It’s Official: iPhone 7 to Have No Headphone Jack

Schiller QuaintEver since it rolled out the first Macintosh computer over 30 years ago, Apple has been on a mission to make products that are smaller, sleeker, and minimized. That ethos has played out over and over again thru the years. The first iMacs had no floppy disk drives. Then, Apple stopped installing optical drives into its desktop and laptop machines. Now, in the modern age of the iDevice, this practice is repeated with Apple designing phones and tablets that are increasingly thinner and lighter. It was pretty obvious this trend wasn’t going to stop anytime soon. And while it seemed Apple couldn’t possibly make these devices any smaller, they still found a way.

Rumors began circulating earlier this year that the iPhone 7, the latest edition of Apple’s wildly popular smartphone, would ship without an analog headphone jack. And those rumors were confirmed today during an Apple event that announced the iPhone 7. Apple’s Phil Schiller made his case for a bold, wireless future by rolling out a quaint image of an old-timey switchboard operator that was meant to enforce the analog headphone port’s origins in old technology. Indeed,  Apple is all about the future. The bright, shiny (and most importantly), wireless future.

Thanks to a proliferation of audio/video apps and accessories for iOS, these devices have become invaluable tools for many podcast producers. And while the death of the headphone port may be discouraging, it’s not the absolute end of the world. Apple will provide an analog adapter that’ll plug into the Lightning connector, allowing users to connect headphones and other analog-driven devices. It’s also a good bet that a whole new line of third-party products will hit the market to service those who’ve been abandoned by the headphone port’s disappearance.

Of course, another alternative would be to just hang onto older devices instead of trading them in right away for the iPhone 7. But just like that telephone operator, I know this is also a quaint notion for most modern technology users.

Skype “Retiring” Older Versions

Skype LogoI received an e-mail today from Skype that read:

“We are now retiring older versions of Skype and it appears that you’re currently using one of these. To continue signing into Skype on your mobile or tablet, you’ll need to download the latest version. The new version comes with improved performance, the latest features and security updates, so you’ll get the best possible Skype experience.”

I hadn’t ever received an e-mail like this before from Skype. And usually, when iOS apps are updated, the process is pretty much automatic thru the App Store. I decided to investigate further. I launched iTunes and looked at apps I’d already downloaded. I saw that the Skype for iPad app (the only version I’m currently using) didn’t indicate an update was available. I looked at the listing for the Skype iPhone app in the App Store and saw that there was a new version of that app released earlier this month. I’m assuming that I received the e-mail because I had downloaded Skype for iPhone in the past, but I no longer own an iPhone, and I guess Skype somehow knew that I hadn’t downloaded the latest version of the iPhone app, and that’s what triggered the e-mail.

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Bossjock Demonstrates “Frankenskype” For Mobile Podcasting

Bossjock LogoBossjock Studio, developers of the popular Bossjock podcast-production app for iOS have released a demo of a mobile podcast production setup they call “Frankenskype.”

There are two topics of discussion that come up frequently on podcasting-centric forums: 1.) How to record Skype calls. 2.) How to produce mobile recordings. It looks like Bossjock  tried to solve both of these problems by bringing Frankenskype to life. To elaborate, Frankenskype isn’t a product so much as it’s a technique for using battery-powered mobile gear to record both ends of a Skype call into the Bossjock app.

The demo uses an iPhone, an iPad  and the 9-volt powered ART USB Dual Pre along with an Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit. Frankenskype breaks down like this:

  • * Camera Connection Kit plugged into iPad.
  • * USB Dual Pre plugged into Camera Connect Kit.
  • * Analog microphone (the demo uses an ATR2100, but almost any mic will work) using an XLR cable plugged into one input of the Dual Pre.
  • * Audio cable from the iPhone’s headphone jack connected to the other input of the USB Dual Pre.
  • * USB cable from the Dual Pre connected to the Camera Connection Kit on the iPad.

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