The Regression of Apple’s Charging UX

In 2006, Apple introduced their proprietary MagSafe charging for the MacBook Pro. It was an incredible solution and was significantly better than any other charging connection methods on the market. The MagSafe connector provided two distinct advantages over traditional chargers:

  1. Quick Disconnect – I’m quite careful around my high-value electronic equipment, but the magnetic disconnect of MagSafe has saved me at least 5 times over the years.
  2. Charge Status Indicator – It was always very nice (especially on a laptop with no screen visible while closed) to get a visual update on the charge status of your device; orange for charging, green for charged. Simple.

It’s now 2018, 12 years after the MagSafe was introduced, and I can’t help but think we are in a slight regression when it comes to Apple’s charging UX. No magnetic connectors, no charge status indicators. I understand that the newer USB-C connectors might not lend well to magnetic disconnects, but why not keep the status indicator? A company called Moshi sells them for $29, so surely Apple could have at least included this?

My guess is that Apple is looking forward to a completely wireless future over the coming 5-7 years, but in the meantime, it feels a bit like a step backwards in charging UX.

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