Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
Compare cell phone plans using Wirefly's innovative plan comparison tool ×

Comment Re:There is a better Bluetooth audio option now: A (Score 1) 368

Grey markets exist for MFi chips - especially those Chinese units. Don't see the Kensington, Logitech, and other name-brand cables, do you? Just the Chinese knock-off units. Go check the Apple spec - it's not allowed. Doesn't mean you can't buy some grey market chips and build the cables, but Apple says you can't. My guess is you can't look it up because you don't have access to the MFi Developer network, and thus have to just go by your fanboidom for Apple, rather than the real facts about the Apple spec.

After you pointed that out, I did a quick check for Belkin and Logitech cables. Long story short, you appear to be correct. Those aftermarket cables on Amazon likely are made with bootleg MFi chips.

I am an embedded designer by trade, and technically a registered iOS Dev; but I haven't done any iOS stuff for quite a while, and am not really familiar with the spec you cited, since I was not developing a piece of hardware at the time.

So, bottom line: We were both partially right, and partially wrong: You CAN directly connect a USB-C equipped Mac to a Lightning equipped iOS device without going through an adapter-fest; but to do so "legally" requires the purchase of an Apple-only cable. Although I'm not sure a consumer breaks any laws by innocently purchasing and/or using a bootleg pseudo-MFi cable...

Comment Re:There is a better Bluetooth audio option now: A (Score 1) 368

Cool, go check out Apple Accessory Interface Specification revs 20-24 (that I know of, I think that includes the latest one but a new one is out pretty soon) and you'll see that it explicitly prohibits 3rd parties from doing USB-C to Lightning connectors. Apple will not allow a Lightning connector to anything other than a Micro USB Type B or full size Type A connector. Oh, and you have to follow that spec if you want to pass through Apple Certification Testing to get your Lightning chips. Doesn't surprise me that Apple bans others from doing it (via their specs and tests) and they do it themselves...

Oh, and BT certification testing is typically a 45-60 day effort. I've only done it a dozen times or so...

No, of course Apple would never allow 3rd party USB-C to Lightning cables. Afterall, it's well known that Apple made its vast fortunes selling $25 cables, while simultaneouslt denying others from doing so.

And I wasn't talking about the BT certification process, I was referring to Apple's OWN Certification and Qualification process for a new chip, regardless of what it is used for.

Comment Re:There is a better Bluetooth audio option now: A (Score 1) 368

Apple used Broadcom chips earlier, if they are doing their own - it's already in production (been taped out probably 3-4 months ago) well ahead of the spec release or approval. I would be very surprised if they did 5.0 support for the iPhone 7. Next generation? Sure - but then, everyone else will probably do the same thing as Broadcom, CSR, Qualcomm, Nordic will all have 5.0 chipsets out and in production.

And yes, OSX supports AptX which is why it is so frustrating doing headphones! With Apple, you have two different high-end CODECs to support. But then what do you expect from a company that released a USB-C only laptop and have a spec in-place (and stil there) that prohibits USB-C to Lightning cables - meaning you cannot make a cable that can directly plug your iOS device into their laptop (you must use a USB-C to Micro-USB, then a micro-USB to Lightning cable combination).

No, of course you can't have a USB-C to Lightning Cable. Apple doesn't allow that.

That's the thing: I actually check out other people's outlandish anti-Apple claims.

And your statement regarding an Apple designed-Chip being "taped-out" only 3-4 months ago is laughable. I doubt that even Apple could get evaluation/qualification units in that much time. But the fact that they bought Passif a few years ago strongly hints that they plan on moving away from Broadcom; so who cares what they are doing as far as BT 5 goes?

Comment Re:There is a better Bluetooth audio option now: A (Score 1) 368

How can I be sure? I'm working on two Bluetooth headphones right now for major consumer electronics companies - and BT 5.0 chipsets are not yet ready for use, not until Q1/Q2 of next year - and that's for sampling. So it's not going to be in the next iPhone.

Unless, of course, Apple designs their own. I agree it would not be typical for that part of the design; but Apple can and does design quite a bit of silicon.

I agree it does sound like a bit of a long shot for this iteration; but for the next one?

I don't know what the licensing for Aptx is like; but Apple DOES support it in OS X. So maybe they'll just go that route for now...

But since that is, AFAICT, just a different CODEC riding on the same ol' BT Transport and PHY layers, how much improvement would that actually even bring, especially in the power-consumption metrics?

