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The iPhone 7’s missing headphone jack has turned out just fine

Apple has finally shipped a new iPhone without a “-gate.”

Apple Holds Press Event To Introduce New iPhone
Apple’s Phil Schiller with dongle
Stephen Lam / Getty

Remember when Apple’s decision to ship the iPhone 7 without a standard headphone jack was a big controversy?

After three weeks with the new device, I can relay that life with the jack-free iPhone 7 Plus is totally fine! Any potential rebellion among would-be buyers appears to have been abandoned.

After near-annual drama around faulty antennas, lame maps, bent phones, and other maladies, Apple seems to have finally shipped a new iPhone without an immediately ensuing, sensationalized “-gate.”

Listening to music or talking on the phone — via two different pairs of wired earphones, via the included adapter — has been a non-issue. The inability to easily charge while listening is a mild annoyance, but not close to being a deal-breaker. People are adjusting to living with dongles, or going Bluetooth, or however they’re coping. And I’m even looking forward to trying Apple’s new wireless AirPods when they launch later this month.

I wouldn’t even put the headphone situation in my top gripes about the iPhone 7/iOS 10 era.

Those would be:

  • Battery life, promised to be better, seems worse. I haven’t gone through any scientific attempts to prove this — maybe this unpleasant Trump situation has made me even more glued to Twitter than usual. Maybe there’s some iOS 10 optimization that needs to happen in a software update. But I’ve found myself running lower, earlier, than I remember with either the iPhone 6 Plus or iPhone 6S Plus on previous versions of iOS. I feel newly less confident in my phone’s battery.
  • The iOS 10 Mail app is harder to use. Apple redesigned how conversations are organized, and now they’re upside-down and it’s confusing. I think it was designed to make things easier, but it’s taking a while to learn the new system. (And, it seems, different from on the Mac?) Also, there are sometimes “Loading...” placeholders when the messages should be quickly accessible from my phone’s cache. Maybe this is another doesn’t-play-nice-with-Gmail episode, or a suburban-California-Apple-doesn’t-test-software-on-the-subway situation, but it’s been frustrating a few times when I needed to find information fast.

Everything else is okay or great. The new iPhone 7 Plus camera takes incredible photos and videos, especially in low-light settings. The new home button is fine. The touch target for the brightness slider in the new control panel is too small and works poorly. I haven’t dropped my newly water resistant phone in a toilet yet. The jet black finish is gorgeous, and no major scratches yet. It’s an iPhone!

Read this next: Mossberg: Why does Siri seem so dumb?

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