Earlier this week the US Patent and Trademark Office released news that Apple had 20 newly granted patents. Among them, Patently Apple discovered, a MagSafe port designed for use on future versions of the iPad as well as the original iPod and iPod Nano. The MagSafe adapter is a connector, such as those used for power that is adhered to the unit by a magnet as opposed to being held in place purely by insertion into the port. Those of you with a newer model MacBook will be familiar with this style of connector, as it is already used by their power adapters.
Those of you who have children, or who may just be a little bit accident prone will appreciate the MagSafe connectors because a tug on the cord (or when you trip and catch it with your foot) will release the connection. This has saved my laptop from hitting the floor more than once I can assure you.
There were initial criticisms of this style connector when Apple first released it, stating that because of the magnetic properties on the cord and the port, there exists the potential for it attracting random metallic particles and causing power shorting or blockages. While I suppose this is technically possible, I would suspect the actual likelihood of that occurring is in direct proportion to how often you set your device next to a pile of iron filings.
Yes it is a magnet, but no, forks don’t fly across the room when I am using my computer.
The additional benefit of a MagSafe adapter is the palindromic design that allows it to be inserted in two directions –meaning there is no more backwards. Grab the cord and snap it against the bottom of your device and it doesn’t matter which direction the cord was facing. Anybody who has tried to plug their iOS device in when the room is dark knows the frustration of inevitably trying to pop the cord in the wrong way the first time.
I would be thrilled to see this style connector used on all Apple devices… and I hope the approval of this patent application is an indication of just that.
[via Patently Apple]