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iPhone 7 (apple.com)
756 points by benigeri on Sept 7, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 1733 comments

I still can't get over the headphone jack. Apple does have a good record of abandoning technologies at the right time (floppies, CDs, Flash, etc) but the biggest difference is that those technologies were all on the downward slope of their popularity when Apple made the move and all had solid replacements available at the time. The headphone jack is just as popular today as it has ever been and it is still more convenient and dependable than wireless headphones for most people in most situations. Maybe that changes soon or maybe AirPods solve this for iOS users (they by design can't be a universal solution) but I can't help but feel that Apple is jumping the gun on dropping the jack. Although as an iPhone user, I hope I'm wrong.

Side note, I think it is hilarious that Apple can't get the AirPods to ship at the same time as the iPhone. Anyone who buys the new phone on release is going to be stuck with the crappy lightning headphones for at least a month and a half.

I can't get over the headphone jack either.

Another dongle to loose. Tons of headphones obsoleted. Can't charge while listening. Laggy audio. more batteries in the world. They're ok with a bulge for the camera but not headphones? I work in a lab and a phone with headphones is standard equipment on the commute and work (for at least part of the day).

I would seriously move off iOS if I was making music with it. If only iOS devices were made by other manufacturers... (I know I know....)

on the plus side minimum memory had been bumped.

> They're ok with a bulge for the camera but not headphones?

This confuses me too. The camera wart is ridiculous, and I bet if they made the device just that slight bit thicker they'd have room to retain the 3.5mm jack.

The other possibility is that the headphone jack makes water resistance that much more difficult. Maybe they think it's worth it?

In addition to the Galaxy being water resistant with a standard audio jack, the watch has a speaker that expels water automatically from the air cavity. That's a brilliant piece of engineering, so one can't help but wonder if the headphone jack preventing water resistance is truly an engineering problem or simply a (ridiculous) business decision.

Personally, I'm going to hold on to the 6s for as long as it's usable and then consider my options.

The funny thing is, they made a huge deal about catering to runners in the watch presentation. In the offseason I run about 20 to 30 miles per week, and I can tell you bluetooth headphones suck for running. They fall out easily as soon as I start sweating. Also, during training season the headphones will run out of juice if I don't remember to plug them in. They also drain the phone's battery - on a 30 minute run that's no problem, but on a 2-hour run that sucks. The best earphones are over the head, light-weight ones I can tuck under my cap whcih keeps them in place.

Oh well, maybe on the 8 they have a change of heart. And if they don't... there's always OpenMoko

Also a runner. My choice for headphones are commodity (<$10) Philips with over-the-ear loops to hold them in place. Because I sweat a lot, they rarely last more than a few months, so cheap matters. (I have nicer Bose headphones for non-running.) Bluetooth phones that cost 5x as much? out of the question.

Edit: In previous version I accidentally said Samsung Headphones.

Cheap may be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Personally, I could never run with corded headphones again. I've used Motorola S8/S9 forever. Get last gen for $30-40, and they've held up to years of sweat.

> Cheap may be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I agree, I used to go through a few pairs of cheap headphones a month when marathon training, but once I stopped buying the $10 variety (wired and bluetooth, you can get OK ones on Amazon for $20) and got closer to the $100 range, I've had those for more than a year. Definitely a self-fulfilling prophecy. You get what you pay for.

Tried this. $50 ones - broke after a couple of months. Went right back the $5 ones.

Here are 10 more options:


But I agree, that staying under $30 is key!

Self-fulfilling in what way?

I've probably spent a hundred bucks on fifteen pairs of Philips over the years. And they're cheap enough that I can keep a pair in my bag, a pair in my house, and a pair in my car. Most of my listening is podcasts. They sound fine for that.

In contrast, I only have one pair of noise canceling Bose headphones which cost 3x as much as all the Philips put together. They sound great and are wonderful for the train to work, but they were also very expensive and I don't run with them.

They meant that you said your headphones don't last long and it could be because they were so cheap in the first place (not saying I agree or disagree without knowing which model you mean)

Likewise, I've spent ~$100 on three sets of the Motorola Bluetooth headphones I mentioned, and still haven't taken the last one out of the shrinkwrap. The other two are going strong after years of use.

Headphones are a very personal product, from fit to use case, which explains why many people are having strong reactions here. All we each have are anecdotes. Meanwhile, design and tech march on.

Oh God, I can't stand these kind of neckphones.

I used to do that, but really missed decent audio quality. FWIW, Sony make a decent pair of sweatproof wired earphones (https://www.amazon.com/Sony-MDRAS800AP-Active-Smartphone-Hea...) which have lasted me almost a year now.

In finding a link for you though, I see the price has become outrageous as they've apparently been discontinued :(.

Based on overwhelming sales of some high end active-wear Bluetooth headphones eg Beoplay H5 it's clear that not everyone aligns with your experiences/choices.

Isn't this a bit of an empty statement? That much should be obvious. One person's experiences/choices aren't ever universal

> Because I sweat a lot, they rarely last more than a few months

I find it's the wire that goes first, probably from all the twisting and tangling that happens day to day. At 5x the cost I could see wireless ones being cheaper, long term.

I still wouldn't want to muck about with batteries, etc though.

It's a really good idea to invest in headphones that have a detachable cable, if you are rough with them at all(basically any travel or commute situation). Then the point of failure becomes the internal connection, which mostly rests on build quality and how much you drop it.

Have you ever seen any earphones (IEMs) with detachable cables? I could see them being produced with short cables to the Y split and then plugging in another cable to the phone.

This would be perfect for me - headphone cables and wheelchair wheels do not mix.

Yes - plenty of IEM's with detachable cables. I use the Shure Se215.


Cool. Now I've just got to convince AudioTechnica to make a version of the ANC33is with those cables!

Sennheiser also have a range with detachable cables. Very handy indeed, and also would allow for after market bluetooth hack I have in mind.

Cheap cables degrade if handled roughly. Rechargeable batteries degrade, period.

I've had wires go on me as well, but for me it's more typically the housing for the earbuds themselves - they come apart - or the electronics inside - they just stop working.

Also a runner. When you are saying headphones you are refering to earphones which always fall of for me aswell, actual headphones have never been an issue for me though. Loving my $25 cheap chinese bluetooth headphones. And no I don't need to have great sound quality when i run due to heavy breathing anyway.

I vastly prefer bluetooth for working out, but I am incredibly sceptic about the sound quality from that lightning adapter.

Yea, Sound quality likewise isn't an issue for me when running, but I do sweat much more than the average runner. The loop headphones really work well for me.

FWIW this is what I use, and I buy 3-4 pairs at a time, about once per year: https://www.amazon.com/Philips-SHS3200BK-37-Flexible-Headpho...

I use over-the-head earphones, which can be tightly placed under a hat. No issues of slipping out whatsoever. TBH, they sound tinny and low-quality but like you it's not an issue since the wind and body movement affect the sound anyway, and I know they'll be trashed rather quickly.

Maxell HB-202 Stereo Head Buds https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00006JPRQ/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_32k0...

The Apple Airpod headphones cost 15 times as much. They're $150USD. It's absolute madness.

That's actually pretty reasonable for stereo Bluetooth earbuds. Most of the ones I've looked at recently run more like $200-$300.

Where are you looking? aliexpress is the way to go.

On Amazon. But I also wasn't looking very hard, because for music I have proper headphones, and during my commute I prefer not to block both ears in any case. Discovering the existence of wireless stereo earbuds, and whatever sense I have of their price range, was really just a side effect of looking for something I could stick in one ear and play podcasts through.

Me too. I can't fathom spending too much on headphones since they get lost or trashed easily.

iPhones weigh too much and are too big for running, anyway. I just use an iPod nano clone.

Millions of dollars in airpod sales. It's really as simple as that.

I mean, Apple's justification is that they are being courageous in pushing the world towards their vision of the future, which is wireless. Ignoring, for the moment whether this is a valid vision, how does a courageous move towards this future involve bundling not one, but 2 wired options with the phone?

I'm fairly certain I would have been unhappy with the decision to drop the headphone jack no matter what, but couching it as courage has taken me from unhappiness to screw them.

Pains me to say this but the whole "courage" speech honestly felt like the reality distortion field has gone into meltdown at Apple.

All I wanted was them to tell me what great benefit that space in the case being free brought me, be it more battery, waterproofing, more processing power. But what did I get? I got told they were doing it because they hate wires and it's a courageous thing to do, like I'm supposed to applaud them for that. No solid justification for it at all.

For years I have used my headphones in my iPhone on the way to work then as soon as I get to work I plug them into my laptop.

Now I have a choice of: - switching over the BT (gonna be fun pairing and unpairing when I arrive and leave work) - using my same headphones and carrying a dongle having the dongle rattling around my desk during the day, then taking the dongle with me for the trip home - buying two pairs of headphones with one that ONLY works with the iPhone

None of these are good solutions.

> Now I have a choice of: - switching over the BT (gonna be fun pairing and unpairing when I arrive and leave work)

Sounds like you didn't actually watch the video. 1) AirPods don't use Bluetooth. 2) Connecting them is super simple; just hold them close to the device and tap OK. And you only have to do it once per family of devices associated via iCloud.

I'm not spending almost $200 (UK prices) on headphones....

Do you think airpods will reach millions in sales? Yeah, Apple is high end, but it's also kind of a commodity or generic for a smartphone. The lowest end Apple products sell in way higher volumes than the higher end stuff. Especially since they're not included with any product, I think there's a good chance that the AirPods fall into the same niche as in-ear headphones (which I'm surprised Apple still sells).

I mean, easily.

At $159, they only need to sell 15000 to reach $2mm in sales.

Unless you thought I meant units. I definitely think millions of units is possible, if Apple continues selling hundreds of millions of iPhones. But it's not just AirPods sales. Apple makes a few dollars with every lightning device that is sold. So essentially, even if those hundreds of millions of iPhone devices don't lead to sales of millions of Airpods, they will lead to sales of 10s of millions of Lightning headphones. Which means tens of millions of free dollars for Apple.

Here's the other thing though. If Apple does not expect to sell millions of Airpods, then the whole "Courage, because the future is wireless" justification falls apart, because if not even 1% of the headphones being sold are Airpods, it's likely the future is not wireless.

$2mm is something like one hour of revenue for Apple

I don't think they make design decisions on that basis

sorry to be picky, but shouldn't that be $2m? not two millimeters of dollar

Often, in financial contexts[0], million is written mm rather than m.

[0]: http://www.accountingcoach.com/blog/what-does-m-and-mm-stand...

millidollar would be better

I'm always suspicious about harmful effects of all these electromagnetic waves around us, and with Apple forcing everyone to use Bluetooth headphones, I'm even more concerned.

Researchers have not come to a definite conclusion about how much EM waves can be related to diseases, but they haven't denied it either. And one thing is obvious: long-term exposure to EM radiation cannot be good, no matter how much low-power it is.

Apple (and other Bluetooth headphone companies) are building on a presumption that EM waves are not harmful, and even if they are, lawyers can easily close the case for Apple.

with Apple forcing everyone to use Bluetooth headphones

forcing you by including wired headphones in the box and wired headphone adapters in the box and not even having the bluetooth headphones available at release date? That kind of forcing?

long-term exposure to EM radiation cannot be good, no matter how much low-power it is.

You realise that wires radiate E/M as well, right? And that light is 'electromagnetic waves'? and that radiant heat is too?

I have studied various articles on this issue. Your claim that light and heat are EM waves as well, doesn't mean that they're dangerous, cause we've been under their effect for millions of years and nothing happened (or we got used to it). But artificial sources of radiation are much more powerful and unfortunately, they mostly use directional antenna, as opposed to omnidirectional sunlight.

Yes, Apple has included those wired headphones, too. But don't forget that the focus henceforth is on "wireless" headphones, about which I wrote my concerns.

You can ignore the facts and go on and just "trust" these companies, or you can read for yourself and realize that not every new technology is inherently good for your health.

If you're worried about the health effects of bluetooth headphones, then presumably you're also worried about the signals sent/received by the mobile phones themselves.

The power in the signal between the phone and the nearby base-station/cell-tower is going to be orders of magnitude larger than between the phone and any bluetooth headset.

I don't think anyone is arguing that using bluetooth headphones is 'good for your health', just that it's 'not bad for your health'. I'm not aware of any mainstream studies that have shown adverse effects from exposure to 'normal' levels of radio waves of the type produced by consumer products. I am open to being proven wrong though!

As someone who is working to overcome a long-term fatigue/auto-immune illness and therefore has to be somewhat cautious about these things...

I often listen to audio on my iPhone through wired headphones as I'm going to sleep (either relaxing ambient sounds, or podcasts).

When I do this, I put the iPhone on Airplane Mode to disable all radio transmissions. I also keep any other radio transmitting devices well clear of the bed (this is commonly recommended for people who have impaired sleep, which I do).

On any occasion when I neglect to enable Airplane Mode before falling asleep, I awake feeling significantly less refreshed in the morning (or even awake in the early hours of the morning feeling terrible).

Given this, the prospect of having to switch to Bluetooth headphones while I sleep is at least somewhat unappealing. Bluetooth may not be as powerful and disruptive to brain waves as cellphone transmissions, but when sleep is already impaired, you want to avoid anything at all that will make it any harder than it already is.

So, I'll be sticking with wired headphones and keeping all transmissions turned off when I sleep.

I'm not aware of any mainstream studies that have shown adverse effects from exposure to 'normal' levels of radio waves of the type produced by consumer products. I am open to being proven wrong though!

Studies of these kinds of effects are notoriously hard to do accurately, as they usually study a random sample of "average" people, but don't/can't take into account increased sensitivities of people who fall outside the norm due to illness or other factors.

Anecdotal evidence is often sneered at by those who pride themselves on being only persuaded by "data" and "evidence". But those of us who fall outside the populations represented by the samples usually included in mainstream studies learn the hard way that anecdotal evidence is the only way for us to figure out what is good or bad for our day-to-day wellbeing.

I think you aren't helped by the studies that have been done on people who have self-diagnosed 'hyper-sensitivity', that have shown that they can't reliably detect EMFs.


This leads people to think that this means that no-one can be effected, whereas it could be that the self-diagnosed simply have a large false-positive (a high-proportion of people that while believing to, do not have any hypersensitivity).

It also doesn't help that there have been no proposed mechanism by which EMF could act on the CNS/body. It also doesn't help that usually the signals complained about are orders of magnitudes smaller to other signals that people might just not be aware of/think about, like TV/Radio transmissions.

You're right that it's not very easy being in the fringes, here's hoping you get better.

Before answering further, please ask yourself what's more important to you: feeling "right" about something on which you have a pre-determined belief, or listening to and fully considering the experiences of someone who has a strong personal incentive to understand this issue more thoroughly than most people do.

I haven't diagnosed myself with "EMF hypersensitivity", or hypersensitivity to anything else (I'm not a voluntary gluten-avoider, or heavy consumer of organic kale or chia seeds or any other faddish "superfoods").

I'm surrounded by EMF all day from the iPhone in my pocket, the Wi-Fi enabled laptop on my lap, and the Bluetooth sound system in my car, not to mention all the incidental EMF that you mention. And I don't have any belief that any of it is a major problem, any more than the full-gluten bread and pasta I eat, the red meat I enjoy, or the red wine and beer I drink - all in moderation of course.

Over the 10+ years I've been dealing with this illness, I've tried living with and without all of these and many other things, and have developed a very good sense of what my body tolerates well and what it doesn't.

One thing I know very well is that my sleep is of lower quality when I have a transmitting cellphone right beside my head all night.

And whilst I don't need lab studies to convince myself, for your benefit I can point to some studies [1] and a perfectly plausible mechanism for why this is the case, which is that the phone transmissions alter brain waves (i.e., Alpha, Beta, Theta, Delta), which play a significant role in sleep quality. (Speaking of which, I've personally had good success improving my sleep by entraining my brainwaves through the use of binaural beats [2] – indeed this is one of the very reasons I use the headphones while sleeping in the first place.)

Whether this will also be the case with Bluetooth, I don't know - I'm open-minded either way. As I've always done, at some point I'll experiment and go with what enables me to sleep and feel my best. But in the short term I'll stick with what has been working well for me up till now.

You're right that it's not very easy being in the fringes, here's hoping you get better.

Made all the more difficult when your conversations on the topic so often tend towards patronising misappropriations of science to dismiss your experiences.

But for what it's worth, my health (and sleep) is the best it's been in at least 5 years, and continuing to improve at an increasing rate, thanks.

[1] http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/mind-control-by-ce...

[2] https://www.stevens.edu/news/sound-asleep-student-uses-binau...

My apologies if my reply came across as patronising/dismissive, it wasn't my intent.

I wasn't trying to lump you into the group of people self-diagnosed with 'EM hypersensitivity', but explain why some people find it hard to believe when people profess to having issues with mobile phones/wifi etc. If there are a vocal majority of people who make claims that can't be backed up, the minority of people who have valid claims will suffer.

My original comment back up the chain was to a comment that looked logically inconsistent regarding bluetooth power output vs. a mobile phone overall. Yours was perfectly reasonable.

I had read about that mobile-phone/brainwave study before, and I'm sure that given time we'll understand more about how EMFs do interact (however subtly) with the body. It is worth noting that I think bluetooth power output is many orders of magnitudes lower than having your phone communicating with a tower.

Lastly, have you looked into getting a femtocell for your flat/house? Could help reduce the power output of your phone overall when you're at home.

Thanks for the and kind comment.

The whole issue is very complex, that's for sure. The extent to which these kinds of "illnesses" or "sensitivities", in myself or others, are "all in the mind" or "imaginary" is something I've considered and researched very heavily, and found it to be applicable to a significant degree.

But to someone who is in distress/pain/fatigue, the retort - whether from a doctor, a well-intentioned layperson or an insensitive asshole - that "it's all in your mind" or a "placebo/nocebo", is unhelpful and simplistic, particularly if you accept that the mind and body are all one entity anyway.

And then there is the reality, that you acknowledge, that certain effects are too subtle to be observed with current measurement technologies and diagnostic methods, inevitably leading to both false positives and false negatives.

In my case, the key to getting well has been to address all aspects, including diet, environment, and mind/emotions - the latter of which has had the most significant effect. Which puts me in a position to say "yes, in fact it probably really is the placebo effect, and I've used it to recover from having really terrible health to having great health", to which the next standard response from curmudgeonly skeptics is "the placebo effect doesn't actually change anything about your health, it only makes you feel better" - as if feeling well and being well are independent phenomena.

So, in my case you chuckle to yourself as you realise you're having an unwinnable argument with people who are more interested in feeling smart that achieving any good, and get on with doing what works for you.

As for the "femtocell", thanks for the tip, I hadn't heard of it. But really, as I said in the previous comment, EMF in my environment is really not an issue I worry about, I only take care to avoid having a transmitting phone right next to my head as I sleep - given that good sleep is the most critical factor in overcoming fatigue.

Many thanks for the discussion.

I have a hyperhypersensitive relative, to the point of living with candles in the forest. And I consider her sick, just because like you said, it's hard separating feeling well and being well and there are a lot of serious research indicating that mind and body affect each other in ways we currently can't measure/imagine.

That said, my relative is very one-sided and wont acknowledge the mind part and is firmly convinced that it's only the physical phenomenon of em-waves that creates the physical reactions.

This person is old and uneducated so suggesting experiments is out of the question. However you seem like a scientifically aware person. So my question is, have you tested your ability? You said that you sleep bad when you know that you have a active phone beside your bed. Have you tried getting someone to place the phone in an shoebox either off or on for some weeks? It wouldn't be a double blind study so it wouldn't be super valuable but if that other person is scientifically minded it would be cool if you could get 100% coverage over a month. 10 days on, 10 days bad sleep.

Hey there, thanks for the generous sentiments and well-intentioned question.

That kind of trial isn't something I'd consider to be particularly valuable, as the whole issue of sleep quality and overall health is too complex for it to be possible to isolate one factor like this.

I should point out that at the times when I've experienced poor sleep with the phone on, I haven't been aware of it until I woke up the next day. It's been a case of waking up feeling less well rested, thinking "shit, why do I feel so terrible?", then reaching for my phone that had been sitting on the pillow next to my head and realising that it was turned on. So it is somewhat blind, without being scientific.

I certainly don't claim this experience as clear evidence that "cellphones impair sleep" – it's just one factor among several that seem to make a difference in my case.

It's this complexity that makes these kinds of illnesses so hard to understand and overcome. For me, good, refreshing sleep has been hard to achieve for many years, even with the phone turned off (though mercifully it's getting much better lately, as is my overall health and happiness).

And I know other factors make a difference too - what I ate/drank that day, what time I got to bed/sleep, what kind of exercise/activity I did that day, what my emotional state had been that day. Any one or combination of these factors on any given day could cause worse sleep than normal, so it would be very difficult to isolate the phone being on or off as a standalone factor.

Given all this, I'm perfectly open to the possibility that the phone being on or off is actually not a factor at all.

But given that (a) there is some established evidence that cellphone transmissions alter brain waves, and (b) it takes close enough to zero time/effort to turn off the phone's transmissions before going to sleep (as well as preventing interruptions from any calls or alerts that may happen during the night), I'm content to keep up the practice of keeping transmissions turned off when I sleep.

By the way, if you want a somewhat-scientifically based explanation that may help you understand what's going on with your relative, I'd recommend reading The Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton. He has some colorful ideas and is easily dismissed by curmudgeonly skeptics, but his approach has solid scientific basis, and it's only by following the principles he recommends that I've been able to start enjoying such good health lately.

That aside, I wish you all the best for your relative's wellbeing.

Classic case of placebo/nocebo effects.

Classic case of someone who's more interested in feeling smart than listening to someone who's actually experiencing illness.

You could take a cue from joncrocks' last comment for civility and kindness. See my reply to that comment for discussion of placebo/nocebo effects.

What about during the day though? Do you not carry it around with you? or is it always in airplane mode till you want to use it.

I carry it in my back pocket turned on without any apparent problems.

I'm not averse to having a cellphone or other transmitting devices close to my body for extended periods of the day; it's having it right next to my head/brain for the entire 8 hours I'm trying to get good quality sleep that I'm more cautious.

Actually, so far all articifial sources of EM are way less powerful (like, way) than the sun which is of course the most prevalent source of radiated light and heat on the surface of this planet.

Any source for your claim?

