I climbed into a brand new 2017 Genesis G90.
I threw my backpack into the passenger seat, grabbed my phone, and placed it into a small compartment by the steering wheel. For the past few days, I've been repeating this routine with an iPhone 7 Plus, which means, for the past few days, I have topped off the battery on my phone in the slickest way possible: no cables.
The G90 happens to support a new phone charging technology called Qi (pronounced chee, not queue). Actually, it is not all that new, since it first emerged around 2008.
There are no cables to connect. You set your phone on a pad and can start charging. Samsung has supported the tech for several years. Google Nexus phones use it. What is new is the adoption of the technology, now so popular that even a sleek business sedan like the G90 supports it--as do several Toyota models and even this IKEA furniture.
Recently, Mophie released a new product called the Juice Pack Air for the iPhone 7 Plus. It's awesome. Even life changing. You use the case to charge your phone (giving you about 33 hours of use total), and, using a small black pad you place on your desk, a kitchen counter, or in your bedroom, can power up your phone easily.
I've used Qi charging many times before. What's changed for me is that it is now more pervasive and simple. I always use a backup battery case for the iPhone anyway, so using one that happens to support Qi is a bonus. My phone sits on the pad all day. A magnet causes the iPhone to snap into place, and I can see notifications and talk to Siri. Because the phone sits perfectly still, I use it laying flat to make phone calls.
In the car, I keep right on changing. The main benefit is convenience. There are no USB cables to connect constantly (and disconnect). What's amazing is that so many people--everyone I know, in fact--still keeps connecting up to a wall charger --at home, in the office, in the car. It's crazy, because there is a much better way to charge, at least until someone invents a way to charge phones over the air.
For me, the result is that I have much less cable clutter at my desk and in the car. It also saves time, because I don't have to remember to bring a cable, connect it to one of those hard-to-find USB ports in a car, and constantly connect and reconnect all day.
Mophie makes a vent mount for the car, a small stand for your desk, and the pad I use (which lies flat--it's heavy enough not to slide around). The accessories cost around $30-$50; the case for the iPhone 7 Plus costs $100. Apart from the Qi base station and accessories, Mophie also makes additional cases that have pockets for credit cards, and other portable backup batteries that also snap onto the back of the phone. For those, you still connect an Apple Lightning cable instead of the wireless charging.
I mentioned how IKEA now supports Qi with a line of desks, lamp stands, and other furniture. You can buy a drill set and add the Qi charging pad to any desk in the office. Many other case companies support Qi, and I'm expecting it to show up at libraries and coffee shops soon. Which is one way of saying: It's gotten to the point where charging with cables is like living in the dark ages.