iPhone 7

iPhone 7: Headphone Jack-of-All-Trades?

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I count on the headphone jack on my (don’t mock me) iPhone 5S regularly. I’ve been that way with every cell phone I’ve owned for the last 10 years. Fundamentally, the headphone jack has been the easiest way to play music from my phone through a stereo. Few things are more critical during a late-night poker game or early morning coffee session. However, as news of the iPhone 7 spreads, I’ve learned that the device will be shipped sans headphone jack. No plug-in headsets or Square reader?! What will I do…adapt? I haven’t even gotten to an iPhone 6 yet!

Why is the headphone jack so important?

Apple is again pushing the envelope of the entire mobile industry by matching the attention of its users. Many users already count on streaming their media wirelessly. AirPlay and Chromecast streaming are both wildly popular options. Apple can’t really be considered outlandish to make the move to a fully wireless flagship device. However, The Guardian summarizes a now-standard Apple move:

Listening to music through Lightning or Bluetooth headphones is a breeze on the iPhone 7, but Apple has ignored the fact that the rest of the world is using the original standard.

I am, admittedly, an Apple fan on many levels. However, I have never been an early adopter. (Did I mention my iPhone 5S?) So here I am, with one more reason to stay where I’m at. I just got into using earbuds!

Most of the time, I don’t like to depend on my speakerphone to amplify the audio from my phone. I readily use it to review voicemails and voice memos, but I don’t really care for it as a music speaker at this point. Two items I don’t like to leave home without are my cell phone, and my Gerber multi tool. The reasons are similar. I like to keep few items that do a lot. Similarly, I don’t like to be required to purchase one more device ($$) to just throw into the heap of things I have to carry around. Removing the headphone jack may simplify the device, but it complicates my usage.

How can you deal with the missing jack in the iPhone 7?

Apple will ship the iPhone 7 with a Lighting > 3.5mm adapter. (Great. One more thing.) Next, Apple will add an extra step to every chip reader at the grocery store. (Not really, but come on.)

Seriously, Apple really will help you continue to use your headphones by providing a solution to their design. This assistance will apparently prepare you for the future. The problem is – you need to come prepared to prepare for the preparation.

You will need to purchase a Bluetooth speaker, Bluetooth headset, Bluetooth range extender, Bluetooth sunglasses (ok, no sunglasses). However, the device will require extras, and Apple is primed to provide those extras. Remember the first time you heard the term “planned obsolescence?” (If this is your first time, click the link.) The iPhone 7 is an extension of that term. You will deal with the missing jack by buying and using a bunch of extra items.

Is more wireless technology dangerous?

Considering there are reports linking prolonged cell phone usage to radiation, then it’s likely. But proven? I don’t know. CNN reports that the iPhone 7 will force users to either keep the device at their heads or use other potentially harmful Bluetooth devices. Either way, the research linking cell phone use to tumors, cancers and other awful things is compelling. That being said, I am no expert on health matters. I just read blogs, just like you.

The wireless-only smartphone may be no more dangerous than just owning a smartphone. According to Pew Research:

Fully 46% of smartphone owners say their smartphone is something “they couldn’t live without.”

The smartphone is the truest version of “attached at the hip” I have seen. We have all seen Angry Birds, social media and Pokemon Go take over smartphone users. In fact, the “dangers” of Pokemon Go have been well-documented. However, is using a device that can be dangerous automatically make the device dangerous? Discuss your thoughts with the Lynx community below.

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