Two years later, I still miss the headphone jack

Original author: Greg Kumparak
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Two years ago, Apple killed a headphone jack. And I still haven't forgiven her for this.

When Apple announced that the iPhone 7 would not have a headphone jack, I immediately felt annoyed about it. I thought that maybe in a few months I will get used to it. But no. I decided that in the worst case I would change the platform. And then followed by all the other companies.

This feeling of irritation is not new to me. I hated headphone adapters on my phones and wrote about it on TechCrunch website since 2009. And for a while it seemed to me that everything was getting better.

It was a world full of dongles and ragged proprietary audio jacks. Sony Ericsson had a FastPort connector. Nokia had a pop-port. Samsung had about ten different connectors, which everyone was supposed to put on. So far, no phone manufacturer has won in that race, and no connector has spread - but each manufacturer wanted its connector to take first place. Even phones with a standard audio jack basically had a 2.5 mm jack, which required an adapter anyway.

And then came the original iPhone with a 3.5 mm jack. It was a strange, recessed 3.5 mm jack, with which not all the headphones worked, but it was a 3.5 mm jack! Apple developed the success of the iPod, and people before the announcement of this phone, which was only rumored to be known, called it the iPod Phone. How could such a device have a headphone jack?

IPhone sales began to grow. Several million in 2007. Almost 12 million in 2008. 20 million in 2009. The trend was born. Apple's glass tile conquered the world of smartphones, and other manufacturers tried to figure out exactly what the company did right. The smartphone market, at one time filled with bulky monsters with a bunch of buttons (this one with a slider, this one is turning) has leveled off. From model to model, all phones gradually began to resemble the iPhone. Glass tile, expensive materials, a minimum of physical buttons, and, of course, a headphone jack.

For a couple of years, the standard headphone jack has become not just one of the good benefits - it has become an indispensable attribute. We entered a beautiful era when our wired headphones could be used when we just want it.

And then it was September 7, 2016, when Apple picked up the “courage” and announced that it was getting rid of the 3.5 mm jack (and, by the way, look at the new $ 150 wireless headphones!).

Apple was not the first company to get rid of the headphone jack - but, like its decision to use this connector, the decision to rid it broke the trend. A few months after the announcement of the iPhone 7 without a connector, Xiaomi company threw out the connector on Mi 6. Then Google got rid of it on the Pixel 3 flagship phone. Even Samsung, mocking Apple because of this decision, seems to be considering the idea of ​​abandoning it. Although, judging by the leaks, there will still be a connector on the new Galaxy S10, the company got rid of it on the A8 model from the middle line this year. If 2016 was the year when Apple injured the headphone jack, then in 2018 it bled to death.

And it still pisses me off.

Technology comes and goes, and Apple is often to blame. Disclaimer CDs in laptops? Not scary - the discs were doomed, and from the very beginning they were terrible. Killing Flash? Yes, he was lame. Moving from one type of USB to another? Okay, let's say. New USB is better in all respects. At least, I no longer have to insert something into it, then turn it over, and then realize that I did it right the first time.

But headphone jack? He was all right. He stood the test of time, a whole hundred years, and for good reason. Is he. Simply. Have worked.

I tried to understand why getting rid of the headphone jack annoys me more than killing all the other connectors, and I think this is because the headphone jack almost always delivered me only pleasant moments. Using this connector meant listening to a favorite album for me, or spending free minutes watching the last episode of the series, or transferring a headset to a friend, so that we could enjoy a new song together. He allowed to enjoy pleasant moments and never interfered.

Now every time I want to use headphones, I feel annoyed.

Bluetooth? Damn, I forgot to charge. Or, damn, headphones are trying to connect to a laptop, although it is turned off and is in a backpack.

Dongle? Damn, I forgot it on other headphones at work. Or, damn, he fell off somewhere, and I need to buy a new one.

I'll buy a bunch of dongles and put on all the headphones! I will carry spare dongles with me in case I need to borrow headphones. Five dongles, and the problem is solved. And, wait: now I wanted to listen to music before going to bed, but I also need to charge the phone so that it will not die in the morning. And it will be another, more expensive dongle splitter (and many of these dongles, as it turned out, are just disgustingly made).

All these problems are not that big. Charge your damn earphones already, Greg. Stop losing dongles. The point is: they removed the thing that just worked and just gave me pleasure, and replaced it with something that often just pisses me off. If a friend sent me a link to YouTube, and I wanted to see it without disturbing anyone, I could just take any, at least some shoddy and worn out pair of headphones that dangles somewhere in my backpack. And now this is a process with a bunch of possible points of failure.

“But now they are waterproof!” Waterproof phones existed before that, and many of them had headphone jacks. A recent example is the Samsung Galaxy S9, which is IP68 compliant (like the iPhone XS).

"But it can be thinner!" Yes, no one asked for it.

“But the battery can be bigger!” The capacity of the batteries did not increase much between the 6S and 8 models - from 1715 mAh to 1821 mAh. Only a few years later, after the release of the iPhone X, when the standard iPhone began to increase in height and width, did we witness a significant increase in battery capacity.

Will anything change this post? Of course not. Apple rang the bell, telling the industry that the headphone jack could be thrown out, and everyone stood up straight. The following year, and a year later, Apple sold more than 200 million phones. Now Apple already does not even bother to supply the headphone adapter with the phone. The company has decided.

But if you live with irritation, and stumbled upon this post after you were in a situation where you have headphones and a smartphone that do not work together immediately and without problems, know: you are not alone. Two years have passed, and I am still angry at the person who made this decision - and all the other industry participants who agreed with him.

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