This is Apple’s long-term AirPower project
Let’s be honest, Apple would rather we forget about AirPower. The company hinted at the possible future existence of a wireless charger at the iPhone X reveal in 2017, stating that it would offer a streamlined charging experience for multiple Apple devices at once, regardless of their orientation – if the product’s coil came into contact. with the charger, it would be charged.
The problem was that Apple could not perfect the technology, with rumors suggesting that there were potential overheating problems and some failures when charging the Apple Watch.
There wasn’t much talk about AirPower for a while, and finally, when it became clear that Apple couldn’t overcome the obstacles, it quietly removed the device page from Apple’s website and canned the project.
Nomad’s Base Station Pro seeks to fill the gap in the market with an effortless wireless charging experience close to what Apple had in mind. Simply put, the Base Station Pro is a high-end wireless charger crafted from premium materials, including a precision-machined aluminum frame and a padded black leather charging surface, offering what Nomad calls wireless charging of 7.5 W “full surface”.
Aira’s FreePower technology is the star of the show, allowing you to place your iPhone or AirPods almost anywhere on the charger and still be charged wirelessly.
It’s a clear comparison to standard wireless charging mats that won’t charge your device if it’s slightly misaligned with the charging coil, using a unique 18-coil array within the circuit board and software algorithms to be able to detect a device, regardless. of its orientation, and deliver a wireless charge.
Crucially, you are not limited to just one device; The leather area of the charging mat, which houses the wireless charging technology, is large enough to charge up to three devices at once, be it three iPhones or one iPhone, a set of AirPods, and a set of AirPods Pro.
You may be concerned that charging multiple devices at once might slow down the overall experience, but thanks to the supplied 30W charger, there’s no change in speed regardless of whether it’s charging one device or three.
However, it is not perfect; Like Apple, Nomad never found a way to charge the Apple Watch, which doesn’t support Qi standard wireless charging and just won’t charge when placed on the mat.
But when it comes to multi-device charging in the Apple ecosystem, the Apple Watch is an integral part and something that many iPhone owners also use on a daily basis.
The good news is that Nomad has found a solution in the form of a stand that the Apple Watch sits on, and it will dock with the Pro Base Station for a near-perfect experience.
However, it doesn’t actually power the watch with power from the mat; Like many other Apple Watch chargers, you will need to mount your standard Apple Watch charger inside it and power it separately. It has not been sold out yet, but it will ship in late 2020 for free to owners in need.
There is another key downside to the high-end wireless charger that some may not appreciate; While the Pro Base Station can wirelessly charge Apple devices up to 7.5W, the limit for iPhones, it will only charge other Qi-enabled devices at 5W, despite many Android alternatives supporting five times that.
Those are hard pills to swallow, especially when you consider the fact that the Base Station Pro will cost you $ 229.95.
But what about MagSafe for iPhone? It is evident with the launch of the iPhone 12 that Apple was burned by AirPower and now wants to go for wireless magnetic charging instead.
Apple clearly thinks that the future is not a multi-device wireless charger that can provide power in any orientation, like Nomad’s option, but rather wants to double down on single-charging devices and improve the magnet charging experience, eliminating many of the hassle of charging. alignment and no-charging affect standard flat wireless chargers.
After using MagSafe on the iPhone 12, it’s easy to get excited about Apple’s magnetic plans for the future, but it can’t compete with being able to just put an iPhone anywhere on a charging mat and not have to worry about it getting stuck. is loading.
It’s also easier to pick up and go, without having to go the extra step of pulling the MagSafe charger out of the back of the phone – which is possibly as much effort as using the standard Lightning port to charge the phone.
It will also be interesting to see if Nomad relies on MagSafe technology to further enhance the functionality of future Base Station products that are in the pipeline, or if it will stick with Aira’s FreePower technology.
While the Base Station Pro may have – and has had – updates via PC or Mac software to improve its functionality, it will not be able to introduce new hardware features such as magnets. We’re not that far from the future … yet, anyway.
The Nomad Pro Base Station is available to purchase through Nomad for $ 229.95, although orders are currently delayed to November due to popularity.