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Android Digital Iphone Music

Taking the Headphone Jack Off Phones Is User-Hostile and Stupid (theverge.com) 595

A WSJ report on Tuesday claimed that the next iPhone won't have the 3.5mm headphone port. A handful of smartphones such as LeEco's Le 2, Le 2 Pro, and Le Max 2 that have launched this year already don't have a headphone jack. The Verge's Nilay Patel has an opinion piece in which he argues that smartphone companies shouldn't ditch headphone ports as it helps no consumer. He lists six reasons:
1. Digital audio means DRM audio :Restricting audio output to a purely digital connection means that music publishers and streaming companies can start to insist on digital copyright enforcement mechanisms. We moved our video systems to HDMI and got HDCP, remember? Copyright enforcement technology never stops piracy and always hurts the people who most rely on legal fair use, but you can bet the music industry is going to start cracking down on "unauthorized" playback and recording devices anyway.2. Wireless headphones and speakers are fine, not great.
3. Dongles are stupid, especially when they require other dongles.
4. Ditching a deeply established standard will disproportionately impact accessibility.:The headphone jack might be less good on some metrics than Lightning or USB-C audio, but it is spectacularly better than anything else in the world at being accessible, enabling, open, and democratizing. A change that will cost every iPhone user at least $29 extra for a dongle (or more for new headphones) is not a change designed to benefit everyone.5. Making Android and iPhone headphones incompatible is incredibly arrogant and stupid.
6. No one is asking for this.
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Taking the Headphone Jack Off Phones Is User-Hostile and Stupid

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  • Uhoh (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @07:26PM (#52363045)
    He said "jack off" ! tee hee
  • cost reduction (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lead Butthead ( 321013 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @07:29PM (#52363055) Journal

    and they save a whole whopping nickel off each unit. move a few million units and it's easily 100k+.

    • Re:cost reduction (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @07:39PM (#52363123)

      You're forgetting they'd most likely include a lightening port to 3.5mm dongle, which would cost more than the 3.5mm jack in the phone.
      That said, They'd likely make a killing reselling lightening port Beats Audio headphones to the hipsters & clueless.

      • Re:cost reduction (Score:5, Interesting)

        by jonnyj ( 1011131 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2016 @06:00AM (#52365163)

        You're forgetting they'd most likely include a lightening port to 3.5mm dongle, which would cost more than the 3.5mm jack in the phone.

        If they simply change the socket shape to something smaller and more waterproof, I'm good with that. I can put a cheap and light adapter onto all of my existing headphones and life will continue unchanged. A thin, waterproof phone is highly desirable - I once killed a high-end phone by falling into a river on my mountain bike, and I hate the faff of having to keep my phone in a waterproof case when I'm hiking or out on my road bike in showery weather (it always rains in Wales!).

        But if they require an expensive adapter (active electronics or royalties), that's a big problem. I guess I'm not alone in using multiple headphones with my phone. I have good quality headphones at home and in the office, cheap disposable in-ear phones for cycling, sports headphones for running, a lightweight spare set that I keep in my laptop bag for travelling, etc. I don't mind buying a £2 adapter for each of these, but I don't fancy buying multiple £20 adapters, and I'm certainly not willing to carry an adapter with me just in case I need to use it.

        • Headphone port has jack shit to do with waterproofing.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by perryizgr8 ( 1370173 )

        >they'd most likely include a lightening port to 3.5mm dongle

        No they won't! This is Apple. You'll pay 39.99 and buy it separately.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Chalnoth ( 1334923 )
      I don't think it has anything to do with cost reduction. If anything, it's probably about space/weight savings. For mobile phones, each millimeter and milligram make a difference.
      • Re:cost reduction (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Jarik C-Bol ( 894741 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @08:29PM (#52363429)
        No, its Apple, which means its about eventually making a phone that is just a sleek glass ovoid, with no surface buttons or ports.
        • Re: cost reduction (Score:3, Interesting)

          by imgod2u ( 812837 )

          Which, incidentally, will make it completely water proof.

          Even IP68 rated phones can only survive brief dips because of the exposed headphone and USB jack.

