First-world problem: no headphone jack on my iPhone

March 28, 2019 — by Isaac Le

With the release of the iPhone 7 in 2016, many customers, including me, were outraged with the removal of the headphone jack.

Apple decided to remove the headphone jack from its phones in order to make the phone completely waterproof. This waterproofing is, of course, beneficial for accident-prone iPhone users. But it also means I had to carry a dongle — an adapter that connects the headphone jack to the lightning port — everywhere with me.

In addition, Apple decided to remove the headphone jack in order to make space for a full-screen phone. I guess this little 3.5mm hole took up just a little too much space.

I recently received a new iPhone XS for Christmas, and I was still puzzled by the lack of headphone jack. I was not too worried at first, but soon enough, problems started to arise. After completing a large load of English homework, I decided to relax and watch my daily dose of Mr. Beast on YouTube. However, my phone was low on battery, so I plugged it in to charge, yet immediately found I could not listen to my video while charging my phone simultaneously.

And the problems did not end there. One day after school, shortly after my father picked me up, I decided it was a good time to listen to my Spotify playlist. Unfortunately, I couldn’t. I had forgotten my dongle  at home, and I could not plug my AUX cable into one of the speaker holes.

Luckily, Apple has created a solution to these problems (though the problems were caused by Apple in the first place): a pair of AirPods, which sell for $170. I had no choice but to give yet more money to Apple. What did I learn? No one can defeat Apple and their sneaky, ingenious ways to get you to buy more of their stuff.

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At UC Berkeley, PhD student Abrar Abidi and research assistant Yvonne Hao have embarked on a goal of creating hand sanitizer for the Bay Area's most vulnerable populations, including the homeless and the incarcerated. Their hand sanitizer includes glycerol mixed with other products, in accordance with a formula from the World Health Organization. So far, they are producing 120 hundreds of gallons of sanitizer each week. Photo courtesy of Roxanne Makasdjian with UC Berkeley.


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