It’s almost a year since the iPhone 12 series introduced us to MagSafe technology. While Apple toted it as one of the biggest upgrades to its flagship phone series, we've yet to see any additions that remarkably change the way we use our smartphones.
With the iPhone 13 expected to arrive at the Apple event on September 14, we've put together some of our ultimate MagSafe accessories we'd like to see Apple and third-party manufacturers embrace in 2021 and beyond.
The first year of MagSafe has introduced chargers, cases, gimbals and more, but we thought a little outside the box for some of these choices so expect a couple of wackier ideas than you're used to in these five picks.
Tom Bedford - Phones Writer
There used to be a Moto Mod projector, which let you clip a projector to the back of your Moto phone to throw images onto a nearby wall. Was it great? Not particularly. Was it fun? It sure was.
This could be useful for streaming Netflix onto a wall for lots of people to see, or just scrolling through Instagram for an audience. If the projector resolution was higher than the ugly-looking Moto one, it might actually be useful too.
While this probably wouldn't be a big seller, it would make a clear case for how different MagSafe accessories can be.
A photo mod
David Lumb - Associate Editor, Mobile
There was an idea – or really, a Kickstarter – to clamp a MagSafe case with photo controls and dials to your iPhone, giving it DSLR-level control with dials and shutter/function buttons.
While we look forward to whatever this project results in, we really just want Apple to make an official version and save everyone the trouble of figuring out how to make hardware interoperable with iOS apps.
Leave it to Apple to figure out a way to translate touch controls to hardware – not just with the standard iOS Camera app, but with third-party photo apps like the ever-popular VSCO, too, which have far more granular options for tweaking photos.
We’d love anyone to solve this problem, the sooner the better, but it’s usually Apple that makes sure it ‘just works.’
An Apple Watch and AirPods charger
James Peckham - Phones Editor
If you own certain Android smartwatches, some Android phones will allow you to use reverse wireless charging to boost it up when it’s running low on battery. That’s not possible on an iPhone or an Apple Watch, but MagSafe could make it possible.
I’d like to see a case that you can lay your Apple Watch on to charge, and a magnetic connector would mean you’d be able to use your phone without it falling off the rear of your handset. Hell, if we can do this for an Apple Watch, I'll say it would also be able to recharge your AirPods.
This would be particularly useful for those scenarios when you forget your Apple Watch charger as you’d be able to recharge your smartwatch and your phone at the same time from a single cable.
A gaming controller
John McCann - Global Managing Editor
There are plenty of third-party gaming controllers and cases available on the market, but if Apple is serious about Arcade then why not give users the perfect tool for the job - a controller specifically designed for Mag-Safe compatible iPhones.
Give us premium design, a sleek form factor and something that’s as easy to detach as it is to attach. You could even build in a slimline power bank into the design, giving your phone a power boost when gaming to help preserve that all important battery life.
A big speaker
James Rogerson, Phones Writer
It’s probably fair to say that no smartphone has great or even really okay speakers. Some have speakers that are good “for a phone” but they’re still usually fairly quiet and fairly low quality. That’s inevitable given the need to fit them into such a small space, but a MagSafe speaker accessory could give Apple much more space to play with.
Essentially this could just be a small portable speaker that would clip onto the iPhone, and through the power of MagSafe also draw power from the iPhone and be controlled by the phone.
It still probably wouldn’t offer great sound, not unless Apple ditches the ‘small’ part of the equation, but it could be a huge upgrade on what we have now, and ideal for camping, festivals, or anyone who just wants a really loud speakerphone for their calls.