          • Re: cost reduction (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Khyber ( 864651 ) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Wednesday June 22, 2016 @03:01AM (#52364835) Homepage Journal

            "Even IP68 rated phones can only survive brief dips"

            Then it's not truly IP68. The first number in the Ingress Protection rating, 6, denotes the system is dust-tight. The second number in that rating, 8, denotes suitable for continuous immersion in water under conditions which shall be specified by the manufacturer. Normally, this will mean that the equipment is hermetically sealed. However, with certain types of equipment, it can mean that water can enter but only in such a manner that it produces no harmful effects. Note, brief dips do not fit the definition of 'continuous immersion' which is typically a time period of MINIMUM 30 minutes (which, incidentally, is all most manufacturers will give you, the cheap fuckers.)

            I've got IP68 LED units that are meant to operate directly in saltwater. And they have watertight plug sockets.

            I find it hilarious that I can bother to do this with my own retail units while more advanced manufacturers can't even do it properly.

      • They just want to make the phones thinner. Apple doesn't care how much it costs the customers since it's used to having customers that will buy anything they're told to buy. Apple has a tendency to make newer models with incompatible parts and they've never apologized for the inconvenience but rather brag about how much better the new product looks. Which is strange since the current iphone is thin enough that it's not difficult to bend it, there's no reason to make it even thinner and more fragile.

    • by Roger W Moore ( 538166 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @08:16PM (#52363341) Journal

      ...and they save a whole whopping nickel off each unit.

      That's not the reason they are doing this. The 3.5mm jack is an open standard which anyone can easily use for free and just about any earphones will work with any phone. If each manufacturer can get away with replacing this with their own proprietary connector then now users will have to either purchase a dongle or a specially designed earphone where the phone manufacturer gets a cut because it uses their connector.

      So this is not about saving a 3p/5c per phone this is about making ten times as much, or more, per dongle or earphone purchased. Better yet if these are like Apple's lightning connector the lifespan of the connector is a lot less than that of the phone so they can sell multiple connectors per phone and make even more money. Call me cynical but I have yet to see any real benefit mentioned to the customer from ditching the standard 3.5mm jack, and certainly nothing like enough to offset the pain involved in carrying around multiple dongles so your earphones can work with your tablet, phone an laptop.

      • by Zmobie ( 2478450 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @09:07PM (#52363655)

        Pretty much exactly this. Apple is and always has been a HARDWARE company. Removing these things and creating a walled garden on even the equipment that is usable with their devices just feeds right into that model, but goes against the rest of the industry giants (mostly anyway). Problem is this will eventually kill them if they can't keep coming up with revolutionary ideas (and be first to market with them), because everyone can do it cheaper while still making money and being compatible with everything else.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          I find this scenario, even though it hasn't happened yet in Appleland oddly upsetting. On one hand I have some pretty high end headphone gear which requires wires and this pisses me off. On the other hand I never listen to music on my phone anyways because I fucking hate iTunes. I bought a Cowon portable music player (supports FLAC and has better sound quality than the iPhone). So in once sense I've already given up on the iPhone as a music platform. I shouldn't really be upset if Apple does this. OTOH some

        • by orasio ( 188021 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @10:42PM (#52364113) Homepage

          Pretty much exactly this. Apple is and always has been a HARDWARE company. Removing these things and creating a walled garden on even the equipment that is usable with their devices just feeds right into that model, but goes against the rest of the industry giants (mostly anyway). Problem is this will eventually kill them if they can't keep coming up with revolutionary ideas (and be first to market with them), because everyone can do it cheaper while still making money and being compatible with everything else.

          You haven't been paying attention. This is Apple.
          They don't come up with revolutionary ideas, at least not regarding their products. They don't have to be first to market. Let HTC/Samsung, or even some guy on Kickstarter be first to market.

          They take new stuff that already exists, make it better, package it well, market it well, charge a premium. Nothing revolutionary about that.

          As long as their competitors keep producing inferior quality products, they can keep pulling this kind of stuff on their customers. They only need to keep the quality bar very high, and they are safe.

