An iPad With Wireless Charging Could Be Useful, But Unnecessary

Key Takeaways

  • Adding wireless charging functionality may not be enough to make a new iPad Pro worthwhile.
  • Wireless charging for an iPad Pro would be convenient, but that convenience is limited if you want to use the iPad while it’s charging.
  • Being able to wirelessly charge other devices from your iPad Pro is a neat idea that may not pan out in practice.
Mobile devices and laptop charging on office desk

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Excitement surrounds the news of Apple working on a new iPad Pro that can charge wirelessly, but such a feature may be more of a convenience than a necessity.

Ever since the release of the iPhone 8 in 2017, wireless charging capabilities have been the default for Apple smartphones—but not for iPads. However, that may change with the next iPad Pro. Apple reportedly is working on bringing wireless charging to its tablets, which would allow users to ditch the cables in favor of induction mats and wireless stands.

"Because of its portable nature, I believe that wireless charging would be a huge improvement," said Christen Costa, CEO of Gadget Review, in an email interview with Lifewire. "People on the go can be set back significantly if their iPad’s battery dies and they have to wait for it to charge while plugged into a wall, but wireless charging would allow active workers to never have to deal with this issue again."

No More Wires

Wireless charging presumably would function the same on iPad as it does on iPhone, with the size of the device (and possibly the charger) being the only real difference. The iPad would be placed on an induction mat or in a charging stand, ready for you to grab it and go when the need arises.

Digital tablets and mobile phones plugged in to an extension lead charge

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The convenience of wireless charging is a big part of the allure. You don’t have to fumble with cords, worry about finding an outlet, or potentially snag a wire on anything. It’s an ideal feature for those who always are on the move.

"Charging can be such a pain, especially if you aren't close to your charging station," said Eric Florence, cybersecurity analyst for SecurityTech, in an email interview. "But with wireless charging, you can power up your device from just about anywhere."

"Because of its portable nature, I believe that wireless charging would be a huge improvement."

Being able to charge an iPad without cables would have its drawbacks, however. Since the device would need to maintain contact with the charging pad or stand, it would have to remain stationary. This isn’t a major issue if you’re using a stand and can use it for a minute or two without removing it, but can be far more limiting since any shift in position (like a bump or a vibration from a notification) could stop the charging process.

Alina Clark, growth manager and co-founder of CocoDoc, also expressed reservations in an email interview. "Even though it's cool and trendy, wireless charging comes with a few drawbacks," she said. "The biggest of them is the fact that wireless charging inhibits you from using the device while it’s charging."

Reverse It

The other feature that could make its way into the next iPad Pro is being referred to as "reverse wireless charging," which would enable the iPad, itself, to act as an induction mat. This would give you the option of charging other Apple devices, such as AirPods, by simply placing them on the back of the tablet. Not an unreasonable concept, seeing as it’s already possible to charge the Apple Pencil by snapping it onto the side of any current model of iPad Pro.

Phone battery wireless charge sharing

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Using your iPad as a wireless charging station for other devices sounds interesting, but would it be a game changer or just a curious gimmick? Being able to place your AirPods on your iPad to charge them sounds convenient, though the overall usefulness seems limited. Especially considering that AirPods already come with a charging case.

"Since we already saw how the iPad can charge its pen easily, I would love to test out its extended capabilities with new features," said Harriet Chan, co-founder of CocoFinder, in an email interview. "The addition of this feature takes the iPad to a new level with all the new arsenal of various features and reverse charging would be an addition to Apple's product lineup."

Costa feels differently, however. "I think that allowing the Apple Pencil to charge from newer iPads was a smart development as the pencil and iPad work together so well, but charging any other device on an iPad (like an iPhone or Apple Watch) would not be as crucial and I do not think people would utilize it, he said.

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