MagSafe is a MagMess

Last year with the iPhone 12, Apple announced MagSafe. The idea was simple: the back of an iPhone is now magnetic and you could attach accessories easily. Need to change accessories? Swapping one would take only a few seconds. Apple rolled out a charging puck and a wallet. As someone who purchased an iPhone 12, I was excited to see what other companies would release in the coming months.

Disappointment was abound when the reviews for Belkin's Car Vent Mount Pro started rolling in. At a $40 price point I was not about to drop down the cash for something so mediocre. I already own a Samsung Qi charging stand and I did not feel the urge to replace it with Apple's expensive MagSafe puck. It took many, many months for me to get my first MagSafe accessory: the Moment car vent mount. It's nothing fancy looking, but gets the job done. I've gone on long drives and my iPhone has never budged off it.

Having one MagSafe accessory that works well spurs the urge to look for others. As a reluctant Pop Socket user on my older iPhone, I waited for their impending MagSafe product. My thinking went that if I could easily swap the Pop Socket for my Moment mount, it would bring a nice convenience. This time reviews of the Pop Socket were good but a key fact was you really need a case on your iPhone in order to use it. It holds better to a grippy surface than when it's the bare iPhone. Well, go figure. I use a bumper case with no back cover and that means this product is almost definitely not for me.

With iPhone 13, MagSafe has needed adjustments. This was billed as a standard but the larger camera bump on the 13 means chargers such as the MagSafe Duo don't fit unless you buy a revised edition. Further, there are still almost no compelling MagSafe products on the market that I am aware of. That alone is a crying shame. When MagSafe works, it's awesome. The idea makes a ton of sense. I love the ease of taking things on and off while having something secure enough to not worry about it.

If Apple were looking to truly generate attention, some well-placed ads or very clever innovations would squeeze some juice. As we know from anything popular, anything that gives a visual indicator of "I have this" such as AirPods, the "Sent from my iPhone" message on every email since 2007, or even the white headphones of the original iPod would turn a MagSafe "something" into the next "it" accessory.

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