At 7.1 mm today’s iPhone 6S is almost as thin as your average pencil.
But can it get any thinner?
Among the many engineering challenges smartphone manufacturers face, reducing smartphone component size has always been a work in progress. For Apple, the last 8 years of innovation have shaved off more than 4.5 mm from the original iPhone.
But there is at least one component, even the best engineer can’t shrink — the headphone jack. And so, in an effort to make the next iPhone thinner than ever, Apple is reportedly planning on ditching it altogether.
Sure, in doing so, Apple risks upsetting millions of iPhone users that have invested in a pair of wired headphones, but this isn’t the first time Apple’s tested its vaunted brand loyalty.
Back in 2012, the company phased out its 30-pin cable in lieu of the more technologically advanced and space efficient Lightning port. In one sweeping motion, Apple effectively crippled the iPhone’s ability to work with hundreds of accessories that relied on the 9-year-old connector.
It was a painful transition process, but not one without merit. The new Lightning port brought with it faster charging times and data transfer speeds, and the ability to dock new iPhones and iPads to external monitors.
In 2016, another painful technological shift is upon us, and this time around, it’s all about space.
Universally, the standard size for any headphone port is 3.5mm. Barring some engineering miracle, if you add that to the millimeter or two taken up by the phone’s display and frame, you’ll hit the physical limits of a phone’s thinness. By removing the headphone jack altogether, Apple is removing this limitation, and freeing up a considerable amount of space in the process.
More space means more room for other features that previously weren’t possible. Maybe dual front facing speakers, an additional (or better) camera module, or perhaps, and more likely, a larger, longer lasting battery.
But how then will users listen to music?
According to the Internet rumor mill, Apple is working on cordless earbuds that resemble ear plugs. These wireless buds will let you listen to music while untethered from your phone, and will come with built-in microphones so you can speak commands to Siri.
While wireless earbuds are cool and all, don’t count wired headphones out just yet. Among its many talents, Apple’s superstar Lightning port is also capable of carrying audio signals, meaning it can also function as a headphone jack. In fact, you can already buy Lightning port headphones for $300 on Amazon (see the Philips M2L/27). To appease critics, it also isn’t far fetched that Apple may also offer, for a fee, a Lightning port to headphone jack adapter or its own lightning port headphones. Whatever the case, we wouldn’t bother breaking a sweat.
Just like the time Apple removed the Ethernet port and CD-ROM drive from its MacBook line of laptops, just like the time it phased out FireWire from the iPod and the 30-pin port from the iPhone, we expect users to grumble under their breath and live with it until the day they realized Apple was right all along, just ahead of its time.
With reporting from Nico Baguio
[irp posts=”4420″ name=”Apple iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus unveiled; no headphone jack, but waterproofing and dual cameras are a yes”]
4 simple ways to improve battery life on your smartphone
You don’t need a power bank for this one
Owning a smartphone has been a need for a lot of people over the past few years — not just for calling and texting your family and friends, but also helping you book a ride or take pictures. It’s essential that your phone is up and running at all times.
But, let’s say the night is still young and your phone’s battery is close to empty, say, around 25 percent left. You or your friends don’t have an available power bank, and there are no charging outlets in sight. You still need your phone to book an Uber or call your parents to tell them how you’re holding up. Say no more, because here are some tips on how you can make your phone last longer.
Force-close your apps
Let’s say you opened a ton of apps over the course of the day, and you kept them idle while using other apps in the process. Having a ton of idle apps open drains your battery despite just being in the background. Your phone is still using power from the battery to refresh your apps in the background, apart from delivering notifications from these apps.
While smartphones have been getting better at managing battery drain from these apps, what you can do is to simply force-close your unused apps. Android smartphones have a built-in feature wherein you can see all the recently accessed apps and regulate their usage. For iPhone users, simply access the Multitasking feature and close your unused apps and turn off the “Background App Refresh” setting.
Turn down your phone’s brightness and screen timeout
Another feature that eats up your phone’s battery is your screen’s brightness. By default, your phone would have the brightness set to automatic, but if you want to see all the colors in full bloom, you would turn the brightness up.
But, for cases wherein your battery is already low, it is advisable to turn it down to conserve energy. Also, you can turn down the screen timeout settings on your phone to the quickest time. The shorter time your phone’s screen is on, paired with low brightness settings, the more your battery conserves energy.
