Cause of Death: Struck by Lightning

Well, I think that’s settled then. Not that I expected otherwise, but the venerable headphone jack is gone from the iPhone 7.

The Sony MW600, which is better (but less Sci-Fi) than AirPods.

I won’t miss it much, since I’ve been using a Sony MW600 Bluetooth adapter for nearly three years now – it lasts me a full day on a single charge, has a micro-USB port, remote, call and volume controls, a little display (which is pretty handy) and cost me something along the lines of Eur.30.

Despite Sony’s best efforts to murder that product line and render all its successors entirely unappealing for one reason or another (or perhaps because of those attempts), I’ve held on to it to the extent of buying a replacement spring+clip assembly a couple of months back, and intend to keep using it until it dies on me.

I haven’t needed the headphone jack for the past couple of years. And I seriously doubt I’ll ever need it again even if I switch phones to one that still has it.

Of course, that doesn’t mean having to unplug your spiffy new Lightning EarPods to charge your phone is anything less than idiotic, but hey, that’s the price of progress – which I’m glad to leave for other people to pay for the time being, seeing as I don’t have plans for upgrading my iPhone 6 just yet.

Unfortunately. Quite honestly, if the Apple iPhone Upgrade Program got off the first-world track and became available here, I’d very likely sign up for it for the sake of the new camera (but not the Plus model’s – carrying half an iPad in my pocket is absolutely out of the question).

Now, AirPods… Well, they’re an amazing piece of engineering, but the prospect of losing half of an expensive set is daunting to say the least. I’ll pass, thanks.

As to the event itself, the bits that I found most interesting were about the revamped Watch models. Having bought the original model at $100 off I have no justification for feeling ripped off, but the new price points are… Interesting. And the co-branding angle has a lot of market potential (like many other people, I don’t think it’s an accident that they emphasised health and sports to the detriment of fashion – people who buy a wearable for sport will not just use it a lot more, but certainly talk about it a lot more than people who buy them purely for show).

I still think the original Watch is the best wearable device I’ve ever used and have no reason to upgrade, but it’s going to be interesting watching how the platform evolves (I also have no need for GPS on a watch and find the notion of ever having direct cellular connectivity on one ridiculous, so I’ll probably be able to “upgrade” to a new entry-leve model in a couple of years or so…). I’ve steered clear of the betas, but am quite looking forward to upgrading to the new watchOS next week, even if it kills off a couple of UI features I like.

But that’s not terribly important in the big scheme of things. Macs, though, are, at least for me. They’re the last bastion of decent UX in the UNIX world until Apple decides to turn the knob to 11 on their computing as appliance vision, or at least until they stop needing developers… but I digress.

I wasn’t expecting anything Mac-related, so the big gaping void where a new MacBook and a new Mac mini ought to be is still a yaning chasm haunted by four-year-old machines with ludicrous price tags, and that’s OK – but I really need a new desktop machine, and the only thing keeping me from buying a modern, affordable one at acceptable prices is the operating system I want to run on it1

But the big news for me is that Apple finally figured out that 16GB of storage is nowhere near enough for a phone these days. Makes me optimistic towards future ripple effects across the rest of their product line (at least on iOS).

Update: They did. Twenty-four hours later, the 16GB iPad is no more. Hurray!

There’s still hope. But not for Jack. He’s gone, and has been for a while now. The only real difference today is that mainstream media just got the fax with his death certificate, and it reads:

Cause of Death: Struck by Lightning.

  1. Like I wrote the other day, I’d like to buy a new personal laptop. But my mini is showing its age, and the Intel Skull Canyon NUC would make an awesome home office machine – but it doesn’t run macOS, so there’s no way I’m going to get one. ↩︎