tech known as a Magnetic Power Profile, which has its roots in Apple’s MagSafe technology. What’s even more curious is that Apple itself is taking the helm in developing the Magnetic Power Profile tech that could just become the gold wireless standard among all major devices, including Android.
What Is MagSafe?
MagSafe is Apple’s magnetic/wireless charging tech. It works by placing several magnets around the iPhone’s internal charging coil. Originally unveiled for the iPhone 12 in 2020, the original idea behind MagSafe was to sell MagSafe-compatible accessories that would magnetically snap onto the iPhone, while also wirelessly charging via wireless iPhone chargers like the “Puck.”
For some reason, the tech never really took off. Some manufacturers have released their own MagSafe-compatible accessories, but none of them have that Apple vibe. But this isn’t the end of this unique tech’s story. It’s evolving into a new Magnetic Power Profile, and it’s one of the secret ingredients behind what’s driving Qi2 to make wireless charging the norm.
Why the New Qi2 Standard Matters
Qi2 has the potential to literally change how you charge your devices. One way it’s doing that is by fixing one of the biggest complaints people have about wireless charging: the slow speeds. Paul Golden, a spokesperson for the WPC, addressed this in a January 2023 interview with The Verge:
“When we finish with the spec for Qi2, we’ll immediately start working on a significantly higher power profile level for the next version of Qi2.”
While nothing is confirmed, Golden’s statement seems to hint that we’ll see Qi2-powered wireless charging devices that exceed Qi’s current charging limit of 15 watts sometime, hopefully, soon after Qi2 devices are unveiled by the end of 2023.
When you consider that these devices are slated to optimally and, most importantly, safely charge phones wirelessly, there’s a lot to get excited about. Safe, fast, and optimal wireless charging? That sounds like a win to us!
What Does the New Qi2 Standard on Android Mean for You?
Rejoice Android owners, because the new Qi2 standard means that you will finally get MagSafe-like functionality on your Android devices.
Android and iOS owners alike will get to experience the definitive version of the technology together, allowing them to utilize wireless charging technology and magnetic accessories that make their favorite devices even more versatile.
The WPC spilled its fair share of tea at CES 2023, hinting that Qi2 could possibly be used to wirelessly charge accessories and devices without flat charging coils like VR headsets and smartwatches. It also mentioned that device manufacturers could create their own branded Qi2 devices and accessories via a verification system designed to ensure that the products play nicely with one another.
But that verification system could be a double-edged sword. Theoretically, a manufacturer like Samsung or Meta could pick and choose which Qi2-powered devices and accessories work with their hardware. There’s no indication that this is going to happen, but as the old saying goes, “they have the technology.”
A MagSafe-Like Experience for All
Android owners will get to dive into the next generation of MagSafe-like features thanks to the new Qi2 standard powered (and led) by Apple’s Magnetic Power Profile tech. This could result in the bulk of your devices supporting a more effective type of wireless charging in the very near future.
It’s too early to say if the tech is anything more than a gimmick or a clear winner, but it’s nonetheless exciting tech. We’ll have to wait and see how it rolls out at the end of 2023 and beyond.