Why I think this is both a great and terrible idea
Regular readers of MacSources will know that when it comes to cutting-edge technology, I am either the first in line for the last to adopt. I am a bit of an anomaly in the world of technology in the sense that I am somewhere in the middle rather than at one extreme end of the spectrum or another. For instance, I have smart lighting and plugs in my office/laboratory, I use 3D printing and laser etching technology. I am a maker and a huge fan of Arduino and Raspberry Pi.
Contrast this with my home life and things could not be more different. I have no smart devices whatsoever in my home. I live on a farm and I work with horses. Aside from my MacBook, the most high-tech device on my property is my tractor!
This is the emotional spot that I find myself then when I think about the next iPhone not having the good old 3.5 mm headphone jack. Steve Jobs was often fond of saying that he likes to live at the intersection of technology and the arts. You can see this philosophy reflected in the devices that Apple creates. They are as much a physical work of art as they are useful technology devices.
From an artistic point of view, it makes complete sense to remove the headphone jack. It takes up space, which places limitations on how thin the device can be and the technology itself is quite old and on a certain level can make something as new as an iPhone seem almost primitive as you look at its individual parts.
There are also very valid arguments to be made on the practical side of things for a eliminating the headphone jack. In a never ending push to make radical advancements and the capabilities of these devices, one important feature is and will be water resistance. If you’ve been to an amusement park that has water rides in the last five years or so, you have no doubt seen people carrying their phones around in plastic Ziploc bags to protect them from even the smallest exposure to water. Of course, the final solution would be to have phones that are completely waterproof up to a certain depth, such as divers watches are today.
Apple obviously cares about water resistance as a feature. The new Apple watch is waterproof at limited depths and the removal of the headphone jack is at least in part to make the iPhone more water resistant.
Both of these reasons are completely fair arguments to removing the 3.5 mm jack, however, in my opinion, there is something to be said for preserving a bit of the past while still stepping into the future. I do commend Apple for supplying a lightning port to 3.5 mm adapter so users do not have to go out and buy yet another adapter in order to use their new phone. The new Apple Bluetooth AirPods also are very interesting and stylish. I like that there is no court connecting them and they’re charging case is a very innovative approach to making the technology more practical. I am a bit irritated that unless you go the AirPods route or buy an aftermarket split adapter, you will not be able to both charge your phone and listen to music through headphones at the same time.
Of course, all of this is just my opinion. I’m sure there are many people who could care less about the elimination of the headphone jack. I myself I’m a bit torn between my love of old technology and my desire to experience new things. I really enjoy taking photographs with my phone and the new camera system on the iPhone 7 is very tempting.
For more information on the iPhone 7 and its features, visit apple.com/iphone-7.