MagSafe coming back to the Mac? Yes please!

USB-C charger
USB-C charger (Image credit: iMore)

This past weekend saw more claims that Apple is bringing MagSafe back to the Mac, and I'm all about that magnetic charging life. I remember the good old days when MagSafe was something we had on all of Apple's notebooks, but those days are long gone. The suggestion that they could be about to return warms the heart. And it's long overdue.

Sure, MagSafe on iPhone 12 and beyond is pretty cool. We'll all agree to that. But it's more of a nice-to-have there than anything else, and it was very functional on the MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro. So functional that I'd wager it saved more than a few notebooks from being smashed into smithereens. See, MagSafe was originally designed for its quick-release feature — a feature that meant someone could trip over a trailing MacBook cable and not take the actual machine with them. It was genius, and it worked.

Then it all went away with the arrival of USB-C. Sure, being able to charge your Mac from both sides is cool and all, but none of that mattered when the dog yanked your $3,000 MacBook Pro from your lap. We didn't have to deal with that in my day, laddy. And it'll be great to see those days finally return.

MacBook USB-C port

MacBook USB-C port (Image credit: iMore)

Unfortunately, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says we're going to need to wait until 2022 for MagSafe's return — at least on a MacBook Air. That's when he says Apple will be ready to unleash the new and improved notebook That machine is already set to have a new look and new internals, but it's the way it charges that interests me the most. I'll be keen to see exactly what MagSafe is when it makes its return, for example. Some rumors have that happening as part of the upcoming 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros long before the MacBook Air refresh. We'll have to wait and see.

Will MagSafe be USB-C with a fancy magnetic sheath? Or will the new MagSafe look and work similarly to the old one, complete with visible pins for charging purposes? Whatever it looks like, it'll include magnets and that, right there, is the most important thing.

Who knows. Maybe the new MagSafe will save a few MacBooks from the scrapheap before their time, too.

This isn't to say that the current M1 MacBook Air isn't pretty great, USB-C and all. It's the best Mac for most people — and by some margin, too.

Oliver Haslam
Contributor

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.

1 Comment
  • I've never had a Mac (or any laptop) hit the deck as a result of pulling the cable. But I very, very much value the ability to plug in from either side. My hope is that any return of MagSafe would have MagSafe ports on either side, or at least, a design that still allows us to use a right-side port for charging. Because.....most of the time....I don't want the charging cable on the left.