The iPhone 7 might not have the usual headphone jack!

Apple’s quest for ever-thinner, ever-smarter devices may produce another casualty: your iPhone’s headphone jack. A rumor at MacOtakara claims that the next iPhone might drop the 3.5mm port and use the Lightning port for audio instead. The move would let Apple slim its phone even further (reportedly, over 1mm thinner than the iPhone 6s) and take advantage of Lightning’s features, such as headphone-based DACs and app launching. You’d have to use an adapter for any conventional wired headphones, or else make the leap to Bluetooth.
You’ll want to take this rumor with a big grain of salt. MacOtakara doesn’t have the greatest track record, and a lot could change in the 10 months between now and the future iPhone’s possible launch in September next year. We’d add that such a change-up might be a little beyond the pale — only a handful of companies make Lightning-based headphones, and there’s no guarantee that others will bend over backwards to join them.

With that said, there is precedent for moves like this. A few Chinese vendors already make super-thin smartphones that drop the headphone jack in favor of USB sound. Apple would just be expanding on that concept by giving you features that aren’t possible with a simple USB audio passthrough.


Google+ gets a makeover, focuses on Collections and Communities!


Google is rolling out an updated design for the web and mobile versions of Google+. Starting today, users on the web will be prompted to switch to the new design if they wish.

The new design focuses more on the Collections and Communities features of the service. Collections is, well, a collection of posts matching a certain interest, such as photography. Community is where people can form a community based around an interest for like minded people to share and communicate in.

No new features have been added, but with the new design Google is putting more focus on these features by giving them a prime location in the new side menu.

Google is also redesigning its G+ app across platforms. Following the website redesign roll-out, Google will also be updating the Android and iOS apps with the same design.

The web redesign is now rolling out. Look out for the option to switch to the new UI. You will be able to go back to the older design if you wish as the new site doesn’t have all the existing features at the moment.

Apple adds a Black Ribbon to French Homepage, Google does the same for Beirut and Paris!

Apple has acknowledged the recent terrorism attacks in Paris with a commemorative ribbon on the Apple France homepage, The black ribbon is a sign of remembrance and mourning; Google has also added the symbol to its homepage in response to the attacks.

In addition, Apple has been contacting affected employees in French Apple retail stores to check they are safe.

Here’s Google’s Ribbon on Lebanon( and France( Homepages:

Google Black Ribbon Beirut Google Black Ribbon France

Google has made calls to France via its Hangouts service temporarily free. Callers can use the Hangouts app on Android, iOS, and the web to place calls to the country without incurring the normal international charges. The Google+ post making the announcement did not specify any particular countries, so presumably free calls are available from any location where Hangouts can be used. It’s not clear if Google Voice users are also being given free calls.

Note that Skype has joined the team also with free calls to France.

Facebook explains why it enabled Safety Check for Paris but not other recent attacks

  In the immediate aftermath of the Paris attacks on Friday, many with loved ones living in the city received a new type of notification from Facebook. The social network activated a relatively new tool called Safety Check for the attacks, letting people in Paris easily tell their friends and that they were safe.
While the feature has been helpful for many, some pointed to its use in Paris but not for other recent attacks — like a twin suicide bombing that killed over 40 in Beiruit on Thursday — as yet another example of western bias that apparently values certain lives more than others.

On Saturday, Facebook saw fit to respond to those accusations in a blog post written by the company’s vice president of growth, Alex Schultz. In it, Schultz notes that this is the first time the company has enabled Safety Check for anything other than a natural disaster, events which the tool was originally designed for when it was released last year.

Like a natural disaster, he notes, during the attacks “Facebook became a place where people were sharing information and looking to understand the condition of their loved ones.” After discussing with Facebook employees on the ground, the company decided it was a good idea to turn on Safety Check. “There has to be a first time for trying something new, even in complex and sensitive times, and for us that was Paris.”

Now that Facebook has set a precedent for using Safety Check for terrorism and other violent events, it will need to figure out when and where to use the feature. From Schultz’s comments, it’s not clear if the team would have enabled it for Beruit. He includes the Lebanese city among “other parts of the world, where violence is more common and terrible things happen with distressing frequency. ” And he notes that “During an ongoing crisis, like war or epidemic, Safety Check in its current form is not that useful for people: because there isn’t a clear start or end point and, unfortunately, it’s impossible to know when someone is truly ‘safe.'”

That said, Schultz writes that “We want this tool to be available whenever and wherever it can help,” adding, “We will learn a lot from feedback on this launch.”