Apple Still Hasn't Fixed the iPhone's Biggest Problem

Apple is well-versed in the whiz-bang unveiling of flashy new iPhone features, and this time around was no exception. But while the iPhone 7's Home buttonwater resistance, and updated cameras are certainly impressive, Apple failed to deliver the one thing we actually need: a battery that doesn't drain in less than a day.

apple 7 backup battery case

Apple improved battery life, but it's not enough

Apple made a big deal during the announcement over how this new model will bring a meaningful improvement to battery life. The iPhone 7's battery is only slightly larger -- 14% bigger than the one in the 6S, and just 5% bigger that the one in the 6 Plus. According to Apple's SVP of Worldwide Marketing, it's actually the phone's new A10 Fusion chip -- a super-efficient processor that makes the phone faster than ever -- that will extend the time between charges.

By how much, exactly? Realistically it only gives you two additional hours of life compared to the 6S, and just one more hour than the 6S Plus. Apple then had the audacity to quietly acknowledge that its battery is still woefully inadequate -- by updating its web store with a brand new $100 iPhone 7 backup battery case. That's low, bro.

Wasn't the point of removing the headphone jack to make space for a bigger battery?

When the rumor spread that Apple was shipping out the iPhone 7 without a headphone jack, our naive assumption was that it was to free up space for a bigger, better battery. Turns out, axing the jack instead made space for other things like a newly engineered Home button and advanced camera components. Don't get me wrong, the cameras are incredible. Even still, taking away a cardinal feature like the headphone jack is an extreme inconvenience to many consumers, and introducing a pair of extremely expensive "AirPods" that we'll immediately lose doesn't make up for it. What would really make this whole headphone jack hubbub worth it? If Apple had taken the opportunity to reward consumers with a truly meaningful, practical improvement.

Apple continues to give us features we don't really need 

The age-old art of distraction has enabled Apple to get away with this for years. They make a to-do over some fun new feature no one was asking for (3D Touch, Live Photos, louder speakers) in hopes that the customers who're forced to keep a backup power source at the ready don't notice that they totally skimmed over the iPhone's biggest problem.

True, a slick video narrated by Jony Ive announcing that you've finally addressed a glaring, embarrassing issue wouldn't be a great look at the Apple event. A sexy new dual-lens camera, on the other hand, is definitely cool enough to wrangle in new consumers. Still, it's evident that plenty of existing iPhone owners are beginning to doubt their loyalty to a brand that refuses to fix their biggest gripe, and considering sales were down last year for the first time ever, Apple would be wise to keep them happy. 

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Joe McGauley is a senior writer for Thrillist who hasn't made it through a day without a recharge since 2014.