Turn off some phone features when not in use
Apart from idle apps open in the background, your phone also has main processes and features running. Functions such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, cellular data, location services, and auto-sync are normally on by default. You would want to keep these running at all times to stay connected, and obviously in case of emergencies.
However, it’s best to turn some of these features off, especially if you’re not actively using them. Of course, the easiest way of turning off your Wi-Fi and cellular services is by turning on Airplane Mode. For the rest, you have to turn them off manually through your phone’s action center. Doing so stops the background processes for the time being, saving your battery life for a while longer.
Use ultra power saving mode
Let’s say your phone is now bordering on the 10 to 15 percent mark, and you are desperate to keep your phone alive. You’ve tried all the things above but your phone’s battery is still depleting by the minute. Luckily, your phone also comes with different battery saving options accessible through its settings.
When you go to your Settings menu, enter Battery options and you’ll likely notice that your phone has both a power saving mode and an ultra power saving mode. If you want to keep your phone on for as long as possible, turn ultra power saving mode on for good measure. While on ultra power saving mode, you only have access to your calls, texts, and other necessary apps you prefer.
There are other ways to improve battery life, but these are the easiest, most accessible ways to do so. Let’s hope your phone had enough power left to scroll through this article!
Mate 20 series offers a solid lineup: Weekend Rewind
There’s a Mate 20 for everyone!
Here are this week’s top stories on GadgetMatch.
1. Huawei offers plenty of things with their Mate 20 Series
Huawei could very well fill up this week’s entire rewind with the whole Mate 20 series. In total, they released four new smartphones along with two wearables during their event in London. Here’s all of them.
These were the devices most of us expected to see. The Mate 20 Pro is probably the most feature-packed phone of 2018. They brought in everything that was good with the P20 Pro and added a few wait-hold-up-did-it-really-do-that features like reverse wireless charging.
Watch the Mate 20 Pro Hands-on…
And our Mate 20 Unboxing while you’re here.
Porsche Design Mate 20 RS
If you have an excessive amount of money to spend (please give us some), you can opt for the more luxurious Mate 20 RS. It has all the bells and whistles of the Mate 20 Pro but with the leatherback Porsche Design. It’ll come in two colors: Black in select markets and in a limited edition Red in China.
Mate 20 X
This was announced as Huawei’s one more big thing. Big, it truly is. Coming with a massive 7.2-inch display, the Mate 20 X is being marketed as a gaming smartphone. It even pairs with a gamepad for that ultimate gaming experience.
Huawei Watch GT and Band Pro 3
These two wearables mostly flew under the radar but they are still worth taking note of. The Huawei Watch GT, while waterproof and equipped with fitness features, is the more lifestyle model thanks to its design. The Huawei Band Pro 3 is the more straightforward health tracker and something you probably shouldn’t wear at formal gatherings.
I could do this all day.😎 pic.twitter.com/GRAF4jPMZt
— Mi (@xiaomi) October 18, 2018
2. Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 getting hype ahead of launch
In case you haven’t been keeping up, there’s already a handful of smartphones released in October and there’s a handful more coming. One of them is Xiaomi’s Mi Mix 3 which is slated for an October 25 launch and is rumored to have a whopping 10GB of RAM and 5G connectivity.
Xiaomi also released a teaser showcasing the device’s sliding camera feature.
3. Palm breaking trend of bigger phones
Tired of phones getting bigger and bigger? Palm came back this week and offered a different approach with the Palm phone. It’s not exactly a standalone smartphone and is really meant to be more of a Robin to the Batman which is your daily driver. At this point, we’re not sure how useful it’ll be but if you’re curious, it’s priced at US$ 349.
4. OnePlus 6T moves launch date
Speaking of more phones coming, the OnePlus 6T, which was reported to come with a smaller notch, an in-display fingerprint scanner along with the usual performance we’ve come to expect from the company, was forced to move its launch to October 29 with OnePlus CEO and founder Pete Lau saying they want “to make sure it gets the time and attention it deserves.”
Why wouldn’t it get the attention during its initial launch date? Well, it’s because of this next news item.
5. Apple wants to end October with a bang
Whether intentional or not, looks like Apple isn’t done announcing things and they want to be the one to cap off October with their own launch event. After announcing the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR, the company is expected to unveil a new iPad Pro with Face ID, and possibly a low-cost MacBook or MacBook Air as reported by Bloomberg.
Weekend Rewind is our roundup of top news and features you might have missed for the week. We know the world of technology can be overwhelming and not everyone has the time to get up to speed with everything — and that includes us. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the rewind.
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