Why is wireless charging considered a selling point?

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by chrf097, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. macrumors 68040

    chrf097

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2011
    #1
    So I go from using a standard USB plug compatible with nearly any device, to a proprietary mat that will only work with my device and no cross-compatibility?

    Not to mention you go from having a fully mobile plug to having a mat that stays in on place, and if you wanna switch locations you have to take the mat with you.

    Unless the mat is some kind of design to where you can hold the mat and use the phone, you're gonna have to be staring straight down at the mat (or orb or whatever the device uses.

    Not only that, it's going to make travel charging a pain, having to carry that charger everywhere

    All this for what? Inefficiently charging your phone that looks 1% cooler than just plugging it in? Maybe if there was some kind of cool multimedia mode you get like when you put it in an audio dock that would add some redemption, but still, please tell me why something so stupid is actually used to sell phones?
     
  2. macrumors 68030

    ChrisTX

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    Texas
    #2
    The charging mat still has to be plugged in, so it's not really wireless.
     
  3. macrumors 68030

    blackhand1001

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    #3
    That's not the point. The point is that you can just simply put the phone on the mat instead of having to fiddle with the plug.

    ----------

    You do realize that you can use the regular style chargers just fine on phone with wireless charging.
     
  4. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2012
    #4
    Qi charging is a standard, so there is cross compatibility. Mine works with the nexus 4, lumia 920, s3... I keep my cable in my truck and the mat in my bedroom.
     
  5. macrumors 603

    siurpeeman

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Location:
    the OC
    #5
    the act of plugging a chord into your phone can be daunting for a lot of people, especially with the really small micro usb plug. you're never quite sure which way is the right way. you jam and poke, and if doesn't go in, you flip it around and jam and poke some more. and if it still doesn't go, then you gotta pay real attention to the orientation of the plug to see if you're doing it right. then you jam and poke to get the damn thing in (thank god for lightning).

    placing the phone on a mat, or orb, or touchstone is much simpler and really kind of cool. you put it down when you want it to charge, and you pick it up when you want to go. there's no fiddling around with plugs and chords, and it just works.

    or at least it's supposed to. i had a palm pre, and the touchstone charger was great at first. no fiddling with the cables was doubly nice since you didn't have to deal with the door covering the usb port, but the negatives started to show quite quickly. wireless charging took at least twice as long to get a full charge, and the phone would get super hot while charging. i don't know if the experience is any different now, but it'd have to be for me to consider using. compound that with the fact that these charging orbs/mats can't transmit data, and you're forced again to physically connect the phone to the computer. wireless syncing could make this point moot, but right now the syncing is still way too slow and unreliable. too many times i wirelessly sync my phone to my computer only for the connection to drop unexpectedly and i'm forced to either make another attempt or to just plug the phone into the computer.

    this post has gone on a lot longer than i originally intended. the tl;dr of it is that wireless charging/syncing is a nice idea and could be remarkably convenient, but i don't think it's quite there yet.
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    ReanimationN

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2011
    Location:
    Australia
    #6
    I don't understand the appeal either-I use my phone while it's plugged in all the time, a wireless charging mat would make that very difficult.
     
  7. macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Location:
    Pa
    #7
    I'm just saying, Apple made a huge deal out of the lightning connector because you can insert it either way. Wireless is a step better.

    Also, Wireless charging is a standard used by a few Android and Windows phones, so it's as useful as a USB cable. Of course, if you're ever on the move, just use a USB cable. It's not "just" wireless charging, it's "in addition".

    You mean like the JB Speaker that makes use of NFC, Bluetooth, and Wireless Charging so that when you put your phone on top of it, it automatically syncs via Bluetooth and plays music through the speakers -- and charges the phone -- just by putting it in a specific spot?

    EDIT: You still need to plug a phone in to sync, but if you use a Windows phone there's wireless sync built in too. I haven't used the USB port on my phone in almost a month.
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2011
    #8
    Very good point.

    I also don't see the point, other than perhaps in a car.

    I'm loving that my digital camera, phone, electric toothbrush and wifi dongle all charge off the same chargers/computer using micro USB.
     
  9. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2012
    #9
    Lol@plugging in a device can be a daunting task. You have a 50/50 shot. Typically the charger I'd marked or one side looks different than the other. I'm sorry a 5 sec task is such a big deal.
     
  10. macrumors 604

    onthecouchagain

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    #10
    It's a convenience feature. As are many features. I don't see how it's not considered a selling point. It opens up another option to charge your phone. It's not like it's the only way to charge.

    And it's the first step to what could be possible down the road. Imagine one day when walking into the right room in your home will start charging the phone, whether it's on a charger pad or in your pocket. Imagine the day when walking into your home means your phone starts charging. Imagine the day when walking into a "WiFi/Charge" area, like say a Starbucks or a cafe or whatever, means your phone begins charging.

    Technology, baby.
     
  11. macrumors 68000

    daveathall

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    Location:
    North Yorkshire
    #11
    Phone rings, pick it up and answer, once finished, put it back on mat to continue charge. What is so difficult about that, you don't need to keep it on the mat to answer or use it.
     
  12. macrumors 68030

    ChrisTX

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    Texas
    #12
    But that is the point. If you're going to plug in the charging mat, wouldn't it be just as easy to plug in the phone too?
     