BTW, it is completely ridiculous to think the Sun is more dangerous than manmade wireless devices.

Plus, how come there weren't reports of people (self)diagnosed with "hyper-sensitivity" to EM waves, before the "wireless age"? By your claim, billions of people who lived before us must have been felt similar effects on their body, but as far as I know, they were fine.

As a pale person who burns easily, I can assure you that the sun is much more dangerous than my cell phone.

You've studied various articles on this issue, so I'm wondering if you could educate me on the difference between directional and omnidirectional electromagnetic radiation? I wasn't aware there was a difference.

Directional antenna (e.g. satellite dish) broadcasts power in some specific directions (space angles) around the antenna (which are called main-lobes). This is to increase the chance of picking up the signals at the receiver (which is also pointed at the transmitter antenna).

Omnidirectional antenna on the other hand, transmits information in all directions (kind of like a sphere around the antenna). The transmitted power per surface is identical at a certain distance, and for the same input power, power density of an omnidirectional antenna is less than that of a directional one.

Complete omnidirectional antenna doesn't exist in practice, but sources like the Sun and wireless modems (some of them) come close to this definition. BTS towers on the other hand, make use of directivity methods to further cover the area, which is why you see something called SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) on your smartphone's box. In layman's term, SAR measures how much EM power your body-flesh absorbs because of your phone, and as you might guess, the less SAR, the better.

It's the same as the difference between a laser/spotlight and a point source/diffuse light - aka absolutely nothing biologically or physically if the intensities are the same at the point of measurement.

The power level makes a difference.

Please see my comment below; sneering about this topic isn't helpful or fair.

If you mean power, then talk about power, not unidirectional/omnidirectional, unless there is some aspect of the unidirectional emission that you believe, or have evidence to suggest is different from an omnidirectional emission.

I have Omnidirectional antenna's that put out power at about 46 dB, and directional antennas that do likewise at -24 dB.

Sure, that's a good clarification.

You could have replied to that effect to begin. HN is a better place when people are charitable in their interpretations of comments and kind in their replies.

Sure - I was genuinely curious. I'm not an RF engineer, and haven't really studied this topic, other than to know my company has Omnidirectional and directional antennas. I was curious as to whether there might be some sort of phase-alignment or other type of behavior that might be happening with the directional antennas, unrelated to the power/duty cycle. My question with regards to education was truly genuine.

It was too, I'm so sorry.

I can get a little indignant (I'm working on it, I really am), over the tendency of some HN commenters to exhibit belligerent skepticism in response to people sharing sincerely-considered views or insights regarding yet-to-be-settled matters in health/medicine/science.

In that state, I mistook your comment as being sarcastic, which I now realise it wasn't. Please accept my sincere apologies.

I run and bicycle on alternate days in gross humidity, and I have been using the "resting on the back of the neck" design of the Philips/Nike Flite Sport headphone for ten years:


For bicycling, I am mainly on bike paths but when I have to enter traffic for a bit, I would never, ever ride with any kind of ear bud or closed headphones. The Flite design has gentle pressure pushing the phones against my ears, for a very open design that keeps me aware of what is happening around me. They are very stable, resting on the back of my neck, even while running. I don't remember them every falling off from exercise.

The original Flite headphones were somewhat overpriced, and lasted about a year before they failed. The Chinese clones moved in and the price collapsed. I bought a batch of ten knockoffs for $17 a few years ago, and they still last a year or so.


Samsung Galaxy S7 Active Fails Consumer Reports Water-Resistance Test


Weirdly the normal S7 and edge version passed the test

It did pass my, "oh shit, the phone slipped out of my hand and into the dish sink" test, though.

It's ok to admit that you actually mean toilet. ;)

It really was the dish sink. I wash the baby's bottles by hand.

With a phone in the other hand...

That detail totally validated the story for me (new parent lol)

100%. I've a new little one as well, and dropped my phone within a month of birth. Only I was actually reading it at the time, and yes, it went in the toilet. :)

Can confirm this is a thing.

cuz the wife calls to check up on the baby

More like, reading HN to alleviate the boredom?

the active line from Samsung is like the Sport line on every Japanese car maker: shitty.

I run about the same and have had pretty good luck with the Jlab Epic2 bluetooth headphones.


Not sure if you've seen or tried these.

I was about to recommend these. I have had them for about a year and they are awesome. Reviewers on Amazon seem to have hit/miss reviews with BT connectivity, but given my experience with the iPhone 6s, I wonder if it was something with the other peoples phones and not the headphones.

My connectivity has been fine while running, and always surprises me in the gym. I leave my phone in my gym bag now and range is no problem if I'm super setting exercises and moving to different equipment. These are my first and only pair of BT headphones, and they spoiled me to the point where I'll never go back to wired for exercising.

Thanks for the recommendation. However, pretty much anything over the ear is prone to slipping out for me. Probably has to do with the way my ears are anatomically constructed combined with excessive sweating. Gross, I know, but that's how it is.

Besides, no BT headset would relieve the battery problems.

For me something like this works really well: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QHOCTG6/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_goh0...

Just put my hat over them and they are firmly held in place.

I bought these to run with:


But now I just wear them all the time, as they're so convenient. Can take calls on them, they have a remote on them, they also just scrunch up in to a pocket. Battery lasts at least all day, for me, anyway.

I've been using the same headphones (Backbeat Fit) for the past year (purchase was based on Wirecutter's review http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-wireless-exercise-head...) and absolutely adore them. Solid eight hour battery, even a year after purchase.

The issue I had with these is that they're just not very loud.

And as they don't enclose the ear canal (which could be a good thing for maintaining awareness of ones surroundings) it can leave them ineffective for anything other than very quiet environments.

I can't wear insertable earbuds and found these behind the neck Kinivo to be great https://www.amazon.com/Kinivo-BTH220-Bluetooth-Stereo-Headph...

> Besides, no BT headset would relieve the battery problems.

Two BT headsets will. I buy cheap Chinese ones for $20.

I'm not a Bluetooth headphone user but how does the Bluetooth affect the iPhone's battery? Also, carrying two cheap sets of headphones around doesn't sound more convenient than just using wired headphones. Is the wire really that much of a problem?

Apple's posted stats are 50 hours audio playback on the 6S over wire, 40 hours audio playback on the 7 over Bluetooth. I can attest that on my 7 the bluetooth can run down the battery a bit, but nowhere near as much as wifi, cellular or screen. How much battery drain you see in practice is probably affected by which headset you're using, what standards and codecs it supports, and if the iPhone can (presumably) burst AAC audio to the headset or not. I really should get around to reading a book on the bluetooth spec to better understand this stuff, though.

What bugs me about the iPhone 7 is that I expected if Apple was removing the headphone jack that they would add USB type C and Bluetooth 5 instead of the same-old lightning port and 4.2. In fact, it looks like there's more than one model of iPhone again, and the 6S' support for both CDMA and GSM appears to be a fluke, or they couldn't do it in time with the new antenna design. Unless I'm reading the iPhone LTE specs page incorrectly...

> carrying two cheap sets of headphones around doesn't sound more convenient than just using wired headphones

I actually carry three: the one I use every day, the spare for that one, and the other one that's more comfortable but lacks the volume for use during my commute.

This is not a big deal if you carry a satchel or purse or backpack or pretty much anything bigger than the pockets in your clothing; all three of them, plus charge cables and manuals, fit in a hard-sided case that's about the size of a can of Skoal, and which very conveniently came with the first Bluetooth earpiece I bought. If I didn't have such a preference for entirely in-ear monaural models, they'd take up a little more space, but only a little.

It's totally doable and not even inconvenient - this latter, in particular, not something which can fairly be said of wires.

Powering the bluetooth radio takes some power (more than driving the DAC and amplifier for headphones).

LG tones are bulky in the sense that you're essentially wearing an unfashionable necklace, but it has a decent sound quality (for bluetooth), a larger battery, and are in-ear. Might want to check them out down the line.

I haven't tried that one specifically, but neckbands on wireless earbuds have always been too heavy and caused problems in the gym. If you lean back they can fall off you and then pull out the earbuds. So, that large battery isn't all good.

LG tones are bulky in the sense that you're essentially wearing an unfashionable necklace

Hmm. Interesting.

If Apple wants to continue pushing into the jewelry and personal-accessory business, this suggests an obvious direction. They tend to be good at making unfashionable things fashionable.

Are the AirPods Bluetooth? Seems to me that wasn't mentioned once in the presentation.


> Connections

> AirPods: Bluetooth

> Charging Case: Lightning connector


There were rumors about them being Bluetooth+ - proprietary extensions on top - and since they claimed to eliminate transmission delays, I was curious if the rumors were true.


If they weren't stupidly expensive I'd get a pair to try to get them to work with my Android phone - direct AAC streaming would be quite nice.

I like the photo of the volleyball player wearing headphones. Who does that?

i was thinking the same. I guess she was blasting Highway To The Danger Zone?

I've been using the Plantronics Backbeat Fit for this purpose, and have been pleasantly surprised at the level of comfort / sound quality / battery life and the fact that they actually stay in.

http://www.plantronics.com/us/product/backbeat-fit (cheaper on Amazon).

Just another option to add to the list.

I don't have an iPhone, I've not experienced BT drain; I've used my phone for 4-5 hours on BT headsets and maybe seen an extra 5% of battery go down, which is fine since I use less than a 50% charge per day.

The only time I've noticed BT drain was with Android phones. My Nexus 5 was horrible about random things spinning out of control and killing the phones battery. My current iPhone does not seem to have any of the same issues.

Yeah, even my Nexus 5X uses more with Bluetooth. But that may also be, because of Spotify, the syncing it does is not kind to battery life...

Yeah, I don't find bluetooth drain to be an issue at all.

Same here, but every BT headset I've owned only lasts 4-6 hours on a full charge

I have a Plantronics BackBeat Pro. Not the smallest headphones in the world (make me look like a Cyberman) but the battery lasts for 24h -- I've never had it run out on me. And the audio is great :).

Bluetooth headphones can be found that don't fall out. Having to find them is a chore but doable including something that lasts long enough.

Highly recommend http://aftershokz.com/ for wireless running headphones

Or riding. I love my Trekz Titanium and would replace them in a heartbeat if something happened to them. My brother bought the Bluez and is ecstatic about them for running in NYC.

For the water resistance, from what I understand there are many ways to waterproof using lots of chemicals that likely don't live up to Apple's environmental standards; perhaps it has to do with this (along with many many other factors).

I've found the backbeat headphones to be pretty great for running and everything else, and they are $70 on average. They are still open ear too.

Why are you avoiding Android in favor of OpenMoko?

Have you tried these headphones [1]? They never fell off during my usage so far

[1] - https://www.amazon.com/Motorola-SF600-Wireless-Sports-Headph...

I really can't understand why anyone would consider it a good trade-off. For a bit extra slimness, sacrifice first a good battery and now the headphone jack? I don't get it. Do a few millimetres in thickness make the slightest bit of difference to anyone? On the other hand probably the single most prevalent complaint people have about modern smartphones is the short battery life. They could easily extend the battery by a good 30% or more by making it as thick as the camera bump. Bam, better battery, no ugly camera hump, space to spare for the 3.5mm jack. But no, let's sacrifice all that for a few fractions of a millimetre -.- I swear I don't get it.

I think it's a great trade off. I use exclusively Bluetooth audio with my phone- the gym, the car, the motorcycle, walking around... If I want great sounding audio I have a stereo and a set of nice cans and speakers at home and in my office.

I'll never use the lighting dongle and I don't use corded buds/headphones now so I will literally not feel a difference in that respect. I only listen to audiobooks, podcasts, Pandora, and Spotify on the phone, so I'm not exactly getting the greatest audio I could be anyway.

However, having increased dust and water protection are something I'm very happy to get if it improves the longevity of the device. I don't really care too much about it getting that much thinner either, but I'm happy with making the phone more physically robust if they can.

> I have a stereo and a set of nice cans and speakers at home and in my office

Moreover, if you want to play a song from your phone through your stereo and want the best sound possible, you'd use a digital connection versus an analog one.

Competently executed, analog connections are indistinguishable from digital ones.

You don't need to remove the headphonr jack to get water resistance. Look at Android phones like the Galaxy S5 (3 years old, water resistance with headphone jack, SD card slot and removable battery.

And what about the battery life? Don't you care about that either? Or do you even recognize it's a critical issue for many people? It just sounds like you're desperately defending an Apple product at all costs.

I don't have any issues with the battery life of my 6S+, and I'm not sure there are any other phones with a substantially better battery life on the market. I know there are a number of Android models that claim 24+ hour battery life, and so does the 6S+. I do know that a number of Android models ship w/ a 3,700 mAh battery while the 6S+ ships with only 2,950 mAh, but the real world usage claims have them in the same ballpark.

My last Android (Samsung Galaxy Nexus) had AWFUL battery life (3,700 mAh battery, btw) and I had a couple of spare batteries with me at all times. My iPhone 6S+ gets me from 0500 to bedtime nearly every night without a charge throughout the day. According to the release notes I should expect another hour of battery life with the iPhone 7, so it's not like they took things away and decreased the battery life.

For me, and that's all that matters in MY buying decisions, better durability and extended battery life at the cost of a port that I have never used on this phone are an unequivocal upgrade.

> My last Android (Samsung Galaxy Nexus) had AWFUL battery life (3,700 mAh battery, btw)

There was never a Galaxy Nexus with 3700mAh battery.


You're right, I just grabbed one of my old extended batteries it was only 2,100 mAh. Either way I couldn't get 6 hours out of it and it was awful, just not quite as awful as I gave it credit for.

The galaxy Nexus shipper with battery defects. Mine died when it drew too much power charging and fried the USB plug.

A shame actually, for me it was the perfect phone. The curved screen, just the right size, the textured back and (I think) headphone on the top.

> However, having increased dust and water protection are something I'm very happy to get if it improves the longevity of the device.

Really? How long do you keep your phones for? 2 years, tops? I've never damaged a phone I've owned, let alone rendered one unusable because of either dust or water.

This will have no appreciable effect on the life of the product for me.

"In all my experience, I have never been in any accident... or any sort worth speaking about. I have seen but one vessel in distress in all my years at sea. I never saw a wreck and never have been wrecked nor was I ever in any predicament that threatened to end in disaster of any sort." -- E. J. Smith, 1907, Captain, RMS Titanic

Yeah, whatever. I'm sure I'll remember that when I run my phone into a giant iceberg.

I'm less worried about icebergs and more worried about 3 kids under four, dropping it in a puddle (I live in the Pacific Northwest), and just dropping it in general.

I’m planning on upgrading to the 7 from the 5S, so about three years.

I almost feel that they are at the end of the smartphone innovation. Its going to go similar to PC where people don't need to upgrade every year. Thats why Apple started the whole Subscription model to feel secure. But they need to innovate fast if they want to keep their customer base. I seriously don't need faster iPhone at this point. I am pretty happy with my 6. Slim factor is also not that important anymore.

I can't imagine iPhone line continue this way for next 5-10 years. They need to get into something new fast. VR, AR etc.

>But they need to innovate fast if they want to keep their customer base

My boss said something today concerning Apple that is relevant to this. After hearing Warren Buffet bought a bunch of APPL.

"Apple isn't a technology company anymore, they're consumer goods, so that's an understandable choice."

Warren Buffett didn't make the decision to make those AAPL share purchases, 2 of his lieutenants did. They have autonomy in managing $9B (or maybe it was a combined $18B? ) portion of Berkshire Hathaway's investment.

I keep hearing people say they're going to make cars next. This sounds completely absurd to me, but I said the same thing about them making watches, and look how that turned out.

The millimeter matters when people are buying the phone, the battery life and other complaints only matter once the person has already paid for the phone, so Apple doesn't care.

People say they want lots of battery life, but slimmer devices consistently outsell thicker ones.

This. When you're in a store, a thin phone feels nice in your hand. It feels new and sleek. You can't judge battery life in the store -- you need to research that separately.

You're ignoring the fact that Apple depends on a certain level of customer satisfaction to keep profits up.

The rest of the phone is "good enough" so that people don't take the risk to jump to a different OS environment on the next iteration.

Plus, Apple always promises the new iPhone will fix everything you didn't like about the previous one and people eat that up.

The problem with that hypothesis is that a non-trivial number of iPhone customers (that I anecdotely know) tend to upgrade every few years, not every iteration. If a device is "good enough" to last 2+ years, I'd say Apple is doing a decent enough job at keeping their users happy.

I wonder if there is any scope for increased battery life by disabling animations / GPU or switching to a messaging system different to Obj-C (ie, string lookups)?

Doubt it would be worth it, it's the cell/wireless/GPS that kills it. Turn on airplane mode and it lasts and lasts.

And those people eventually buy cases with built in batteries.

What a coincidence.

> They could easily extend the battery by a good 30% or more by making it as thick as the camera bump.

The camera bump on the 6S is ~1mm high. 30% more battery capacity in that amount of space seems optimistic.

That makes it even crazier to me. Wouldn't it be better to not have a bump? The bump on my 6S always makes me nervous when laying it down. I would feel much better about it if it were completely flat rather than the camera of all things sticking out and being the major point of contact with the surface it's on.

I'd argue that an extra 1mm to thickness wouldn't affect feel of the phone either - especially since a good portion just slap cases on them anyways.

It'd be significantly heavier. And significantly thicker if you use a case too.

Im actually fine with that. The leather apple case doesn't add too much weight as it is but I feel the phone is way too light and slippery without it.

I've been using the same leather Apple case for 2 years (6/6S) and it looks like crap at this point, but it's protected my phone from numerous 3-6' drops onto hard surfaces. Without the case, I'm certain the corners would be dented and the screen likely cracked. Definitely a fan of the Apple case!

I agree — I think it's a bit of a trick to compel people to feel the need for a case, thereby selling more cases than if it were flush.

Seems like a pretty accurate estimation, to me. The phone itself is 7.3mm thick, which means the case would be at least 1+mm on each side. Let's be generous and say the battery's 3mm thick now. Adding another 1mm would be a 33% capacity improvement.

Keep in mind that weight is another major factor in considering battery size.

Even if the new iPhone were double the weight, that's still only 376 grams. I don't understand why phones need to be lighter. I myself prefer to use something that feels solid and significant.

Same! I actually prefer a phone that feels solid rather than thin.

This. And the 6s is too thin anyway, I need to have a case to hold it comfortably.

I don't get the slimness either. I had no issue with my old N900 being twice as thick as my current android (and I loved physical keyboard on it too).

I guess if they make battery last 30% longer, then you won't be forced to change a phone in 2-3 years when battery starts deteriorating and it is bad for business.

Of course thinness makes a difference. As a result of how thin they are, a sturdy case is a mandatory accessory. Whether it makes a positive difference is another matter altogether.

My Moto G3 is waterproof and has a headphone jack. If Motorola can do it for under $200, there's no reason Apple can't do it on an iPhone.

Not quite waterproof. I tried taking some underwater photos with mine (had a feeling it would be a bad idea) and the camera stopped working. There are also a couple dead spots in the touch screen. However the rest of the phone works.

I had a 20$ water resistant portable tape player in the 90s with many more holes, buttons and mechanical parts than the iPhone and I could dunk it in water no trouble.

Edit: More like in the 80s.

The yellow Sony? I had it too. Was so cool for the day.

Absolutely iconic. The iPod of it's generation for sure.

The water resistant argument is weak at best. I've had water resistant android phones for years without extra bulk. The problem is solved, all Apple had to do is look.

With that said, I don't actually disagree with taking the headphone jack out. I do think there needs to be a more universal replacement than what they are suggesting though.


It's mostly the fact that it was replaced with the lightning port that gets to me more than anything else. If it was something like USB-C, I'd feel more comfortable since that should be more widely available in time.

RE: universal replacement, agreed. I can't see them going to USB-C though, which is a real bummer.

If they did, that would have shown actual courage though.

There are other phones which have the 3.5mm jack and are water resistant, such as the Galaxy S7.

Not only that, but a higher rating as well, IP68

The draw to iOS is rarely the hardware (aside from the camera, Apple wins that category hands down every time).

The software platform Apple has built is unrivaled.

> The software platform Apple has built is unrivaled.

Not really true anymore. Android (while drinking Google Koolaid) is an amazing platform. I bet for most users (in terms of apps and basic phone features), there is really no justification to get an iPhone over an Android.

Android (while drinking Google Koolaid) is an amazing platform.

Android's great. You just have to spend an incredible amount of time researching the gigantic ecosystem and all the permutations of hardware and software to figure out which phone actually has the combination of good/responsive enough hardware, support for things you want to do, and comes with a recent version of the OS and magic proprietary Google bits. Then once you've put in the time doing that, the ecosystem has moved on and the phone that would have been correct to buy when you started now isn't and will probably never be updated again, because in the Android world anything that's been on the market more than three weeks is an ancient obsolete toy.

I don't understand why more people don't want to join that ecosystem!

Anecdotal, but my parents (in their late 50s and are not very good with technology) recently went from flip phones to Androids and are already using "OK Google" and a bunch of apps.

Android is approachable and slick now a days (and yes I remember when it was utter crap :) )

You don't need to do anything of the sort. You can just blindly go ahead and buy a S7 if you want a iPhone replacement.

Agreed. I was staunchly anti-Android until I was given a Nexus 6P last year and alternated between it and my 6S for a couple of months before finally ditching the 6S altogether. A lot of it comes down to personal preference of course, but I found the Android system to be more intuitive and overall a better experience (by a whisker).

I used an android up until the iPhone 6 came out.

iOS is just a better platform.

By what comparison? Security? Being able to browse for files? Ability to back up SMS messages? Updates?

As an ex-Android user and ex-QA guy for some of the Android software: by the "things work as they should (i.e. as you expect them to work), without lags or bugs that can drive you mad".

One of my ex-collegues is now working for one of the android-phone manufactures and by his words the whole process of creating the the new device is basically trying make shit work good enough to pass Google's tests (something is going wrong with hardware? fuck it, we'll fix it in software later), then releasing a bunch of patches, then new phone, because nobody will ever invest their time into makeing the currect device to work with new Google's test. It just won't.

> Not really true anymore

Going to have to disagree.

There are no redeeming qualities for Android. From a sloppy, disjointed user experience to an incredibly shady app store, Android doesn't compare to iOS.

That's not to say iOS doesn't have issues. It certainly does, but in terms of comparability it's not even a contest.

Luckily for Android many people really don't care about design.

