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Bluetooth won't replace the headphone jack - walled gardens will
By Thom Holwerda on 2017-10-05 22:33:06

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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Read Comments: 1-10 -- 11-20 -- 21-30
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get off my lawn Thom
By kristoph on 2017-10-05 22:37:44
Seriously though, I have, on many occasions found it a huge pain that I can't plug in headphones ( using the dongle ) while charging my phone. Especially on an air planes while I travel with my bose headset.

That said the AirPod's are amazing and I love them.
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bluetooth
By badtz on 2017-10-06 00:15:41
AirPods are perfectly playable from any bluetooth device, and audio streaming is standardized (A2DP, etc)... what's the issue? The proprietary layer is on top of bluetooth, but if you don't have matching products it'll still operate just fine.
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DRM is the future
By tylerdurden on 2017-10-06 00:17:14
The removal of the last analog output from the iPhone/Pixel opens the gates for (future) DRM strategies.

At some point only "compliant" music will be allowed to play through the "sanctioned" USB headphones.

I think the ideal device for Apple (and google it seems now) is a port free one. Where content going in and out can be fully sanctioned.
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RE: get off my lawn Thom
By leech on 2017-10-06 02:39:20
I watched an Episode of Homeland where a (and I'll try not to do any spoilers) woman goes into the restroom and pulls out her iPhone to insert a weird little lightning adapter/storage device and headphones to listen to some secret mission information.

Couldn't help but laugh and say "you can't do that on the later models..."
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RE: DRM is the future
By leech on 2017-10-06 02:41:18
> The removal of the last analog output from the iPhone/Pixel opens the gates for (future) DRM strategies.

At some point only "compliant" music will be allowed to play through the "sanctioned" USB headphones.

I think the ideal device for Apple (and google it seems now) is a port free one. Where content going in and out can be fully sanctioned.

Frightening to think, but that's perfectly possible with wireless charging...
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Comment by ilovebeer
By ilovebeer on 2017-10-06 04:09:17
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.
Permalink - Score: -1
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RE: get off my lawn Thom
By shotsman on 2017-10-06 06:11:05
There are 'Y' adapters available that allow you to do this but yes, it is sometimes a bit of a PITA which is why I still carry all my music on an iPod Touch.
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RE: Comment by ilovebeer
By daedalus on 2017-10-06 07:52:07
Of course not, but it makes the world a slightly worse place to be.
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RE: Comment by ilovebeer
By yoshi314@gmail.com on 2017-10-06 08:19:17
it won't be the end of the world, but it will be a major hassle for actual users.
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RE: get off my lawn Thom
By Lennie on 2017-10-06 08:47:57
My Android phone has a jack at the top and a USB-charge/data plug at the bottom. I see no problem.

Was your phone designed wrong ?
Permalink - Score: 6

Read Comments 1-10 -- 11-20 -- 21-30

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