Why Can't Bluetooth Just Work, And Other Gripes

In 1998, Apple removed the floppy drive from the then-new iMac, which caused some concern from die-hard floppy drive users. However, the compact disc was far superior, so as a replacement for the floppy drive, it just made sense. Plus, if a user needed to use a floppy disc, a USB drive could be purchased. Thus setting a trend to end the floppy drive. In 2008, when Apple removed the DVD drive from the MacBook Air, it was met with criticism, as CDs were still used to play movies on the go, and to install software. However, Apple had introduced movies and TV shows on the iTunes store, allowing users to download what they purchase to the computer, and software was beginning to show up as downloadable, with internet speeds increasing. There was an obvious better option than DVDs. If a user needed a DVD drive, they could use another computer and share the drive, or plug in a USB DVD drive. Thus starting a DVD-less trend. I can remember clearly in 2008 that while optical discs were still in use, it made sense to ween users off CDs as the internet was a viable option. Today, Apple introduced a laptop line with just a headphone jack and USB-C ports. USB-C is fast and versatile. It was a good move. Now, while these laptops still have the headphone jack, Apple's phones do not. They claim Bluetooth is a better option. Even if it isn't, you can plug in an adapter and use the old fashioned headphones. Here's the problem: Bluetooth sucks.

Unless you have Airpods, pairing with Bluetooth is still an abysmal process. No matter the device, be it a car, headphones, remote controls, it's all terrible. Take a car pairing process: most cars require the car be in the park gear, or at least not moving, to start pairing to a phone. It takes a good ten seconds before the phone is connected to the car, and that's so long as the Bluetooth gremlins stay away. When they show up, sometimes the car will just refuse to connect. Do you know how long it takes to plug in a headphone jack from the car to the phone? Less than a second. Now, I have a Galaxy Note8, and I still prefer Bluetooth over the aux jack simply because the audio quality is better, and when Bluetooth works, Bluetooth is more convenient. But if my success rate with Bluetooth is only 3/4 of the time, that's not good enough.

Okay, so forget Bluetooth. I'll just use an adapter. But wait, I also need to charge my phone! No problem, that adapter is $40. So in addition to spending at least $749 on a phone, I also need to spend a good $50 on a good case, $9 on a headphone adapter, and $40 to make sure that if I need to charge my device AND plug in headphones, I can do so. That's a lot of money. And it's not just Apple that's guilty of this. The Galaxy 9 devices across the board are far too expensive, but at least they still have a headphone jack. However, the time will come, I'm sure, where Samsung ditches the headphone jack I get it, it takes up a lot of space in a phone, blah blah blah, we just have to get rid of it. Okay, fine, then put two USB-C ports on the damn phone. Why is this so hard to understand? I understand Apple makes a lot of money on cables and dongles and making sure that all the accessories third-party manufacturers make pay license fees to use the Lightning port, but two ports on a phone will simply make things easier for the consumer. That's what it's all about, right?

TL;DR, Bluetooth sucks, phone manufacturers suck. For the love of all that is holy, it is 2019. Make Bluetooth work properly. And while we're at it:

  • Make virtual assistants just understand what I'm talking about. I shouldn't have to memorize the correct way to ask a question. 
  • Make streaming services streamlined. If I were to subscribe to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, CBS All Access, whatever the Disney+ will cost, FX Now, HBO Now, YouTube Premium, and all the upcoming streaming services for all the production companies, it would be more cost-effective to just stick with cable. We've already seen the demise of Seeso, Go90, and other services. Doesn't this send any sort of message?
  • How about instead of making phones thinner, we put larger batteries in them, because that seems to make sense to me.
Technology, can you just get better?


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