|By Shelly Palmer||
|September 22, 2016 04:00 PM EDT||
Apple iPhone 7: Are You F#$king Kidding Me?
Let me get right to the point. The new iPhone 7 is a fantastic, awesome, incredible, spectacular iteration of the iPhone 6. Great processor (a quad-core, 64-bit A10 Fusion), outstanding rear-facing camera (12 MP), a new wireless chip (W1) to facilitate Bluetooth connectivity, iOS 10, a pressure-sensitive home button, and taptic feedback. Oh, yeah, there’s one more thing …
There’s no headphone jack.
Calm down, fanpeople – I’m going to make my case.
It would have been fine to replace the 3.5 mm jack with an additional lightning port. If the iPhone 7 had two lightning ports, you would be able to do all of the following:
- Listen to Music While Charging Your iPhone
- Talk with Wired Headphones While Charging Your iPhone
- Use a Payment Dongle While Charging Your iPhone
- Do Anything Other than Charge Your iPhone While Charging Your iPhone
The iPhone 7 Has Only One Lightning Port!
Which means that to do any of the above, you will need a huge dongle like the Belkin Lightning Audio + Charge RockStar.™ It’s not the $40 price tag that bothers me, it’s that I need to carry it in my pocket at all times.
Or if you reject the idea of using headphones with a lightning plug, you will need an adapter cable (included with your iPhone 7).
Or you can purchase a different dongle with one 3.5 mm jack and one lightning jack.
Oh, wait, there’s one more thing …
You Will Also Need Two Pairs of Headphones
No device you own is compatible with lightning plugs. So if you want to use your new lightning connector headphones to video chat (Skype, Facebook Messenger Video, Google Hangouts, etc.) on your laptop, you’ll need a “female-lightning to male 3.5 mm adapter” (which currently does not exist) or you’ll have to use your old headphones. In fact, if you want to listen to anything on any device other than an iPhone 7 (including your MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, all iPads, iPods, etc.), you will need an adapter that does not yet exist or your old headphones or earbuds.
Why Defend an Ancient Technology?
The venerable 3.5 mm headphone jack is a minified version of a hundred-year-old, single-use, antiquated, old-fashioned, generally awful receptacle for an equally outdated 3.5 mm plug. It comes in a few iterations. TS (tip, sleeve) for mono audio. TRS (tip, ring, sleeve) for stereo. TRRS (tip, ring, ring, sleeve) for stereo audio with a microphone. TRRRS (tip, ring, ring, ring, sleeve) for stereo audio and a video signal. It has been around since the earth was cooling. And while it generally sucks, it is the world standard connector for consumer-grade headphones and earbuds.
Shelly, You’re on the Wrong Side of History – The Future Is Digital!
Yep. It sure is. And the lightning connector offers 24-bit, 48 kHz lossless output, which you need like a hole in your head with the 29-cent transducers on the business end of consumer-grade earbuds! If you compress your music files by checking the “convert higher bit rate songs to 128 kbps AAC,” you cannot – not won’t, cannot – hear the difference between analog or digital earbuds. The audio resolution simply isn’t there. If you’re walking outside or in any environment where there is a noise floor of any level above perceived quiet, the difference between analog and digital open-air (as opposed to sealed-ear) earbuds or headphones is imperceptible.
Digital is not the future; it has been around for decades. And those of us who record for a living have been using super high-end digital-to-analog converters (you can’t listen to a digital signal; it must be converted to analog for you to hear it) for years. That’s not what is happening here, so don’t start with me about “digital.” Unless you pioneered digital audio, work in the business, or have an EE in physics, you don’t know enough about it.
The Future Is Wireless
Okay, let’s talk about wireless. The iPhone 7 is not wireless; it now has more wires than any other device I would even consider putting in my pocket. If it were wireless, it would be Qi, PMA/AirFuel or A4WP Rezence inductive charger (“wireless” charging pad) compatible. It is not. Add the power cables to the audio cables to the dongles and adapters, and you are in a sea of cables – the iPhone 7 is as far from wireless as you can get!
What About the New, Cool W1 Chip?
I love it. The W1 chip will make it easier to connect Bluetooth devices together and has many advantages over the current implementation of Bluetooth.
Your current Bluetooth-compatible wireless headphones will work with the iPhone 7. The battery issue will be the same non-starter it has been since you purchased them. Now instead of walking through the airport or train station waiting area muttering “Charge, charge” hoping a Good Samaritan will take pity on you and offer their spare wall brick and lightning cable, you will resort to violence because you will need to charge your iPhone AND your wireless headphones. “Officer, see that the crazy person over there? The one rocking back and forth in the corner who just keeps repeating, ‘I need power, p-o-w-e-r.’ That’s the person who hit me in the head with a huge dongle and stole my charger.”
Wireless headphones are awesome for runners or people who work out. They’re great for short-term uses. If you have the discipline to charge them every day and don’t use them too much, they might be a solution for you. For everyone else in the world, throwing a pair of wireless headphones in your backpack or purse is a useless gesture. They do not hold their charge indefinitely.
The downsides of wireless headphones are well understood by everyone who has ever owned a pair. Even Apple’s new AirPods, which are optimized for long(er) battery life, need to be charged every day. (BTW, and I’m being super serious now, do AirPods present a choking hazard for children? They look pretty small.)
It’s the Thinnest, Most Beautiful iPhone Ever
You will love the fit and finish of an iPhone 7 for the first three minutes you own it. Then, you are going to put it in a case so neither the color of the iPhone nor its relative thinness will matter at all. Any case that can protect the device will make it way thicker, and even Apple’s own preggers-looking iPhone 6s Smart Battery Case completely covers everything but the front of the phone.
