Wireless charging on phones certainly wasn’t a new innovation when Apple announced it for the iPhone 8 last September. But that’s a very Apple thing to do - show off a not-new innovative feature and make it feel new again. Make it feel, well, very Apple.
One of the ways it did this was with the announcement of AirPower, its multifaceted wireless charging pad that had room for an iPhone, an Apple Watch and an Apple Airpod wireless charging case - something that also has never seen the light of day.
It was the charging pad to rule them all, except it has never been released. For the third-party manufacturers, such as Belkin, who have something similar in their coveted spot in the Apple Store, this will come as a relief. But for everyone else who likes their tech to come straight from Apple, it’s been a frustrating experience.
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The AirPower itself is rather innovative and this could be the reason for the delay. Unlike most Qi chargers, it isn’t charging one device but three - three things that take a different bit of power wattage to charge their batteries.
The mat is also said to have an iPhone-like processor inside that runs on a pared-down version of iOS so that it integrates better with the various devices it charges.
This integration comes in the form of easy-to-read updates on the battery life of your devices.
Underpowered release schedule
There have been glimmers of a release but these have all come from rumor and conjecture, rather than an official response from Apple.
Then in June there was a rumor that it was delayed again (although, it can’t really be delayed twice, just...more delayed) and it would be out in September. So far it hasn’t and if it were, then Tim Cook would have surely mentioned it in his sprawling keynote.
Those looking for an answer at the latest Apple event, where the Apple Watch 4, iPhone XS, iPhones XS Max and iPhone XR were launched, will also be disappointed. Not one second of the two-hour conference mentioned AirPower.
But there could have been a perfect time. That moment at the beginning of the keynote where Tim Cook’s strange tweet about getting something to him fast made complete sense. The bit where a courier rushed a product to him with the utter most urgency, making it out like the thing in the box was really needed for the keynote. It turned out, to a smattering of applause and cheers, that it was just a Keynote clicker.
If it was the AirPower in the box, then those cheers would have been for real.
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Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, Shortlist.com at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.