Do you carry a battery for your phone? If so, you are not alone. If you have an iPhone 12 or 13 series phone, MagSafe’s ability means that the best way to make sure you never run out of power is to use a magnetically held battery.
There are many options on the market, including cool options in Anker’s pastel colors and Apple’s own model. The Apple MagSafe Battery Pack looks massive and fits perfectly on the back of iPhone of all sizes.
It has a lot of things in it: just snap it in place and it will automatically start charging right away. The display shows the battery charge for both the iPhone and the package itself.
And it has one unique ability that is under-reported: two-way charging. If you want to charge the battery, you can plug it in directly, or, which is the cool thing, plug the iPhone into the mains and then put the battery pack in the back. The iPhone will share its charge with the Battery Pack.
However, it has been criticized for not having enough power to fully charge it. For iPhone 12 mini or iPhone 13 mini it can add 70% charge, but on iPhone 12 Pro Max or iPhone 13 Pro Max it will only save 40% on full charge.
In addition, it charges only at a low power, 5 watts. This is now fixed thanks to a firmware update. With the latest firmware, it will recharge the iPhone at 7.5W, which is a huge benefit, obviously.
So how do you get the latest firmware?
There are two ways, one is fast and one is definitely slower. The slow method is described by Apple in a support document: “The firmware update starts automatically after you attach the battery pack to your iPhone. The firmware update can take about a week.”
Simple then, but who has time to wait a week?
In this case, you’ll likely prefer the five-minute repair, in which you’ll need an iMac or iPad and a cable to connect the two.
Here’s Apple’s instructions: “To update the firmware with your Mac or iPad, connect one end of the Lightning to USB cable to the Lightning connector on the battery pack, and the other end to your Mac or iPad. It will take about 5 minutes to update the firmware.”
Just plug it in and wait. No special update light or anything like that. After five minutes, you can check for a firmware update. On your iPhone, go to Settings > General > About > MagSafe Battery Pack. The firmware version will be 2.7.
The MagSafe Battery Pack still doesn’t fully recharge your phone, but at least it will do what it can, faster.