I spent several months with an iPhone 6 earlier this year, and I came down with the opposite view.

I found Apple's flat UI design to be very awkward, especially things like the decision to use text labels with hidden bounding boxes as "buttons".

Apps tended to have inconsistent UI language, and I frequently found myself surprised by UI interactions that weren't discoverable, like the speed setting in Pocket Casts. It was a flat element - if you tapped it, it would toggle between preset values, but if you long-pressed it, it would pop up a weird slider. But there's no feedback from the UI.

On Android, I find that UI elements are much more likely to provide visual feedback - tapping elements produces an animation, long-pressable elements show proggessive animation, etc. For example, the Pocket Casts app on Android's speed setting actively animates when touched, and pulls up a standard settings dialog with intuitive sliders and checkboxes.

And I can't tell you how many times I would attempt to open an app link only to have it open in a web browser with a giant banner telling me to install the app I already have.

> Apps tended to have inconsistent UI language

Still feel Apple completely dropped the ball with iOS7, just ambiguous tappable text labels everywhere... now we're at a point where it's been there so long without fixing they just take it for granted that it "works" when it's really poor.

Spent 10 minutes on the phone to my mom once trying to find out how to search in the app store. She couldn't see the search box… turns out it's because 2 months ago she searched for BBC iPlayer and the search text still read "BBC iPlayer" in light grey with a tiny light grey magnifying glass next to it. Doesn't even look like a search box.

I use both every day (work+personal phones), and I come down on the opposite side. My Android does everything I want out of a pocket computer, and the iPhone doesn't. If I don't like the UX of one app, the next one I try will almost certainly be better.

I like multiple app stores, and multiple vendors to buy apps from. I like downloading program source and building an apk from it. I like having a terminal app and a file manager. I like running an ssh server to get files on/off the phone. I like using the phone as an oversized USB flash drive, and not having to install a vendor's software to do it (and not caring which OS I'm booted into at the time).

iOS is pretty, well-thought-out, performant, predictable, and the best ecosystem on it isn't produced by a tarted-up advertising firm. It has a lot to recommend it...but I'll still take the tangled nest of features over the carefully pruned garden, because I don't always agree with the decisions of the gardener, and I like to have other options.

> My Android does everything I want out of a pocket computer, and the iPhone doesn't.

That's very reasonable. Conversely, my iPhone does everything I want out of a pocket phone, and the Androids I've tried have not.

A sysadmin buddy of mine thinks it's awesome that, when a process spins out of control and pegs his phone's CPU, he can drop right into a root shell and kill it from top. I think it's awesome that in five years and two iPhone models, that's not something I've ever needed to think about doing. Different strokes.

If what you are looking for is a pocket phone, then neither Android nor iPhones are catering to you, as phone functionality are an increasing small subset of the functionalities being worked on or improved on smartphones. People who seek out pocket phones are usually looking at some recent generation feature phones, which despite being a niche market, have been improving technologically and have gotten pretty nice.

In that case I suppose I am very fortunate that my smartphone satisfies my requirements so well!

("Phone" is perhaps an oversimplification of those. But "pocket effective and reliable communication and navigation device" has all the grace of a two-ton truck hitting a Jersey wall.)

>>The software platform Apple has built is unrivaled.

>>Luckily for Android many people really don't care about design.

Not only iOS tops the software platform charts but it has superior design. Facts! Goodness, I was the impression being fanboi was out of fashion.

Oh come on, as if Apple's app store is any better. It's a terrible mess, too.

I agree the app store isn't "vetted" like the iOS app store, but some would call that a feature (quicker to get apps out the door / rely on "crowdsourced" user ratings and comments to become educated on quality).

As for your comment on user experience/design, I realize we're entering the realm of subjectivity here. All I can say is the latest Androids are _beautiful_ with Material Design.

>>The software platform Apple has built is unrivaled. extremely unsourced argument.

As a dev. platform I'd take Android any time (and steer clear from obj c)

What is your stance on Swift, might I ask? I personally wasn't too fond of the emulator performance and general tooling when I last did dev work on Android.

I agree. I can't love an Android phone because I know it will take 3+ months get a new Android release (if it gets ever).

Posted above: http://www.consumerreports.org/smartphones/samsung-galaxy-s7....

Too afraid to test it myself though.

I would guess in this case the water resistance is a disadvantage given their propensity to explode: http://www.theverge.com/2016/9/2/12767670/samsung-galaxy-not...

The problem with cameras is that the limits are set by physics. The bigger your lens, the better the resolution. If only Apple could figure out a way to miniaturize visible light.

I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in thinking that if they made the phone a little bit thicker to make if flush, we could get some crazy battery life (and a headphone jack).

You are definitively not alone.

This race to thin phones with unusable battery life reminds me to the race to more and more mega pixels in digital cameras with unusable low exposition quality some years ago. It's just about the buzz, it just hinders the technology in order to be able to tell a more catchy number to consumers.

I would happily go with a 33% thicker iPhone with great battery life and a headphone jack and I doubt that most of the people would notice the difference in size.

Right, I feel like we're back in the days before iPhone when so many different companies were coming out with lame gimmicks to sell their flip phones and sliders that were all virtually identical. Maybe we're stuck here until wearable tech becomes more of a reality?

This option is already available to you: buy an aftermarket case/battery combo. I see these around all the time. The beauty of Apple selling millions of iPhone is there is a viable market for whatever accessory you may want.

Pretty sure the hundreds of millions of people using untethered smartphones negates your argument that the battery life is "unusable".

I would guess most people are okay using their phone during the day and charging at night.

People put up with all kinds of crap when it's the best option available. They're OK with it until something better comes along. In this case, a smartphone with a day of battery life trumps a flip phone with a week of battery life just because it can do so much more. You know what trumps a smartphone with X battery life? One with X+1 battery life, as long as it still fits comfortably in a trouser pocket. With the behemoth-screened phablets that are common these days, I think it's reasonable to make them a little thicker and a little more useful.

My phone's about 3 years old now. Even when it was new, I couldn't use it indiscriminately and expect a full day of charge. If I want to have it available for critical purposes like emergency calls, it's literally not usable in the way that I'd like to use it. I don't think that it's even remotely unreasonable to advocate for better battery life, and I think it's only a slight exaggeration to call current phone battery life "unusable".

Considering that only Apple phones run iOS, and there's only one Apple phone per physical device size bracket a generation, people don't really have a choice.

At least in the iPhone ecosystem it's not so much best option available, it's the only option available.

There's no immediate danger of people not buying iPhones because they want better battery life, so Apple doesn't even have to try harder than an average show of effort.

It doesn't negate the argument (even if it was hyperbole). I took an iPhone 5S out on a car trip yesterday across L.A., and forgot the car charger but hey it was fully charged. Used it for navigation for about 20 minutes total, and maybe 10 minutes total of phone calls. Checked email maybe 5 times. By about 8PM, the battery was at 2%, and I still needed to drive home. So the phone was unusable to me if I wanted to have ability to make an emergency call. And if the battery had gone down another 2%, the phone would have been entirely unusable.

My iPhone 2G had better battery life than this given similar usage patterns. Sure you can cite LTE vs. 2G and processor ability etc, but battery life made the modern(-ish) phone less useful to me under what I consider are not that strenuous of conditions. This is a real problem, and battery life will definitely be a major consideration to the next phone I buy.

That happens with most 3 year old phones though... Batteries degrade unfortunately.

Being a phone announced 3 years ago, doesn't mean it's 3 years old. He could buy that phone last year, or get a new battery in it recently.

The point is that the battery didn't last even a full day.

All these gimmicks and breakthroughs don't mean shit, make a phone that lasts 3 days and that will be a game changer.

> All these gimmicks and breakthroughs don't mean shit, make a phone that lasts 3 days and that will be a game changer.

Oh, I completely agree with that. It's more that I have an iPhone 5S that I replaced the battery in and it lasts for about 24 hours with my usage patterns -- would I love more? Heck yes I would! A phone not making it through from morning to evening though implies that it's likely a dying battery, as the iPhone 5S should last longer than that.

How many of these people have to consciously adapt their usage to make sure their phones still have juice at the end of the day? Yes, I can work with a phone where I look at the battery level and think "ok, better not do X now", but it would be better if I could always use it when I want to.

iPhone SE: flush camera, great battery life, still has a headphone jack, and it fits in one hand!

but... but that's last year's model !

shame the screen is so tiny.

True but I'm not actually sure the smaller SE size is so bad--I'm not sure I actually need all this real estate. In fact, as I look to switch to an android phone because of this headphone nonsense, I'm actually finding my new problem is not being able to find a phone small enough!

Maybe I'll regret it but my next phone (and last iPhone) might be an SE.

Trading my iPhone 6 "down" for an iPhone SE was one of the best choices I ever made!

FWIW, I switched from an iPhone 4 to a Z3 Compact because it was the only decent "small" phone available. But a 4.6 inch screen is not actually "compact", as far as I'm concerned. I switched back to iPhones for the SE, which isn't that much physically smaller, but is a lot more usable nonetheless.

It turns out the important dimensions are the overall width (for being able to hold it one handed) and the screen height (to reach everywhere with your thumb), and the iPhone SE's top and bottom bezels don't screw up either of those.

With the Z3C you can hold it one handed, but you can't use it effectively unless you have gigantic hands. Making a phone fit in one hand isn't enough; if the entire face is covered with screen then it still takes two hands to operate it.

You won't. It's fantastic and everything you want.

Yep, the Sony Z3 compact did this a couple of years ago and was amazing. Top notch waterproof, superb battery, headphone jack, magnetic charger, SD card. Just one of those phones that really managed to hit the spot.

Oddly enough, the main complaint I had about it was that because it was so flush and shiny, it slid around too much on a table. Had to put a protective film on which was a bit more grippy.

> Top notch waterproof

You mean those stupid plastic flaps with the gaskets that came unglued and prevented the flaps from even closing properly?


And after marketing it as an underwater camera, they later backpedaled and said "waterproofing was tested in a standby state under laboratory conditions, do not attempt to use the phone underwater"?


Waterproofing, maybe. Top notch waterproofing, absolutely not.

> You mean those stupid plastic flaps with the gaskets that came unglued and prevented the flaps from even closing properly?

This. Girlfriend had that phone. The device and their after-sales service was completely garbage. Sony failed to repair the unplugging flaps, even after multiple service attempts. And every single time, they did complete factory reset on the phone to replace the flaps (!!!).

They replaced my water damaged Z3 very quickly, but this was in the EU where consumer rights are stronger.

My phone flaps are fine, but I charge it using the magnetic connector, so I rarely open them.

I've never opened those since I bought the phone. Installed the sim and SD card and then never touched it again.

That's why I listed magnetic charging as a key feature ;)

Then they didn't go and make the mistake of trying to slim too much for the next gen in the Z4 compact. The thing has incremental improvements on all the features you mentioned and battery life is just as good as it was before.

This was something that confused me a bit too. On their product page they mention twice (once as a bold headline) that the maximum aperture of the camera is f/1.8. Why?

I'm guessing that the average consumer has no idea what an f-stop is, or that having a maximum lens aperture of f/1.8 is any better than f/5.6 or f/16. And the people who do know probably also know that for a lens and sensor that are maybe a quarter of an inch wide, a bump in the maximum aperture is not going to make the camera perform anywhere near a dedicated camera, so the focus on that detail is a bit odd to me.

Low light situations. You shouldn't need software to compensate for the light level (as much).

The point is that anyone that knows what "f/1.8" means knows that a sensor of that size won't perform well. It's a weirdly technical term to include.

The iPhone is apparently the phone of choice for photographers, who know what an f stop is. I believe that spec is for them, everyone wants their f/1.2 L lens or whatever. Look at all of Apple's recent iPhone ads; they are all about the photos you can take (if you are willing to re-edit them in Photoshop to remove all the denoise and compression artifacts, which they even mention in the ads with a white-on-white disclaimer).

Small sensors are getting better. I am shocked at how good the image quality is on my RX100 (with a "one inch" sensor; one inch refers to the size of vacuum tube that would contain such a sensor if it were 1960 or something, no dimension is anywhere near one inch). I'm not going to give up 4x5 for it, but it's way better than a phone.

That said, the camera bump is ugly. Why can't they use a telephoto design (your 500mm SLR lens isn't 500mm long, remember).

The photo quality is - strange. It's not truly sharp or clean, especially in the far distance, and there's an odd softness and a hint of waxy sheen to it.

It's a look Nikon used to have ten or so years ago, and to me it suggests over-aggressive noise removal.

To be fair it's very good for a tiny camera, and amazing considering the state of the art ten years ago.

But I wonder if it's starting to fall into uncanny valley: the closer it gets to pro performance, the more obvious it becomes that it's not there yet.

> if you are willing to re-edit them in Photoshop to remove all the denoise and compression artifacts

They did mention that you'll be able to capture raws with the iPhone camera now, which will hopefully alleviate some of that.

>Small sensors are getting better.

They are, but they will also hit a physical wall at some point (if not already), and you'll continue trading "natural" dynamic range and low noise for software interpolated dynamic range and smoothing, which as others have noted, starts looking like Madame Tussaud's museum.

Then again, if Apple really wanted to impress me with their camera skills they would have to develop a medium format mirrorless digital camera for less than $5k. One can dream, I suppose.

I tend to agree with you, and wrote a long rant to this effect here: https://plus.google.com/+JonathanRockway/posts/QTxqczHGm5d

Basically, pixels are so small these days that even tiny amount of camera motion is going to blur a point of light between two pixels. I'm not sure how much that matters, but I think it does. So you can't make the sensors small and increase the detail you get. 20MP is the best you are going to do with full-frame, much less APS-C or 1" or iPhone size. Maybe image stabilization fixes all of this.

I took some photos on an airplane of a lightning storm today with a 1" sensor camera. ISO 5000, .5 second exposure hand-held, and they're pretty sharp. Not portfolio sharp, but good enough for some Internet Points probably. My iPhone did not do well, however. (I tried that first, then realized, hey I have a better camera with me.)

It's a great point from a marketing perspective. Something users don't understand but can pretend too - I need this because it's got a f/1.8 camera, way better than the Samsung f/5.6 [I made that up]. What's super good is that it looks so technical, it looks like something that real cameras have about them too. Marketing fluff, yay.

Just like megapixels. The general public has this notion of "more megapixels is better". They don't understand that there's more to a camera than megapixels: F stops, low light performance, etc. I've actually met people who know 1080p "Full HD" is 1920x1080 but had no idea that it's only two megapixels.

Would be funny if it backfired - "the Samsung has more Fs!"

I'm sure that argument has been made many times. ("Better" depth of field!)

It will perform better than f/2.2 of the old phone. I know several professional photographers who often carry the iPhone when they don't need all their equipment. Its not that hard to take good photos with it, especially with enough light

Interferometric arrays come to mind. An 8x8 array of small, flat lenses will eventually be just as good as one big one.

"This confuses me too. The camera wart is ridiculous, and I bet if they made the device just that slight bit thicker they'd have room to retain the 3.5mm jack."

This looks like another method to lock in the consumer to their eco system and or squeeze that extra buck out of them. Not so much about shrinking in size or technology.

IMO this is nothing more than selling and controlling peripherals that can play with iphone and drm.

What I read a while ago is the removal of the headphone jack lets them put in another speaker there. I bet that's a big part of how they're able to get 2x louder speakers with higher dynamic range, and, while they didn't mention this, it's possible they might get a bit of stereo when the phone is held in portrait this way.

Edit: Why the heck am I being downvoted for this? I'm not even expressing an opinion as to whether I think the jack should have been removed or not.

Come on. There are plenty of phones with two speakers and a headphone jack. This is the cry of people who desperately want to love a company unconditionally, even when they screw up.

I find it interesting how hard people are trying to find some reason for Apple's decision to remove the headphone jack, aside from the very obvious one: they're going to make a shitload of money by forcing everyone to buy new headphones.

Apple gets royalties from the production of Lightning connectors, which they certainly don't from standard 1/8th-inch TRS jacks. So therefore, they have a very obvious and vested interest in killing off standardized connectors and pushing everything to proprietary connectors, for which they receive royalties, whenever possible.

So including the $9 adapter in the box is just a token gesture so they can pretend to care about legacy things?

I dunno - if they were really in this for making you buy new headphones, they'd not bundle the adapter, like they did in the past when they switched from 30-pin to lightening.

They included that adapter this year but is it going to be there next year? Is the next phone going to have the Lightning wired headphone, too? Apple's like the empire. They _will_ be altering the deal.

And rewrite history to suit their own narrative along the way

This is how I see it. There's no mention of Airpods using bluetooth, I'm betting that W1 chip is using a proprietary wireless protocol that keeps other manufacturers from easily/cheaply creating wireless headphones or using these wireless headphones on other devices.

Apple says they are bluetooth here:


From the Apple webpage: http://www.apple.com/shop/product/MMEF2AM/A/airpods


AirPods: Bluetooth

Exactly. And then at some point they'll have the "courage" to drop bluetooth as well.

I really don't see it. People can still buy Bluetooth headphones from any company and there's no Apple tax on those. I realize a lot of people here have different experiences, but among my friends, virtually everyone has switched to Bluetooth anyway except for listening at home or in the office. Not having a cord is just so freeing.

Not to mention the point made elsewhere in this thread that they bundle the adapter for people who still prefer wired.

I think there's some sample bias going on, because I basically don't know anyone who uses wireless headphones, except for Bluetooth earpieces that are increasingly socially unacceptable for use anywhere other than in a car. Gym? Cheap wired headphones. Work? Good wired headphones (or headset). Etc.

I even own a pair of wireless Bluetooth headphones (nice onces, Sony's) but it's a pain in the ass to keep them charged and deal with pairing/unpairing them to various devices, or connecting to the wrong device when I want to use them with something else, or get them to work with various laptops' shitty Bluetooth drivers, when I can just use a pair of decent wired headphones and stick them into the ubiquitous 1/8" jack and move on with my life.

The latter set of annoyances are of course what Apple are intending to solve with the W1/AirPods -- intelligent switching between all iCloud devices without re-pairing.

I personally favor Bluetooth headphones even with all the annoyance because as bad as it is, cords are even worse.

For those who feel differently, I suspect they'll either use the bundled earpods or just leave the lightning adapter attached to their best pair of headphones and move on with their lives. Maybe I'm wrong and everyone except me is rotating five pairs of headphones between six different devices on a regular basis, but it seems like just another case of piling on to resist change.

> aside from the very obvious one: they're going to make a shitload of money by forcing everyone to buy new headphones

You obviously have no idea how Apple works. Apple would never in a million years make a user-hostile decision like this simply to collect royalties. They hold user experience to be sacred, and the fact that they're making this move now means they think that, at least in the long term, this will provide for a better overall user experience, despite the pain of the transition.

Everybody complained when Apple ditched the 30pin connector for Lightning too, basically all of the same arguments here (e.g. "Apple just wants everybody to buy new accessories"), but it turned out to be the right move. Making this argument again over the headphone port just means you don't know Apple and you don't know history.

"You obviously have no idea how Apple works."

I have no comment on how Apple actually works or doesn't work but I admire the marketing acumen of a company when a random internet user can argue so passionately about eternal goodness of the company. Especially a company that's about as secretive in it's actual operations as nation-state level intelligence agencies.

In fairness, Apple mostly has an image of being "the company random cranky internet commenters accuse of horrible things, which later turns out not to have done the horrible things the cranky internet commenters accused them of".

This is a repetitive cycle. See it happening right in this thread with the "Apple invented a proprietary wireless protocol to DRM all the music, close the analog hole and make you license their tech" stuff. When... it's just Bluetooth. Same thing happened when they put the microphone and volume controls in the iPhone earbuds; people said it was a way to insert a secret "DRM chip" and force only Apple-approved headphones to be able to listen to music.

So if nothing else, the weight of history is against your "just did this to charge people money" argument. Plus, y'know, the adapter's literally included in the box.

weight of history is against your "just did this to charge people money" argument

I had no comment on any of that. In fact I started my comment with "I have no comment on how Apple actually works or doesn't work"

> eternal goodness of the company

Who's talking about goodness? I'm talking about the values that Apple has, and how your claim is a gross violation of those values. I didn't say Apple was "good", however you want to define that. User experience is but one facet of the whole, though it's an important one. And if you're trying to dismiss my arguments on the ground that I'm a "random internet user", then you have to dismiss literally every single comment made in this thread, or any HN thread, including yours.

> Apple would never in a million years make a user-hostile decision like this simply to collect royalties

Why doesn't they Macbook ship with the dongle to connect it to HDMI screens and regular USB then? Why does that dongle cost almost $100?

Tim Cook's Apple is VERY MUCH in the business of lopping things off to just sell you an addon later.

No, the MacBook did not switch to a single USB-C port simply to sell dongles. That really makes no sense at all. Dongles are not a major revenue source for Apple. And Apple's never shipped HDMI adaptors with their products, or DVI adaptors, or anything like that. Most people don't need them. And the new USB-C Macbook isn't the first computer that would need an HDMI dongle; I think the Mac Mini is the only computer Apple has shipped with an HDMI port in a long time. It seems kind of absurd here that you're claiming the move to USB-C is somehow Tim Cook being greedy, even though one of the most common complaints about Apple is how they're using Lightning instead of USB-C. Either USB-C is a good idea or it's a bad one, you can't have it both ways. And if they didn't remove ports from the MacBook, it would still have Mini DisplayPort rather than HDMI.

Also, FWIW, I just checked Monoprice and the HDMI dongle costs $35. And Apple's own dongle (which is $79) includes more than just HDMI (it has a USB port as well, and a USB-C charging port).

> I think the Mac Mini is the only computer Apple has shipped with an HDMI port in a long time.

The Macbook Pro ships with one…

Oh shit, you're right. I never look at that side of my MBP, I totally thought they'd moved to Thunderbolt-only. I'm actually really surprised it still has HDMI.

Still, I think the last non-USB-C Macbook didn't have HDMI either.

I genuinely thought this comment was sarcastic at first. I completely agree that Apple is highly focused on user experience and keeping you as a customer long term rather than making a quick buck, but I have to say, I hope I don't come across as this fanatical when talking about Apple with my friends. :p

They moved the headphone jack to the bottom of the phone for a reason (I'm not sure offhand what the specific reason was, but there was one). They can't just move it back to the top.

> This is the cry of people who desperately want to love a company unconditionally

Insulting people is not how you win arguments.

