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October 24 2021 6:36 AM ˚

The industry takes us wherever it wants to

Phone & Jack (JCE)
“For many users, it is going to be hard to get used to (audio output jacks’) absence, though in the end we will all certainly adapt and live on happily,” writes Jordan News columnist Jean-Claude Elias. (Photo: Flickr)
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In the realm of technology, continuous change is one thing, and the disappearance of devices and products we’ve grown accustomed to and like is another. Both, however, are clear signs that the industry takes us wherever it wants to, wherever it decides to go, whether we like it or not. And though the change often constitutes an improvement indeed, a step towards better, more reliable, more convenient, or faster, it is not always the case.اضافة اعلان

Without going far back into the history of high-tech changes and reminiscing about all the devices that now belong in the graveyard off technology, perhaps the most obvious such disappearance is that of the CD-DVD optical player in computers. Initiated about five years ago, the initiative has now virtually come to a conclusion — computers, laptops more particularly, come without an optical player.

The players were used to install software from CD-DVD media, and to playback music and videos. Now software is installed either through networking or various USB storage devices, and music and videos are enjoyed through streaming, which also depends on networks. Who then needs an optical player?

Thanks to their functionality and power, high-end smartphones are often used as portable, mobile computers. Recently, two features seem to be removed from the new models: the audio output jack and the additional micro-SD memory card.

One such model is Samsung’s top of the line Galaxy S21. For many users, it is going to be hard to get used to their absence, though in the end we will all certainly adapt and live on happily.

Given the global use of wireless Bluetooth headphones and connectivity to most audio systems, the industry must have decided that an audio jack to connect cabled headphones would be redundant. It may make sense at first sight, but it is also making useless all wired headphones and headsets already in use — a waste, in other words.

Moreover, the audio output jack was very handy and often used to test traditional amplifiers and audio systems, to see if they are working correctly. You would simply connect a stereo cable from the phone to the amp. Without the jack this will be impossible from now on.

The removal of the additional micro-SD card memory is going to be even more difficult to accept. Whereas the internal memory fitted in smartphones is enough to keep messages, chat streams, and photos one has taken, the micro-SD card is very convenient for all those who keep large collections of music and photos on their devices. The additional memory cards are less expensive and usually bigger than the phones’ internal memory, and they also can be easily removed for making backup copies or external safekeeping when you need to take your smartphone for servicing and do not want to leave your personal photos on it.

If you dare to ask: “Where do you want me to store my personal, large photos and music collections now?” the industry gurus’ answer will be: “On the cloud, via wireless networking.” Of course! The cloud, the network: the answer for everything we do! Just don’t ask what would happen if the network were to be down.

True, the network is rarely down, but it is sometimes, and when this happens we’re completely lost; even if it is only for a few hours, the situation becomes unbearable. Didn’t we just experience it last Monday with the WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram outage? Again, we just adapt.


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