I have reported earlier that wireless charging on Apple’s latest flagship smartphones sucks. The iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and iPhone X get only 5 watts of power via wireless charging mats. That’s roughly the same as the wired charger accessory that comes bundled with the new iPhones. Apple has released the third beta of iOS 11.2 to developers and public testers, which confirms that ‘fast’ wireless charging is finally coming to the iPhone X and iPhone 8.
iOS 11.2 beta 3 supports 7.5W wireless charging
Apple released the third beta only a week after rolling out the second iOS 11.2 beta. If you are a registered developer, you can download the latest beta from Apple’s Developer Center. The 2017 iPhones support wireless charging via the Qi standard. Though the Qi v1.2 allows for power transfer of up to 15W, the iPhone wireless charging is restricted to 5W.
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The iOS 11.2 will add support for 7.5W wireless charging. Though it’s a 50% increase from earlier for iPhone users, it’s still far less than 10W and 15W supported by Android phones that also rely on the same Qi standard. When smartphone accessories maker RAVPower told MacRumors about the fast wireless charging support in 11.2 beta, MacRumors was quick to test the feature.
After updating to the latest iOS 11.2 beta, MacRumors found that the 7.5W charger was about 43% faster than the 5W wireless charging. Apple sells Belkin and Mophie wireless charging pads in its stores, both of which support the 7.5W charging. It means you will not have to buy a new wireless charger to take advantage of the increased speed. Apple may improve the wireless charging speed further with the next year’s iPhones.
Why Apple’s wireless charging is not as fast as Android phones?
The Cupertino company has promised to launch its own wireless charging mat AirPower sometime next year. The AirPower will be able to charge multiple Apple devices simultaneously. Wireless chargers allow you to charge your phone without plugging into a wired charger. But they aren’t wireless in the true sense because you still have to plug the charger to the wall.
It is unclear why Apple does not support 10W wireless charging that many Android phones offer. The iPhone X owners who have never used the 10W charging will think 7.5W is pretty fast. Experts believe Apple might have restricted the iPhone wireless charging to 7.5W to keep the costs down. According to the Wireless Power Consortium chairman Menno Treffers, the costs go up with the increase in power level.
Control Center clarity, Apple Pay Cash
Another major highlight of the iOS 11.2 is the Apple Pay Cash. The Apple Pay Cash is available as a dedicated app in Messages. It enables peer-to-peer money transfer. You can send cash to your contacts from a linked credit or debit card. You can use the cash you receive from friends to make App Store purchases, or withdraw it to your bank account.
The iOS 11.2 beta 3 adds a little more clarity about disabling Bluetooth and WiFi via Control Center. Apple has also added a small indicator on the lock screen to show you where the Control Center is. The third beta has added a pop-up prompt that informs users that turning off Bluetooth and WiFi from the Control Center does not disable these features. Apple’s devices such as Apple Watch and AirDrop will remain active even when you disable WiFi and Bluetooth.
When you disable WiFi or Bluetooth on your device running iOS 11.2 beta 3, you’ll get a prompt that says the current networks and accessories will be disconnected. But WiFi will continue to be available for location accuracy, AirDrop, and Personal Hotspot. Bluetooth will continue to be available for the Apple Watch, Apple Pencil, Handoff, and Personal Hotspot.
If you want to fully turn off WiFi or Bluetooth, you’ll have to go to Settings to disable them. Of course, things could change in the final version of iOS 11.2 when it is released to the public.
Other features and bug fixes in iOS 11.2
The latest beta has also fixed an animation bug in the Calculator app that caused the app to ignore a few numbers and symbols. The third beta gets rid of the animation to ensure that users can perform calculations quickly. The update also gets a redesigned camera emoji, a Now Playing option on the Apple TV in Control Center, and new Live Wallpapers for the iPhone X.
The third beta also has a feature that allows developers to provide new customers discounted introductory pricing for auto-renewable subscriptions in the App Store. The iOS 11.2 also give you the ability to control AirPlay 2 devices from the Control Center.
The iOS 11.2 should arrive by the end of this year. Apple hasn’t confirmed its release date, but we know that it lays the groundwork for HomePod, which will start shipping in key markets next month. The update should arrive before HomePod goes on sale.