  13. macrumors 604

    onthecouchagain

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    #13
    You only need to plug the mat in once.

    Not arguing that it's hard to plug in the USB. Just saying.
     
  14. macrumors 68000

    daveathall

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    Location:
    North Yorkshire
    #14
    My use would be at home where the mat would be plugged in all the time, for instance on the nightstand. If I needed to charge it at work for instance, the charging cable could be unplugged from the mat and taken with me. (I wouldn't do that, I would buy a spare charging lead)
     
  15. macrumors 68040

    F123D

  16. macrumors 68030

    Tinmania

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2011
    Location:
    Aridzona
    #16
    That is exactly where I would use it, and perhaps one in my office.

    Personally, I am not understanding why anyone would not like having this feature available.

    Now when I go to bed, perhaps sleepy, I have to first remember to plug my phone in, then find the cord, then fiddle with plugging it in. How in the world is just placing it on a mat that is always there not a good thing? On top of that I won't reach for the phone in the morning, forgetting the cord is attached. Or, worse, walk away with it still attached. And if I need to check something before I get up I can grab the phone, do what I need to do, and then set it back down.

    I don't really care if it takes longer to charge since it will be charged overnight regardless what method I use.

    As for my office, the benefit of not being tethered to a cord seems attractive to me. Many times I am using the phone and (if I remember) have to unplug the charger so I can get up or move further away than the cable will reach. Afterwards I do not always remember to reconnect the charger. Having a wireless charger to simply place my phone would be nice.

    Finally, since being able to charge wirelessly in no way precludes charging with a wire what is not to like? Don't use if you don't want to.

    I should note my current device, a Note 2, does not have wireless charging. I could add it with a mod but am still thinking about it.



    Michael
     
  17. macrumors 603

    jrswizzle

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2012
    Location:
    McKinney, TX
    #17
    I don't think the issue is having it - simply why is it made such a big deal when there are some drawbacks to it with only a minimal amount of convenience added...

    Obviously, you could get cheaper alternatives on Amazon - but the rumor is the charging orb for the N4 is $60! That's a ton of money to pay just so I don't have to plug something in.....

    When the tech gets where onthecouchagain was talking about, then wireless charging will be a great feature (hugely innovative and in the works currently) - until then, its pretty much just a gimmick.
     
  18. macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Lincoln, England
    #18
    It's convenient; that's it really.

    You shouldn't be asking what's so good about wireless charging, you should be asking why you would want to plug in a cable when you could simply place the phone on top of the charger instead.

    It's a small improvement.
     
  19. macrumors 604

    onthecouchagain

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    #19
    So we're essentially debating whether it should be a selling point or not?

    Because if so, that's a silly debate to engage in. It's new-ish technology, and definitely not common. Of course manufacturers will use it as a selling point.

    Apple's using noise cancellation as a selling point in one of their ads.
     
  20. macrumors 603

    Technarchy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2012
    #20
    That's pretty much my thinking on the matter.

    Far too often I want my phone to be charging and usable.

    I suppose throwing the phone on a charging pad at night before I sleep might be useful, but it isn't like plugging in a lightning cable is all that difficult.
     
  21. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2012
    #21
    Exactly. And once you use it, you hate having to plug in your phone or tablet. Convenience.

    And really, the only time you would really use this is when you are sitting at work for 8 hours and want to keep your phone topped up, or at night when you get into bed and you charge your phone overnight.
    If you need a fast charge (and have a phone without a changeable battery) you will need to plug in the phone.
    Since I own an S3, wireless charging is perfect. I have spare batteries should I need them, so I would never need to plug into an outlet again. Just set my phone on the Touchstone at night. And once Qi (pronounced Chi) is the set standard for Windows and Android, every phone will wirelessly charge the same way. Just like NFC is now the norm on all these phones.
     
  22. macrumors 603

    jrswizzle

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2012
    Location:
    McKinney, TX
    #22
    Difference being there is no added cost to better noise cancellation (to the consumer at least) while we benefit from it many times a day every day.

    Versus

    Having to pay extra for a small, somewhat gimmicky convenience of simply putting down a phone to charge versus picking up a cord to plug into it.

    I'm not trying to put any of this down - like I said, once wireless charging gets to the point you referred to earlier, the first companies to offer this will have a massive selling point on their hands.

    But really - there are plenty of relatively gimmicky features out there that are used to sell phones - ultimately, you can't blame the OEMs for trying to give their devices SOME differentiating factor.
     
  23. macrumors 68000

    daveathall

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    Location:
    North Yorkshire
    #23
    I have to ask what the drawbacks are? One would assume that it would become an industry standard so that once owned, the mat would charge all phones with that feature, that IMHO would negate the cost argument as the mat would be used on successive phones as they are acquired. I think Matt has summed it up perfectly. "why would one want to plug their phone into a charger when all one has to do is place it on a mat?"
     
  24. macrumors 604

    onthecouchagain

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    #24

    Precisely. Welcome to technology. It lives in the fast lane, and anything new -- meaning, anything they can use to differentiate themselves from the competition -- can and will be used to their advantage. We see it all the time.


    Great point:

     
  25. macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Lincoln, England
    #25
    I imagine the cost will come down once it's more mainstream. Some companies will probably start to include wireless charging with their standard feature set and include a charging pad in the box.
     

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