Edit: Seriously guys, what's with the downvotes? I feel like I'm being brigaded at this point.

> They moved the headphone jack to the bottom of the phone for a reason

I seem to recall hearing that was because people most often carry their phones upside-down in their pockets, in order more quickly to bring them up to viewing position when retrieving them. (Think about it: Your hand goes fingers-down into your pocket, but viewing position has the top of the phone alongside your fingertips, so if you pocket your phone upside-down, you don't have to rotate it around the Z axis to get it into position before you can use it.)

No idea whether that's actually the case, or whether instead it was something to do with easier component placement or the like. But as far as just-so stories go, it's not a bad one.

A lot of early android phones had this, it was much nicer. If your holding the phone in your hand you just put your arm down and slide it in your pocket. With the headphone jack on top you have to turn the phone around every time you put it in/take it out.

Of course apple and their legion will claim it as an innovation.

It is much nicer. That may be why Apple copied it, which is something I've observed them to do on a fairly regular basis. I really appreciate the efforts of Android users in vetting stuff like that; it's a lot nicer as an iPhone owner not to have to worry quite so much about new ideas turning out bad, because a lot of the time they've been well put through their paces before Apple takes a look at them.

Do we really need that last sentence? Is this perhaps not already divisive enough a subject for anyone?

They moved the headphone jack to the bottom of the phone because most people put their phone in their pocket upside down, so it's a more natural place to put it.

I never heard of people putting their phones in their pockets upside down until a few weeks ago. I have always put it right side up and it is more naturally of a movement to pull it out of my pocket that way.

I knew one person who carried his phone in his pocket right-side up. When the switch happened, he was surprised to learn everyone else stores it upside down.

Then he realized why they do it, and now I know zero people who store it right-side up.

> it is more naturally of a movement to pull it out of my pocket that way.

How is that more natural than simply landing your hand on the phone in the position that it will be holding it? I'm having trouble seeing this as a matter of opinion.

1.) Start with the phone in your left pocket with the screen facing outwards.

2.) Reach into your pocket with your left hand.

3.) Grab the phone by edges near the top between your thumb and middle finger.

4.) Lift upward while rotating your wrist counter-clockwise. The phone should swivel between your two fingers while coming to rest right side up in the palm of your hand.

It is an entirely fluid motion that does not require flipping the phone over since pulling it out upside down results in the screen facing away into the palm of your hand.

Carrying your phone in your pocket with the screen facing outwards seems like asking for a broken screen. I, and I suspect a great number of others, pocket my phone with the screen in towards my leg and the phone upside down. As soon as I put my hand in my pocket, the phone is in my hand in the same orientation as if I were holding and using it.

> They can't just move it back to the top.

Why not? They did just moved it to the bottom just as frivolously.

Frivolously? Just because you don't know why they made a change doesn't make it frivolous. Other people have said it's because people tend to store their phones in their pocket upside-down (I know I do) and so it's nicer that way. This may be the reason, or they may have wanted to put other stuff at the top of the phone and the headphone jack was in the way. If it was just because of the phone being upside-down in your pocket, they've still put other stuff where the jack was (there's no empty space in the phone), and whatever they put there may or may not be able to be relocated (for example, it's possible that the extra space there is used for camera-related hardware).

My point was you acted like moving it down there was easy but moving it back was impossible.

They're both the same level of difficulty.

Only if nothing's changed in the meantime, which certainly isn't the case.

Weird, my nexus 6p has stereo speakers and a headphone jack.

Must be magic, if Apple hasn't trademarked that already.


You previously commented:

>Insulting people is not how you win arguments.

Perhaps it might be best to heed your own advice?

You're right. I was just ticked off because they were making the exact same dismissive comment that someone else already made.

Watch out guys, we've got a bad ass.

Take a breath. I know we all tend to get exercised over anything to do with Apple, but there's no need to be rude to anyone, and that sort of behavior isn't really worthy of you in any case.

You're right. I was just annoyed because I felt like they were being rude to me, and also making the exact same dismissive comment that someone else already made. What I posted was actually much tamer than what I originally wanted to post, but you're absolutely right, I should have refrained entirely.

It says "Immersive stereo speakers."

I wonder what the stereo width and image is like. Would you have to have your face right next to the phone to notice the stereo? With such a small device, being slightly out of alignment with the device will mean the difference between good stereo image and muddy mono-ish audio.

In the keynote they showed stereo in the landscape configuration. They didn't talk about the portrait configuration. This is why I'm guessing that they might have stereo in portrait too, instead of stating it as fact.

that you can immerse on water.. :-)

They put in a new speaker on top, you get stereo sound now, and they did mention it in the presentation.

To be clear, it's not a new speaker in the top as in an additional speaker. They are just now pushing sound out of the already present speaker at the top of the phone that you listen to when having a call

The Galaxy Note 7's S pen is considerably bigger than a head phone jack, yet the phone is water proof even with the pen removed from it's slot, so my guess is that can't be it. Assuming, of course, that anything Samsung can do to water proof a phone, Apple can too.

Never used a Samsung Note 7 but does anything in the pen holder connect inside the phone or is it just a hole surrounded in plastic? With a headphone jack there are a lot (at least 3?) of connections that have to pass into the phone which could complicate the waterproofing.

It's got 3, but the lightning connector has 8.

Yeah that's what I really don't understand about all the focus on the waterproofing of the 3.5mm jack. The Lightning port is still there and that has to be at least as hard to waterproof as a 3.5mm jack right? Did Apple design the Lightning port to be waterproof from the outset? If so how did they do it and can they apply that to the 3.5mm port?

I hadn't thought of that to be honest, and I've never used one either, but from review videos, it seems that the phone detects when you pull the S pen out, so I'd guess there's some kind of connection.

Plus the battery helps excess water evaporate :-)

The Galaxy S7 is water proof and sports a typical headphone jack.

Having the camera bulge sells more cases. (Who wants to lay their lens directly on a dirty surface when it sticks out more than the rest of the phone?)

I do. I don't care really. It's supposed to be made out of the material high-end watches are made so little chance of scratches. Sapphire and all that.

All in all. I'll wait a year for 7s to replace my 6s if nothing else worthy and working out of the box comes out.

> > They're ok with a bulge for the camera but not headphones?

>This confuses me too. The camera wart is ridiculous, and I bet if they made the device just that slight bit thicker they'd have room to retain the 3.5mm jack.

I hate that they removed the 3.5 but if you assume that people are using a case then camera wart does not really make the phone any thicker.

> but if you assume that people are using a case

So tired of this argument in defence of the wart, people use a case because of the wart and then this is used to justify the wart "everyone uses a case"

Also the 2.5mm jack is available. This used to be standard on Nokia ~10 years back til they were forced to come in line with everyone else on the 3.5mm. And bringing this in would annoy some but you'd still have the jack and could easily stick an adapter on the existing 3.5mm cables.

A headphone jack can't make much of a difference, I have a Galaxy S5 which is rated IP67, the same rating as the iPhone 7. It has a flap that covers the microUSB connector, the back panel has rubber seams, yet the headphone jack looks like any other.

Those rubber flaps pick up fluff and dust and break off.

> It has a flap that covers the microUSB connector

I really don't want any such things on my iPhone.

what, microUSB connector?

The bulge isn't as noticeable when you have the phone in a case. I think they just considered the 3.5mm jack a waste of space since it's primary use was doing something you could do with the lightning port.

I think the key point is that they don't want a wired device. When viewed from that stance, these answers are obvious.

Wouldn't surprise me if iPhone 9 was wireless only. Somehow.

yeah I specifically abandoned ship from android for the camera bump, it just irks me that a phone at rest is balancing on optics.

what annoys me more is that most advancements are only for the 'plus' size model. that's the easy way out of the tech race, and I was just hoping that they brought feature parity with an updated SE model

so far I see no good replacement for my 5s except the previous year SE, but I'm not the one to spend that money on two year old hardware.

And room for -shutter- a bigger battery.

About that bulge.

The animation when loading the page made that bulge almost phallic. That phone appears like an erection, growing up and up...

It's almost certainly only in my mind though.

Removing the jack removes a large hole from the side of the device. In future models we could see scratch-resistant casing made of ceramic or some sort of amorphous alloy.

I recall Apple having a patent on a manufacturing process to bond a small aluminum region around the headphone jack to a case made of something harder, so maybe the headphone jack was causing problems in advancing case materials?

The lightning port, mute switch, volume buttons, and power button still exist and are openings in the case edge.

If an opening for a 3.5mm jack was an issue for some future design, so would all of the other holes (esp. the lightning port).

The "issue for some future design" is that the traditional headphone jack doesn't let them sell premium and proprietary headphones.

I don't think this statement makes sense.

Makes no sense, why not just make the actual phone material instead of changing the phone to make a better case to shield the fragile phone material

The lag is what I'm curious about. Given the lag I experience while streaming Bluetooth from my iPhone to my car, I'm expecting to see about the same amount of lag. Which is annoying because it's definitely a worse experience than a cable.

I'm not defending the the removal of the headphone by any means, but you are unlikely to experience any lag with the lightning cable. It's just a pcm bytestream getting out of the phone into a dac in the headphones. The latency won't be any different than what already is.

If you are talking about their new wireless headphones, It will probably have some delay but probably not even close to bluetooth. They could just modulate that same bytestream to some ghz radio frequency without adding anything remotely as over engineered and cumbersome as a bluetooth stack. I'm pretty sure those airpods are not bluetooth compatible.

I didn't catch that the AirPods aren't Bluetooth. I wonder if that was designed based on problems with Bluetooth or more to get tighter integration with Siri. Perhaps they needed it to sync pairings over iCloud.

Edit: From the official product page:

> Connections

> AirPods: Bluetooth


> If you are talking about their new wireless headphones, It will probably have some delay but probably not even close to bluetooth. They could just modulate that same bytestream to some ghz radio frequency without adding anything remotely as over engineered and cumbersome as a bluetooth stack. I'm pretty sure those airpods are not bluetooth compatible.

What about encryption?

Not to mention that Bluetooth doesn't use PCM because of battery life constraints (more radio traffic == more energy used), I doubt that Apple's protocol is uncompressed.

There is no encryption AFAIK, and there wouldn't need to be any compression. Even today, you can connect a regular USB DAC / headphone amp to the iPhone via the USB camera connector dongle and use that. Any device that follows the USB audio standard is supported (depending on power draw, of course).

If you look at how old Bluetooth is, it wouldn't be surprising if a new system could be much more efficient. Uncompressed audio isn't high bandwidth by today's standards.

Bluetooth v4.2 is not yet 2 years old. Bluetooth v5 is coming out in the next couple of years.

Bluetooth 4.0 really dropped power requirements for a lot of use cases. It's an adapting standard that's not sitting still by any stretch.

Bluetooth 4.0 is completely unrelated to Bluetooth 3 but for the name. It was a separate standard developed by Nokia and brought wholesale to the Bluetooth SIG and they effectively told them that's what 4.0 would be ^_^

Yes, it will have some lossless compression and encryption for sure. But I'm pretty sure it's a much simpler stack than bluetooth. Even the use case is different, they just want to send audio from your pocket to your ears and I trust their engineers to do that the smart way.

>I'm pretty sure those airpods are not bluetooth compatible.

Apple's tech specs list them as bluetooth.

My car lags something fierce -- like a whole second or more. But my regular bluetooth headphones doesn't lag at all when connected to my phone or tablet. I even bluetooth-tether my tablet to my phone for Netflix and then listen over bluetooth.

Seems to me it's a solved problem for most devices.

Bluetooth audio lag does depend on the buffer size of the audio device. My car also has a two second lag when playing through Bluetooth, but my Bluetooth headphones have nearly no perceptible lag at all.

Well that's good to know, thanks!

I have the Bose QC35s - there is zero lag when using them... however my car's bluetooth (seems a common thing) lags at least 1.5 seconds which is frustrating.

> Tons of headphones obsoleted.

They do provide the lightening-to-jack adapter in the box for free.

Jason Snell "joked on Twitter last week that it’ll cost $19 if Apple’s sort of sorry, $29 if it’s not sorry, and if it’s free in the box then Apple’s really afraid of consumer backlash."


Apple's selling them for $9

Using the relative translation from above, that must mean they are sorry if you lose the one included in the box ;)

w/ one free in box

I've often joked that shininess is so important to Apple, that all you get in the box is the item, a charger, and a cleaning cloth.

Apple gets reportedly $4 per connector [1] for each 3rd-party device that uses a Lightning connector -- and that's with their new, kinder/gentler licensing scheme.

The adapter that comes in the box is the proverbial drug dealer's "first one" that's always free.

Imagine getting a $4 royalty on every pair of iPhone-compatible headphones that's sold in the world. That's worth a lot of free adapters in the short run.

Just as a first-order estimate: Forbes says that annual worldwide sales of headphones are $300M. If the average price of headphones is around 20 bucks (taking into account there are a small number of very expensive headphones but also a lot of cheap ones, that's probably high), that's something in the neighborhood of 15M pairs sold per year. If half of those become Lightning-connector equipped, that's $30M/year in revenue (on costs of zero!) going to Apple.

The connector could make the phone substantially worse as a phone and it still might be worthwhile. There doesn't need to be a compelling technical reason.

[1]: http://www.forbes.com/sites/theopriestley/2016/01/11/apple-d...

iPhones sales are over 100 billion dollars a year [1]. If this change makes the iPhone substantially worse to the point of losing even 1% of the would-be buyers, Apple will lose over a billion dollars in revenue.

The risks are so staggering that I would think they must genuinely believe that the jack connector is so technically obsolete that it makes the iPhone worse than the iPhone will be without it. I just can't fathom Tim Cook (or anyone) betting 100 billions for $30M/year. Of course I can be completely wrong.

[1] http://www.statista.com/statistics/263402/apples-iphone-reve...

Yeah but by the same logic what if 1% of iPhone users buy a second pair of headphones, even third party ones.

Tim Cook's Apple is all about grabbing extra small amounts of cash from users. e.g MacBook being unable to use USB devices or HDMI displays without a $90 dongle

Apple isn't betting 100 billion. Some portion of users use headphones, I have no idea what percentage of users that is, but it isn't everyone. Apple would know this figure though.

The adapter in the box isn't free, it's "free". You're still shelling out hundreds of dollars for the box, and the adapter is merely part of the bill-of-materials.

1- You are assuming the wired headphone market has a strong growth future. That's could be reasonable but is by no means certain

2- do you seriously think a company with a $515B market cap is doing this solely for the financial reason of adding a $30M/yr revenue stream? If Apple TV was considered "a hobby" for years the wired headphone market is... I don't even know. A momentary flash of color?

Can't the reason be exactly what Apple said? Wired headphones using an analog connection kind of suck. wired headphones with a smart connection are a little better because power and noise cancellation or other "smarts" don't have to all be bolted on to the earphones, but honestly still kind of crappy because of wires.

Clearly Apple thinks that wireless audio is the future but today wireless kind of sucks as well (pairing, moving between devices). Apple thinks it can make that better. So if in their view that is the future why would they waste energy and time and space on a 2nd dedicated IO port for audio?

The other thing about that though- you can't listen to your headphones or hook up aux speakers while your phone is charging.

The port is data and charge. So I recon it's only a matter of time before there's a split plug for charge and audio.

> The port is data and charge. So I recon it's only a matter of time before there's a split plug for charge and audio.

When your[1] answer to a dongle problem is "add more dongles", you really need to rethink the situation.

1. The generic "you", not specifically you, Phillip.

It's not another dongle, but a dongle with two ports rather than one.

> It's not another dongle, but a dongle with two ports rather than one.

Sounds like another dongle to me! The last half of your sentence contradicts the first half.

When I said "It's not another dongle" I meant that if you buy a dongle with two ports, you can use it instead of Apple's dongle, not in addition to.

this is what "one" is for... (instead of generic "you")

Which is just as weird, one == everyone.

Ah yes, the double dongle. The kind of elegant, problem-solving design I expect from Apple.

Designed in California.

I laughed, because so many decisions in California are based on compromise.

They shipped with a double firewire/USB cord for one of the iPod generations!


my pockets are going to be very full with all these things I need to buy/carry around for my iPhone

OK. Mine aren't. I already carry a small bag over my shoulder on the way to and from work; it has a spare battery in case I somehow need it (unusual, since I fully charge my phone every night while I'm asleep), plus my Kindle, sunglasses, and other daily useful things. My pockets tend to be used for keys and phone.

Am I that weird?

"It's European!"... lots of people carry bags, so I wouldn't say weird. I just don't want to start because of a phone.

I carry it regardless. I carry it because I have a commute of almost an hour and a half, much of it on a train, and I like having my Kindle and my sunglasses and other things, but don't carry my laptop to/from the office (thus no laptop bag). So I have a small shoulder bag that I put stuff in and bring with me.

So any time I'm going to be out long enough to have to theoretically carry full kit for my phone (in a hypothetical multiple-dongle world), I'm also going to have that bag with me, or some equivalent object for carrying things (i.e., extended outings not involving going to work), and not have to stuff everything in my pockets.

Apparently this is weird enough to be downvoted into negative-score territory.

Out of interest, is there a noticeable difference between the USA and Europe for bag use? Here in the UK, a bag is sensible and I could imagine going to work without one (for my lunch, spare USB cable, iPad etc).

I had never thought of it being a significant cultural difference.

I wouldn't say "weird", but I am curious how you manage to swap your iPhone battery to the spare you carry.

I'm sure GP means an external USB battery pack.

I don't understand your point.

Wouldn't the dongle just be permanently attached to your headphones ?

That's assuming I ever use only one pair of headphones and don't need connecting to aux cables / external speakers.

Or that my headphones are always used with just iPhones.

Basically, no more plug-and-play. This is exactly why 3.5mm was good: universal plug-and-play.

Naw, not if I want to get to work and then hook them up to my computer. Or I want to connect my phone to my car via an aux cable.

Thats ok, they made it so THIN

So if the lightning to audio dongle is $9, whats the double dongle gonna be? $20? $30?

...that begs the question, why not just do that in the first place though?

Or being on long (support) conference calls whilst keeping your phone charged.

You can do that with the lightning dock, it has a 3.5mm out and lightning input for power.

So you can't listen with the new EarPods with Lightning connector while charging with the Lightning dock.

I'm getting a lot of mixed messages from Apple here...

Yes, for $39.

How often do you do that?

Often enough, actually, when I'm driving. My car has a stereo-USB connection that works very well most of the time, allowing me to charge my phone and cycle through my music collection. Its charging speed is slow though, going only at maybe what, 500mA, 1A if I'm lucky? It takes even longer if I'm using Google Maps. To counteract this problem, I've recently started using a power converter, that I normally have for charging my laptop, to charge my phone because it offers a 2.1A USB port that works a LOT better for me.

Why does this matter? Because I can still have my phone's audio going to the car by way of an AUX cable.

I do almost every day in my (circa 2007) car which has a 3.5mm aux jack and no Bluetooth.

There are lighter-plug Bluetooth receivers that have an analog out specifically for cars, I'll likely have to buy one of I end up getting the 7.

Whenever I'm listening to something and the phone is about to die.

Edit: also in the car (I have an older car with just an AUX jack).

There are 2.1A lighter-socket USB adapters.

The point is that you can only hook up audio OR power, not both simultaneously.

Most of the time when I'm driving I have my phone connected to my car with an aux cable and charging via lightning.

I had an old iPod that was unlistenable while it was charging, because noise from the charger leaked into the audio. I tried again recently with an Android phone and found the same problem to a lesser degree. Nice to hear that people are able to do this without trouble.

Sounds like you may need a ground loop isolator.

I've got portable speakers that sound absolutely terrible when actively charging. Do you reckon this would help?

Ground loops are very odd phenomena that can be hard to debug, but it will probably work.

(The stupid option is to lift the ground on your mains adapter, but you really shouldn't do that, somebody might get killed.)

I do that quite frequently. When I take a road trip, generally I have my phone plugged in, doing the navigation, and providing music. I use the headphone jack to connect to my car's audio system (no Bluetooth) and a 12V to USB adapter for power.

Nearly every day in the car.

very often, it's a great way to dj to an arbitrary device, plug 3.5mm aux cable and charger, apply shuffle, enjoy music. i would hate to drain my battery playing music with my phone when it's sitting next to an outlet and is only incapable of charging due to poor design decisions.

maybe they'll make a lightning hub/splitter so you can do both?

I imagine it's fairly common, since streaming music (even over WiFi) drains the battery.

My own setup for a while now, when playing music for long periods, has been to connect the phone to charge using the lightning cable, and then connect to a (wireless) Bluetooth speaker which itself is also plugged in and charging using its own USB cable connected to a USB charger. It has much the same effect as having a "charging dock", but just requires two powered USB ports rather than a custom piece of equipment.

This setup is becoming more and more similar. My own system is my iPhone just plugged into whatever Lightning cable I want (laptop, bedside left, bedside right), with either Bluetooth or Spotify Connect to the Amazon Echo on my shelf.

This is the wireless future they're talking about. We shouldn't have to have a device to charge and listen through at the same time. We should charge wired and listen "wirelessly" (even if the audio device is wired for power).

I do this all day, every day. Long skype conference calls tend to drain the battery pretty fast.

Just my view but I do it daily while at work.

I do quite regularly.

This is huge for cars. Power and Podcasts via a single Plug.

All the time at work

Every night while falling asleep to a podcast.

Yea, that does suck.

Hopefully with the improved power features of the new CPU, the amount of time when you want to simultaneously listen and charge is reduced.

Don't need to. iPhone 7 gets way better battery life than any other iPhone before.


Who will carry that with them?

Just leave it connected to your headphones.

See here is the crux of the issue

I use my headphones for:

-Listening to the environment while PC Gaming using a Windows PC

-Listening to records using my stereo

-Listening to music while working on my Macbook Pro

-Listening to music while being mobile w/ iPhone 6

-Listening to music while driving in my car (audio jack works faster with less interruptions then USB)

The big win of 3.3mm audio jack is they work with all these different systems and use-cases. There is nothing to lose, nothing to think about. Plug and Play. Dead simple. Dumb analog.

Now to fully cover all my uses cases I have 2 more things to carry around with me full time, and not lose. Not a simplification, buying a Nexus. Steve Jobs is dead.

