AirPowerSource: Apple

What you need to know

  • Apple is reportedly is working on AirPower.
  • Bloomberg says the company is developing a "less ambitious" version of the wireless charger.
  • The news comes as Aira and Nomad launched their AirPower alternative.

AirPower continues to live on despite all of the odds.

Reported by Bloomberg, Apple has not given up on at least some version of AirPower, despite having canceled the project back in 2019. Included in a report about a rivaling technology developed by Aira and Nomad, the Base Station Pro, Bloomberg mentioned that Apple is still developing a "less ambitious" version of AirPower.

More than a year after AirPower's demise, Apple is developing a less ambitious wireless charger for the iPhone. But while the Silicon Valley giant works on that product, Aira Inc., a startup based in Chandler, Arizona, this week is rolling out a technology called FreePower that aims to deliver on the original promise of AirPower, and works for devices from different manufacturers, including those from Google and Samsung Electronics Co. -- not just Apple.

According to the report, Aira's technology is currently unable to charge an Apple Watch or display the charging status off other Apple devices on the lock screen of the iPhone, two features that were promised with Apple's AirPower.

Compared with the planned AirPower, the FreePower technology has two drawbacks. It can't charge an Apple Watch, which Aira attributes to that device's proprietary charger. Unlike the AirPower, Aira's technology also can't allow an iPhone to show the charging status of other devices on the mat.

The technology from Aira also has issues with slowing down or pausing charging due to issues with understanding what is on the mat. This was also an issue with AirPower, however.

In a recent test, the Aira system sometimes paused or slowed charging on a device because it confused that gadget with another one on the mat that had already finished charging. Aira said this is due to a bug with the algorithm the company uses to avoid the overheating issue. This was a problem that plagued Apple's AirPower mat, too.

If Apple is able to bring back AirPower it would definitely be able to offer more features than technologies like Aira's, but that all depends on if the company figures out how to get past the roadblocks that stopped it beforehand.