Is courage in my future?

Like so many, I suspect, I was hoping that the rumblings that Apple was going to do away with the 3.5mm audio jack was just a bunch of hype leading to the announcement of the new iPhone 7.  Then, it would be bait and switch to something else.

And we were wrong.

Do an internet search for iPhone 7 and courage and you’ll find all kinds of thoughts about it.  I remember one article that I had read that showed the back of a desktop computer with connectors that many of today’s youth wouldn’t recognize.  The parallel printer port, a nine pin serial, and then the standard audio jack.  That audio jack worked well then, it still works now, and there’s no reason in my mind that it wouldn’t work into the future – provided it’s available on the device.

The internet was quick to respond and parody – probably the best and well done is the Apple Plug which shows how to upgrade your current equipment to iPhone7 status.

it’s the nature of the business of technology that there has to be something new and shiny with each introduction of a new product.  The audio jack was the thing to be revolutionized this time around, I guess.

As I look around and take inventory in this room, it’s kind of scary.

  • Everything electronic that I have within reach has one of these standard jacks in it, although not all are currently in use
  • I do have the television with the tinny internal speaker connected to my desktop computer speakers (always buy a set with two inputs)
  • Of course, my computer is connected to the other input
  • My phone and mp3 player are both charging and they play back that way
  • Even the Bluetooth player that my son gave me as a gift has a jack (maybe for a backup connection?)

Then there are the things that plug into the jack

  • Every device comes with its own set of ear buds but my inventory doesn’t stop there
  • I’ve been to conferences where one of the vendor takeaways is a set of ear buds
  • I have a set of noise cancelling headphones which are excellent for airplane use
  • I own a set designed specially for running so that they don’t fall out

I guess the bottom line is that I’m pretty much vested in the technology.  And the nice part?  In a world with proprietary connections, this is one spec that just works everywhere.  If I leave a set a home, I can always dig into my computer bag and dig out another one.  If I don’t want to wear things in or over my ear, I can just plug into a set of speakers.

I’m not the type to run out and dump my Android phone just because Apple released something new anyway so my initial reaction was to just sit back and watch.  It will be interesting to see how the fanboys react to it.  While I don’t think I’ve ever lost a pair of ear buds, I think that can be attributed to the fact that they’re generally connected to an anchor in an audio player.  Without that, I could almost guarantee that I’d lose things without wires.

Then I read this.  Samsung next to ditch 3.5mm headphone jack

Say it isn’t true!  It also has that expensive word in the article.  Proprietary.  

I think I’ll hold my existing equipment tightly until the industry gets its act together.



  1. Three good examples, Andy. I would argue that, for the first three, there were better alternatives and they were indeed progressive. I don’t see any improvement touted for the audio jack except for courage.

    Will you get better audio? Will you get better performance? I’m leary about the price of the new AirPods – $159US. As noted above, I’d be guaranteed to lose them! I was at the train station this morning and, if I’d forgotten my traditional buds at home, they sell replacement ones for $5. And they’ll work no matter what device you have.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Regarding the audio jack, time will tell. As Steve Jobs once said, “If people like the stuff we make, they will buy it. If they don’t like it, they won’t. And we’ll learn.”

    I remember vividly the great hue and cry when Apple introduced the iMac and it had no floppy drive. No one in the PC world could imagine such a thing, given that you HAD to be able to boot from a floppy in the event of a hard drive issue. But Apple was booting off of optical drives at that point. Or off the network. And later, off a USB thumb drive. Today, the floppy drive has been relegated to the status of an anachronistic icon in software programs that represents “SAVE” — and if that doesn’t reflect confusing UX design for kids today, I don’t know what does.

    I put an after-market Bluetooth-enabled stereo head in my 2000 Jetta a year ago, and now my music automatically picks up playing where it left off last time from the phone in my pocket as soon as I start the car. No cables required. It’s almost magical (actually, it IS magical) to do the “watch glance” guesture and ask Siri to “play me some Sade,” and after a few seconds have the phone auto-route the results of my request to the car stereo.

    A share your concerns about the price point and the loseability of the air pods, but as a combined Bluetooth-earpiece/headphone pair, it fits into that whole “connected/voice-actuated vision.” I don’t want a hardwired audio plug jacking into my brain like in Johnny Mnemonic.

    Apple takes a lot on the chin for pushing against the status quo. It’s been a long time since Apple’s “Think Different” campaign, but I do think that spirit is still there at the core.

    Courage to Change the World.


  3. I’m surprised that most of the concern is surrounding having to replace existing headphones. For me, the biggest concern is wireless reliability.

    I use a stereo Bluetooth headset for running and when I’m doing housework, but it fails in 3 ways:

    – Battery life is only a couple of hours
    – It loses signal if my phone is in my back-left pocket (my body absorbs the signal before it gets to the receiver on the right side of the headset)
    – interference from other devices (especially the microwave) kills the audio

    Wires work. We have Bluetooth already; I can’t see how having both is a problem.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.