100% agree. I carry a pair of Apple earbuds with me to use interchangeably with my phone and my Mac laptop. The new lightning headphones that come in the box won't be compatible with my laptop, so I'll either need to use the old earbuds with a phone adapter or the new earbuds with a laptop adapter or I need to carry around both sets of earbuds with me.

That said, their vision for the world to go 100% wireless is absolutely right. However, I don't think their execution is great in this area. Their AirPods don't hold a long enough charge quite yet and they are highly susceptible to being lost. Also, while I think Bluetooth has many many problems, I wish Apple spent time improving that standard instead of introducing their own standard.

The AirPods are bluetooth. I think that has been a point of confusion. Also, 5 hrs may not seem like much but 24 hours w/ the case is a lot more than comparable bluetooth earbuds. And I really love the idea of a battery case: extend battery life, no connector on headphones, keeping them in the case may make it harder to lose them.

Thanks for clarifying the point about the bluetooth - this definitely got buried for me. The case is a good stopgap for improving battery life, but I still think they need to last 10 hours on a single charge to be really useful. For instance, 5 hours won't be enough for a plane trip if you include the time it takes to get to the airport/arrive at your destination. If they can just last a little bit longer, I'd be more on board with the change.

What's needed for your situation is a little doo-dad that tethers the dongle to your headphones, so you can disconnect it freely and not lose it.

No, he should tape the adapter to the phone, using silver duct tape.

Or a simple analog jack would work too.

Well there won't be an analog jack on the iPhone 7, so that's not a solution.

A little dogbone shaped white silicone thing would look a lot nicer than duct tape.

I think you already realize both of those things.

For the record, I was being facetious on purpose to show how ridiculous this is.

But more to your point, the adapter would belong with the phone not with the headphones. There are potentially N number of headphones, and one phone for which the adapter will be used. So the adapter being carried with the phone instead of N adapters for N headsets makes more sense.

Kind of like a MacCozy for the magsafe v1/v2 adapter? I can tell you that's a very solid product.

Apple is enabling a vibrant 3rd party accessory market ;)

While that's unfortunate for you, I'd be willing to bet most iphone consumers just use the included earbuds for their phone, and don't really have any other use for headphones. Keep in mind that you, and even most HN readers, are not necessarily examples of the average iphone consumers.

A valid point, but nonetheless owning a second pair of ear buds is not a high bar. Ear buds are sold by nearly every corner gas station, grocery store, and 711. Typically for <$20 regardless of region.

The primary issue is interchangeability. In the event you leave your earbuds at home. Borrowing a friend's, or purchasing an additional set is a simple. This is nolonger a simple solution.

Except it's still a simple solution for two reasons: 1) if you get the phone you get an adapter to let you use all 3.5mm headphones 2) many many many other people will have the same phone, so you'll be able to borrow their headphones.

You're an edge case. Apple doesn't care.

I generally need to charge while listening though.

People carrying headphones around id imagine

I sure hope they don't force their customers into an extra 100+$.

The camera bulge bothers me on every phone. The lens always ends up wearing after some daily use. Why would you want that to be the contact point on any device?

If you use just about any kind of case, the bulge disappears and becomes flush again.

That's true but I'm not a big case fan. What is the point of making a phone so nice and thin and then putting a big bulky case on it?

> Another dongle to loose. Tons of headphones obsoleted. Can't charge while listening.

You're conflating the switch to a proprietary jack with the introduction of wireless AirPods. Those are separate things. You can still use 100% of existing wired headphones with the iPhone 7, just with an adapter, which is a tradeoff that gets you some great other features like the new camera system.[1] The bundled wired headphones and any wireless headphones don't require an adapter. If you don't like wireless headphones, you don't have to use them.

> I would seriously move off iOS if I was making music with it.

Why? That comment seems unsupported by your reaction to this headphone jack change.

[1] https://www.buzzfeed.com/johnpaczkowski/inside-iphone-7-why-...

Anyone serious about making music on iOS already has an external audio interface. Not to say dropping the port is well timed, but it's not a major issue for most pro iOS musicians.

Bulging camera -> broken glass. For two years I've been using a Galaxy S5 with bulging camera and twice I have broken the camera glass needing replacing, it's the first thing to hit the surface when i rest the phone on a table and takes a lot of stress. Of course I could be more careful. It has also scratched and so there's more lens flare, but I'm tired of replacing it. My wife's iPhone with flush camera is much less of a problem.

Anecdotally, my Nexus 5x has a large, central bulge for it's camera and the sapphire glass doesn't even have any scratches on it after almost a year with no protector over any part of the phone.

It's a shame they're discontinuing the line, the build quality of this phone is immensely good, it shows me the quality Android phones _should_ have.

I hate the camera bulge, but I've had an iPhone 6 since they first day they were available, and the camera lens is still in pristine shape with no case, and no particularly special care.

The lens cover on the iPhone is sapphire. Not unbreakable, but.l not quite glass either. That should help.

Don't you think this move isn't anything other than Apple now has another set of accessories to sell at a premium? Dongle lost: buy another one. Tons of headphones obsolete: no problem, Apple and Beats are going to be rolling out dozens that are compatible. $$$

> if I was making music with it

Is iOS used as a platform in professional music making? Is that really a thing?

iPads are really compelling as an audio controller, particularly with great multitouch support.

Yes. AudioBus is a major iOS music platform.

Check out the list of compatible apps on their website, companies like Ableton, Korg, Yamaha, and countless indie devs take this seriously, and really, we all should.


ipads are used pretty commonly in it.

One word: "Courage".

I'm not easily offended, but that use of the word made me cringe.

Courage is running into a burning building to save a family. Courage is going to war for your country knowing you might die. Courage is being more afraid than you've ever been in your life and doing the right thing anyway.

To call throwing an age-old standard into the toilet while shoving vendor lock-in down people's throats "courage" is offensive. Shame on Apple.

Easily Schiller's most tone-deaf line since "Some people are using five-year-old computers!"

That's not even the tone-deafest part though. What really made me cringe is his heartfelt follow-up, "that's really really sad!"

Hard to take their e-waste talk seriously when they make statements like that and release so many dongles.

Making the phone thin is a wasted goal. Everyone I know has a thick iphone cover.

Which would be even thicker on a thicker phone.

If the goal is strictly to minimize thickness, then it probably would've been less hassle to develop a slightly thinner case than to remove the 3.5mm jack.

Based on my experience (which is worth next to nothing), people don't really care about the thickness of their phone. Most people I know end up throwing it in a hideous Otterbox (or similarly gigantic case) anyway. Who's going to notice an extra millimeter matter then?

Yes. That's why I have one of the Cat ruggedized phones. It's thinner than some iPhones in their cases.

> Can't charge while listening.

If you shell out for the AirPods, you can.

Though I definitely agree - I'm pretty sad to see the headphone jack go.

That is the same problem just on the other end as it appears the AirPods can only be charged in their case.

> If you shell out for the AirPods, you can.

Which will need charging themselves.

Now I have to choose between being concerned about either my phone's battery or my headphones' battery.

The AirPods come with a charge case that holds 24 hours of juice. If you manage to end up in a scenario where your phone is out of power, your AirPods are out of power, and the AirPod case is out of power, that would be a fairly impressive bit of poor planning.

Besides, you can charge your phone and your AirPods at the same time, you just need to have two outlets (or two USB ports) and two cables.

Or you have better things to do than worrying about charging 2/3 devices when you used to only have to charge 1.

I wistfully remember the days when I could go away for the weekend and not have to take a charger for either my ipod or phone...

It sounds like you're describing something called "camping".

No I'm saying that 10 years ago one could go away for the weekend taking (and using) a phone and an ipod and not need to think to pack chargers.

10 years ago you weren't using a smartphone.

What's stopping you from doing this now other than yourself?

I would want to actually use the device(s) to make calls, send messages and listen to music - not just carry them around flat and useless in my pocket.

> a scenario where your phone is out of power, your AirPods are out of power, and the AirPod case is out of power

No, I'm simply talking about a scenario where I want to listen to something but my headphones aren't charged.

In such a scenario, I have to wait 15 minutes.

> that would be a fairly impressive bit of poor planning

Murphy's Law in this case means that the best outcome is to remove the possibility of poor planning by not having to juggle multiple devices that require you to plan your charging schedules around in the first place.

>that would be a fairly impressive bit of poor planning.

Isn't the point that you shouldn't need to 'plan' this at all. That's just extra mental load that isn't necessary.

The headphones charge in 15 minutes.

Those 15 minutes are 5 songs you could have listened to if your headphones did not need charging.

Someone will probably make an adapter allowing you to charge and use the 3.5mm jack, probably Apple. Another 40 bucks to spend though.

The only issue is that you also need to charge the AirPods, no?

> I would seriously move off iOS if I was making music with it.

Can you explain this?

iOS is used by lots of musicians. Musicians use lots of headphone cables to connect music equipment. Even if they use lightning, they now can't use an iPhone for some music app while performing, output the audio, and charge it at the same time.

I was not aware people were using mobile phone apps for live performances (or any serious music production actually). Laptops are common, but using an actual iPhone for a live performance seems unusual. Is this really a common thing? Unless you are referring to playing music during a party or something? I guess I'm out of touch, lol.

iOS is incredible with its amount of music making apps, and I'm not talking about mixing existing songs. There are synthesizers of many different types (sampler, rompler, additive, subtractive, FM, granular), traditional samplers, loopers, drum machines, live input, etc.

That's cool. I guess there's no reason why things wouldn't naturally progress towards that. Phones are now powerful enough.

My only experience with creating music electronically was with Fruity Loops back in the day, so that's what I had in my head. I figured it would be hard to manipulate something like that on such a small screen.

The iPad does seem more suited, as the other comment mentioned.

I use Magellan with my iPad as it is cheaper than buying a Nord. Interestingly I can use Beyerdynamic headphones with my iPad, whilst having a USB keyboard plugged into it. This will not be possible with this iPhone.

Less so the iPhone than iPad, which appears to still have a headphone jack.

I've definitely seen some live iPad mixing and synthesis, though.

Last restaurant i went to was playing music from an iphone for example.

I'm against the move, but undoubtedly we'll soon have a breakout device like the MacBook has for having HDMI, audio in/out, and power all through the one port.

> we'll soon have a breakout device

USB-C indeed. Apple chose not to use it though

> undoubtedly we'll soon have a breakout device like the MacBook has for having HDMI, audio in/out, and power all through the one port.

The Dell XPS 13 has a USB-C (Thunderbolt 3) port, which can do display, audio, and AC power all in the same port.


USB-C is the port on the Macbook as well, for what its worth.

Even if Apple doesn't make such an adapter, third parties undoubtedly will.

Unless it's locked down through the DMCA

Wait another five minutes and a charge + headphone adapter will be available from a third party like Belkin.

I imagine the iPad Pro will keep the audio jack indefinitely, much as MBPs still have many ports Apple had eliminated in other devices.

Presumably due to the lag from bluetooth combined with the inability to simultaneously charge and output sound.

I've switched entirely to Bluetooth headphones, but I'm with you - there are plenty of downsides to wireless headsets even with lossless audio protocols like aptx. And water resistance is still possible - my Z5C can be used in pouring rain and it still has a 3.5mm jack.

I'm also worried about the potential for consumer-hostile DRM on audio playback, especially since it looks like they're introducing their own proprietary wireless protocol.

Attach your headphones to the dongle and leave it there. If you have more than one set, I'm sure Anker will make these for $4.99 a piece and you can buy a bunch.

Unfortunately only one of my devices has a lightening conveyor on it but I'd like to use those headphones for more than one device... Apple flubbed here no question about it, hopefully they bring back the jack with the iPhone 7s/8 . Meanwhile I guess I'll stick with my iPhone 6s

Not if you have several hundred dollar headphones – then you’d more likely glue the adapter to the phone.

Or just break open the phone and solder a fucking 3.5mm jack into it.

The official one is $9.99, it's not expensive at all.

$9 actually.

  > I would seriously move off iOS
Where to? Take a look at what earphones are people with iPhones using. 99% those will be the ones found it the box.

It's an accounting decision. Apple can make millions replacing lost and broken genuine Apple Lightning to 3.5 adaptors. Probably at £30 a time. They probably reckon on selling a ton of airpods too.

Memories of all the feature phones I had with adaptors tells me they will break all the damn time. Kids have a happy habit of losing small things - adaptors and bluetooth earbuds.

So that's 3 sales lost here - not buying 7's for the kids. They can put up with the iPhones they have, buy themselves (slim chance), or switch to Android. That's my popularity shot for a few days.

Would a dongle be that bad? Back in the Walkman days there was a dongle that acted as a remote control. It made it very easy to skip songs, change volume, etc. Another improvement to this functionality would be a likely movement away from the current situation with non-standard signalling sent across the analogue connection. Right now you can get headphones with integrated remotes to pause/resume and control the volume, but the signals are not shared between android/iphone let alone desktop operating systems.

> Can't charge while listening.

That didn't even occur to me! Holy crap, what a design flaw. I'm glad I'm not an iUser today

> Can't charge while listening. [ using a standard cable]

This is a complete deal breaker for me. I was confident that apple was going to unveil two models, one which had the headphone jack and one which didn't.

Lenovo at least had the good sense to offer at least one model that still had the headphone jack, as they were introducing a similar model which did not.

I'm so disappointed in apple.

Don't feel it's a problem because I have my iPhone charger to charge it up and have my iPhone head phones to listen to music. What's the difference?

Many people have the micro usb cable for charging, and iPhone users use the lightning charger.

Only issue for me is you can't listen to music via headphone and charge at the same time.

>I would seriously move off iOS if I was making music with it.

Audio latency used to be a HUGE advantage for IOS vs Android. It was their biggest USP in my opinion. Android has been improving but it's still not there yet. If the next ipad has this it will be the end for musicians using IOS.

I expect iPads will still have the headphone jack. It doesn't have the space issues of the phone.

I kind of doubt Apple would retain legacy support for the iPad just because they have the space. If they are pushing a lightning/wireless future, they are probably planning to deploy/force that future on their entire device line.

Wonder if they're going to somehow get the FAA to change their opinion on bluetooth/airplane mode.

Is Bluetooth discouraged on airplanes? I thought it was just the cellular transmission that is limited in airplane mode.

Maybe. Macbooks have more room for ports too, but they only put one port on those.

The difference between camera and headphones is that the latter consume useful space inside and extra lenses for camera do not. Probably it also has to do something with new waterproof feature (different design of case, more holes to secure etc).

galaxy s7/note7 are both waterproof with 3.5mm jacks

An extra camera assembly does take up space in the case. Notice the iPhone 7 does not have a second camera, but the larger 7+ does.

iPhone 7 camera was improved, but additional components add to its thickness much more than to width and height. Jack consumes width and height, that are big enough for one extra chip, for example.

Why worry about obsoleting tons of headphones when this (and every new phone) obsoletes a whole phone? Isn't that a much greater cost?

>>Can't charge while listening.

This is huge.

*listening via lightning...

Apple doesn't want everyone to switch to lightning. They are banking that bluetooth will eventually be the 90% even 99% standard among consumers. I tend to agree.

If you're listening via AirPods, you can't charge the AirPods

The case provides 24 hours of battery life. If you're in a situation where your case has no battery life at all and your airpods have no battery life at all, they take 15 minutes to charge.

Eh, not really. Try listening to music while you charge today and watch how slow it is to charge.

Depends if you're using a really low output USB port, perhaps?

"If only iOS devices were made by other manufacturers"

This seems backwards. Only reason to buy Apple phones is the superior hardware. As far as the OS goes, Android (and the google services backing it... especially Google Now) have completely surpassed it and continue to increase the gap every day. Increasingly, Google is treating the mobile devices as just a conduit to access their cloud services (including their far superior machine intelligence backing it). While Apple continues to treat the iPhone as a beautiful device with mediocre cloud services backing the hardware.

Don't believe me? Imagine if you Google stopped creating apps for the iPhone. How big a catastrophe would that be for Apple management? Now imagine Apple ceased to exist. Would the Android ecosystem be affected in any way?

I had an android phone a year ago. Battery life management is pretty horrible. It's really hard to figure out which apps are draining your battery a lot in the background.

For example, I rooted my phone to find out if any wake locks were draining my battery. It didn't show anything. Looked at the battery usage screen, it didn't show the culprit. Eventually I had to do a science experiment on my phone and disable all background processing and then switch on apps one by one to see the battery life change.

I finally found it was my carrier's generic usage app that was killing my battery. The app was installed from the app store on my unlocked device, so it wasn't carrier pre-installed crapware that caused this.

On iOS, I've never had to do this because app developers are not able to drain your battery like that.


Camera software speed and quality has never been matched for me on iOS. Maybe motorola gets to iOS's camera speed. The software also makes getting good photos a lot easier with things like detecting your hand shake with the accelerometer and taking the photo when you're still in the moment.

Siri has better locked screen and in car voice interaction for me compared to android when I tried with android OS 5


If google disappeared, you would basically get china and other companies would fill in the gap.

"Siri has better locked screen and in car voice interaction for me compared to android when I tried with android OS 5"

The series of caveats there tells a tale of it's own. Google Now is so far ahead of Siri, there's simply no comparison... starting with the basic magic of automatic contextual updates and notifications without even asking ("Your flight has been delayed by 30 minutes", "Heavy traffic on 101. Leave in 10 minutes to reach your meeting on time" etc.)

Add to that almost perfect voice recognition with any accents in the world, automatic language recognition etc and all that backed up by Google search engine. Sorry, calling out Siri as a Apple's superior cloud service is simply not credible at this point.

The technical engine behind it is better, but the UX for using it on a locked phone isn't good. All of my issues are solvable by android, they aren't technically hard. But it's still an issue after all of these years.

For me, I only use voice in a car and some other basic cases, since it fails on the locked phone case for me, it's not that useful.


My basic issues with android:

1. A battery monitor that just works(tm) without playing science experiment. An OS that clamps down on apps to prevent it becoming an issue in the first place.

2. Faster & better camera software, quickly accessible from a locked screen, quick to start, helps me take photos without me realizing it.

3. A voice interface that works well when the screen is locked or occupied by another app, where it easily does things like:

a) Send & speak text messages

b) Control my music / podcasts

c) Change my GPS navigation.

4. An OS that really tries in security. Android is not as secure as iOS, as evidenced by the prices of jailbreaks.

5. An OS that will get updates on devices for years to come. Windows has being doing it for decades despite having similar hardware fragmentation, why can't android do it?

You basically want a Nexus or a Moto X device.

"The technical engine behind it is better, but the UX for using it on a locked phone isn't good"

The OK Google thing on completely locked device has been working on Moto phones (and later Nexus devices) way before hands-free "Hey Siri" thing became generally usable on untethered iPhone 6s last year (at long last).

And calling the incredible functionality of Google Now as "better technical engine" is quite an understatement. If iOS had this service integrated behind it, the entire world would be plastered with TV ads 24x7 calling out this "Magical" experience. Instead Apple's best effort is Siri, which works so well that this entire subreddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/Siri/) is mostly devoted to Siri's hilarious fuck-ups. That's the reason you don't really see much marketing about Siri anymore. Instead the focus has shifted mostly on hardwares... especially the camera (which is indeed amazing).

"On iOS, I've never had to do this because app developers are not able to drain your battery like that"


like that -> in secret like that

The difference is you don't have to play science experiment because you can clearly see what the cause is and how to shut it off. The android battery monitor is ineffective in comparison in my experience.

"If google disappeared, you would basically get china and other companies would fill in the gap."

The incoherence of that response (China is not a company) should be a clue.

get china -> get the chinese market

In china google play services don't really work due to the GFW, so everything is replaced with some local chinese equivalent. You have android without the google parts for the most part.

>Increasingly, Google is treating the mobile devices as just a conduit to access their cloud services

While this is a usage pattern familiar to HN'ers the average user doesn't care too much about cloud services.

Average users care more about things like camera, battery, music, playing games and overall ease of use.

The only critical Google service for iPhone users is search (and maybe Youtube). Both are available from the browser.

"While this is a usage pattern familiar to HN'ers the average user doesn't care too much about cloud services"

Umm don't know which world you're living in but Google Now/Search, Photos, Maps/Waze, Youtube, Gmail, Calendar, Hangouts, Drive.. etc. Pretty much every smartphone in the world is running one or more of those services on a daily basis.

Care to name one Apple cloud service that's so indispensable to that many users? Or perhaps, even just to iOS users?

Umm don't know which world you're living in but Google Now/Search, Photos, Maps/Waze, Youtube, Gmail, Calendar, Hangouts, Drive.. etc. Pretty much every smartphone in the world is running one or more of those services on a daily basis.

I never said they weren't running one or more of those services. Of course they are. I said that aside from Search and Youtube they weren't critical.

But I also wasn't aware we're calling basic web search, email and other web applications that have been around for a decade or more "cloud services". When did that happen? I guess by that definition (everything is a cloud service!) then you're certainly right - cloud services are indeed very popular.

I'm particularly fond of IMAP "Cloud Email" or as it used to be called "email". That's a good one. There's also "Cloud Messaging" (I've been calling it "texting" but I guess I'm pretty old school).

>Care to name one Apple cloud service that's so indispensable to that many users? Or perhaps, even just to iOS users?

I'm not sure why you're trying to make this an Apple vs Google thing. That's not at all what I intended. But re-reading your original comment I see thats exactly the kind of thing you were trying to stir up. I'm not interested in that type of discussion. Not even a little bit. Goodbye.

Except for search and YouTube I think they can be easily replaced by the average consumer.

Android doesn't have three-clicks on headphones for going back one track. That's not superior by any means. I use both (Android for personal, iPhone for work) and I definitely prefer iOS. Android is cool, I can do a lot with it, but it's always buggier.

Which Google applications are actually used on the iOS? The only one I have installed is Youtube and only because the mobile version of the website is even worse than the app.

I don't think the disappearance of Youtube app in it's current form would make any difference.

Inbox (for Gmail) is the best email client in my mind. Particularly combined with Googles auto-filtering/sorting of non-important messages and notifying on-screen only when I receive important emails

Several companies that I consult for use Google Apps. All of their iOS users use GMail, Calendar, Drive and Hangouts at the least.

To be fair to Apple, I think they have a good point. Digital connectors are superior in almost every way (space use, port flexibility, sound quality, even cable integrity). I admire them for ripping off the bandaid, like they did previously with disk drives and parrallel ports. Someone needs to lead the way to abandon legacy, and Apple can do that far more effectively than others (e.g. Motorola has also abandoned headphone jacks with their Moto Z line).