Shelly, You’re Too Stupid to Own a Smartphone!
So here’s the thing. The “future is wireless.” We are quickly heading toward a world dominated by wireless networked devices. Soon your Apple Watch, some kind of VR, AR or Mixed Reality glasses, and some kind of implant will get us closer to Ray Kurzweil’s Singularity. How soon? Three years? Four years? By 2040? (That’s the median between Vernor Vinge’s and Ray Kurzweil’s revised estimated dates for the Singularity.)
We’re going there; there’s no question in my mind. That said, there’s no rational explanation for making the iPhone 7 incompatible with every other consumer electronics device on the planet (including every Apple computer ever made).
If the near-term future is wireless, why change the jack now? Demonstrate to the world that 3.5 mm jacks are valueless, and it will be obvious when to remove them. Floppy disks died by themselves, as did CDs and DVDs, because there were better, easier, simpler options that everyone was naturally gravitating toward. No one, and I mean no one, has ever gone to bed at night and, in that special moment between being awake and asleep, had a heavenly voice say to them, “Life on earth would be better if we could just lose that ancient 3.5 mm audio jack. Remove it, and all the problems of humankind will disappear as this evil excuse for an audio connector, this scourge, nay, this blight on the people, is banished from the earth!”
Apple senior vice president Phil Schiller defended the removal of the “ancient” 3.5 mm audio jack thusly: “It comes down to one word: Courage.”
Sorry, Phil. Courage is “what makes the elephant charge his tusk in the misty mist or the dusky dusk.” And “what makes the muskrat guard his musk.” It has absolutely nothing to do with the kind of torture you are about to inflict on millions of loyal iPhone users who did nothing to you, Phil. Nothing but put $240 billion in cash on your balance sheet and make Apple one of the most valuable companies in the world.
And so I shall end as I began and simply ask, “Are you f#$king kidding me?”
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ocean9will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Ocean9 provides cloud services for Backup, Disaster Recovery (DRaaS) and instant Innovation, and redefines enterprise infrastructure with its cloud native subscription offerings for mission critical SAP workloads.
Mar. 25, 2017 05:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,883
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Lachapelle, CEO of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), will provide an overview of various initiatives to certifiy the security of connected devices and future trends in ensuring public trust of IoT. Eric Lachapelle is the Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), an international certification body. His role is to help companies and individuals to achieve professional, accredited and worldw...
Mar. 25, 2017 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 451
SYS-CON Events announced today that Technologic Systems Inc., an embedded systems solutions company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Technologic Systems is an embedded systems company with headquarters in Fountain Hills, Arizona. They have been in business for 32 years, helping more than 8,000 OEM customers and building over a hundred COTS products that have never been discontinued. Technologic Systems’ pr...
Mar. 25, 2017 01:45 PM EDT Reads: 3,260
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From ...
Mar. 25, 2017 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,649
The taxi industry never saw Uber coming. Startups are a threat to incumbents like never before, and a major enabler for startups is that they are instantly “cloud ready.” If innovation moves at the pace of IT, then your company is in trouble. Why? Because your data center will not keep up with frenetic pace AWS, Microsoft and Google are rolling out new capabilities In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Don Browning, VP of Cloud Architecture at Turner, will posit that disruption is inevitable for c...
Mar. 25, 2017 01:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,020
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and management into a ...
Mar. 25, 2017 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,847
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor - all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
Mar. 25, 2017 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,638
SYS-CON Events announced today that Loom Systems will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 2015, Loom Systems delivers an advanced AI solution to predict and prevent problems in the digital business. Loom stands alone in the industry as an AI analysis platform requiring no prior math knowledge from operators, leveraging the existing staff to succeed in the digital era. With offices in S...
Mar. 25, 2017 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,145
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
Mar. 25, 2017 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 5,047
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 add...
Mar. 25, 2017 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 891
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
Mar. 25, 2017 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,509
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buyers...
Mar. 25, 2017 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,531
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
Mar. 25, 2017 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,063
SYS-CON Events announced today that Infranics will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Since 2000, Infranics has developed SysMaster Suite, which is required for the stable and efficient management of ICT infrastructure. The ICT management solution developed and provided by Infranics continues to add intelligence to the ICT infrastructure through the IMC (Infra Management Cycle) based on mathemat...
Mar. 25, 2017 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,905
SYS-CON Events announced today that SD Times | BZ Media has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. BZ Media LLC is a high-tech media company that produces technical conferences and expositions, and publishes a magazine, newsletters and websites in the software development, SharePoint, mobile development and commercial UAV markets.
Mar. 25, 2017 09:15 AM EDT Reads: 4,206
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
Mar. 25, 2017 08:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,026
"I think that everyone recognizes that for IoT to really realize its full potential and value that it is about creating ecosystems and marketplaces and that no single vendor is able to support what is required," explained Esmeralda Swartz, VP, Marketing Enterprise and Cloud at Ericsson, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Mar. 25, 2017 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 4,072
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
Mar. 25, 2017 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 14,007
SYS-CON Events announced today that HTBase will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. HTBase (Gartner 2016 Cool Vendor) delivers a Composable IT infrastructure solution architected for agility and increased efficiency. It turns compute, storage, and fabric into fluid pools of resources that are easily composed and re-composed to meet each application’s needs. With HTBase, companies can quickly prov...
Mar. 25, 2017 06:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,788
Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.
Mar. 25, 2017 03:00 AM EDT Reads: 5,773