A first look at the new features of the iPhone 7 Plus.
IN comes a shiny new iPhone and out goes the headphone jack that’s been a universal standard since the era of black-and-white television.
For a company known for making great technology, Apple also has a long list of technologies that it’s killed.
Back in 1998, Apple unveiled the first iMac which came in lots of great colours but didn’t come with a floppy disk drive.
In 2009, the MacBook Air was released and was notable for being small enough to fit in an envelope and not having a optical drive — the absence of which means it was small enough to fit in an envelope.
It’s not all Apple’s fault, but the popularity of the iPod helped to kill the CD, or at least the CD Walkman. And the iPhone killed keyboards on phones.
It took more than 90 minutes in the keynote presentation in San Francisco today before Apple got around to the elephant in the room.
What’s happening to the headphone jack, Jack? It’s gone. It’s out. It’s rest in piece while a lot of people have taken to the internet as they express how they have fallen to pieces thinking about it.
One of the biggest problems Apple has in the immediate future is selling the change. Why did it remove the headphone jack?
The first reason is size. Having that 3.5mm hole at the bottom of your iPhone takes up a lot of room.
But the argument of size falls down a bit given the new iPhone is the same form factor as the previous model. Dropping the headphone jack does not equate to slimmer iPhones.
A second argument Apple gave today is that the Lightning cable was always designed to be used for audio. I can jump on one leg but that doesn’t mean I should always do so.
Apple senior Vice President Phil Schiller summed up why Apple was ditching an international standard and pushing people toward wireless with one word: courage.
There are many things that take courage. Marketing a product when you expect a public backlash is not one of them.
The best thing about removal of the audio jack is that at least Apple will ship with the iPhone 7 an adaptor so you can plug your existing phones into the Lightning cable.
That’s all well and good until you want to charge your phone and listen to music at the same time. You can’t, unless you switch to wireless.
Twitter users have expressed their displeasure over the loss of the headphone jack with #bringbackthejack
— Prerna Singh (@prernas15) September 7, 2016
If I lose one them which I know I will,I will be down $79 .50 #BringBackTheJack #AppleEvent pic.twitter.com/ecPHIi7avO
— AfroTokyo (@Comic4Change) September 7, 2016
Still upset about the new iPhones. I knew it was coming, which is why I got the SE. If they don’t #bringbackthejack I’m switching to android
— Lisa (@bubble_letters) September 7, 2016
There are plenty of reasons to love wireless headphones, particularly if you exercise a lot. But there is one reason not to love wireless headphones. They need charging the way a newborn needs feeding.
Along with a new range of Beats wireless phones, Apple’s solution to wireless listening is the Apple AirPods. When you’re wearing them, it looks like you have a tiny stick pointing out of your ear — albeit given it’s Apple a stick that has been beautifully designed in a stick-ish way.
They are smaller, and arguably less obtrusive, than those Bluetooth headsets of the eighties loved by business types and courier drivers. And there is one for each ear.
They will give you five hours of music play between chargers, and when you take them off you put them in a small box that is also a charger, holding enough charge for 24 hours.
If you have a long commute to and from work and listen to music at other times of the day, charging your AirPods could well be a daily task alongside charging your iPhone daily and your Apple Watch Daily.
In this modern world, an Apple a day has a different context than referring to absent medical officers.
The unspoken message from Apple when they have killed a technology is simple: the world is change so suck it up and change too.
There will be a lot of people very cranky today about the loss of the headphone jack and for good reason But as someone who wears wireless headphones constantly, I’m with Apple in the long run.
Whinge about it today and tomorrow cut the cord. The freedom is worth it.
Rod Chester travelled to San Francisco as a guest of Apple