Apple just quietly added Qi2 fast-charging to the iPhone 12 — how to get it

iphone 12 green
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Apple’s iOS 17.4 update added a host of new features to the operating system. But one of its most important updates for iPhone 12 owners was a mystery until now.

The iOS 17.4 update added Qi2 charging support for iPhone 12 models, Macworld has confirmed after receiving user reports and conducting its own testing. The move allows for iPhone 12 owners to take advantage of Qi2’s 15W charging power instead of the 7.5W charging they were forced into before the update. 

You don't need to do anything to get the Qi2 wireless charging outside of updating your phone to iOS 17.4. As long as you keep your phone up to date (and you own a Qi2 wireless charger), you'll be good to start charging faster. 

Apple first supported Qi2 charging in its iPhone 15 models, but quickly added iPhone 13 and iPhone 14 support for the technology in its iOS 17.2 upgrade last year. It was unclear at the time why Apple didn’t expand the support to iPhone 12 or if it even could, given it was an older model. It’s clear now, however, that it was doable and the feature is now available to iPhone 12 owners.

Apple released iOS 17.4 earlier this month. The update includes a new Stolen Device Protection feature that limits the chances of someone who stole a device and the user’s passcode immediately taking control of the handset. It also comes with podcast transcripts, a new emoji, and a Siri upgrade that allows for the virtual assistant to read messages in different languages, among other features.

It's unclear why Apple didn’t announce Qi2 charging support for iPhone 12 models. It’s also unknown if other feature updates have yet to be discovered that similarly offer improvements to older handsets.

Whatever the case, the Qi2 addition is a boon for iPhone 12 owners. In Macworld’s testing, the site found that the iPhone 12 was able to a 30 percent charge from zero in just 38 minutes on Apple’s MagSafe charger, and slightly faster on the Anker Qi2 MagGo Wireless Charger. As iPhone 12 owners can attest, that’s considerably faster than 7.5W charging.

Previously, iPhone 12 owners could still use Qi2 chargers to increase their device’s battery life, but its support was limited to 7.5W power. Now, they can get the full effect from those chargers without buying anything else.

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Don Reisinger is CEO and founder of D2 Tech Agency. A communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter, Don has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine, The New York Times, Forbes, Computerworld, Digital Trends, TechCrunch and Slashgear. He has also written for Tom's Guide for many years, contributing hundreds of articles on everything from phones to games to streaming and smart home.