When Google unveiled the Nexus 4 back in October, it also showed off a wireless charging orb for the device. Yet since then, Google has been totally silent on the accessory — until now.
On Monday, the Nexus orb, which is officially (and boringly) called the Nexus 4 Wireless Charger, went on sale in the Google Play online storefront. The charger sells for $60 (only in the U.S. for now) and wirelessly powers up the Nexus 4 using the Qi inductive charging standard — this all works by building magnetic coils that can wirelessly transfer energy into both phones and the charging dock. Because it runs on the Qi standard, it can also be used for other Qi-compatible phones such as Nokia or HTC‘s Windows Phone 8 handsets. To charge it, simply plug the orb into an outlet, lay a Qi-equipped phone on top, and you’re charging.
If you’re a former WebOS devotee, you might see the Nexus 4 Wireless Charger and feel a bit nostalgic. That’s because the Google orb looks a lot like the old Palm Touchstone wireless charger, which was built to work with Palm’s Pre and Pixi smartphones. This by no means is a coincidence. Matias Duarte, who oversees the design for both the Android operating system and Nexus hardware at Google, worked at Palm as a Vice President of design before moving over to the big G.