I still think wireless charging should be an industry standard at this pointAnna Scantlin - Contributing Editor
Phones in general have come a long way in just a few short years. As obvious as it is to see when looking at the design and features of phones, there's another, less obvious change that took place in phones as well. As I'm sure many of you remember, there was a time where when you purchased a new phone, you likely had to purchase a new slew of accessories with it too. I'm not talking just your standard case and screen protector, either. I'm talking chargers out the wazoo all over your house, because every time you bought a new phone you were more than likely faced with a new, strange-looking charging port. But it was normal, and back then it was just something to accept.
Then the industry standard changed, thank goodness. You think you just saved a bunch of money by switching your car insurance to Geico? No, you just saved a bunch of money because just about every phone on the market now featured the same micro USB charging port (except for the iPhone, naturally). It's a one charger fits most type of deal now, and for the most part it's great. Except for the tiny issue that the new industry standard just happened to be one of the weakest connections that I could think of to use to charge any piece of technology.
In this case, I think Apple got it right. In the nearly two years that I used my iPhone, not once did I have to deal with a flimsy charging port or charger with the 30-pin connector. It always snapped into place just like it should have, and I wasn't exactly gentle with the phone (and neither was my toddler). It was a tight and secure connection. But when it comes to my phones that have used micro USB, the ports seem looser than creamed corn. Even when I'm extra careful with how I treat my phones (I have been with my HTC One) the connection just doesn't seem as secure as it should be. I usually come across a problem or two when it comes to the micro USB charging port, which would really suck when you have a phone that doesn't have an alternative way of being charged, like without having a removable battery.
And this is why I think wireless charging should be an industry standard at this point. Obviously, it's a very feasible technology to implement. Some phones have already come out with it, and every time they do it seems like it's kind of a big deal. And it kind of is. Even if you don't plan on using wireless charging on the regular, it's still an alternative method of being able to charge a device whenever you don't have any other options. When I worked at Sprint, I can't even begin to count how many times somebody was out of a phone for a few days because they came in and their charging port was fried for one reason or another. More often than not, the culprit was a micro USB charging port. They just seem like weak connections, and I happen to know that there were plenty of charging ports back in the day that were tougher than tanks. I'm sure micro USB has its perks that made it worth choosing over any other charger, or perhaps they're just cheaper to make. Either way, when it comes to strength and holding on they're just not that great.
I think I'm just a little surprised that more manufacturers don't consider it an important enough feature to implement. It seems like a more convenient method to charging as well. Instead of having to fiddle with the port and the charger, you just lay it on the charging mat and badda boom badda bam bo bam, you're good to go. I dunno, it just seems like instead of focusing on some of the more gimmicky features that some manufacturers implement, it would make more sense to work to make the phones in general more useful. I think wireless charging would be less likely to be seen as a gimmick rather than a decent "Plan B" if things with the port don't work out as planned.
Readers, what are your thoughts regarding wireless charging? Do you think that more manufacturers should implement it, or are you doing fine without it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!