Apple intends to sell an AirPower charger next year that can simultaneously charge its new iPhone 8, as well as other devices.
The wireless charging looks to be similar to implementations on basically every other smartphone. Simply place the phone on a charging pad, and it’ll charge up (with the added bonus for iPhone users that wirelessly charging leaves the Lighting port free for wired headphones). Apple will be using the widely used Qi charging standard, which is good news for anyone who’s already bought into wireless chargers.
It is interesting that Apple didn’t go and make an all new standard here. They’re using Qi (pronounced “Chee”) — an open standard that has been in the works for nearly a decade. As Android fans will be quick to point out, it’s the same standard used in many an Android handset to date.
The good news is, lots of Qi chargers are already out there. Many cars sold in the past few years, for example, have Qi charging pads built-in. There are tons of third-party Qi chargers already on the market. Hell, IKEA even makes furniture with Qi chargers built-in. At least as far as we know so far, all those chargers should now work on the iPhone.
Iphone 8 Qi Charging Overview
The wireless-charging technology Apple has added uses a combination of Bluetooth 5.0 and the Qi wireless standard, which is already supported by several accessory makers. The standard allows for a device to charge without cables within 1.6 inches of the charging hub.
Apple expects the wireless-charging tech used in its new iPhones to be widely supported in cafes, restaurants, airports, and cars around the world, Schiller said.
Watch this video from Techcrunch below to see the charger first-hand:
You can now toss all your old chargers out the window and say hello to Qi wireless charging for good.
How the iPhone 8 Charger Works
The iPhone 8 will be able to use Qi wireless charging. “Qi” is the Chinese word for energy flow, and it the global standard for wireless charging used in many other devices and brands. The charging occurs through electromagnetic induction, which means that energy flows to the battery through wireless electromagnetic fields versus a standard cable.
Chi chargers use resonant inductive coupling between the charging station and the receiver. A regular test signal is sent by the charging station to check for a capacity or resonance change, telling the Qi enabled charger base that a Qi compatible phone is present. The sender modulates the charge and checks for compatibility to the Qi standard.
Once Qi compatibility and the energy requirement have been calculated, the charging through induction begins. During the charging the sender and receiver remain in contact and switch into standby mode as soon as the battery is fully charged. Another advantage of the Qi charger base is that it only activates and transfers energy when an enabled device requiring charging is placed upon it, potentially saving Americans millions in energy costs.
With this technology the electromagnetic coils that send and receive the charge are especially shielded to reduce electromagnetic rays.
One major advantage is that Chi chargers across varying manufacturers can be used for different devices and devices from different brands. This could create somewhat of a competitive field with charging manufacturers vying for customers from a wide base.
Cars Compatible with iPhone 8 Charging
Car Manufacturers with Built-In iPhone Chargers:
In general, most brands above have chargers that will work for the iPhone 8. The main exception is some of the pads are not large enough for the iPhone 8 Plus so in that case, you’ll have to plug your phone into a cable to charge. There’s no workaround yet if the phone is too big unfortunately.
The following General Motors cars / trucks will also support iPhone 8 Charging:
- 2018 GMC Terrain
- 2018 GMC Yukon
- 2018 GMC Sierra
- 2018 Chevrolet Bolt
- 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe
- 2018 Chevrolet Silverado
- 2018 Chevrolet Suburban
- 2018 Cadillac Escalade
- 2018 Buick Enclave
Things are a little complicated with the General Motors brands, though as the maker starting including wireless chargers in its 2017 model line. However, those specific pad models are not to Qi standards. As such, only the models listed above at this time support wireless charging on the iPhone 8.