Instead of a charging port that gently breaks away when tugged (or tripped over), Apple replaced it with USB-C. Sure, USB-C is more versatile — it’s reversible, and capable of transferring data and video in addition to power — but it’s no MagSafe.
A newly publicized patent, however, suggests Apple could have a fix in the works.
According to patent 20170093104, Apple is entertaining the idea of a MagSafe-to-USB-C adapter for MacBooks, which would bring back the magnetic charging functionality (sorta).
From what we can tell, Apple’s MagSafe adapter would actually work like an existing product: Griffin’s BreakSafe Magnetic USB-C Power Cable. The only difference would be, you’d be using a real MagSafe plug instead of Griffin’s magnetic plug, which has been called flimsy.
Though Apple’s only ever used MagSafe in its MacBooks, the adapter wouldn’t be limited to laptops. The patent lists a slew of potential uses for a MagSafe adapter:
“Embodiments of the present invention may provide adapters that may connect to connector receptacles on various types of devices, such as portable computing devices, tablet computers, desktop computers, laptops, all-in-one computers, wearable computing devices, cell phones, smart phones, media phones, storage devices, portable media players, navigation systems, monitors, power supplies, adapters, remote control devices, chargers, and other devices.”
In theory, Apple could create a bunch of different MagSafe adapters with different male-end plugs such as Lightning and micro USB for devices such as iPhones and Android phones.
It’s not a great or elegant solution (no dongles will ever be), but it could save your MacBook from doom. I can’t tell you how many times MagSafe has saved my old 2014 MacBook Pro from damage.
Still, don’t get your hopes up just yet. It’s just a patent and most of the time, patents never morph into anything beyond elementary drawings.