    • Re:cost reduction (Score:4, Interesting)

      by quenda ( 644621 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @08:36PM (#52363479)

      Its not the money. Apple is sticking with their history. Trying to play "what would Steve do?".
      Was it the first iMac ? Apple removed the non-standard serial ports, and the non-standard floppy drive. All replaced with standard USB ports.
      ADB was good riddance, but floppy sorely missed as USB flash drives were still expensive. Apple did it anyway. They wanted to stand out.
      Removing the optical drive from laptops is a no-brainer due to weight. Ethernet was not removed before fast wifi was ubiquitous.

      Replacing the 3.5mm socket with a non-standard port is more of a worry. Will mean multiple cables and dongles needed for many years.
      Not a huge problem, but not much of a benefit either. Unlike RS232, the 3.5mm audio socket "just works". There is good reason why it has outlived all those other ports.
      And Apple, please stop obsessively making devices thinner until the engineers have improved battery life dramatically.

    • You're thinking like an Engineer and not a CEO. The engineer only sees the opportunity to save a nickel per unit, but the CEO sees an opportunity to see millions of Lightning or USB C to 3.5mm headphone jack adapters for $19.95 each. Or, better yet, an opportunity to sell a $99 of "premium" headphones with a USB C or Lightning jack.

      Besides, it's going to be tough the reclaim the title of "thinnest phone ever!" with that damn headphone jack in the way.

  • Apple (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sir Lurkalot ( 772154 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @07:29PM (#52363057)

    Fuck Apple.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      For some reason I think of Lily Tomlin, and replace a few words in the sketch:

      "We don't care. We don't have to: We're APPLE."

    • Re:Apple (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Falos ( 2905315 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @07:40PM (#52363127)
      Can you imagine the number of times the phrase "they'll buy it anyway" was spoken during all the stages involved?
      • Re:Apple (Score:5, Funny)

        by sexconker ( 1179573 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @08:05PM (#52363273)

        Can you imagine the number of times the phrase "I'll buy it anyway" is thought by their mindless customers?

        • there are very specific reasons they want an iPhone. For one, they're a Veblen good. E.g. something you buy because you can. There are very real social advantages to Veblen goods. iMessage is practically a social network, which is another advantage. iTunes is highly desirable and iMusic is $5/mo if you're in college and mostly just works. Apple has an entire ecosystem that powers a social network. I resent buying my kid an iPhone every 2 1/2 years (they last about that long before they're falling apart). Bu
          • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @11:05PM (#52364177)

            there are very specific reasons they want an iPhone. For one, they're a Veblen good. E.g. something you buy because you can. There are very real social advantages to Veblen goods. iMessage is practically a social network, which is another advantage. iTunes is highly desirable and iMusic is $5/mo if you're in college and mostly just works. Apple has an entire ecosystem that powers a social network. I resent buying my kid an iPhone every 2 1/2 years (they last about that long before they're falling apart). But I'm smart enough to recognize that, like it or not, it is a very real social advantage. That's fucked up. But with the amount of fucked up shit in this world it's one of the more minor instances...

            Yea, sure...

            Teach your kids to be vain and pretentious assholes, and look down on the lower classes because they can't afford to buy things that are no good and offer no real value, other than marking you as a pretentious asshole. Then they can grow up to be neurotic assholes like yourself, that are constantly worried about what other people think of them and where they fit into the vicious culture of bullying that you have created.

            Nobody in those circles are happy. They are all neurotically paranoid and on edge about what everybody thinks about them and how they are judged. And they make other people miserable by applying the same warped morality you demonstrate in your post.

            What there is very real value to, is being able to afford the things you actually need because you didn't blow all your money purchasing vacuous status symbols.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        It's actually a clever bit of marketing spin. Their phones are pretty low end, equivalent to a 3 year old Android but they make out that they are "revolutionary" and bleeding edge tech by removing "old fashioned" features like the headphone jack. Same with their laptops, the spec isn't great but look how modern it is with it's single USB port that does everything... And, er, those 90s style dongles I have to carry around...

        It's genius really. They figured out how to sell you something that is worse for more

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @07:31PM (#52363065)

    Never stopped Apple before.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @07:31PM (#52363067)

    The reason they're ditching the headphone jack is because the thickness of the jack assembly is getting in the way of their desire to make the phone thinner. I think they're ultimately shooting for having future phones as thin as credit cards.

