Starbucks Begins Nationwide Rollout of Wireless Chargers in Coffee Shops

We have to agree with Chief Digital Officer of Starbucks Adam Brotman on this one – hunting around for an outlet for your phone charger at the café can be a bit of a chore. That’s why the coffee shop giant will begin to use Duracell chargers as “Powermat Spots” within Starbucks and Teavana shops to let you wirelessly charge your devices.

The rollout will begin slowly – only Boston and San Jose offer Powermat charging today – but Starbucks has plans to expand the initiative nationwide in 2015. Stores in the San Francisco Bay area will see it sooner.  (more…)

New Broadcom Chip is Compatible With Every Wireless Charging Standard

To say wireless charging is confusing to the average consumer is a massive understatement. A myriad of competing standards – Qi and tech from the Power Matters Alliance, for example – make picking out power docks compatible with your smartphone generally unpleasant. Even worse? When the time to upgrade your handset comes, you may be stuck with an incompatible dock and have to settle with a plug-in adapter dongle. Annoying.

Thankfully, Broadcom thinks it has the answer to that particular problem. The company has developed a new wireless power receiver, the BCM59350, that is compatible with every wireless charging technology on the market. No more having to worry about whether your charging plate is Qi-compatible or not – if your device contains the chip, it’ll charge regardless. (more…)

LG Shows Off G3 QuickCircle Cover With Support for Wireless Charging

This evening, LG announced the first official accessory for their next flagship, G3, which will be announced next Tuesday. The accessory is called the QuickCircle Case, and is a form of protection that “does more than just protect,” it makes the G3 “infinitely more useful.” As LG mentioned in their brief press release for the product, this isn’t just a typical folder-style case.

With its massive circular window, owners of the G3 will be able to use their phone without ever having to open the cover. The window allows you to do things like check the time, place calls, send text messages, take photos, listen to music, or get an update on health activity.  (more…)

Wireless Charging Back Cover for the Galaxy S5 Already Up for Pre-order

Already planning to pick up the Samsung Galaxy S5 when it launches on April 11 across the U.S.? Interested in wireless charging too? If so, the wireless charging back plate for the device is already available for pre-order from Samsung’s own accessory store for $29.99. You can grab it in either black or white to match the two color variants being released in the States.  (more…)

Galaxy S4 S-View Flip Cover With Wireless Charging Now Available for $55

The Samsung Galaxy S4 is joining in the S-View Flip Cover with wireless charging party this week, only a month or so after the Galaxy Note 3 received the Qi-compatible accessory. This is your standard S-View Flip Cover, but Samsung went ahead and turned the attached backplate into a wireless charging plate that up until now, as eluded the S-View race. In other words, this product is no different than the S-View Flip Cover you might already own, other than the fact that when attached and set atop a wireless charger, it will wirelessly charge your device.  (more…)

Quick Look: Galaxy Note 3 S-View Flip Cover With Wireless Charging

At the end of December, Samsung finally released the S-View Flip Cover with wireless charging for the Galaxy Note 3. The cover is exactly what you’d expect from the S-View series (actionable items through a window without opening the cover), but with the inclusion of wireless charging to the backplate, you get the freedom to never have to plug-in your device to charge it. We seem to continue to see movement towards wireless charging becoming somewhat of a standard in the industry even though with Samsung you’ll almost always have to pay extra for it.

We picked up the S-View Flip Cover with wireless charging at its steep $69.99 price tag to give it a whirl for those interested. All of the details, features, and our thoughts for it can be found in the video below, but I’ll say one thing – this case feels a heck of a lot more premium than that fake, wannabe pleather stitched backing that comes with phone. I’m not sure any case on the planet is worth $70, though, even if it does feel this nice.  (more…)