One thing I cannot get over though, is that they chose their own propietary, you-have-to-pay-Apple-for-a-license, cannot-use-them-with-anything-else Lightning 'standard'. USB Type C is the standard for this stuff now, and any trivial technical merits Lightning might have over USB Type C don't weigh up against the universal nature of USB Type C. The sheer arrogance.

Digital connectors the future? I'm on board with that. Propietary connectors? Fuck that.

Correct me if I'm wrong here, but I think that the audio jack is one of the few cases where an analog port is good because if the signal in not already analog it must be converted to analog via a DAC. If the DAC isn't in the phone, it has to be in the headphones. So, not only do you need to worry about the quality of the headphones, you have to worry about the quality of the DAC, and the DAC needs power. Seems like a few good reasons to not ditch the audio jack for now, especially if you care about audio quality. Also, those that care about audio quality probably have several expensive sets of headphones that are now incompatible with new Apple phones.

The corollary is that you have to worry about the DAC in the phone if you have an analog jack, and they're not good. So with digital only, you have the option of buying a good off board DAC (if you care), or otherwise selecting digital headphones at a price point you like.

All that said, I'm struggling to see the good side of Apple's decision to remove the 3.5mm jack. It'll make the phone worse in daily use for me - I won't be able to sit at my desk all day and charge my phone while listening to my existing, good headphones.

The DAC in the iPhone is as good as any external DAC you can buy, when it comes to human perceivable sound quality. Any other claims are audiophile BS and placebo.

There are valid product reasons for moving away from the 3.5mm jack though, like adding a power line that allows you to make active noise-canceling headphones that don't require their own battery, or outputting to more than two (stereo) speakers over a single cable.

The DAC is, but the amplifier that's after it certainly isn't.

And there's no line-out, so you're effectively dual-amping any signal if you use an amplifier on the built-in 3.5mm jack.

In any case, I think they should have kept the onboard jack, and people who really care would continue to use external DAC/Amp stacks.

It's not that simple. The load impedance is much different when used as a line out.

There are also ways to do Active Noise Cancelling without an external battery and without a new cable. I had an old Sony laptop that did ANR with software on the laptop and mics on the earpieces wired back into the laptop. Also the connector was backward compatible with a standard 3.5mm. They just used a 3.5mm connector with extra conductors on it like this one: https://www.amazon.com/Connectronics-TRRS-Conductor-Metal-Au...

I had one of those tiny Sony Vaio's that did the same - great idea and tech but did you ever use it in comparison to the state of the art from Bose etc? It was night and day - the Sony was barely better than normal ear buds on an aeroplane...

I agree, I remember it being very poor compared to my Bose aviation headset. Still was a cool proof of concept. I imagine with the right software/hardware it could work just as well as external ANR

Here's the thing though - you have to have a DAC in the phone anyway because the phone needs to have a speaker built in. Now, it might be nice for some people to be able to get an external DAC in addition, but that should already be possible with something like USB OTG.

Nice external DACs connected to phones is nothing new - USB OTG has been around forever, and even back in the "iPod Connector" days digital IO pins were available. Lightning does not provide anything new in this regard - and certainly nothing more than Lightning + 3.5mm ever did.

The problem with external DACs is that they don't easily fit in your pocket and cost a pretty penny. Cheap headphones will get even worse and good ones will get more expensive for including a good DAC.

There are no winners in this game except for Apple, which can push more licenses and proprietary accessories.

Completely agreed.

I'd just like to note that my Android phone (with its 3.5mm jack) supports my Audioengine D1. I don't know if iPhones do, although I assume not.

There is no need to lock consumers into one way or another when there are already phones that can handle either!

> The corollary is that you have to worry about the DAC in the phone if you have an analog jack, and they're not good. So with digital only, you have the option of buying a good off board DAC (if you care), or otherwise selecting digital headphones at a price point you like.

You could already connect an off-board DAC to the iPhone pre-iPhone 7

my wife has a dock that does this with her iphone SE. it doesn't use the 3.5mm jack, just lightning. So I'm speculating it's not a limitation of the lightning connector per se, but that of the dongle.

The DAC is better placed in the headphone than the phone, because otherwise you get bad sound quality when you use high-end ($100) headphones with a low-end ($100) smartphone. I was able to clearly make out the difference compared to plugging in the same headphones into an iPhone.

Put differently, when the DAC is in the phone, you need to worry about two things in order to get good sound quality — the quality of the headphones and the quality of the phone. With a DAC in the headphone, you worry about only one.

> (space use, port flexibility,

Except they only gave you one port, so you can't even do something as benign as charge your phone and listen to fucking music at the same time.

> sound quality,

I challenge you to prove that one, I'm sure sound quality is indistinguishable. If it's good enough for every sound engineer ever it's good enough for me.

> even cable integrity)

Again, is that even true? You can knock out a cheap headphone cable that works perfectly, whereas lightning devices are always crazy expensive.

Regarding cable integrity. Am I the only person to have had headphones pop in my ears due to (un)plugging the cable or causing some kind of friction at the connector?

I assume that issue disappears with the new plug.

Oh, and your complaint about charging the phone while listening, that's the Apple way they've always removed options to have a cleaner design. The superior Apple solution is to buy their pricey iPhone dock with headphone jack hidden in the back and charge and listen at the same time. Not a fanboy, just adding that Apple has addressed your complaint by making more money off of you ;)

It wasn't even the point of my post, but I'll bite: a digital cable means you no longer have to rely on the form factor/budget constrained DAC included in the device itself and can go for DACs of your own choice. That doesn't necessarily imply improved audio quality, but it means you have more control over your audio quality.

A digital cable can also do error handling and correction, meaning damage to the cable does not have the same impact as it does on analog cables.

Yeah, you only have one port. But that's not a restriction of digital ports but of Apple's implementation, I fully expect Android phones with two or more USB Type C ports to be released. As you can see from my post I'm not a fan of Apple's implementation at all (despite the fact that it'd be merely a nuisance for me).

> a digital cable means you no longer have to rely on the form factor/budget constrained DAC included in the device itself and can go for DACs of your own choice. That doesn't necessarily imply improved audio quality, but it means you have more control over your audio quality.

That's nothing new though. Those have been available for years. Some quick examples:



I've put multiple pairs of earbuds through the washer and the dryer and they work just as well (and are cleaner!) as they did before. I don't see that happening with AirPods.

Since lightning headphones are already a thing, removing the 3.5 inch port does not, in any way, give you more control over audio quality.

In the current implementation the user at least has a choice.

You could use a DAC if you wanted before using the lightning port that was already there.

There is no argument here. Bucking the standard and removing a headphone jack is a minus for consumers.

The thing is, we already have a lightning port. It's a thing that exists. We could already have lightning headphones and the current headphone jack. Together.

Digital doesn't make up for the fact that we're moving from a near-universal standard headphone jack to a proprietary port. One that, mind you, is flat vs. round. The design of the headphone jack is superior. You can plug it in at any angle, and rotate it while plugged in. Now people are stuck with a flat cable that will just twist up during movement.

I'm more than a little shocked and disappointed that more people on HN don't care about avoiding proprietary formats. Most people here _make_ stuff. Open formats allow you to more easily make interoperable stuff.

I don't want a world what I have Apple, Samsung, HTC, LG headphone connectors.

I think it's a case of self-selection bias at work here. People who avoid proprietary formats are more likely to simply avoid iPhone/Apple threads altogether, so you simply won't hear them chiming in as much.

> I don't want a world what I have Apple, Samsung, HTC, LG headphone connectors.

The EU managed to fix this once for power/data connectors. Maybe they'll have to do a rerun for audio.

But won't wired headphones become niche for iPhone 7+? It seems most users will be fine using Bluetooth

Actually, we don't have a lightning port on Macs. You now can't use the same headphones for both iPhones and Macs. Unless you go wireless.

I completely agree. If they're going to get on their high horse about being brave they should have done this with USB-C. Now their phones will either never go USB-C or it will take 5 years before they do it otherwise all of those lightning headphones you just bought are now useless.

Or they'll do it next year and have a USB-C to lightning adapter that you plug your lightning to 3.5mm adapter into.

> Digital connectors are superior in almost every way (space use, port flexibility, sound quality, even cable integrity).

Then why has almost no one decided to use Lightning headphones when given a choice?


It's not a chicken and egg problem, every iPhone for years has a Lightning port and yet almost no one buys any Lightning accessories other than charging cables. For headphones it offers no advantage and an obvious limitation.

If Apple didn't remove the headphone jack in the iPhone 7 do you think any large number of people would intentionally buy Lightning headphones?

> USB Type C is the standard for this stuff now

Exactly. I felt that Lenovo was being a bit premature and dropping the headphone jack but at least they're using a standard USB C connector.

> Digital connectors are superior in almost every way

You don't know the first thing about noise or the transmogrification of noise at all do you?

> don't weigh up against the universal nature of USB Type C. The sheer arrogance.

Agreed. History is just coming to the downward part of a sine wave again... rejection of standards (see messagaing/storage/networking) and aggressive attempts at monopoly despite lack of convergence on singular solutions.

I just bought a Moto X, and I'm glad I did because the Moto Z looks like its replacement. A standard headphone jack is a basic requirement for me, anybody who doesn't have one won't get my money.

> the biggest difference is that those technologies were all on the downward slope of their popularity when Apple made the move

Were any of them? MacBook Air released in 2008. DVD media sales rose YOY 2005 => 2009. Flash video did not decrease in popularity pre-iPhone, it decreased because of the iPhone.

> The headphone jack is just as popular today as it has ever been

"DVDs are as popular today as they have ever been" - someone in 2008

> they by design can't be a universal solution

They've been explicitly designed to be as close to a universal solution as is possible. Pair them with one of your Apple devices and that pairing is synced to all others. Instead of unplugging your cable from your phone to your Mac you simply start doing something on your Mac and the audio source switches.

If the Airpods did not require power and were simply completely wireless they'd be the perfect solution. Apple is betting that battery advances will mean that the utility of these headphones (no wire, built in sensors) massively outweighs the cons (require power). Right now they only benefit "a lot" of people.

Even if the headphone jack were dying out (which IMO is not the case, but anyway), one has to admit that replacing it by a proprietary system like Lightning is a bad idea. Now, I get their goal is pushing toward the use of wireless, but they'll have to explain themselves as to how they're planning on pulling that off when the only official wireless alternative they offer is a $159 pair of earphones as opposed to their wired alternative which is literally more than 4x cheaper.

I agree with you here. If the goal was to get people moving to wireless, including the AirPods with the iPhone would have been real 'courage'.

A decent pair of earbuds can cost about $10, even their wired alternative is grotesquely overpriced.

> which IMO is not the case, but anyway

The headphone jack was not dying out up until yesterday. As of today, it is. In the next five years a whole bunch of phone manufacturers are going to do the same thing.

You're going to absolutely shit yourself when Apple removes the lightning port from the iPhone 10.

> one has to admit that replacing it by a proprietary system like Lightning is a bad idea

Apple's view: we've replaced it with wireless. Use Bluetooth or Apple W1-enabled headphones. It is much better for many reasons. If you can't use them for some reason, use the Lightning headphones we shipped in the box If you can't use them, use the 3.5mm=>Lightning adapter we shipped in the box.

> the only official wireless alternative they offer is a $159 pair of headphones

The only official laptops they offer start at $700. Apple is a premium brand. As of today the complete range of choices Apple enables you to make on headphones, right out of the box:

1. Wired lightning headphones

2. Wired 3.5mm headphones via lightning dongle

3. Any pair of bluetooth headphones

4. Any pair of Apple W1-enabled wireless headphones

If you don't want to spend $159 on a pair of bluetooth headphones then you can go ahead and buy some cheaper ones!

suuuuure 3.5mm is dying. Just as uUsb is dead. Seriously, though, it's an well-established standard with design that has withstood the test of time. It is not dying today. Nor tomorrow.

>> the biggest difference is that those technologies were all on the downward slope of their popularity when Apple made the move

> Were any of them? MacBook Air released in 2008. DVD media sales rose YOY 2005 => 2009. Flash video did not decrease in popularity pre-iPhone, it decreased because of the iPhone.

And yet most people still need to buy external DVD/Blu-Ray drives. It's been 7 years, and not having DVD drives built into Mac hardware is still incredibly inconvenient.

>> The headphone jack is just as popular today as it has ever been

> "DVDs are as popular today as they have ever been" - someone in 2008

I'm sure someone said that, but I think most people were already moving on to Blu-Ray.

> And yet most people still need to buy external DVD/Blu-ray drives. I don't agree with you on that point, and that's coming from someone who has a computer which came with a DVD drive. I've literally used it maybe, what, twice since I got it? And honestly I can't find an example off the top of my head of a mac-owning friend of mine who'd complain about not having a optical drive on their machine.

DVD media sales don't mean much because most of those would be watched on home entertainment centers, not MacBook.

My ~5 year old laptop came with a blue ray drive. It has never held a blue ray disc and only once held a DVD. I wish other manufacturers were quicker to follow suite.

You've said "most people" twice here and I think it's wrong both times.

No, most people who buy Mac laptops and iMacs do _not_ buy an external DVD or Blu Ray drive. Apple is not shifting Macs:Drives in a 2:1 ratio or anything even approaching that.

> I think most people were already moving on to Blu-Ray

In 2008 Blu Ray vs HD-DVD was only just coming to an end. It's extraordinary to claim that "most people" [who had a DVD drive] were transitioning over to Blu Ray. If anything, I'd argue that a huge chunk of people who had DVD players flat-out have not transitioned to BR at all. Either way "most people" is an insane number.

I'm not sure most Mac owners are buying external DVD drives. Do you have any reason for believing that?

It's possible my experience isn't representative but I do know hundreds of Mac owners and DVD drives aren't very evident. Nor are any discs, generally. It seems to be a very networked subculture.

and not having a dvd drive built in is incredibly convenient for the form factor and durability of the machine

That gain in form-factor is not comparable to the removal of the 3.5mm port though.

As someone that has been using noise cancelling wireless headphones for 3 years, sorry I can't relate.

I'm considerate of the price premium this represents, and how Apple's new buds unfortunately only offer 5 hours of charge. But I just want you to know there is another perspective.

Given your usage patterns, what sort of battery performance do you normally expect from wireless earbuds? 5hrs with a 24hr+ charging case seems decently long to someone who only uses wired earbuds.

Bose QC-25 give me 35 hours of active noise cancelling on a single AAA battery.

>"DVDs are as popular today as they have ever been" - someone in 2008

What percentage of motor vehicles had a DVD player in 2008, vs what percentage of motor vehicles have an aux port today?

A car is not something you can just go out and upgrade. Try getting a dealership to install a factory bluetooth system in your 2010 chevy - let me know how it goes. Keep in mind Apple is decidedly against, on a cultural level, aftermarket customization, so some off the shelf, bestbuy radio head unit is not an acceptable apple-like solution.

>They've been explicitly designed to be as close to a universal solution as is possible.

Oh thats great news, then they must have covered these extremely common cases, right?

How about all my friends cars? Will i be able to play a song after my friend by virtue of this magical universal airpod system? (oh right, as long as i remember to carry my handy-dandy headphone dongle in my pocket at all times everywhere i go, ill be able to do what ive done for years without carrying anything!)

When i get into my car and bluetooth doesnt connect before i take it out of park, how will this system magically connect my phone so i can listen to music on my drive? (again, as long as ive got my trusty headphone dongle on me, all things are solved. It Just Works TM)

And those lightning headphones i just bought for my new iphone, how do i plug them into my mac, which doesnt have a lightning port? How about my PC? my android tablet? my ipod nano from years ago i use for working out? (yet another dongle of course! any true minimalist would swoon over the idea of having to keep track of several dongles with their mobile device - minimalism is apple design cue of choice afterall)

Besides all that, what is the latency on these airpods headphones? Movies are largely unwatchable over bluetooth because of the audio lag - has this been fixed? How about battery life? I use bluetooth headphones all day in my office, i generally connect them to my mac, because otherwise i end up with a dead phone battery near the end of the day - how does airpods resolve this issue?

Basically, what about this system is BETTER than what i currently have access to. To defend the removing of the headphone jack, surely you can come up with at least one feature that wasnt possible on phones with the headphone jack? I mean its not even any thinner....

Why does it need to be a factory Bluetooth system? DIN-standard decks have had a rich aftermarket for half a century at least, and have always offered more features than factory decks.

A Bluetooth+USB+AUX deck from a brand like Pioneer or Alpine is about $100USD. Yes, it sucks to spend more money, but you also get Bluetooth calling, proper audio format support (does your Chevy so OGG?) and even support for apps like Pandora sometimes. Worth getting _without_ even having an iPhone, for me at least.

>Why does it need to be a factory Bluetooth system?

Why do i need to get RAM upgrades from Apple? Storage upgrades? CPU? battery?

Why cant i just get a third party magsafe charger?

Because Apple's ethos says that you do it right the first time or you live with the consequences (or live with our prices for upgrades) - the equivalent of which would be insisting on a factory bluetooth system rather than getting a third party device.

Of course there are numerous benefits to going with third party/aftermarket devices. If Apple is counting on its users doing that, then it represents a major cultural shift from Apple.

> as close to a universal solution as is possible

As long as you only use Apple hardware, of course.

If you don't use Apple hardware it doesn't seem like a huge inconvenience that Apple is replacing the headphone jack…

I think your analogy to DVDs doesn't work because DVDs were never really about software. They were and, to the extent they still exist, are about multimedia in your living room. They began to decline because of Blu-ray, not because software suddenly became digitally packaged.

Second, DVDs were and are an inferior technology with a better alternative in every category of use. Yet when it comes to headphones, I own a pair of very expensive monitors that I use with lots of different devices. Am I supposed to just ignore that investment in the name of an Apple branded phone? There's nothing wrong with them at all and they far outperform a $150 pair of bluetooth "AirPods".

Regarding your statement about the Bluetooth being a universal solution, you're offering a red herring. Bluetooth was always available, so if someone wanted that, they'd have used it already. The issue here is the port itself and in this case, that means adapting all hardware not just to a new plug, but to a PROPRIETARY plug that won't work on my PC, digital piano, stereo amplifier, car auxillary port, or any of the other music producing devices I own. That's insanity.

And to say it was about "Courage". No, we all understand that it's a way for them to make more money selling their horrible headphones and licensing lightning to headphone makers.

That "courage" bit may be the most pretentious and ridiculous thing I've heard Apple say to date, and that's clearing some high bars. They're a consumer electronics company, not doctors without borders.

I'm neither Apple nor Doctors without Boarders and I can still have courage. To suggest otherwise would imply the relative privation fallacy.

While from a financial standpoint this would make sense, most of the guys making the executive decisions at Apple are design focused and oriented. Dropping the headphone jack differentiates Apple even more from its competition, makes the phone sleeker, helps with water proofing, makes the wireless headphones more appealing (which not only act as headphones but also communication devices). This was much more than just a financial move for Apple, and in my opinion it looks to be a smart one.

It definitely differentiates them - into a company that now makes a device that I won't be buying.

> helps with water proofing

There are plenty of waterproof phones with headphone jacks.

And it may have involved tradeoffs in terms of internal space, design, etc. that Apple weren't willing to make.

It's highly unlikely that this played a role in their decision.

Waterproofing the headphone jack isn't more complicated than waterproofing the charging port.

Not to mention, they replaced the headphone jack with even more holes which also require sealing.

For me i estimate my iphone use as: 80% Music 8% Calling 8% email 2% browsing 2% other stuff

With that in mind removing the 3.5 jack does not make the phone sleeker you need to see the adapter as a part of the iPhone as the phone is mostly useless without it.

Actually I would consider the adapter part of the headphone cable since headphones (and other audio devices) are the only things that need it.

> makes the phone sleeker

It's the exact same size as the 6s.

The word sleek is unrelated to size, it refers to having an elegant, streamlined shape of design. Removing the 3.5mm jack does allow for a more sleek design.

The only difference is on the bottom left they replaced the headphone hole with 6 speaker grill holes. Not sure why that's sleeker. https://tctechcrunch2011.files.wordpress.com/2016/09/apple-l...

Because it's more symmetrical.

That's hogwash--no one cares about that. If anything, the move was done to expand room within the internals of the phone.

Yup. They did it to fit in the haptic feedback for the the new home button. I don't see how a 3.5mm jack would have fit after they put that in there.

I'd rather the jack, however.

Any idea why Apple is so doggedly pursuing haptic feedback for its touch button? The engine appears to take up a lot of room in the phone.

The only justication I see for it is that they're trying to unite the touch interface gestures of their Macbooks and phones.

A Moto X has the same symmetry, and manages to keep both a 3.5mm port and a USB port on it.

How can it be symmetrical with a 3.5mm port? Does it have two of them?

You should look up what symmetry means.

> You should look up what symmetry means.

Are you... trying to imply I don't know what symmetry means? Unbelievable!

> How can it be symmetrical with a 3.5mm port? Does it have two of them?

You couldn't look it up yourself?

Put one 3.5mm port on the centerline at the top of the device, and the microUSB port on the centerline at the bottom of the device. There.

The camera bump is a huge wart on the design, but they kept that and did not make the phone thicker to compensate. I question this rationale.

This is what I'm talking about. I don't really use my phone to play music that much (although it is definitely a non-zero amount). The dealbreaker for me is that they've made a device that doesn't lay flat without a case. Although, since it has that ugly bump on the back, it's not like I'd want to have the phone outside a case anyway.

Actually, it's not really about appearances for me. It's just that it wouldn't sit flat. Like a table with 1 leg that's an inch longer than the others at a shitty diner.

Apple permanently lost their "sleek" cred when they introduced the camera bump on iPhone 6. No way in hell Steve Jobs would have released that monstrosity.

It's only smart on one hand (for the reasons you mention). On the other hand users will be pissed off at losing the convenience (yes, convenience) of plug and play headphones, along with the many other reasons why wired > wireless.

It may be a smart move in the end, but it's not obviously so at this point.

I saw it more as a push to eliminate the cord from headphones entirely. I personally hate the cord, but I hate charging bluetooth headphones even more. I hope eliminating the jack will result in better wireless headphones, but I'm not super confident that it will.

Why would they include a 3.5 mm adapter then?

Apple of all companies knows that a dongle isn't a viable long term solution for a problem like that. They included it to ease the transition, not as a replacement.

