This new MagSafe device patent from Apple could be a dial control for your devices

Apple iPhone battery pack
(Image credit: Future/ iMore)

If you've picked up one of the best iPhones in the past few years, your device will have come with MagSafe built-in. Aside from easy wireless charging, it lets you use a whole range of MagSafe accessories with your smartphone. And it looks like Apple is working on a new type of accessory that would control your other Apple devices.

According to a recent patent filed in the US, Apple is developing a MagSafe accessory with a rotatable dial. The idea is that the accessory would act as a control, giving you extra functionality on your iPhone and even other Apple devices.

Rotation, rotation, rotation

A patent sketch for Apple's MagSafe dial accessory

The star of the show here is the rotatable control element. That's the fancy term for a dial that lets you play with your device's settings. The patent details a number of potential uses for the dial. Want to extend the built-in support stand? Just give it a twist. Fancy adjusting the zoom on your camera? Twist again. Thanks to some icon diagrams, we can see it would support this full list of features:

  • Zoom
  • Volume
  • Focus
  • Video Scrubbing
  • Depth of Field
  • Cover Flow
  • Compensation
  • Tool Switcher
  • Filter Selector
  • Camera Mode

This cylindrical accessory isn't just about aesthetics, it's also practical. There's a distinct texture on the rotatable dial for those of us who can't see our devices without our specs on. More importantly, it would allow the MagSafe dial to be used by those with sight disabilities.

Apple's illustrations show this accessory cuddling up with an iPhone, but let's not pigeonhole this device. The folks at Apple envision this chameleon-like accessory flirting with iPads, MacBooks, camera tripods, and even your car dashboard.

Of course, as this is still a patent, it may never see the light of day. Being published so recently, we doubt this new MagSafe dial will appear alongside the iPhone 16. It would more likely become available with future launches, if at all. In the meantime, stick to slapping one of the best MagSafe wallets to the back of your iPhone.

More from iMore

Connor Jewiss

Connor is a technology writer and editor, with a byline on multiple platforms. He has been writing for around seven years now across the web and in print too. Connor has experience on most major platforms, though does hold a place in his heart for macOS, iOS/iPadOS, electric vehicles, and smartphone tech.