As unbelievable as it Sounds, forms of wireless charging have been around since the late 1800s. Nikola Tesla was the first to demonstrate the transfer of energy between two objects when he successfully lit two electric lamps without wires in 1891. With inductive charging having been invented so long ago, it's odd that it has taken smartphone manufacturers so long to implement it into their products.

Wireless charging in phones

In the past few years, we've seen major smartphone companies like Samsung and Apple finally put the technology to use. Samsung was the first to provide the option to users with the Galaxy S4 which was released in 2013.

The company has continued to include it in each phone release since then. Apple, however, was late to the party. While they put contactless-charging to use in the Apple Watch back in 2015, they are just now incorporating it into Phones.

Apple announced the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X at its annual launch conference in September. The two both feature wireless charging thanks to their new glass backsides. Samsung fans have been quick to call out Apple for being years late with the feature, while most Apple fans are excited to finally see the technology implemented.

Is it really wireless?

We live in a world where people view small actions like having to plug their phones in as problems. Wireless charging is seen as a necessary convenience since people are continuing to grow more and more attached to their devices.

However, the wireless charging we've seen incorporated into smartphones isn't really all that wireless.

Both Apple and Samsung use wireless charging pads for their devices. This means that users can simply place their phone onto the pad and it will charge — but the pad itself must be plugged in. So, while placing a phone onto a pad is a little easier than plugging in a wire, does it benefit usability?

Since the pad itself must be plugged in, the phone can't really be used at the same time. The back of the phone must be placed completely on the pad in order for it to charge, meaning users aren't able to pick up their phone while it charges as they can with wired charging.

Apple and Samsung both explain that the technology works much faster than normal charging, but it doesn't seem all-that helpful.

In a world full of technology-addicted people, customers want to use their phones while they charge. Quicker charging is nice, but unless the pad provides a full charge in minutes, it doesn't seem beneficial to users.