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Apple may breathe new life into its much-missed MagSafe connector

Why it matters to you

Although Apple removed MagSafe from the latest MacBook Pro, the much-loved technology could yet make a comeback.

“How many of you have ever had your notebook go flying off its work surface when somebody caught your power adapter cord in their foot … whether it’s your pet or your kid or your roommate?” These were the words of one Steve Jobs more than 10 years ago¬†when he unveiled Apple’s MagSafe connector for the tech giant’s laptops.

The audience cheered wildly when Jobs revealed the magnetic connector, and while that’s par for the course for Apple events, perhaps this particular episode of hootin’ and hollerin’ was a little more heartfelt than usual, for the MagSafe connector really did seem like a fine idea, superb in its simplicity, exceptional in its execution.

Multiple MacBook models incorporated MagSafe, with the cord flipping out whenever it was inadvertently snagged by something. But then along came the 2016 MacBook Pro, and to the disappointment of many, the connector was gone. Along with all the other ports.

The replacement USB-C port means business as usual when it comes to cord entanglement, which really isn’t what you want with such a pricey machine.

It seems, however, that Apple may be considering a solution for those individuals still weeping over the loss of MagSafe. A recently revealed Apple patent spotted by Mashable shows an adapter that provides MagSafe functionality. And it wouldn’t be limited only to MacBooks. Apple suggests it could link to “connector receptacles on various types of devices, such as portable computing devices, tablet computers, desktop computers, laptops, all-in-one computers, wearable computing devices, cellphones, smartphones, media phones, storage devices, portable media players, navigation systems, monitors, power supplies, adapters, remote control devices, chargers …” In other words, everything.

If, under your breath, you’re already muttering, “Yes, but it’s another dongle, I’ve had enough of dongles, no more dongles please, can’t you see I’m dongled out?” then we hear you. It’s not a perfect solution, and similar devices are already on the market, albeit with less functionality than the one suggested in the patent.

As usual with such filings, there’s no guarantee Apple’s MagSafe dongle will become a thing, but it at least shows the company hasn’t ditched the design completely and is apparently considering how it might be brought back. In the meantime, just watch where you leave your MacBook Pro cord.