It may not be on most people’s wish lists, but I’ve been hoping that Apple would give the iPhone wireless charging capabilities for years. After all, many Android phones have it, and automakers are starting to include chargers for those phones in their cars. But for iPhones? No joy. The Aircharge Keyring may be a good stopgap in the meantime.
So check this out — instead of adding a bulky case to your phone, you add a dongle that has a Qi charger attached to the end. Yeah, I know it would be just as easy to plug into a cable, but this appeals to me on several levels, so let me have my fun with it.
The Aircharge Keyring is a disc that attaches to your keyring — always ready to go when you need it.
Inside the Aircharge, there is a microUSB charger that unspools, and there is a slot that holds a Lightning adapter.
You get to choose whether you’d like the plain black or the slightly flashier silver Aircharge Keyring, and there are also two styles of charging pads available.
If you have a car with a Qi charger built-in, then you can just attach the dongle and charge your phone that way, but otherwise, you can lay the Aircharge on any Qi-certified charging mat to top off your battery. Evidently, there are lots of places around the globe that offer free wireless charging — but the catch is that you must have a wireless charging capable phone; with the Aircharge Keyring, you’ll be able to take advantage of that.
The beauty of this system is that it adds wireless charging capabilities to anything that uses MicroUSB or Lightning; conspicuously missing is USB Type-C charging, but perhaps that will eventually come.
I know this isn’t as convenient or streamlined as having built-in wireless charging, but I like the idea, and I want to try it out. If you already have your own Qi charger, you can get the black keyring for £25; the silver keyring is £30. If you want to get the black set (keyring plus charger), you’ll be looking at £45; the silver set is £55. For £105, you can get the top of the line set, which has the silver keyring and an Executive charger with a wood and aluminum finish.
The bad news is that the Aircharge Keyring is a Kickstarter project that closes on December 10th. The good news is that they evidently have units ready to go now because they are sending me one to review; even better, they are predicting a December 2016 (before Christmas) delivery.