Why Apple Shouldn’t Get Rid Of The Headphone Jack

Well, it’s basically confirmed. Rumors have been going for several months, but now new images were released showing that Apple will be removing the headphone jack on the iPhone 7 and instead will use wireless Bluetooth headphones. Tech geeks around the world may be squealing with delight but I am not. I think this is a very bad decision that will really change a lot of things that most people don’t even realize.

Image result for iphone 7

While this is kind of cool from a tech perspective, I’m being practical. I am a realist. And now I’ll explain why this is a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad thing.

First of all, those ear buds are tiny. They’re sure to get lost. And I guess Apple is smart for that reason because they’ll sell more and more as people will keep needing replacements. Please look at this image I photoshopped so you get my idea.

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But here are some facts to really help you understand. The 3.5 millimeter headphone jack has been around for over 50 years. It was first used on a Sony radio in 1964 and since then, your current headphones can fit any device, from radios to mp3 players to phones to laptops and more. You’ve never had to worry about anything. Not to mention that headphones can be bought anywhere. You can buy $300 ones and you can buy $2 ones and they all work just fine.

But think about it. Apple is changing that. And Apple isn’t just some small insignificant company. Apple is a leader in our world, a titan of the industry. When the iPhone 5 came out and they changed the regular charging port to the smaller lightning port, I was sure no one would go for that as it’d mean buying different cables and different speakers. But guess what? Now I’m the one struggling to deal as I can’t easily find the old charging cables in stores for my 4S.

Is that our future? In five years will some of us be struggling to buy headphones with wires? Will we not be able to find devices that work with our old 3.5mm headphones? A lot of companies follow what Apple does in terms of technology, so this can perhaps affect everyone, not just loyal Apple users. You Android users think you’re so much better…until you’re not.

I love Christmas music and each December instead of streaming the music on my phone for the majority of the day, I carry around a small black radio. It’s slightly smaller than a brick (seriously!) and it also plays cassette tapes, so you know it’s old. But my headphones work on it and I can listen to as much Christmas music as I want on the go for free. Will I even be able to do that next year?

And to think that this change is all in the name of thinness. By removing the 3.5mm jack, the iPhone can get thinner than it could before. And I wonder, do phones really need to get thinner? Taller or wider I can somewhat understand. But thinner? No.

But what really bugs me the most is how profitable this change is for these companies. Apple will not only make millions selling the iPhone 7, but it’ll also make a fortune on the headphones. Apple will be able to privatize and sell brand name buds that people will need to purchase in order to listen to music. They’ll be able to sell new speaker systems, new adaptors, new phone cases and more. And then other companies will get in the game, changing all their products to keep up, and the consumers will just have to fork over the money at some point or another.

Image result for i don't wike it gif

If it ain’t broke, right? Like I said, the 3.5mm headphone jack has been working perfectly for 50 years. I think it could last another 50. And then Apple can do what it wants with it. I’ll be too old to care.

Maybe I am just thinking way too big. Maybe people won’t like this change either. Maybe the old and new style can live in tandem. But maybe not.

What are your thoughts on the matter? Are you excited to be wire-free?

 

P.S. This is my 100th post!

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Pokémon Go? More Like Pokémon NO

I’ve had this app for a week and I am not loving it.

I was so excited when Pokémon Go came out. I waited until it was legal in Canada to download it. It came out about five days after the American release, so I had spent that week being bombarded with tweets and articles and hype about just how great this game was. As a long time Pokémon fan (Yellow was the first ever video game I ever played!), I was very excited to be able to use my beloved phone and catch Pokémon in my own backyard!

But of course, as soon as I downloaded it, I was hit with clogged servers. Only after two hours did I finally get to the point where I could make an account and catch a starter, and even that process was slow and laggy.

In order to savour the game, I didn’t do much reading on it before downloading. I mean, who really reads the instructions for things? But I wish I did, because I had no idea what to do. Professor Willow explained nothing and between that and the laggy phone, I ended up just clicking the first Pokémon I saw, which was a Squirtle. Squirtle is cool and all, but Charmander is where it’s at.

Overall, I was very disappointed with the lack of instructions. What is a Pokécandy? What’s that thing on the map? Why would I want more than one Weedle? How do I get money? What do I do at a Pokéstop? Honesty, Professor Oak would never be so negligent. I had to do a lot of Google searching. These articles helped me best: X / X

The multiple Pokémon thing really bugged me. In normal games, I would never even think about catching multiples of the same Pokémon, unless it’s an Eevee or something with different final evolutions. But this game relies on the player catching anything and everything, and then sending the weaker ones to Willow (“sending them for slaughter,” my boss joked). With this logic, we’re unable to really develop any attachments to our Pokémon. It also forces us to catch Pokémon that we likely wouldn’t bother with in the game. I don’t mean to sound like a snob (okay, I kind of do) but Zubats are not worth my time.

