As expected, Apple unveiled the its new iterations of its iconic handset on Wednesday, and as expected the company ditched the traditional 3.5 mm headphone jack much to the chagrin of some and the delight of others.
Firstly, the elimination of the 3.5mm jack
Firstly, Apple did indeed eliminate the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack; this is clearly not something that needs to be argued despite the fact that Apple is killing off its use of one of the few truly universal standards in the world. Immediately, when you look at the advantages gained by this it kind of makes sense. By using the space freed up by the traditional jack, Apple was able to make its sexy iPhone yet while offering stereo sound for the first time and increase the iPhone 7’s volume by a factore of two over it’s predecessor.
It was an expected move and what that has caused much debate since the rumors began flying, which suggested that this is the route the company was going to go when patent filings suggested that the space would be better served by resonance chambers.
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For those that own expensive headphones that require a 3.5mm headphone jack to use them, I can certainly understand the immediate push-back to the rumors that have been proven true today and even the suggestion that Apple would require you to purchase a proprietary adapter to use your existing headphones. That, however, turned out to not be the case and the company will be shipping with a 3.5mm to Lightning dongle with each and every iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus it sells.
So, that outrage doesn’t really work. Apple will also ship the new handsets with a pair of Lightning EarPods. While one could argue that they are really not very good, and you could certainly make that argument with even and amateur audiophile and get nothing but steadfast agreement, however, what difference does it make what port the same inferior product allows you to hear your phone?
Ok, I see it. One could argue that now you can no longer use the EarPods while charging your iPhone 7. Now let’s pretend that Apple made this change with the iPhone 6S phones, I would ask you the same question, “How often do you actually find yourself charging your phone while also using your EarPods. I would argue very few times if ever and I think I’ve mooted your point again.
If, however, you told me these AirPods are stupid, well…I’ might struggle to argue with you.
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In addition to rolling out the Apple Watch Series 2 and the two iPhones bearing the name “7”, Apple introduced the Bluetooth enabled AirPods that look like someone cut the cord to the existing EarPods while leaving just enough remaining for you to be disqualified from super spy and get into the realm of “you look like a tool.” The unveiling of the AirPods which will go on sale beginning in late October and Apple has given them the ambitious price tage of $159.
When Apple unveiled them the company said they wanted to “innovative new wireless headphones that use advanced technology to reinvent how we listen to music, make phone calls, enjoy TV shows and movies, play games and interact with Siri.”
In order to do this, the company left a bit of the “cord” to house the battery, and antennae. Additionally, the newly announced AirPods will be powered by Apple’s new W1 chip, which is promised to boost the low-energy Bluetooth standard while providing great sound.
I have my doubts.
While explanations flowed freely including “When you have a vision of how the audio experience can be,” spoken by Apple exec Pete Schiller, “you wanna get there as fast as you can, and make it as great as it can be. And we do have a vision for how audio should work on mobile devices … Wireless.”
Obviously I’ve not tried them yet, but they look truly dreadful, granted with some bells and whistles. Each AirPod is equipped with dual accelerometers and optical sensors that detect when they’re in users’ ears. Removing them will immediatel. The AirPods have a mic, too, so users can talk on the phone and also access Siri with a few touches as well as adjust the volume and change tracks.
But Twitter quickly pointed out that these are simply going to get lost and Apple has failed to say whether they would offer a single “left” or “right” replacement. The AirPods were touted as having five hours of battery life and a carrying case that could hold a 24 hour charge and could quickly charge the AirPods once inside. Problem is that even that unit is about the size of a standard dental floss dispenser and easily lost.
Authorities in Australia even went so far as to issue a choking warning when it comes to children and they are not going on sale for over a month.
While I’ve read some praise for Apple’s “courage” the immediate Internet consensus has the AirPods going the way of Google Glass.