Android 11 might bring a small but important wireless charging feature

Wireless charging has finally become more accepted, partly thanks to Apple adopting the long-existing feature on its iPhone X generation onward. Despite the conveniences it offers, however, the technology is far from being worry-free and painless. In addition to slower charging rates, current wireless charging tech requires properly placing the device on top of the plate. As many smartphone owners have realized, sometimes to their horror, that doesn't always happen. Short of improving wireless charging itself, Google may be introducing a small change that will hopefully save users some headaches.

Much of the marketing around wireless charging revolve about how convenient simply laying down a phone on a charging mat or stand can be. The reality, however, is that you have to properly align the phone to the charging coil that you can't see. Worse, some users might not even be aware of that and simply leave their phones unattended and also not charging.

A Reddit user by the handle of jotafett revealed that Android R, which will become Android 11 at launch, is fixing that in a small but important way. It can't automatically align the phone, of course, but it seems that Android will at least warn users that they need to do so themselves or suffer the consequences hours later.

How Android will pull that off is still a matter of speculation but phones and wireless charging protocols are technically capable of detecting a misaligned pairing. How Android will alert users is also unknown. A simple notification might not be enough if it doesn't get the user's attention.

It's a small change that could have big consequences and one that perhaps should have been widely available much, much earlier. Putting it at the core of Android at least makes sure that OEMs will also be able to use it, including Google who finally embraced wireless charging just recently.