Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 5th Oct 2017 22:33 UTC
Multimedia, AV

Nilay Patel on the further disappearance of the headphone jack, and its replacement, Bluetooth:

To improve Bluetooth, platform vendors like Apple and Google are riffing on top of it, and that means they’re building custom solutions. And building custom solutions means they’re taking the opportunity to prioritize their own products, because that is a fair and rational thing for platform vendors to do.

Unfortunately, what is fair and rational for platform vendors isn’t always great for markets, competition, or consumers. And at the end of this road, we will have taken a simple, universal thing that enabled a vibrant market with tons of options for every consumer, and turned it into yet another limited market defined by ecosystem lock-in.

This is exactly what's happening, and it is turning something simple and straightforward - get headphones, plug it in literally every single piece of headphones-enabled audio equipment made in the last 100 years, and have it work - into an incompatibility nightmare. And this incompatibility nightmare is growing and getting worse, moving beyond just non-standard Bluetooth; you can't use Apple Music with speakers from Google or Amazon, and Spotify doesn't work on the Apple Watch.

Removing the headphone jack was a user-hostile move when Apple did it, and it's still a user-hostile move when Google does it.

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Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Fri 6th Oct 2017 04:09 UTC
Member since:

I guess I'm the only one who isn't scared of change, growing pains, and isn't panicked over unlikely what-if's..

Dumping the 3.5mm jack is not and will not be the end of the world.

Reply Score: -1

RE: Comment by ilovebeer
by daedalus on Fri 6th Oct 2017 07:52 in reply to "Comment by ilovebeer"
daedalus Member since:

Of course not, but it makes the world a slightly worse place to be.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: Comment by ilovebeer
by on Fri 6th Oct 2017 08:19 in reply to "Comment by ilovebeer" Member since:

it won't be the end of the world, but it will be a major hassle for actual users.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Comment by ilovebeer
by ahferroin7 on Fri 6th Oct 2017 12:30 in reply to "Comment by ilovebeer"
ahferroin7 Member since:

It won't end the world, but it does make things more difficult for users (you shouldn't need to buy a 20 USD adapter cable just to charge your phone and use wired headphones at the same time), especially those of us who actually care about audio quality (bluetooth is crap for audio on average because almost nothing supports any decent codecs).

There's also the fact that the original claim by Apple as to why they were doing this is bogus in and of itself. Their 'official' argument involved waterproofing the phone, but it's absolutely possible to waterproof a phone that has a headphone jack (Nokia did it for years, and the cost in parts is less than 0.20 USD if you do it right).

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer
by josehill on Sat 7th Oct 2017 10:08 in reply to "RE: Comment by ilovebeer"
josehill Member since:

C'mon, adapters are Apple's fastest growing business!

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Fri 6th Oct 2017 14:23 in reply to "Comment by ilovebeer"
ilovebeer Member since:

Growing pains are just that but they don't last forever.

The `quality` argument is not a real argument, it's a red herring.

Bluetooth may not be great for audio now, but again, that won't last forever - especially with a huge push to switch to bluetooth. It -will- get better.

Regarding Apple's reasoning for dumping the connector.. I've also read they wanted to reclaim some ever-so-valuable realty inside ever-more-compact cellphone innards. Both are legitimate & logical.

People are pissed. I get it. This change-over has not been well-planned. It's inconvenient. There's cost attached to the user in adapters. But this simply won't be the case forever. It's happening whether people like it or not. Look on the bright side. Very few is anyone actually needs a new cellphone, and no one is being forced to buy products that no longer support the connector. The truth is you DO have choice and you CAN let your opinion be heard through your purchasing decisions.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Comment by ilovebeer
by Morgan on Fri 6th Oct 2017 14:30 in reply to "Comment by ilovebeer"
Morgan Member since:

It's an inconvenience for those who choose Apple or Google products, but I agree it's not the end of the world. the 3.5mm and 1/4" jacks will exist long after any of us are still alive, given their prevalence in music production and preference among audiophile consumers (Bluetooth is terrible for audio quality).

Besides, the 3.5mm form factor is used for more than just music, it can also be used for serial communications and even analog video (aftermarket backup cameras in cars, for example).

Reply Parent Score: 2