The next thing that frustrated me was what a player needed to really succeed at this game. First of all, a data plan. I don’t have one, but luckily my father does, so the few times I’ve been out of wifi zones, I’ve used his unlimited data via hotspot. But isn’t this game kind of geared towards kids? What are children doing with iPhones and data plans? And then there’s the time dedication. I work all day. I try to catch something at lunch and I play a bit before and after work when I’m at home, but all in all, very little time is spent on the game. That’s why I’m at level five. For one to be at level 20+ and have strong Pokémon, they’d need to play a lot. Which I wouldn’t have a problem with if this game wasn’t so popular and competitive. In the normal games, you have no one to compare to. You’re the best, the strongest, the richest. All the characters like you and you’ve caught legendary. But now through this app, we have to compare ourselves to everyone from children to adults all over.

And then there’s the location thing. My town sucks. It’s not even some hick-town-nowhere-land. It’s moderately big and fairly close to a major city. And yet there’s basically nothing in sight on the map’s app. I have no motivation to go explore when I know I’ll have to walk pretty far. Just last weekend my family went on a little trip and the town we stayed in had so many Pokéstops and gyms. It was really unfair.

Not that I really got to experience that town because my app couldn’t stay open for three seconds. Not only does it take a minute or two to load, if it did get going, it’d then immediately crash. In my three days there, I managed to catch a Staryu and a Magicarp while my brother caught like 25 Pokémon and hit up several Pokestops. I was so angry and fed up with trying. But I guess that if the app manages to work for my brother right next to me, then the problem has to be my iPhone 4S. I guess that’s too old to handle such an app. This tweet basically sums my feelings up, though:

I really wanted to love this game. I mean, I appreciate its existence but I do find it very flawed, which is disappointing considering how excited I was to play. I really would have rather this app be more like the normal games, where you can battle people/Pokémon around you, have the opportunity to find rarer Pokémon more often and not use a ton of data and battery to do so. I’m interested to see what updates Nintendo rolls out for this app and whether this Pokémania lasts. Of course I’ll keep playing the game and trying my best, but I’ve come to accept the fact that I’ll always be a sucky player and there’s not much I can do about that.

What are your thoughts on the app?

 

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How Tech-Savvy Are You?

In the past few days, I’ve had to think about technology a lot. Technology is interesting in the sense that its meaning, or what it brings to mind, always changes. Nowadays, technology is all machines and smartphones…essentially things that use power. We average people are lucky to be exposed to some really good tech! As a young person, I’ve had the opportunity to grow up in a culture that utilizes technology a lot. I’ve been around for the Gameboy Colour (remember how it wasn’t back-lit so you couldn’t play in the dark?) and now I see people with the newest flashy Nintendo 3DS XL that has internet capabilities! There’s so much tech out there and it’ll never end. Heck, I go to school to learn about technology.

But just because I’m learning it, doesn’t mean I’m tech-savvy. My Blogging 201 assignment for the day is to link up to social media. I’m already on Twitter (@coolbeans4_ follow me!) and I do post automatically to Tumblr, but that’s it. I’ve never had Facebook and at this point, I don’t really want it. Instagram is for people who like taking and being in pictures (both of which I do not) and Pinterest is for moms (no offence to any non-motherly Pinterest users). I use Snapchat, but mostly in place of texting, because a friend and I have just fell into that habit. I can work my iPhone and I know more about the Internet and blogs and WordPress than anyone in my family, too. But am I tech-savvy? I know nothing about code, use Microsoft Paint to edit pictures because I don’t know Photoshop, and have never used a torrent.

This is very accurate.

One of the classes I’m taking this semester is about technology and creative expression. It’s taught by this lady who looks old enough to have young grandchildren. She told us on the first day of class that she was around for the first computer and is an expert on what she’ll be teaching us. So you’d think that it’d be all high-tech and cool, right? No. The desktop attached to the projector was using Windows 98, she failed to put a stop to YouTube Autoplay, and she didn’t realize that she almost made us watch the same video twice in a row because she got the URLs wrong.

And we’ve only had two classes so far.


I have a friend who was telling me the other day that her boyfriend at another school has this professor who’s rather old. It’s an English class, so technology isn’t really needed, but this professor apparently told the students that she will not be using the Internet at all because she thinks the Internet won’t take off.

Excuse me, what? The Internet won’t take off? This lady is clearly living in a very quiet bubble because the Internet already has taken off. It’s called Web 2.0 for a reason, folks! The Internet has expanded so much in the past few decades and it will continue to expand. That’s why we’re able to get Internet capabilities on devices like handheld games. Because the Internet has progressed to the point where every device is going to use it. There are even fridges and soon microwaves that will have Internet access. Why that is needed, I don’t know. But that’s the future.

