Apple has launched the iPhone 7 with much grandeur at its keynote in San Francisco. While there are some notable upgrades like the Force Touch Home Button and the dual camera setup exclusive to the larger variant, the biggest talking point of the event is the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack. Considered as the current gold standard for audio, the absence of it will leave potential buyers a little frazzled. Knowing that their ‘courageous’ move could be received with a little apprehension, Apple introduced a host of accessories to help compensate for it.
The Lightning-powered EarPods and the Lightning-to-3.5mm adapter are being bundled with the smartphone, but they won’t allow users to listen to audio and charge the phone simultaneously. For this purpose, the Lightning Dock accessory will come to the rescue. It looks to give the users the capability to use the headphone jack and the Lightning port simultaneously – something that no longer exists with the iPhone 7, and an ability that will be missed by many users.
Traditionally, the Lightning port was used exclusively to charge the iPhone devices – and that’s it. With the introduction of iPhone 7, Apple wants users to use the Lightning port to charge, listen to audio, and basically be the only point of connection to accessories. This means you cannot listen to wired audio and charge the iPhone 7 at the same time.
For users who may miss this, you can find a little bit of comfort in the Lightning Dock. The accessory, thankfully, hasn’t got rid of the 3.5mm headphones jack allowing users to charge and listen to audio on their beloved old headphones or speakers simultaneously. The Lightning Dock is available in several colour-matching metallic finishes for Rs. 3,700 ($49 in the US).
The other audio accessory that Apple launched at the event was the wireless AirPods. These also allow you to charge and listen to audio side-by-side, but will set you back for a good Rs. 15,400 ($159 in the US). They will arrive in India sometime in October, and are integrated with a custom-built W1 chip. It comes with inbuilt microphones, and can offer up to 5 hours of listening on a single charge.