As a stop gap. Also, it's not clear whether or not the included headphones are 3.5mm or lightning, so they might simply have to include one.

I won't even touch a USB ethernet dongle for laptops, let alone a dongle for my iphone.

The headphone connector is already pressed close to breaking point in my pocket, I can't have something even bigger sticking out of the phone in a tight pocket.

So use wireless headphones, or get a pair of lightning headphones.

It's not really clear to me what the issue is, though, since the dongle can just be treated as an extension to the headphone cable. If anything, it should be harder to break, because the headphone jack part is on a flexible cable, and the part that's attached to the phone is the fairly durable Lightning connector (whereas 3.5mm male connectors are often somewhat flimsy).

> since the dongle can just be treated as an extension to the headphone cable

When in use, sure.

When not in use, then it becomes an extra item to carry / keep around.

> the fairly durable Lightning connector (whereas 3.5mm male connectors are often somewhat flimsy)

Citation needed. Actually, since the 3.5mm port is deeper, and the 3.5mm jack thicker, physics says the same amount of force would be better spread out via 3.5 connections than via a shorter, thinner connection as Lightning.

> When not in use, then it becomes an extra item to carry / keep around.

When not in use, why not just keep it attached to the headphones?

> Citation needed.

Uhh, personal experience? I've certainly bent my share of 3.5mm plugs, but I've yet to hear of anyone actually bending their lightning cable plug.

> […] physics says the same amount of force would be better spread out via 3.5 connections […]

This is a specious argument. Physics does not say this at all, because you haven't defined the materials you're working with. If the lightning connector and the 3.5mm plug are made out of the same material, and the 3.5mm plug is completely solid, then you could make this argument. But in my experience 3.5mm plugs are not made out of material that's as durable as the material lightning cable plugs are made from, and 3.5mm plugs also often give the impression of being hollow inside. Sure, you can probably make an extremely durable plug, and I'd guess that more expensive headphones probably have more durable plugs than cheaper headphones, but regardless I don't think you really have to worry about bending your lightning connectors.

> When not in use, why not just keep it attached to the headphones?


> Uhh, personal experience? I've certainly bent my share of 3.5mm plugs, but I've yet to hear of anyone actually bending their lightning cable plug.

And in personal experience, I have never once damaged a 3.5mm plug, despite extreme rough use (and I mean the "extreme"). Can't say I have bent / never bent a lightning plug though, since I've never used an iPhone.

If you've never bent either plug, then what are you worried about?

1. I've never bent a Lightning plug because I've never used one.

2. I wasn't the one worried. You were, when you said "3.5mm male connectors are often somewhat flimsy".

I wasn't worried; I was making the argument that the lightning connector is more durable (in my experience) than 3.5mm, hence anyone who's satisfied with the durability of a 3.5mm plug (as you seem to be) would have no problems with the durability of the lightning plug. If you're not worried about this, why did you try and argue against it?

By that logic, I'm not worried either. I just don't agree with your belief that the lightning plug is more durable than 3.5mm. My disagreement with your belief was the argument I was making.

Except that it is a non flexible extension that sticks out, in addition of the jack itself which already sticks out.

I won't go wireless. The last thing I want is another battery to manage, and I do care about music quality. I always saw the iphone as an ipod with internet. I stashed a spare iphone 6s so I don't need to change my habits for another 1-3 years. Then I guess I will have to learn how to use my phone again by switching to Android.

I'd be curious if the 6s starts trading at a premium to the 7. That was the case of the Galaxy Tab 1 at one point, bigger screen, better battery, looks like people preferred it to the Galaxy Tab 2.

A headphone male connector is already a non-flexible thing that sticks out. I don't see how the lightning adaptor is any different in that regard. It's a bit of non-flexible stuff that sticks out, attached to a flexible cable. The biggest difference is the cable then has another short non-flexible bit in it, but nobody complained about having short non-flexible portions of cable when headphones started including volume controls on the cable (it's just on a different part of the cable).

> I do care about music quality

It seems that AirPods aren't bluetooth but are instead something else. I'd expect the audio quality to be better than bluetooth. But I guess we have to wait until people have actually tried them out to determine how good it is.

> Then I guess I will have to learn how to use my phone again by switching to Android.

I do not believe for a second that you're going to actually change platforms simply to have an audio jack without a dongle. I bet in 1–3 years you're going to realize that there's a plethora of lightning headphones to choose from, along with an adaptor that lets you use headphones and charge simultaneously, and you'll stop thinking about this change as a problem.

Turns out it is in fact just using Bluetooth and not something special. So it remains to be seen how the audio quality actually is.

> in a tight pocket

Doesn't sound like an Apple problem to me.

I don't know. It seems reasonable to imagine the drainpipe jeans crowd has a pretty solid overlap with Apple's customer base.

It is very hard to find non-tight pockets on women's clothing, if you're lucky enough to find pockets at all.

Yeah, just hold it different.

Should be pretty much the case of anyone sitting with an iphone in his/her trouser pocket. Unless you wear rapper baggy pants!

You could always use wireless headphones instead - Apple's or someone else's.

The included EarPods are lightning. Specifically, it's http://www.apple.com/shop/product/MMTN2AM/A/earpods-with-lig...

In the keynote they said the included headphones are lightning.

The included headphones are Lightning.

It appears that the included headphones are Lightning from what I could see of the video.

To help quell the shit storm that would happen if they didn't include it.

Ah so what you're saying is they do some things for profit, and other things for PR reasons. Interesting.

The future is bluetooth, and they're not making licensing fees off that.

I guess some people will buy lightning headphones instead of bluetooth, but it should be a small minority.

> people will buy lightning headphones instead of bluetooth

Yes, another proprietary connector no better at it's task than the equivalent industry standard connector.

No better by what measure? Because it's objectively better in every way besides ubiquity.

You see the prices on lightning headphones? Cheapest one Apple offers is $150. Searching for best cheap bluetooth headphones finds a bunch clustered around $100.

I lose headphones like crazy, and I'm not an audiophile, so my average spend on headphones is under $20

Up until today there's been minimal demand for Lightning headphones. Once the iPhone 7 is released I'd expect cheap Lightning headphones to be pretty common, just like you can find both Lightning and Micro-USB charging cables near the cash register at pharmacies today.

I use (and keep) my headphones for years and I am an audiophile. This is a non-starter for me as well. I don't want to buy new $200 headphones after Apple inevitably obsoletes lighting and Bluetooth leaves a lot to be desired in terms of lag, pairing, charging, and audio quality.

Perhaps you missed it, but they're including a free dongle. And if you lose that, it's $9 to replace.

Apple stuck with the Dock connector for a decade. Lightning will most likely stay for at least that if not longer.

Also $200 isn't that expensive when talking about headphones.

>> I don't want to buy new $200 headphones

> Also $200 isn't that expensive

But forcing a $200 purchase is. Your parent already has good headphones they like, has had them for years, and none of those headphones needs replacing because they broke down or are obsoleted. The $200 purchase your parent mentions is because of Apple obsoleting something.

>Also $200 isn't that expensive when talking about headphones

It absolutely is. Is it more common now than a few years ago? Yep. But it's still expensive, especially when there are excellent options below $50 and serviceable ones around $4-5.

We have a highly differing opinion on "serviceable" and "excellent".

Clearly, though my every day pair are HD650s for home/office work. Well worth the $300, but also not something I plan on ever upgrading or replacing. $200 headphones are a luxury item and, I believe, objectively expensive.

If they provide excellent sound over BT, maybe they're worth the $200 (160?), but they'd still be expensive.

Normally headphones come with a connector that is ubiquitous instead of proprietary, though.

Do the dongle doesn't work for you?

The Motorola S305's are some of the best Bluetooth headphones I've ever owned and they're usually ~$20-25. Comfortable, good battery life, decent enough audio quality, build quality that lasted 3 years. After that time the foam pads started falling apart, so I ordered another pair a few weeks ago.

There are other similar models around the same price. You don't have to spend $100+ to get similar audio quality to $20 headphones that happen to have Bluetooth as well. Bluetooth chips are stupid cheap these days, pairing that with a small battery really doesn't add much to the cost of normal cheap headphone equipment and you'll find plenty of pairs <$40.

I thought they might replace the headphone jack with a USB-C connector. Then they could do the same thing on the MacBook and it'd have two USB-C ports.

But instead they chose Lightning, so now we have iPhone headphones and Android headphones.

Why did it have to be this way?

Apple gets a lot of (semi-rightful) flak for going their own way and developing their own tech, protocols, and connectors, but in many cases they were legitimately first and the 'standard' option came later.

-- Lightning pre-dates USB type-C, which fulfill the same usability goal

-- AirPlay pre-dates Miracast

-- Metal pre-dates Vulkan

In some cases, Apple's product was later adopted as the standard:

-- The mini-DisplayPort was their custom connector but later adopted as an official standard

-- the MOV format was adopted for the ISO base container format (MPEG-4 Part 12), which forms the base of MPEG-4 Part 14, commonly known as the 'MP4 container'.

In some cases, they did develop custom tech where open ones existed:

-- ALAC is fairly close in implementation details to FLAC, which pre-dates it.

-- Apple's 'HTTP Live Streaming' came well-after MPEG standard ways of doing HTTP streaming, and is roughly contemporaneous with Adobe's and Microsoft's proprietary ways of adaptive streaming. Later, DASH was developed as a vendor-neutral alternative, and is now the preferred way of doing adaptive streaming via HTTP.

I don't believe that Apple is any more proprietary than a lot of other companies. It's just that they're a tempting target, because they dictate their ecosystem so strongly, and it certainly doesn't help that they ship a lot of locked-down, premium devices.

But blatantly user-hostile changes like removing the headphone jack won't earn them any goodwill.

I think that removing the headphone jack could be justified if they were moving to an open standard. But instead they're moving to Lightning.

They are. They're moving to Bluetooth. If you don't want those then you can get a Lightning adaptor.

Edit: no they're not, I was skimming the news too hard. Oops. Well I guess they're trying to fix the Bluetooth latency everyone is complaining about with their existing stuff then.

In a few years I'm sure Apple will find a wireless charging solution they like, and then they'll drop the Lightning connector as well. I cannot even begin to imagine the hue and cry that one's gonna cause.

They're not moving to Bluetooth. They're packaging Lightning headphones in the box and announced their own wireless earbuds that are not Bluetooth.

Update: as noted below, they do use Bluetooth though that's not in the marketing pitch. They don't promise compatibility outside of Apple devices though so who knows if it's based on a standard profile.

This is not true. They are Bluetooth.

See http://www.apple.com/shop/product/MMEF2AM/A/airpods, then scroll down to "Tech Specs".

    AirPods: Bluetooth

I guess there's no way to know for sure right now, but it seems like the Airpods probably do in fact run over Bluetooth since they'll work with existing iPhones and Macs. Maybe they're using Wifi and building on top of Airdrop, but that seems like excessive power consumption for tiny headphones. I'd bet they're using Bluetooth 4.x + some proprietary magic to get them to pair super easily.

Apple says they're bluetooth right on their website: http://www.apple.com/shop/product/MMEF2AM/A/airpods

How they pair with non-Apple gear is yet to be seen, but the connection is BT.

"Right on their website", but not in any of their marketing materials or during the presentation. It will be interesting to see if they work at all with non-Apple devices.

Update: CNET is providing a little more on this, looks like they will be compatible (but without any buttons on them, it may not be a great experience):


> They all work with Apple's new proprietary W1 chip that's being described as a custom chip that uses ultra low-power Blueooth and keeps the two earbuds in sync. CNET reporter Shara Tibken spoke to Apple reps who confirmed the headphones will work with other Bluetooth devices, not just the new iPhones

Are there any restrictions about advertising something as "Bluetooth" if it doesn't follow the spec, and thus have compatibility with devices other than Apple?

> They're packaging Lightning headphones in the box and announced their own wireless earbuds that are not Bluetooth.

Have a source for that? That they claim it works with existing Macs kind of implies that it uses Bluetooth.

I could have sworn they are, in fact, Bluetooth...

There is an open standard; it's the analog headphone jack. </sarcasm>

But there is no 'other' open standard yet, although Intel and other vendors are pondering it [1].

This doesn't mean that HDMI or DisplayPort can't be shoehorned to do it and you can't carry those over the USB type-C plug, but they're meant for other things. This type of 'let's invent one that meets our needs slightly better than the 5 others' is what leads to standards proliferating (and I'll avoid linking the xkcd).

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12305410

The current 4-pole headphone jack used in mobile phones is hardly a standard. At least both iOS and Android use their own flavour when doing anything more complex than play/pause.

They're standards, there's just too many of them! [1]

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phone_connector_(audio)#TRRS_s...

USB audio has existed for decades and can be used with type-C like any other USB class. Intel's thing may provide improvements but it's hardly necessary.

This is correct, it's called 'Audio Device Class', specs here [1][2]. It's said that the new enhancements that Intel is pondering add power-management features to this spec, but I can't find much documentation on it, other than rumours.

[1] http://www.usb.org/developers/docs/devclass_docs/audio10.pdf

[2] http://www.usb.org/developers/docs/devclass_docs/frmts10.pdf

What about Bluetooth audio? That is an open standard.

It's not a very good one. Audio quality sucks and bluetooth has a lot of issues. But if you want to use it, Apple's always supported Bluetooth headphones.

I was limiting my comparison to wired audio interconnects.

It may be that from many people's point of view, the user experience is comparable and/or better. But it's accomplished using a fundamentally different mechanism. I wanted better apples; even if some oranges are tasty too.

The open standard is Bluetooth...

>But instead they're moving to Lightning.

Are they? Because none of their computer nor laptops have a lightning connector.

What about HFS then? And HFS on OSX as the primary option? I think that's the one that's probably caused me the most grief.

Apple's NIH syndrome is exceedingly strong...and I say this being an Apple product guy.

The shit-show that has been owning a 6 Plus, the rapidly declining quality of OSX & its applications and now this has me quickly looking for the door.

Edit: And they're pushing iCloud hard now...to the point that I don't sign into it on my devices anymore. iOS nags me to create an iCloud Backup _every day_ and when the setting was (accidentally) automatic, a single backup filled all of my free iCloud storage space...which caused iOS to nag me into paying for more iCloud storage. I simply cannot stop it from sending push notifications.

> Metal pre-dates Vulkan

Vulkan was announced first. Apple was even a part of the effort. Then they went off and did their own thing and withdrew from Vulkan and announced Metal.

As I see it, Apple took Vulkan ideas. Of course it was faster for them to create Metal because they didn't have to care about cross-platform and multi-party support.

> Vulkan was announced first

No it wasn't. Khronos' own slides on Vulkan disprove this (slide 6) [1], saying they began the effort in June 2014. Apple announced Mantle to the public that month.

[1] https://www.khronos.org/assets/uploads/developers/library/20...

> Apple announced Mantle(sic)

Announced, didn't release.

In the same presentation as you linked, on slide 9, you can see Apple was a part of the Vulkan effort. The subsequently withdrew from Vulkan, before releasing Metal.

WWDC 2014 in June had the 'Zen Garden' demo running Unreal 4 on the Metal API [1], and it was released to the app store in September [2]. In a different session, CryEngine was shown running Metal on an iPad [3]. That's two high-profile game engines already using the API. A limited release perhaps, but I count that as a significant head-start, all the while Khronos was just organizing glNext.

[1] http://www.extremetech.com/gaming/183567-apple-unveils-metal...

[2] http://appadvice.com/appnn/2014/09/unveiled-at-wwdc-2014-for...

[3] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Thb2841jCQ4

Wow. You're right.

"-- Lightning pre-dates USB type-C, which fulfill the same usability goal"

Lightning only operates at USB 2 speeds. Well, except for the large iPad Pro.

Oh, and it requires an authentication chip so has to be approved by Apple (not overly 'usable', but definitely proprietary).

For clarity, 'usability goal' I was referring to is plug-into-slot-blindly-with-your-eyes-closed.

I used the word 'usability' to attempt to imply UX, and I was deliberately avoiding commenting on speed, features, DRM, and the like, because those aren't delivered by USB type-C, which is only the plug. As you imply, those points are addressed by the jump from USB 2 to USB 3.0 or the type-C-compatible USB 3.1.

>> Later, DASH was developed as a vendor-neutral alternative, and is now the preferred way of doing adaptive streaming via HTTP.

Source? The entire industry as far as I can tell still uses HLS as the only mobile streaming tech, whether within or beyond the Apple ecosystem. HLS won. If DASH is going to take over, I haven't seen any evidence of that yet, and don't expect to in the near future.

There may have been a reason to create Lightning, but no reason to continue using it now that USB-C exists.

Getting rid of the headphone port would have been better if the alternative port was USB-C rather than Lightning.

> so now we have iPhone headphones and Android headphones.

I think you answered your own question there.

We have bluetooth headphones, which work on iPhones, Androids and computers.

The latency of bluetooth headphones makes things like mobile rhythm games unplayable.

Don't most rhythm games have a latency calibration option? Rhythm games don't need low latency, only predictable latency.

My iPad 3 is pretty much "the Reflec Beat machine" and while it does have a timing adjustment option it only moves the moment in time that it uses for judgement. If I delay it to compensate for wireless earbuds then it will be visually delayed too past the judge line. Sure they can compensate for this with more options but I like sane defaults. I have never had to touch this slider because zero is already perfect, and in games with separate audio and visual lag compensation options I'm never confident that I've gotten it accurate. This isn't something you should have to ask the user to do. https://i.imgur.com/qU2TEP5.jpg

I've pretty much given up rhythm gaming on mobile platforms. There's always going to be too much overhead and too many unknown variables.

Only games that I think have ever gotten this right (insofar as lag correction can be "right") is the Rock Band series, which has auto lag compensation via a photosensor and mic on the guitars.

I imagine the best rhythm game experiences will remain on crappy PCs running Windows XP Embedded for a while.

The phone has a pretty good microphone. It should be able to adjust latency by having you hold an ear bud up to the mic.

It depends on the headset. Of course with an audio jack the other end would have to be doing something very wrong to induce a comparable lag.

Well, they work... sometimes.

Some silly stuff happens with bluetooth headphones such as my PS3 bluetooth headset being unable to hear music played from the iPhone but they work fine for calls.

> Why did it have to be this way?

We could have a world where Vulkan was the one stop shop graphics API anywhere. Instead, we are in this situation where everything but Apple products supports / will support it.

Why did it have to be this way?

Metal was done [1] even before the Khronos Group issued a call to develop a next-gen low-overhead API [2] which became Vulkan. It helped that AMD basically donated Mantle so they were able to turn around in a year. Apple understandably was in no appetite to use DX12, and then-AMD-specific Mantle could not be construed as any more than a tech demo and/or an attempt to eke out more performance from their cards.

[1] http://www.anandtech.com/show/8116/some-thoughts-on-apples-m...

[2] (slide 20) https://www.khronos.org/assets/uploads/developers/library/20...

If they'd made metal an open standard, they wouldn't have found themselves sidelined again.

It makes the old OpenGL/DirectX situation look great by comparison, doesn't it? Now there's three competing modern graphics APIs, and none works on every platform. At least OpenGL worked everywhere, if poorly.

Aren't Vulkan, Direct X 12 and Metal much closer than Direct X pre 12 and Open GL ever were? The three are derived (at least in philosophy) from AMD's Mantle, not like Direct X pre 12 and Open GL that are (or at least were) very different beast.

I only ever programmed with OpenGL 1.3 and 1.4, so my knowledge is not very up-to-date to say the least...

Porting complexity is still non-trivial, and then you need people who understand multiple bare metal APIs.

The architectures are all based off Mantle, but OpenGL 3.3 and DX10 were very similar in their hay day, and porting was still fairly limited (you can still partially blame the horrible adoption of the 3.x series that took so long to take off).

OpenGL never worked on Xbox 360, and didn't work convincingly (for non-trivial games) on PS3.

Consoles have always been a special case, though. For one thing, the entire API is usually under NDA, so a different graphics system is the least of your problems.

It's the same problem as with USB C, Vulkan is predated by Apples own standard and you can't change it without hurting someone. Apple made the decision that they would rather save their own customers unnecessary pain.

You can't change it from one day to another, but Apple has all the power to add Vulkan as alternative interface to the same hardware, in addition to the Metal API. They can do this at any time, now or in the future, without inflicting pain on anyone.

Eventually Metal won't be used anymore since there's no point in using the less portable API with the same capabilities. Finally, once use of Metal is low enough, discontinue it in a new iOS/macOS update.

Upgrades with parallel maintenance and deprecation timelines are well understood, and very feasible for a company with Apple's engineering prowess. There's really no argument other than continued lock-in to stick with Metal only.

> save their own customers unnecessary pain.

The pain is going to be that very few video games will be ported to OSX / iOS unless they dramatically increase their market size to justify the heavy cost to port to Metal just for those systems. If Apple cared about customers in this case, it would be an obvious choice to use Vulkan to pressure developers into using the industry standard rather than the Microsoft only product they are using predominantly now.

Or the 4 engines that most games are made in will just add a metal layer. Or you use something like https://moltengl.com/ to make a direct opengl -> metal wrapper.

And sales is what will drive ports.

Lock-in. When you buy any apple accessory it is not usable on anything else adding more friction for people considering a switch.

iPhone headphones (ligtning), Android headphones (USB-C) and laptop/desktop or any old device (audio jack)

We already have Android and iPhone headphones with the jack. The 4-pole connector uses a different standard for the control signals for both.

You can't do anything beyond play/pause or answer calls on iOS with Samsung headphones or vice versa.

Now we have iPhone headphones and MacBook headphones, even worse.

The AirPods are Bluetooth so they should work with the MacBook too.

Because Apple.

I really don't want a shitty android phone. Might get a 6s I guess. I damaged my 6 recently.

Then choose a good one.

I never got to the point you are at because I could never get over the USB jack.

It took 30 fucking years and a lot of blood sweat and tears but finally finally there is a global, universal, cheap and simple charging standard that just works. You can find a USB port anywhere and there are extra cables everywhere and life is just slightly better all around.

Except for Apple.

Well, mini USB, then micro USB, then USB-C, then...

I have to change my cables every 5 years, not exactly "a" global standard.

I have to change my cables every 1-2 years because they will inevitably break with normal usage.

I must be abnormal, as I have never broken a USB cable.

I've washed my micro-usb cable in the laundry more times than I can count, and it still works absolutely fine. I'm not sure how these cables are broken by normal use.