The future of technology is so vast that it’s unimaginable, and I’m only talking about what we as normal civilians will be exposed to. Movies and books may try to guess but we just have to wait and see how it goes. There are so many movies about robots taking over and I honestly believe that’s a possibility. The Robot Wars are coming, and the first to turn is likely Apple as they have direct access to us through our phones and Siri.

Okay, maybe I’m joking. Maybe I’m not. I do believe that technology is growing at a really fast pace and it’s only a matter of time before we all have our own Jarvis or Rosie and, yeah, maybe technology will get so intense that the computers will develop a mind of their own. Hopefully that’s not in my lifetime.

I know I have a wide range in my readers’ ages, so I’d love to hear from all of you: how tech-savvy are you?
Take this simple poll and then leave a comment so we can discuss!

And again, please follow me on Twitter (or tell me your handle) because having a good social presence for something like blogging is very important in this day and age!

My Life Is A Small Rectangle

Blogging 101’s newest task is to interpret and write from a prompt, and I decided to go for it considering prompt work is something I need to work on. So after flipping through some prompts from WordPress’ The Daily Post for over half an hour because I wasn’t feeling most of them and the ones I did like just didn’t fit with what I wanted on my blog, I decided to write on the following prompt:

Describe your relationship with your phone. Is it your lifeline, a buzzing nuisance, or something in between?

My phone. My precious, precious phone. It’s simultaneously my baby and my best friend and my lifeline and my worst enemy.

It’s an iPhone 4S. I’ve had it for a few years, and before that I had the Samsung Vice, which was a slide phone (remember when those were all the rage?). But all I could do on my slide phone was text, so going from that to an iPhone was interesting. That being said, I did have and actively use an iPod Touch, so it was a perfect combination of the two.

My phone is always on me. I mean, I’m nineteen, and what nineteen year old isn’t carrying their phone? I use it when I need it, I use it when I’m bored, I use it when I should be doing other things…I use it a lot.

And most of the time, I use it for music. I am constantly listening to music. At school last year, I rarely left my dorm room without headphones in. I liked the constant sounds in my ear to fill the loneliness and/or awkward silences I am prone to. The music on my phone is so important to me, and perhaps the only reason I have an iPhone (I feel an Apple rant coming on…another post, maybe).

I call my phone my best friend because it is, in a way. It’s always with me, always there when I need it, it supports me and I love it. I’ve never forgotten it or lost it or treated it carelessly because I need it, similar to how one needs their best friend.

And then there are my real friends, and I have my phone to thank for giving me the ability to connect with them. Not just by texting, but through all the other applications available. Sure, Twitter and Email can be accessed on a laptop, but Snapchat and Whatsapp cannot. The mobility and ease is a gift, and I enjoy it. Almost all the big friendships I have are strengthened and supported by the power of phones.

In fact, the on-the-go powers I have is something really awesome. I blog on my phone, I write stories on the Notes app on my phone…one time I started writing an essay on my phone. Using paper to write a reminder is basically obsolete now. Phones make life so much simpler. That’s why I’m excited to see how phones improve over time. I’m waiting for Iron Man hologram abilities. Y’know, like that Z Phone from Hannah Montana

I also can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve used my phone to fake busyness, how many times I didn’t want to seem like a creepy bored person, so I’ve unlocked my phone and just flicked through the pages of apps or refreshed my emails for the fifth time in the past ten minutes. It’s like fake texting.

So you may be wondering why I called my phone my worst enemy, since so far I’ve nothing but positive things to say. Well, there are a few negatives. For one, I sometimes feel like I’m too reliant on my phone. I feel like it’s become a part of me and because of it, I’d go crazy without it.

Same, except instead of Facebook I check WordPress and instead of Instagram I check Snapchat.

I also feel like I miss cool real-life moments because I’m on my phone. And then there’s the downside to constant communication. There are countless articles about how people express themselves and write through text and how the lack of face-to-face interaction can do damage. But it’s more than that. It’s the fact that friendships seem to only be based on phone interactions. It’s like people think that if they text you Merry Christmas on December 25th, that means the friendship is solid and strong, even if that’s the only communication in months, when that is very false.

But despite that, I still love my phone. Overall, I love it and enjoy having it and I treat it well. I’m not going to lie and say my phone is always lighting up with new messages and notifications, but it’s enough to keep me seemingly always on it. Mobile phones are arguably the greatest invention in a long time, and I’m glad to live in a time when they’re so functional and easy and fun.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to repeatedly check my WordPress stats on the app so I can see how many of you have just read this post.