    • by Jhon ( 241832 )

      "The reason they're ditching the headphone jack is because the thickness of the jack assembly is getting in the way of their desire to make the phone thinner. I think they're ultimately shooting for having future phones as thin as credit cards."

      I hope you get modded up -- too bad you are AC.. You are right.

      I dont think I would want a phone without a jack -- at least not right now -- but maybe 2 or 3 generations from now a "phone" will be a little card with no real display or speakers -- which will display

      • Second the motion, it's the same reason they moved to the Lightning jack too.

        I also don't want to go without a jack, but it looks like that's how it will be.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @07:57PM (#52363225)

      the thickness of the jack assembly is getting in the way of their desire to make the phone thinner.

      Quite possibly. But when you ask people, what they say they want isn't a thinner phone, it's more battery life, which you get by making the phone thicker.

    • That's an admirable goal... but being as thin as a credit card means that it is equally likely to get broken. If your credit card cracks they will send you a replacement for free if you ask for one. Will Apple do likewise?
    • I think they're ultimately shooting for having future phones as thin as credit cards.

      And that's a very dumb goal. No one complains, "I wish my phone was thinner." People do complain, "I wish my phone had better battery life" and "I wish my phone's screen wouldn't break so easily."

  • by Jack_the_Tripper ( 878546 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @07:34PM (#52363077)
    So, just don't buy a phone without a headphone jack...how's that for democratizing?
    • Vote all you want, but the iPhone crowd will still win the election while standing in line to buy new overpriced dongles.

  • by swb ( 14022 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @07:35PM (#52363079)

    This is what passes for innovation when you run out of actual innovation.

    Sure, the engineering is perhaps more elegant and you get rid of a few creaky parts like an amplifier and a jack, but what's the payback for that? If we're lucky a few extra mm^3 of battery? A device even thinner or smaller in some way, features most people don't want?

    But this is what passes for innovation when you don't have ideas, and somebody made the fucking spreadsheet work, indicating it would be some tiny percentage cheaper to build and there would be a short-term bonus in terms of selling dongles and new headphones.

    So really the only actual innovation is *financial* innovation -- squeezing a few more bucks out of end users and creating some licensing deals for "made for iPhone headphones" but not any innovation that anyone seriously thinks improves anything.

    And you can bet that the dongles will be ass-ugly lumps sticking out the bottom of the phone, just asking to break the jack. Maybe somebody 2 years from now will finally get the green light to produce an Apple-approved adapter that makes the phone slightly longer but has a separate lightning and headphone jacks. But you can bet it will be a long delay before they approve it so they can capture every damn dollar of dongle spending.

    • by nfras ( 313241 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @07:54PM (#52363195)

      If I had mod points I would mod you up.
      My phone contract expires in about 8 weeks. With a contract renewal I will get a new phone. I have a bunch of criteria that I have around what I need but being 1mm thinner than the previous model isn't on my list. With Apple having issues with bending phones with the last release I would be tempted to think that unless they make the whole phone bendable a thinner phone will simply mean a fragile phone.
      Removing the audio jack is design wank. A bunch of "creative types" has decided that they want a thinner, sleeker phone and that it would be cool not to have the audio jack. Marketing thinks it's great because they get to sell lots of Beats by Dr Dre headphones at vastly inflated prices. Customer think it's a con because they have wired headsets and are still smarting from having to replace their expensive Bose speakers because of the Lighting Connector. Change for the sake of change.

      • Go contract free. We shaved down to $35 a month for two phones, but both were purchased outright. I minimize could buy new phones yearly compared to what most folks pay for their monthly contract. Though in reality we funnelled the savings into a little more retirement savings. Not sexy, but neither is working well into your 60's in the tech industry.

  • by JustNiz ( 692889 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @07:36PM (#52363091)

    ...since it alone ensures I will never buy an iPhone.

  • by hsmith ( 818216 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @07:38PM (#52363105)
    No one will care in a year.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Except the reason no one cared about DVD drives going the way of the dodo was because the people who don't care about DVDs get their videos from the internet. Taking out an audio jack that, in one form or another, has been in use for the last 70 years won't fly the same way because there's nothing there to replace it realistically, Not without buying a dongle or changing your headphones, which is change for changes sake.

