Why Apple Eliminated the 3.5mm Headphone Jack

It didn't come as a surprise on the 7th September 2016 when Apple announced that it was removing the 3.5mm headphone jack from the new iPhone 7. It was a long awaited rumor but that hasn't stopped a widespread internet backlash. 

Not Able to Charge

The main complaint was the inability to charge the phone whilst listening to lightening or 3.5mm headphone jack headphones. Following the announcement this is still a concern for many. Apples Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller doesn't believe this is an issue and says you can buy the lightening dock that allows you to listen to music whilst charging. 

Looking at the picture below from the Apple Store, this doesn't solve it Phil, what if I have lightening headphones? That solution puts you in no better position unless you have 3.5mm headphone jack headphones. Not to mention it's a £39 ($49) solution to something that could surely be solved with a Lightening to 3.5mm headphone jack/lightening charging port combo.

Death of the 3.5mm Headphone Jack

Despite these issues, the reasoning for removing the 3.5mm headphone jack itself is a valid one. The 3.5mm headphone jack first came to service with the Sony EFM-117J radio which was released in 1964 and became very popular with the release of the Walkman in 1979. That's a whopping 52years old! It's an old single use technology that takes up valuable room in an iPhone enclosure whilst we, as customers, demand better battery life, waterproofing and better speakers. Why sacrifice all those benefits including cost for a port that serves a single function? 

The Future of Audio and Other Connectors

There is a lot of focus on the iPhone 7 and lack of headphone jack, I'm sure others will now follow Apple since they have been brave enough to go out in front. 

An interesting thing to consider is what the Airlines will do in response. Consumers will rapidly adopt wireless headphones and lightening enabled ones. So far there is not lightening to 3.5mm headphone jack adaptor. Will the airlines install lightening ports, go wireless or provide lightening to 3.5mm flight adaptors to avoid customer disappointment?

I don't think this will be the end to port removal, the lightening connector will be next. With the proliferation of wireless charging and wireless headphones this will be another port that Apple can remove to reduce costs, decrease complexity, increase case space and increase waterproof capabilities.

Apple has always been at the forefront of change, whether that's removal of the floppy drive or DVD drive, they have always been one or two steps ahead of where we know we want to be. Long may that continue! 

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Review: Anker PowerCore 20100 Ultra High Capacity Portable Battery Pack

In todays modern battery powered mobile world it is very inconvenient to be caught out of charge. Usually when you first get your device it never seems to be an issue but as your device ages the battery never seems to last as long. I have 3 mobile devices and decided it was a good time to buy a mobile battery pack. The first one I bought was mostly dead after one charge of my iPhone 6 Plus. It was time to look for a larger capacity and thats when I found the Anker PowerCore 20100 Ultra High Capacity Portable Battery. I’d bought other Anker products and been really impressed at the quality and thoughtfulness in their design. A list of other Anker products I’d recommend can be found at the bottom of the post. 

Tech Specs

  • Anker in general has some great technology and this product is no different, below are the tech specs from Anker:
  • Ultra-High Capacity: It can charge the iPhone 6 seven times, the Galaxy S6 five times or the iPad mini twice. Recharges in 10 hours with a 2 amp charger, phone chargers (generally 1 amp) may take up to 20 hours.
  • Fast Charging Technology: The trademarked PowerIQ and VoltageBoost technologies combine to deliver the fastest possible charge up to 2.4 amps per port or 4.8 amps overall. Input: 5V / 2A.
  • PowerIQ: Discovers and replicates the charging protocol of the device’s original charger.
  • PowerIQ: Device safely accepts its fastest possible charge speed.
  • VoltageBoost: Detects the cable resistance and adjusts current accordingly to provide the fastest, most steady charge, whatever cable you use. 
  • Certified Safe: Anker's MultiProtect safety system ensures complete protection for you and your devices.
  • Short Circuit Protection
  • Temperature Control
  • Output Voltage Surge Protection
  • Output Current Stabilizer
  • Power Overload Recovery
  • Battery Cell Protection
  • Auto Shut-off Sleep Mode
  • Input Voltage Surge Protection
  • Output Current Limiter
  • Low Voltage Protection

Other Good Stuff

Anker has a superb warranty, a whole 18 months which shows faith in their products. The device also come with a micro USB charging cable and a travel pouch. The pouch is a nice idea to keep your device safe and looking good.

Note: All other cables needed to charge your devices are sold separately. I’d recommend the lightning/micro USB hot swap Spigen cables

Uses

My PowerCore goes everywhere with my in my bag, it doesn’t take up much room and I don’t notice additional weight. I’ve used it in many different situations but some key ones have been on a transatlantic flight to top up my devices prior to landing. I’ve used it in coffee shops and even at the top of a mountain to keep charge on my mobile phone. The device is rugged, versatile and highly mobile thats to its high capacity. 

Summary

In summary, if you are looking for or considering a mobile power solution then I would highly recommend the Anker PowerCore

Other Anker products I own and I’d recommend include:

  • Anker PowerPort 5: 5 port USB charging hub utilising all of the charging technology mentioned above in a portable hub.
  • Anker PowerDrive 2: 2 port USB charger for the cigarette charger (12V outlet) in your car.
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