More than most other tech companies, Apple looks to the future. The company has always been laser-focused on what comes next and what useful new innovations it can work into its latest and greatest products. That’s great when it means we get exciting new devices like the iPhone and iPad. It’s less thrilling when it leads Apple to kill off technologies many customers use every day.
Time and again, Apple has proven that it doesn’t want to hang onto the past. When it’s ready to move on, it does, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Here are some of the most important technologies Apple killed before many of us were ready to say goodbye.
1. Headphone jack
When Apple announced the iPhone 7, you didn’t hear many people talking about its new features, like water resistance and stereo speakers. Mostly, people were hung up on one feature it didn’t have: a headphone jack. The 3.5mm audio port has been in use for nearly 50 years, and now it’s nowhere to be found on the latest iPhone. Instead, Apple includes headphones that plug right into the iPhone’s Lightning port — which has the unfortunate effect of making people choose which is more important: charging their phone or using headphones.
According to Apple’s thinking, wireless headphones are the way of the future, so why should precious real estate be wasted on a dedicated jack? But for many people, a headphone jack is still the most convenient way to listen to music. That you can charge your phone at the same time is an added bonus.
2. Traditional USB port
With the launch of the Retina MacBook in 2015, Apple ditched the traditional USB port in favor of a USB-C port. It’s easy to see why. USB-C is better than the traditional USB port: It can be much faster (if it’s sporting Thunderbolt 3) and it’s easier to use. It’s clear USB-C is the port of the future, but USB-C devices were hardly widespread when Apple went all-in.
That means people can’t connect the USB devices they already own to their new MacBooks without using a series of adapters. And, as with all Apple devices, the adapters Apple sells are pricier than the competition. That wouldn’t be a problem, except that some third-party adapters can actually damage your computer. Couldn’t Apple have left at least one traditional USB port on its new machines to help ease the transition?
3. SD card slot
If you take photos using a dedicated digital camera, you probably use your SD card slot often. It’s by far the easiest way to transfer photos from your camera to your computer. If you buy a new MacBook or MacBook Pro — or any other Apple computer going forward, presumably — you’ll need an SD card adapter. That’s because, once again, Apple considers USB-C the only port worth including on its new computers.
Another painful omission from new MacBooks is the Magsafe port. This handy port, which had been included on MacBooks since 2006, used a magnet to secure the power cord to your machine. That way, if someone tripped over the power cord, the cord would simply disconnect with no harm done. The person wouldn’t trip, and your MacBook wouldn’t be pulled to the ground. It was one of the smartest pieces of tech on the whole machine.
But seeing as you can power a machine through any USB-C port, Apple has now decided the age of MagSafe is over. Word to the wise: Don’t trip over your power cord.
5. 30-pin connector
Remember that thing on the left? For years, the 30-pin connector was synonymous with iPods, iPhones, and iPads. Then in 2012, without warning, Apple chucked it to the curb in favor of another proprietary port called the Lightning connector. Lightning is a smaller port, sure, but without an adapter, you can no longer connect your iOS device to any of the pricy speakers or charging stations you might have bought in the days of the 30-pin connector. Once again, it’s clear that time and Apple wait for no one.
6. CD drive
The MacBook Air was a revolutionary laptop when Apple first unveiled it in 2008. It was so much thinner and lighter than competing laptops that it was an obvious choice for anyone who needed a portable computer.
One reason Apple was able to make it so thin was because it ditched the optical CD drive. In an era when all software is downloadable, that’s not such a big deal. But at the time, it was a bold move that irked many loyal customers.
7. Floppy drive
The CD drive wasn’t the first popular drive Apple nixed before it had fully run its course. In 1998, plenty of people still relied on floppy discs to store their data. That obviously didn’t bother Apple, a company whose colorful new iMac was the first major computer to go all-in on CDs.
Sure, you could still buy an external floppy drive if you couldn’t live without one. But Apple saw that CDs were better, and embraced the optical drive without looking back.