      • To quote some random person on the internet:

        "I was at my friends house, and asked to use a USB port to charge my cigarette(e-cig), but she was charging her book (kindle). The future is stupid."

      • by unrtst ( 777550 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @08:40PM (#52363513)

        Taking out an audio jack that, in one form or another, has been in use for the last 70 years won't fly the same way because there's nothing there to replace it realistically,

        I think the move is uncalled for and I dislike it, but most people I know that use headphones regularly with their phones tend to go through them fairly quickly.

        Don't most phones ship with a pair of headphones, including the iPhone? Won't they just ship with a pair of lightening earbuds, so there won't be any real pain in the upgrade except for those edge cases where people have some fancy extra expensive headphones, which are probably not earbuds, so having an extra dongle won't make all that much of a difference to those people.

        There's not much downside for Apple. They'll still sell phones; The phones will ship with earbuds to keep most happy enough; They'll also sell new beats headphones, which will start shipping with lightening connectors and probably include a lightening to 1/8" jack adapter for use on traditional equipment; They'll cut off the extremely cheap competitor market for headphones.
        Downside, they'll lose a smallish segment of people that were already considering on making their next upgrade an Android device.
        It's a gamble, but it'll probably net them more profit than not making the move.

  • Don't buy the phone (Score:4, Informative)

    by Crashmarik ( 635988 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @07:39PM (#52363115)

    I am sure there will be plenty of manufacturers that will be glad to take up the slack.

  • So, the headphone jack is apparently the argument that finally brought forth the "No one is asking for this" argument?

    Hey consumers, where the fuck were you 172 pointless "upgrades" and $500 MSRP dollars ago?

    Don't even bother bitching about design changes now. The monopolies aren't listening anymore. Consumers lost the ability to provide feedback that would result in action long ago.

    • by Pulzar ( 81031 )

      Hey consumers, where the fuck were you 172 pointless "upgrades" and $500 MSRP dollars ago?

      Don't even bother bitching about design changes now. The monopolies aren't listening anymore. Consumers lost the ability to provide feedback that would result in action long ago.

      What monopolies? There's like a hundred different phones you can buy, for anything from $50 to $700. You've got more choice in quality smartphones than ever.

  • by burtosis ( 1124179 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @07:44PM (#52363157)
    [sarcasm] Don't they understand this will cause almost every Apple customer to purchase newer and more expensive headphones? [/sarcasm]
  • by xevioso ( 598654 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @07:50PM (#52363173)

    I need my iPhone to have a headphone jack. I love making DJ mixes on my phone. I use an app called dJay, which allows me to mix using my itunes library. I've gotten quite good, to the point where I will occasionally sit on the bus or at a bar making a mix, and I don't need a monitor, as I can tell where to start the mix using the waveforms of the song.

    Anyway, this only works if the sound and screen animation of the song beats are perfectly in sync; if theres ANY delay, I can't mix. I have tried doing this by using a bluetooth speaker instead of headphones, and it never works. It's always off by some delayed amount.

    If Apple actually does this, this is the one thing that will make me never want to upgrade. I know they would make dongles, but that adds other issues, such as what if I need to mix while having the phone plugged in because I'm running out of battery power? Anyway, don't do it, apple.

    And if anyone wants to hear my mixes made on an iPhone with no monitor and just a pair of headphones, here ya go: https://www.mixcloud.com/xevio... [mixcloud.com]

  • Why does he think that this will be DRM'd? My music is already DRM-free.

  • Back in 2007 I bought my first touchscreen Smartphone, the AT&T Tilt. With all that was wrong with it, it also didn't have a headphone jack and expected you to use a usb to stereo adapter that came with it. Fine, I have to carry an extra adapter. The issue came with wanting to listen to music and charging the phone at the same time (battery life was horrible even compared to today's standards). I had to shell out extra cash for a special 3rd party converter that allowed me to charge and listen to mu
  • When even "iVerge" criticises Apple's attitude this harshly, you know it's some real shitty attitude.

  • This is sort of a side issue, but if you are still using wired headphones you are really missing the boat. Bluetooth headphones are as cheap as $20 for good enough models. I can't imagine going back to wired headphones.

