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Bringing back the iPhone headphone jack - in China
By Thom Holwerda, submitted by henderson101 on 2017-09-07 16:10:39

Remember when Scotty Allen built his own iPhone from parts bought in Shenzhen? This time around, he ups the ante and adds a headphone jack to an iPhone 7. He had to design his own custom circuit board, have it printed, and build it into his iPhone 7. It's an amazing project, and it's an incredibly interesting 30 minute video.

I've spent the past four months in Shenzhen, China, modifying an iPhone 7 to add a fully functional headphone jack. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time anyone has done anything like this.

In April, I decided to finally upgrade my iPhone 6s to an iPhone7 to get better camera quality for the videos I was shooting when I was out on adventures in the industrial markets and manufacturing world. But I was super annoyed that it doesn't have a headphone jack! I already have headphones I really liked, and I didn’t like the idea of having to keep track of an adapter just to use them.

So I figured I'd add my own - after all, how hard could it be?

It turns out, really really hard. But possible.

He sent the circuit board he designed and built to Apple, and open sourced all the schematics needed so those with the right tools and expertise can build it at home.

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Read Comments: 1-10 -- 11-17
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Too much work
By WorknMan on 2017-09-07 16:21:10
He could've just bought a Google Pixel or Galaxy phone and saved himself the trouble :P Why reward Apple for removing a feature you really wanted?
Permalink - Score: 8
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RE: Too much work
By Thom_Holwerda on 2017-09-07 16:34:22
> He could've just bought a Google Pixel or Galaxy phone and saved himself the trouble :P Why reward Apple for removing a feature you really wanted?

Because it's an incredibly fun thing to do?

I'm jealous I don't have the skills (and living location) required to do this.
Permalink - Score: 4
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RE: Too much work
By darknexus on 2017-09-07 17:55:32
Probably because he didn't want to deal with the piss poor battery life of those devices. He's already doing lots of video shoots (he says so). Android devices don't even last a day under normal usage, let alone that.
Oh yeah, and their apps are far less capable, on average, than the apps designed for iOS. Might have something to do with it, perhaps?
Permalink - Score: -3
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RE[2]: Too much work
By Thom_Holwerda on 2017-09-07 18:00:40
> Android devices don't even last a day under normal usage, let alone that.

My S7 Edge last for days. This is such a "your mileage may vary" thing that absolute statements like yours are meaningless.

> Oh yeah, and their apps are far less capable, on average, than the apps designed for iOS.

On tablets, no doubt. On phones? Eh. Not so much. iOS phone applications tend to have these horrible custom UIs with weird designs and custom icons that nobody else uses (consistency is unheard of on iOS), and inter-app communication is still utter garbage on iOS, greatly reducing the usefulness of iOS applications in day-to-day use.

This, too, is far too personal for absolute statements. It's not 2011 anymore.
Permalink - Score: 4
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RE[2]: Too much work
By slashdev on 2017-09-07 19:35:20
Having both an iphone 7plus and an Galaxy S7 Edge, the Edge runs circles around the iphone when actually doing things like GPS, long 4k video shoots and watching lots of high res videos on long flights, even listening to podcasts! you just cant compare 3,600mAh vs 2900mah batteries.

GSMArena has probably the most comprehensive battery tests out there:
http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_...

http://www.gsmarena.com/apple_ip...


With that said, Most android phones have tiny batteries, and horrible internal memory transfer rates (due to most only having 8GB or 16GB) so I can totally understand if people have never actually used a good android phone.

Also, A reason you'd want an iPhone is the same reason I have one, I have a lot invested in the apple ecosystem, plus I actually prefer the iOS UI most of the time (though android is improving at an amazing pace...if you are willing to pay to keep up).

I wonder if I could build an iPhone 7 Plus with a larger battery....thats gotta be easier than a headphone jack....
Permalink - Score: 5
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RE[3]: Too much work
By CaptainN- on 2017-09-07 20:25:40
There is a blanket statement we can make - flagship Android devices (those in the same price range as iOS devices) do get very good battery life.

Yeah, the crappy Android phones all skimp and save on various components, but if you are willing to spend for an iPhone, and you spend similarly for Android, you'll get similar performance. And all the apps are the same at this point - anything worth a damn has been ported to Android at this point, and as Thom pointed out, often it has better interoperability with other apps.
Permalink - Score: 7
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RE[4]: Too much work
By Morgan on 2017-09-07 21:28:16
> Yeah, the crappy Android phones all skimp and save on various components, but if you are willing to spend for an iPhone, and you spend similarly for Android, you'll get similar performance.

I think Apple woke up to this reality, which is why we have the iPhone SE. It gives you good battery life and all the same features as the flagship iPhones at half the cost, and still has that glorious headphone jack.
Permalink - Score: 4
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RE[5]: Too much work
By WorknMan on 2017-09-07 23:04:33
> I think Apple woke up to this reality, which is why we have the iPhone SE.

I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOVE the iPhone SE. I have it as a work phone, and usually take it instead of my Pixel when I just need to access my Keep list or something, due to how much more pocket friendly it is. Only problem with it is that it runs iOS :(
Permalink - Score: 4
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RE[3]: Too much work
By flanque on 2017-09-07 23:33:58
> iOS phone applications tend to have these horrible custom UIs with weird designs and custom icons that nobody else uses (consistency is unheard of on iOS)
Bit of a reach there.

I'm struggling to think of a time where the iOS or application UIs (phone or tablet) have been inconsistent to the point of even being noticeable.

Thinking about it, I'm sure we could all show examples, but calling that out as being above or below other platforms doesn't seem to make sense to me.

Horrible and weird don't come to mind as adjectives to generalise about iOS.
Permalink - Score: 2
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RE[3]: Too much work
By XKCD on 2017-09-08 07:32:12
> Having both an iphone 7plus and an Galaxy S7 Edge
You have TWO smartphones?.. Oh wow, I cannot stand even one for longer periods of time. I had many flagship smartphones, such as Samsung Galaxy S series, HTC's top of the line and more, and every time I end up going back to proper phone (with real buttons and 2" screen) in about half a year or so. I have now stopped trying and will not try any more smartphones in my life.

Also: http://www.bash.org/?952948

Edited 2017-09-08 07:32 UTC
Permalink - Score: 3

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