As Regards Circles and Jerks

Daring Fireball, in linking to Google's Jony Ive-lampooning ad about having a headphone jack in the new Pixel 5a with 5G:

As of next month, 40 percent of all iPhone model years will have been headphone-jack-free. This feels about as relevant as mocking the original iMac for not having a floppy drive.

This makes a lot more sense if you strike out "relevant" and scribble in "timely". Even so, clearly, the practical implications makes it difficult for the world to "move on" from what would otherwise just have been an imfamously bad look for a PR department.

The reason the ad is resonating with people is because we all either know people who are affected, or are ourselves affected, by the headphone jack's removal. The comments are full of people who are happy to have a headphone jack, and who are happy that the Pixel is made by a company that can make fun of itself as it's reversing a past decision; Apple removing a jack is one thing, but the entire industry being dragged along with it is another, and came with its own fallout.

As previously featured, I recently got a pair of AirPods Pro and have been using them for the six weeks or so. (That review may have started on an odd note because I'm not all that fucking important, but I really just wanted to explain what I was doing and why. I had a strong opinion going in, but I still wanted to let the product unfold in actual use, the way I tried to see the good in the Touch Bar; my life would be a whole lot easier if the pixie dust had checked out completely and I just had to give it a try.)

Since I wrote that, I have found myself switching to wired headphones more often than I should have had to if they'd been a full-on replacement, including one conference call where people thanked me for "unwrapping the tinfoil around my microphone". All this with shipping production firmware, a mature product that has barely been used. Add to this the developing problem with the Lightning contact in my phone which causes the wired headphones to disconnect abruptly.

The point is: it still makes a difference in day to day life. Not to everyone, and not all the time, but dollars to donuts, my headphone and calling situation would be much better if this headphone jack hadn't gone away. I'm way past done having emotions on this subject. I just want something to happen that solves the issue. AirPods don't. Adapters don't. And unless the W2 chip also does voodoo and Apple doesn't like me whining about App Stores, I didn't do anything with any of my hardware to make this something that literally only happens to me.

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