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Photo: Jack Skeens (Shutterstock) Most people buy a wireless charger for one reason, and that reason is the convenience of placing a device on a circular pad (or a stand, or whatever) to restore its battery. No more power bricks. No more cables. No more rebuying cables because they have frayed and broken after six months of repeated plugging and unplugging. People want a pad that charges their device; they don’t want a hassle.

So why does Apple make wireless charging so confusing? Wireless charging speeds are a mess

If you’re not up to date on the nuances of wireless charging performance, the simple truth is that—right now, at least—it offers a slower experience than you can get using a cable.

For example, Apple’s new MagSafe charger can charge up your MagSafe-friendly iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, or iPhone 12 Pro Max at 15W. But that’s only if you’ve connected it to Apple’s new 20W power adapter . If you care about raw speeds, you’re better off just plugging your iPhone 12 directly into the power adapter (using a USB-C to Lightning cable) or using one of Apple’s bulkier MacBook power adapters that can charge at a much higher rate.

(If that sounds confusing, don’t even get me started about quirks with charging MacBooks .)

One thing I’ll say up front: You don’t need to buy an expensive MacBook charger to power up your iPhone. Just use what you have (or whatever you can source for cheap), as even the 61W MacBook power […]