  • I have only two headsets/earbuds I really use anyway, so if I just leave an adaptor on those what is even the issue?

  • Devil's Advocate (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mentil ( 1748130 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @08:28PM (#52363423)

    Since everyone's hating on replacing 3.5mm jacks, I'm going to play devil's advocate.
    6 reasons that 3.5mm jacks will go the way of the 3.5" floppy drive:

    1) Analog audio cables need shielding from outside interference. Cheaper cabling is inadequately shielded. Digital signals are more resistant to minor interference.

    2) 3.5mm jacks are finicky. I've owned many extension cables with 3.5mm plugs that need fiddling with. If I don't rotate it just so, and plug it in at just the right depth, I get abnormally low volume, one of the channels won't work, or certain frequency ranges won't play.

    3) 3.5mm plugs aren't universal. There are ones with 1, 2, or even 3 rings, and the above problems are more prevalent if a plug is connected to a receptacle/adapter engineered to expect a different number of rings.

    4) Data sent through the 3.5mm jack is an unencrypted analog signal. This means it's vulnerable to side-channel attacks and surveillance. Someone could surveil/inject data going through the microphone channel (assuming the phone uses an analog microphone), or the headphone channel. A simple 'not' inserted into or removed from a sentence could cause substantial disruption to a target. Of course phone networks and smartphones are often surveillable in multiple ways, but not by everyone; also, phones are sometimes used as personal audio recorders, which may not be surveillable. An encrypted digital signal, with a handshake protocol but no master key (i.e. backdoor), could prevent these attacks.

    5) Phones tend to come with noisy/cheap amplifiers/DACs. This means that even if you plug in your $500 headphones you're going to get noise, and there's nothing you can do about it. Moving these components into the headphones means that phones can accommodate top-end audio. For some reason, smartphones have their cameras heavily scrutinized, yet their audio components are glossed over by reviewers and consumers. Go figure.

    6) 3.5mm jacks add cost and thickness to smartphones. This is the real reason (of course) why they're being ditched. Just like laptop makers are aiming for the thinnest laptops, phone makers want to make the thinnest smartphones. USB type C (which Thunderbolt 3 uses) has a height of ~2.6mm, meaning a full millimeter can be shaved off the device thickness. They could add a bump around the 3.5mm jack like they do for rear cameras, but I suspect that's considered ugly. there are 2mm audio jacks, but all the above problems remain, and people would still need an adapter or new headphones.

    The DRM issue is orthogonal to the encrypted digital signal issue. If an unencrypted MP3 file is sent over an encrypted interface, then who cares? The 'protected content being stolen via the analog hole' is the potential bogeyman, but it's not going to be an issue. Music is sold DRM-free today, and people are unlikely to start buying DRM-ed music in the future; it won't matter unless CDs go away, anyways. In the unlikely event the encryption protocol isn't cracked, it will only matter for content that is only available via streaming, which will probably be a minority of audio that people would care to preserve. Furthermore, just as you can buy (outside America) HDCP-compliant devices that decode the signal and then happily pass it on unencrypted, you'll be able to get the same for audio, if there's demand for it.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @09:10PM (#52363677)

      Don't you hate people who play devil's advocate just to be a PITA? My responses to (what I consider mostly silly) arguments.

      1. Shielding - Never had any problems in any phone I've ever owned. If shielding is an issue in the "new & improved iphone", then add a damn 1/10th of a mm and put some shielding back in. I'll trade a bit of imaginary interference for bluetooth drops & pairing difficulties any day.

      2. Finicky jacks - this is perhaps one of only two points that I think has some credence. I've had a couple of finicky jacks myself but you know what--a quick squirt of contact cleaner solved the problem perfectly. Want to talk about finicky? Bluetooth pairing on some devices. You know what's even more finicky? When your BT headset battery starts to wear out and you can't replace it. Wired headsets have a much longer lifetime than BT headsets.

      3. Universal plugs - While it's true that there are variations of the 3.5 mm plug, I cannot remember a single time in the past 15 years a time when I plugged a 3.5 mm headset into an apple or android phone and it failed to work. I can remember plenty of times when I couldn't get bluetooth to pair.

