Just last week, Apple introduced the iPhone 12 family, and with it came the launch of MagSafe for iPhone, a new mechanism that makes wireless charging on iPhone 12 easier, while also allowing for accessories to be attached using the mechanism. But if you're looking for something similar without the Apple tax - or without joining the Apple ecosystem at all - Peak Design today introduced Mobile, an ecosystem of magnetic accessories that are very reminiscent of MagSafe for iPhone.
Peak Design is most known for its Everyday travel bags and camera accessories, and Mobile is its first major investment in smartphone-specific accessories. At the core of the ecosystem is the Everyday Case or the Universal Adapter. The former is a regular smartphone case, but it's only set to be available for Samsung's Galaxy S20 family as well as Apple's iPhone 11 and 12 lineups, while the universal adapter is a simple sticker that you can attach to almost any smartphone.
From there, you can use the magnetic mechanism to attach your phone to any of the remaining accessories in the lineup, which are designed for a variety of use cases. There are wall-mounts in case you're in the kitchen and need to see your phone's screen hands-free, for example, car mounts (with or without wireless charging capabilities), bike mounts, a kickstand, a tripod, and more. Some accessories relies on the magnets exclusively to hold the phone place, but others, like the bike mount, use a hard lock that relies on aluminum teeth to prevent your phone from flying off the mount.
Apple's MagSafe announcement caught Peak Design off guard, but the company says it's working to ensure that its accessories are compatible with MagSafe to the best of its ability, so soft-lock accessories and mounts should work with MagSafe phones and cases, while MagSafe chargers and and accessories should also be able to lock onto the Peak Design case. Work is still being done in this area, though, since Apple hasn't publicly shared details on what work is needed to make MagSafe-compatible accessories.
Peak Design's system may be interesting if you're not planning on getting an iPhone 12, though it's worth keeping in mind that wireless charging is only designed to work with phones that are compatible with the Everyday case. If you use the universal adapter, it might not align properly with your phone's charging coil, meaning official support is pretty limited. In terms of mounts and other accessories, though, almost any phone should be good to go.
Mobile by Peak Design has just launched as a Kickstarter campaign, but it's already smashed its $100,000 funding goal. Still, if you'd like to get a discount on the products, you can back the campaign and get some of the accessories for a lower price. The expected shipping date is May 2021.