Comment Re: This is the same guy (Score 1) 368

I make about four phone calls a month. I listen to music for about six hours a day.

Then you're still an idiot; for paying for cellphone service and a smartphone, when all you really need is an iPod Touch with a VoIP App. They have great audio. Or, since you have an irrational hatred of Apple, a Fiio with a pay as you go feature phone.

Comment Re: This is the same guy (Score 1) 368

That still leaves the many problems with Bluetooth itself and the devices. And rechargeable Li-Ion battery powered devices have a two year life max, due to chronological limit of Li-Ion batteries.

BT 5, which reportedly is what Apple will be using, aims to solve bandwidth, range, and battery life issues in one fell swoop. So, this is not going to be your father's Bluetooth quality.

And you are REALLY full of shit regarding Li-ion batteries. What you are used to is SHITTY charging circuits, that over-current the batteries in the name of fast charging. This overheats the batteries, which kills them dead. But in a properly designed device, Li-ion batteries are QUITE robust, and survive hundreds of charge cycles with negligible degradation. For example, my four year old iPad 2, which I am typing this on, gets HEAVY use on a daily basis, and if the battery capacity has dropped at all, it is not by a noticeable amount. I still get in the 12 hour plus world for surfing, emails, and posting on Slashdot,,,

Comment Re: This is the same guy (Score 1) 368

Audio quality on the 3.5mm output is a primary selection criteria for my phone

Then you're either a liar or a complete moron. It's a PHONE, stupid! I can guarantee you that the engineering team that designed your phone stuck whatever audio circuitry that fit the space and budget into that phone, and that they didn't give two shits about the quality, other than the signal was clear and undistorted.

Apple is continuing the trend of throwing common sense out in favor of style. Gotta have slimmer and slicker every year, who cares about battery life or audio quality.

In case you hadn't noticed, every phone mfg. is obsessed with anorexic phones. It is definitely not just an "Apple thing".

And I'm a fairly critical listener, and even pumped through my stereo at home, my iPhone 6+ sounds great; so, I call "Bullshit" on your Bullshit. And although Apple Music streaming is only 128k AAC, THE "AAC" part makes it equivalent to about 192k MP3; or IOW, quite listenable.

Comment Re:This is the same guy (Score 1) 368

Wait, why would they bundle bt5 earbuds with the new iphone and then start shipping phones with bt5? surely you'd do both at once, unless that's what you meant and the wording threw me off.

Yes, that's what I meant. Sorry if I wasn't clear.

Just because apple do something doesn't mean every single other player will do the same.

At first, you might be right; but the major Android OEMs would most almost certainly follow suit almost immediately, and that would drag most, if not all, of the other OEMs along, too. Then at some point within the nextt 5 years, you will have to choose between a REALLY off-brand Android phone, or one without a 3.5mm jack. Of that I am relatively certain.

Comment Re:There is a better Bluetooth audio option now: A (Score 1) 368

BT 5 is still not released as a spec. Expect hardware to follow in Q1 or Q2 next year (meaning not the iPhone 7). And to the best of my knowledge it requires a different chipset as the bandwidth through the modem is 4 times as high. Existing BT sets won't support BT 5 protocols. So in this case - the iPhone 7 will be crippled on an older protocol, without any clean way - short of a dongle - to use literally billions of existing headphones.

According to the Bluetooth Technology site, BT 5 is due to be released as a spec "in late 2016 to early 2017." So obviously, they are pretty far along in the "Draft" process.

So, how can you be sure that this won't be like the 802.11n WiFi spec; where GOBS of devices were released based on the Draft spec, and then updated to support the finalized spec with a Firmware Update? Apple is perfectly capable of designing their own BT 5 chips based on the Draft spec, and it is doubtful that the lowest layers of the BT 5 protocol will change much, if at all, at this late date.

And if Apple includes their BT 5 earbuds based on the Draft spec, too, it at least partially answers the need for compatible BT 5 devices to use with the phone, and if the finalized BT 5 spec somehow renders the Apple earbuds incompatible (and assuming they cannot be updated themselves), Apple can continue to support their own earbuds as a variant of the BT 5 spec.

And of course, the phone would continue to support earlier versions of the BT spec, too.

So, it really doesn't matter if the last "i" hasn't been dotted and the last "t" crossed on the BT 5 spec; it is obviously far enough along that I would be shocked if Apple wasn't simply one among many who were in various stages of BT 5 product designs.

Slashdot Top Deals

"A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked." -- John Gall, _Systemantics_