I play a lot of Ingress and Pokemon Go with an external battery. Due to the movement and flexing while walking around, the cable destroys itself.

You're in the minority. Normal people don't break cables. The latest Apple cables still have the cheap rubber sleeve peel away, but you can rip it off entirely and have the metal-coated cable last years without the wire fraying. If you're actually fraying the wire itself, you are treating your phone extremely poorly. I am not gentle with my equipment, and I've never had an Apple cable fall apart to the point of needing replacement.

Anecdotally I know many, many people who complain about regularly breaking cables, both Apple and non-Apple. Myself included. You ought to give data not anecdotal experience if you want to claim what "most" people do.

Apple already had their standard before there was USB-C. Do you think yet another port migration would be well received ?

I'm not talking about USB-C.

I'm talking about the ability to walk off an airplane, in any country in the world, and having forgotten both my charging cable and my charger, I can find a plain old USB port somewhere[1] and someone (possibly my hotel) can hand me a plain old USB cable and I can charge my (device).

[1] On my own laptop, preferably.

To be honest, if you walk off an airplane, almost anywhere you will be able to buy a missing cable you may have misplaced to charge any popular hardware at most for the price of a lunch or two.

Also, hotels have cables.

Yes, there are parts of the world where the above does not hold, but did you really mean ANY country in the world?

I get where you're going. But I can't just recall any travel or situation where iPhone cables were not available.

At least they succeeded in being popular enough to be practical.

What the fuck is wrong with people in these comments? You're not the only one ranting about "lost cables". Are there really this many people who are so incompetent in life that they're losing their cables every other week? Feel free to bash the lack of standards; but please stop talking about some theoretical scenario that 99.99% of users never encounter. If you're going to lose your cable, you may as well leave behind your wallet, keys, phone, and the lint that was in your pocket to boot. May as well leave your brain behind on the plane too, if you're so incapable of holding onto your personal property.

You are correct that Lightning predated USB type C, but Lightning is proprietary and thus is not a standard.

It certainly is a standard, it's just a proprietary one. The word "standard" does not mean it has to be open and free for anyone to implement.

That's actually exactly what "standard" means in a discussion where people know we're likely referencing ISO and IEEE.

Nobody mentioned ISO or IEEE. You're projecting your own expectations onto a conversation that did not even reference them.

When people talk about whether a cable is "standard" or not, they are drawing distinctions between different types of cable. By your definition every cable is standard, or at least every cable that can connect to two models by the same manufacturer. That's a useless definition. People don't mean that, they mean something adopted by ISO/IEEE or similarly available for anyone to use with a lot of adopters.

No, a "standard" means something that's well-defined that multiple parties can implement. Something that only one manufacturer can use is not a standard because nobody else can do it. Lightning is a standard, other people can and do make lightning cables and accessories, it's just a proprietary standard and AIUI requires you to be part of the Made For iPhone program.

They can make accessories. Sometimes. They can't make host devices.

That's actually an interesting point. Is it true, though? AFAIK you have to actually be a member of the MFi program to see its terms (and the terms are under NDA), so I don't know what the exact restrictions are. I'm certainly not aware of any non-Apple devices with a lightning port on them, but I'm struggling to think of who would actually make such a device. The only reason I can think of for this is if you want to make a wireless device that charges over a lightning cable, but it's almost certainly a lot cheaper for such a device to just charge over USB instead of trying to charge over lightning anyway, and the only reason to want lightning is if you want your users to be able to charge your device with the same cable they use to charge their iPhone, but nobody seems to care about that sort of thing.

Which is to say, this may very well be true, but the lack of third-party devices with lightning ports can also easily be explained as just nobody wants to do that.

Yes, if means less lock-in and more interoperability, like using the same headphones with both Android and iOS.

Apple - Be exceptional. Or the exception. Whatever, just pay us :D

So your phone has a USB type A socket in it? Or are you misrepresenting how you have one eternal ageless never-deprecated never-changing way to connect your phone to things?

I don't think removing the headphone jack is going to be as big a deal as everyone here makes it out to be. I have a pair of bluetooth headphones I use for the gym and I love them. In fact all the headphones I see at the gym anymore are wireless. The only thing I hate is having to charge them. If battery technology keeps improving there will be no advantage to wired headphones. Even from a sound quality perspective there are some very nice sounding bluetooth headphones out there, and I suspect that will only continue to improve. The only thing I really use wired headphones for anymore is as monitors when I'm playing in the band, and that's only because our monitor setup is wired. If I could find a good wireless IEM setup I would be in heaven.

I see this as the direction the market is headed anyway. Apple has just moved to embrace it early.

1. Removing the headphones is not what people are complaining but unable to charge the phone and use wired headphones is one thing people are complaining about.

2. USD 160 for a AirPod! thats too much and the design really is not up to the mark

Yes, and consider that you can buy an Amazon Echo for $179 ($129 at Lowes)that comes with a subwoofer, WiFi and Bluetooth, seven microphones, an AI and a sense of humor.

A pair of rigid plastic Bluetooth headphones that are easily damaged or lost for $159 is consumer price gouging. You do the math.

Talking of the rigidity of the shells on Apple headphones in general, they aren't designed for everyone's ears. I have fairly small ear canals and those things physically hurt to use. I much prefer a nice pair of Philips with gel caps.

Plus the cord to me is actually a good thing ZIMHO, it provides some weight and also helps me stop losing the things.

Courage my ass, it's them simply trying to milk more $$$ from people who can feel more superior from buying salvation at no matter what the cost. :-)

Anyway just my 2c

1. Do we know for sure you won't be able to do that? I seem to remember that being a complaint about the USB-C port on the new MacBooks but you can get an adapter that allows you to do both. I suspect there will be similar adapters for the iPhone.

2. $160 might be too much for the AirPods, but I don't know that anyone can really know that yet. Whether they are worth that or not really depends on the functionality and sound quality, and I haven't really seen any reviews on that yet. What I do know is that $160 is really on the low end as far as good headphones go. My Jaybirds were $150 when I got them and my ATH-M50xs were also around $150.

> I don't think removing the headphone jack is going to be as big a deal as everyone here makes it out to be.

> I have a pair of bluetooth headphones I use for the gym and I love them.

Yeah, that's why you don't see it as a problem. The majority of people still use corded headphones, some of which are high-quality, pricey investments that you don't just want to stop using. If you end up misplacing that little dongle, you can't listen to music privately until it's replaced. Seems like a downgrade in functionality, with almost no improvement, considering you are already using your bluetooth headphones effectively.

> The majority of people still use corded headphones, some of which are high-quality, pricey investments that you don't just want to stop using.

The vast majority of people I see in public use the standard Apple earbuds. I suspect that the percentage of people with expensive cans is very low, and that most people that buy the iPhone 7 will continue to use the stock lightning earbuds.

^ This

Are people really using high-end headphones on the go with their iPhones? I have some very nice corded cans, but they require a headphone amp to really sound good, so they only get used at home.

How much do you listen for charging to be an issue? I have the beats solo 2 and I change them like once a week for half an hour. Hardly an inconvenience and I listen to them almost every day.

It's not so much the amount of listening as it is my absent mindedness about remembering to charge them.

I just don't get the supports of this. I have a pair of bluetooth headphone and of course normal corded. Bluetooth sucks! It's buggy as hell. You have to constantly get it to re-sync with your device. Interference constantly makes the signal get crappy.

Ever been on a call with your fancy blue tooth headset while someone turned on a microwave near by? I have, that shit stops working!

I'm all for moving forward with an all digital solution, but blue tooth just doesn't cut it 100% of the time.

This. Bluetooth just sucks. I recently tried out 3 of the top rated bluetooth headsets on Amazon after giving up a couple years ago. It still just sucks and is not reliable. Battery life is terrible if you want headphones you can use all day while at work or commuting (won't even come close to making it through the day with smaller headphones).

This is just a terrible decision IMO. OTOH I'm a diehard Nexus guy so I guess I really don't care :)

Which bluetooth headphones did you try? I have the following two and they work perfectly.

- Plantronics Backbeat Go

- Jabra Pulse

Both worked perfectly paired with my Surface Pro as well as my Nexus 6P. I also had a Nexus 6 prior to that and it paired to that device with no issues whatsoever as well.

Plantronics seem to have simply mastered bluetooth. The backbeat pro pairs easily with everything I've tried, long enough range to leave my phone at my desk all day, connects to work + personal at the same time, and are pretty good headphones to boot.

Given that headphones are purely analog devices, I'm not sure an all-digital solution really makes sense. You have to put the DAC+amplifier somewhere, and it seems just wasteful to incorporate it into each and every pair of headphones.

That, and you'll wind up with at best, something that performs equally well to the traditional analog output jack. Is that really worth mangling years of standards and backwards compatibility for?

They're pricey (~ 450 USD), but I recommend the Sennheiser Momentum bluetooth wireless [1]. Great sound for music (aptX) and phone calls, comfortable, solid noise cancellation. You can still use them corded if you want too.

[1] https://en-us.sennheiser.com/momentum-wireless-headphones-wi...

But they're not bluetooth, right?

I suspect they are, they've said that the AirPods work with Macs and iPads, which as far as we know don't have any special radio hardware except the standard Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

To me, the biggest problem with this move is that you can't charge the device and listen to music with corded headphones at the same time. Unless there is some option I am unaware of.

In any case, I just decided to replace my iPhone 5 with an iPhone 6s, which I should be able to find on sale.

This is a problem also for phone conferences.

Bluetooth is ok in general, but I hate to have one more battery to keep an eye on.

Macbook, iPhone, Apple Watch, AirPods. That's already three different charging mechanisms for the devices you are likely to carry when traveling.

I would be very happy if they could even just add one extra USB port to Macbook USB-C charger so that you could charge the laptop and phone with the same charger.

Given that you get a lightning to audio jack converter right in the box it's pretty much the only significant objection IMHO. Converter cables aren't ideal, but hardly a ragequit issue. I wonder if third party charge/jack splitter cables are possible?

I'm still going to buy an iPhone; just not the 7. Since I generally keep my phones for three years, I will have plenty of time to see how this plays out in the market.

The iPhone Lightning Dock offers a traditional headphone port for that use case.

I guess Apple's solution is to always buy more stuff. I could easily see "needing" to now have three docks and 2 adapters. One dock at home office to listen/charge when working at home all day, one for work office for same reason and one in the car for long road trips / commuting (no BT in my car, just aux). Maybe I could get away with one adapter if I leave it connected to my headphones... But I can't be expected to reasonable carry around docks with me or even to consistently remember them when I hop into the car. I already know it would be a matter of time before winding up in a situation where I would not have an adapter on me, or needing to charge. Basically this is an anti-consumer move, there is zero benefit to consumers and actually makes everyone's lives more inconvenient.

It's strange because I don't need any of this stuff right now with my iPhone 6+, it was a solved problem. Never before, after a new Apple release have I felt that what I have now is more desirable than the newer version.

We've had bluetooth audio in cars for many many years now. The most compelling argument for needing an aux cable is if you're renting a car (since rentals usually skip most of the options, such as bluetooth audio). And with the headphone jack being removed, it's only a matter of time before some 3rd party comes out with an adaptor cable that includes a charge port so you can do both at the same time.

> there is zero benefit to consumers

Completely untrue. Just because you don't care about the various benefits doesn't mean there is zero benefit. If there was zero benefit, Apple wouldn't do it. More than any other company I know, Apple cares deeply about user experience, and they're dropping the headphone jack because they think it's holding back the product.

The most obvious benefit I can think of is dropping the headphone jack let them put a second speaker in where the jack was, which is probably what let them get 2x louder speakers.

A $40-$50 (2/5 stars on Apple.com) adapter to cover that use case. A $10-$20(?) dongle to cover the using normal headphone use case. Pass.

I can't tell if this is satire or not. It almost writes itself.

That's convenient...

I am not sure if I agree with the floppy being abandoned at the right time. This was at a time where the cloud would be emailing something to yourself, no USB drives, and CD writers that were expensive, and burnt a coaster half the time.

Also back then Apple had a minuscule market share, so they did not really kill it. It just made most people have to buy an external floppy drive. Yes the floppy did have to go, but USB sticks needed to come first, and they were not there yet. There really wasn't any other alternative for say saving your work at school and going home.

You're not alone and I would expand this distinction to not only factor in popularity but functionality as well. CDs phasing out floppy disks may have been done in part for DRM purposes but the advantage was at least clear; 700MB is a hell of a lot more than 1.44MB. With the iPhone 7, Apple is taking away a time-tested feature in favor of alternatives which do not present clear advantages. Bluetooth headphones are annoying to pair and tend to have connectivity issues in conditions like rain. Lightning headphones are expensive and prohibitive. Dongles suck. As for AirPods, I'm not getting the sense that they provide much more in the way of functionality or sound than any traditional, run-of-the-mill pair of headphones. They certainly won't sound as good as my Audio Technica ATH-M50x. What do I have to be excited for?

I know it's hackneyed to glorify Steve Jobs but he always seemed to have his eye on the ball when it came to tech. Macintosh is the obvious example but if you look at his work at NeXT or building products like WebObjects, you see a CEO who predicted the resurgence of distributing computing and the overall dominance of networking in software. With the iPhone, Apple's move to phase out the physical keyboard on mobile devices was done to put content front and center - a design informed by Jobs' vision of a portable "post-PC" device that would act as the source of most of our media consumption.

What is the removal of the 3.5MM jack informed by? Trivial product metrics like thickness and water-resistance? A cynical attempt to make money from licensing proprietary standards? Or maybe Apple is going through the motions, asserting its reputation as a "gatekeeper" that dictates which standards should be left in the past.

Whatever the case may be, the iPhone 7 is not a compelling product. As an iPhone user, my next smartphone will most likely be an Android.

I would be interested to know how often those jacks fail and need warranty replacement. For whatever reason I seem to break them easily and have moved to Bluetooth to avoid this. The design puts the strain on the socket rather than the jack. There may well be a small minority who regularly need repairs because of this.

Bluetooth headphones outsold standard audio jack headphones in the US last month for the first time. This is perfectly timed.

Does the survey account for the number of phones that are sold with audio jack headphones?

It could be that the only reason bluetooths outsells jacks, is because people get jacks anyway for free.

Does it matter in this case? If the remaining headphone users stick with whatever headphones come packaged with their phone for free, then they still wouldn't be using the audio jack with the iPhone 7, as the iPhone 7 comes packaged with lightning headphones.

How many headphones are people even buying? I have a drawer full of headphones I have collected over the years. Not at all surprising people would only be buying wireless headphones, but it does not mean they are more commonly used.

Depends on what you mean. I have two pairs of headphones at any given time. One is a high quality over ear set for work/transit/home. The second is a "beater" cheap pair I bought at CVS that I wear when working out or walking. I lose the beater pair all the time, but don't care because they are cheap.

Very valid point. People already have plenty of wired headphones.

Well, for anyone else who like me can't get the Apple earbuds to stay in my fucked up ear (cauliflower ear, from wrestling), I bought these Bluetooth earbuds a month ago and now use them all the time: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01GDIUA8Y/

At $45 they're not the cheapest but they've got pretty good sound quality and work well from a physical standpoint

Apple's profits are on the downward slope, and their new acquisition of Beats along with them changing the headphone interface that's been in use for decades gives them great opportunity for revenue -- selling people premium upgraded headphones while instantly forcing all their devoted fans to upgrade. That has got to be worth $50-200 a user.

As far as traditional headphones go, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Unfortunately, Apple knows we've hit Peak Smartphone, and they are running out of grown opportunities, so this is simply an attempt to create more growth where it doesn't otherwise exist.

It's mostly milking their customers and the industry.

At the time it really did feel like they were jumping the gun with floppies and optical drives too.

Maybe, but it wasn't at all to the same degree. Floppies were verging on uselessness in 1998. Capacities hadn't increased in a decade, while code and data sizes were growing exponentially. Floppies could barely fit anything useful anymore. A wide variety of replacements were available, with Zip, Jazz, Bernoulli, CD-RW, and others all competing. There was no standardization, so the replacements kind of sucked. Removable data storage was just a complete mess at the time, so eliminating the most standardized but vastly least capable option wasn't that big of a deal.

With audio connectors, it's not like that at all. For wired connections, there's one universal standard that works great. There's no analogous situation to being unable to fit your massive bloated Word documents onto a 1.44MB floppy disk. Moving past the floppy disk solved a bunch of serious problems, while moving past the headphone jack isn't solving any problems.

Wireless headphones that just work are seriously really nice. Once you use them, you wonder why all headphones aren't wireless.

Removing the headphone jack forces people to solve the wireless headphone problems: pairing, latency, and charging.

I'm not convinced apple isn't timing this well, but I see what they're getting at and I think it may be more like these past example than people are saying.

I wasn't but I still was annoyed that many MacOS drivers were only available on floppies.

I believe that Apple collected anonymous usage data of how often the headphone jacks were used on their iPhones and determined that it would be safe to remove - even with a vocal group that would complain.

Whenever you install or upgrade to a new OS, Apple prompts users if they'd like to send the anonymous usage data and I feel the headphone jack would be an important data point they've been researching.

Does anyone know if aptX support has arrived in the iPhone for bluetooth devices? I have been increasingly using devices like the Sony SBH80, or SBH54 and they work seamlessly for the most part already between my phone and laptop. I don't think the headphone thing has been thought thru but their wireless jump to the W1 seems to be at least in part bluetooth 4.x based which itself is a far superior technology to even BT 3.0 that many devices today have.

The other problem I've run into is having a phone and headset with the same version of bluetooth.

Bluetooth audio, once high quality enough through codecs like aptX will become like wifi, we will wonder why we were tethered with wires to begin with. Bluetooth 5.0 appears to have taken a big step towards the audio quality issue resolution. I've previously owned the Sony MW600 and SBH52 bluetooth receivers for the past 5-7 years. As the tech improves it's going to become more viable and is in line with Apple's generally wireless strategy between Macbook, iPad, iPhone, etc.

> aptX support ... iPhone

Nope, but "iOS devices support the non-mandatory codec MPEG-2/4 AAC, as defined in Section 4.5 of the A2DP specification, Version 1.2.Accessories should use the AAC codec in addition to SBC, because it provides higher audio quality for a given bit rate. " source http://theheadphonelist.theheadphonelist.netdna-cdn.com/wp-c... via http://theheadphonelist.com/wireless-fidelity-making-sense-b...

My guess is the iPhone 7 still doesn't support aptX, but that doc doesn't mean much since it hasn't been updated in years.

Thanks for sharing

Very good question. It's basically incomprehensible why Apple doesn't support the codec in iOS, especially since the other issue that replacing wired headphones with Bt is that the sound quality is inferior - even with aptX support.

I'm very surprised that I have seen almost no mention of the fact that Apple didn't just remove an "outdated" interface and inconvenience their customers, they also simultaneously reduced the quality of their audio experience.

I'm looking forward to learning about the W1 chip and what is different than existing technologies. If they've truly pushed things forward it would be great, instead of simply making sure to put all the highest available specs and capabilities in both device and headphones

a good record of abandoning technologies at the right time (floppies, CDs, Flash, etc) but the biggest difference is that those technologies were all on the downward slope of their popularity when Apple made the move

I seem to remember commenters on "social media" (or at least their precursors) being just as confused over all of those changes. (With the possible exception of less outcry over optical drives going away.) It seems like there's always some supporters and always some detractors when Apple does something like this.

Maybe that changes soon or maybe AirPods solve this for iOS users (they by design can't be a universal solution)

There's an Apple pattern, where they support a less popular but more capable existing standard or come up with something superior to a standard, which spurs the development of an even better universal standard. It's high time that someone developed wireless headphones that weren't as much of a compromise as they generally are.

Honestly I'm glad they're moving towards wireless. I replace way more headphones than I care to admit just from them wearing out with normal use. It's usually just the wire itself that is worn out, the earpieces are almost always in good condition. The only thing I worry about is losing the AirPods, but they seem like a step in the right direction.

I've had the same Sennheiser HD25 for 12 years and use them almost every day. I've replaced the ear pads twice, but I've never had to replace the cable (which is easily replaced).

It's a bad move from Apple to remove the jack. I dislike wireless headphones as you can't quickly move them from iphone to macbook, they need charging and they'll always have some form of lag.

>I dislike wireless headphones as you can't quickly move them from iphone to macbook, they need charging and they'll always have some form of lag. According to apple there will be a continuity style handoff mechanism with the airpods(and it sounds like the new bluetooth beats headphones). Assuming it works well, it will actually be easier to move from iPhone, to Macbook, to iPad, to apple watch. Just start using/playing music on the other device and it'll switch over. Who knows how good the implementation will be, especially at first, but it's clearly a problem they're aware of and trying to address.

My problem with this is vendor lock-in. What if I want to seamlessly move from an iPad to an Android phone to a Windows PC?

But that's my problem, not Apple's.

I use earbuds for hours a day, and replace them at least once a year at a cost of $10 or less. So earPods cost about a decade's worth of wired earbuds.

Besides, wireless earbuds that only last for 5 hours would be completely useless to me, since I often listen to music all day while hiking. I can't imagine I'm the only one who dislikes having ever more things that need to be frequently charged: wireless mice, "smart" watches, now earbuds. I'm pretty happy with my digital watch that lasts several years on a battery, and my cheap headphones that don't need to charge, and won't get lost when they fall out of my ears. Sorry, but not everything can or should be wireless.

But wireless is an option already. That's not a reason to eliminate the 3.5 jack at all cost.

Yes it is. Port complexity is real, especially with analog ports, and relative to what you can do with physical space in a phone package the space required for any port is significant.

While I decry the drive towards "1mm slimmer!" do consider that the 3mm jack is probably around 10% battery capacity in space usage on most devices. You might not be able to perfectly reclaim the space, but still, I would always prefer to just use a wireless headset with 5%+ more battery.

The space argument would have been a lot more compelling if they hadn't added stereo speakers. I feel like I might have grudgingly accepted it, but with that addition it just feels like they're screwing with me.

FWIW, it looks like they didn't add a speaker, they just made the ear-speaker work with the bottom-of-case speaker in stereo mode.

Oh really? I thought it looked like the sound was coming from the side in their animation. But maybe I saw it wrong or that was misleading.

so you would rather 5%+ more battery but have a separate device to charge at more frequent times?

How about +X% battery for a phone with a flat back?