      4. Unencrypted data - The second fair point. However, device manufacturers like square have started encrypting their data and this is only applicable to a tiny fraction of phone users.

      5. Cheap DAC - This may be true, but my wired headsets are unequivocally better audio quality than any of my bluetooth headsets.

      6. Thickness - I don't need a thinner phone. I want a phone with better batter life. Hell, increase the thickness and give me some more battery life.

      Net net--I will not upgrade to a phone that is missing a 3.5 mm headphone jack anytime soon. I am sure it will happen int he future, but not in my near future.

      • 1. Shielding - Never had any problems in any phone I've ever owned.

        You've NEVER had headphones on, got near some large electrical device, and had any interference at all? No buzzing or clicks? Really??????

        5. Cheap DAC - This may be true, but my wired headsets are unequivocally better audio quality than any of my bluetooth headsets.

        But are they better than wired headphones with an end to end audio channel? No.

        People who still use wired headsets (I do also) are the people who will benefit MOST from our dig

        • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

          You've NEVER had headphones on, got near some large electrical device, and had any interference at all? No buzzing or clicks? Really??????

          Nope. I've had problems with microphone-level audio near lighting dimmer boards, but that's several orders of magnitude lower voltage. In fact, normally, headphone cables aren't shielded at all, because the extra capacitance compromises the sound quality. Don't believe me? Cut one open some time.

          The only time I've had problems with electrical interference on my iPhone

    • Wait. Are you saying Apple is the Devil, if you're the devil's advocate?

      Then allow me to be the devil's prosecutor:

      1) All wire cables need shielding. You're assuming a digital signal will fail less often than analog due to strong RF interference. But since digital cables use wires too, they too will fail if the field is intense enough, probably at about the same point as analog does (just as digital TV tuners do). And I've *never* experienced interference from my analog cables.

      2) You bought cables with

    • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

      6) 3.5mm jacks add cost and thickness to smartphones. This is the real reason (of course) why they're being ditched. Just like laptop makers are aiming for the thinnest laptops, phone makers want to make the thinnest smartphones. USB type C (which Thunderbolt 3 uses) has a height of ~2.6mm, meaning a full millimeter can be shaved off the device thickness. They could add a bump around the 3.5mm jack like they do for rear cameras, but I suspect that's considered ugly. there are 2mm audio jacks, but all the ab

  • by Etcetera ( 14711 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @08:39PM (#52363495) Homepage

    6. No one is asking for this.

    No one asked for systemd either, but look what happened.

    Speaking more broadly, I honestly can't tell if this is because most of the major problems have been solved, people are too ignorant of the thought processes that went into the original tech, people don't know their history, people have too much faith in overly-complex technology that couldn't possible fail, people honestly, think they're just that much smarter than the installed base of users and want to increase "Quality of Life" (as one notable Borg put it), people want to make their own mark, or people are disingenuously trying to achieve lock-in on their newfangled contraption. No doubt, it's a mixture of all of the above.

    Speaking as someone who's only been around in the industry for 15 years or so, I've already seen this pattern repeat way too frequently. I can only imagine what people who've been writing COBOL for the past 40 years think of it all...

    Please, for the love of God, stop breaking sh*t that works fine.

    • No one asked for systemd either, but look what happened.

      That is patently false. SysV init is a fragile, horribly broken piece of shit that should have died 20 years ago. Having used systemd-based Kubuntu for some time now, I'm finding most things work far better than they ever did under SysV init:

      1) Boot times on my virtual machines are much, much faster than they ever were under SysV init. The clever hacks piled on top of it to make Linux boot faster were so fragile that they broke at the drop of a pin.

      2) Hardware interaction is far more reliable than it eve

  • by Pfhorrest ( 545131 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @10:32PM (#52364063) Homepage Journal

    I've been waiting for a jack off phone to come around for years, it's about time the sex toy industry capitalized on the market for mobile devices, but if it has no headphones that's a deal-breaker, I can't have everyone in the house hearing what I'm doing; and if it's user-hostile and stupid to boot, I mean, who the hell thought those would make good features?

    I'm surprised this kind of bomb is coming from Apple of all people, makers of the famous iBrator.

I have never seen anything fill up a vacuum so fast and still suck. -- Rob Pike, on X.

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