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Review: Apple’s updated MagSafe wallet is visually identical but hides wonderful new features

I loved the original MagSafe wallet that Apple introduced last year alongside the iPhone 12, but it was missing something obvious: Find My compatibility. Something like a wallet, especially one that sticks to the back of a phone you slide in and out of a pocket, needs some sort of fail safe in case it gets lost. Previously there was nothing you could do. But the new MagSafe Wallet introduced alongside the iPhone 13 addresses these concerns and helps justify its high price.

While the new MagSafe wallets look and feel the same as the previous ones, they act differently when connected to an iPhone. Aside from new colors for the Fall, the wallet now pairs with your iPhone much like AirPods or an Apple Watch. When you first attach one to your iPhone, it throws up the now traditional white modal card asking you to pair the accessory. This time, it shows a spinning wallet graphic matching the one you purchased. It will ask you if you want to use Find My and then you are off to the races.

Once the wallet is paired to your iPhone, it will notify you automatically whenever the wallet is removed. Right on the Lock Screen you’ll see the last address it was present and the time of detachment. You can even see the wallet in the Find My app. It can give you directions to its last location like an AirTag, albeit without any sort of proximity features.

If you want to, you can enable “show phone number” which will give anyone else who attaches the wallet to their iPhone a notification with your phone number. That person who found your wallet can then contact you directly. This is much like how an AirTag can show your contact information when found. Unlike an AirTag though, the MagSafe wallet shows up in the “devices” section of Find My. It’s not considered an “item” but is treated more like AirPods.

I’ve been running around New York all week and my phone consistently notified me every time I removed the wallet to make a purchase with a card or show my ID. The addresses that Find My assigns to each time the wallet is removed are really accurate as well. They’re not approximate guesses, they’re almost exactly correct every time. Only a few times did the wallet log an address next door or across the street.

Now the obvious downside to this wallet is that it isn’t trackable like an AirTag. I really wish Apple had just build AirTag technology into the wallet so you could use proximity features and see a consistent precise location. With the current implementation, if your wallet is stolen it’s likely never getting back to you. The new MagSafe wallet’s Find My features are designed for when you lose or forget it, not when someone steals it.

The new MagSafe wallets are available now in-store and online. They are still $59 and come in 5 new colors: golden brown, dark cherry, sequoia green, midnight, and wisteria. The new wallets are compatible with all MagSafe iPhones, including the 12 series.

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