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10 Iconic iPhone Features That No Longer Exist (Part I)

The Iphone. It’s an iconic device often credited with the birth of the modern touchscreen smartphone in 2007. Apple has seen many incarnations in recent years, with features that come and go, but there are iconic iPhone features that no longer exist. less.

Iconic iPhone features that no longer exist

Skeuomorphism

  • First appeared: 2007, iPhone OS 1
  • Last appeared: 2012, iOS 6

Sir Jony Ive’s Skeuomorphism iOS interface defined the early years of the iPhone, with literal icons for just about everything providing a unique, and sometimes confusing, aesthetic.

Quickly became a favorite of many Apple fans, and when Apple drastically revised the appearance of its interface with iOS 7 in 2013, there was an uproar from media and fans alike.

However, as with most changes in the world of technology, skeuomorphism was forgotten after about a year, and the new look of iOS was adopted as the norm of the iPhone.

30 pin connector

  • First appeared: 2007, original iPhone
  • Last appeared: 2011, iPhone 4S

While the original iPhone had this connection, it was not new to Apple’s first phone. The 30-pin connector, which comes from the iPod range of the company will long live in memory for anyone who bought any form of iPhone or iPod or stereo in the early 2000s.

The dock allowed for easy docking for your iPhone (or iPod), allowing you to stand up with a strong base. However, also it was a wide harbor and took up a lot of valuable space in the limited form factor of a smartphone.

So it came as no surprise when Apple introduced us to Lightning, its answer to microUSB, which offers the ability for the user to insert a cable in either direction, a feature that USB-C mimicked a few years later.

However, while the Lightning had many advantages over the 30-pin port, its slimmer shape meant it was more delicate, which in turn led to the death of dockable speakers and other accessories.

Plastic bodies

  • First Appeared: 2007, Original iPhone
  • Last appeared: 2013, iPhone 5C

Plastic is cheap, lightweight, and highly moldable, making it a fantastic material for smartphones and, as hard as it is to believe in today’s glass world, iPhones used it extensively.

The back of the Original iPhone was about a fifth of plasticwhile both the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS had fully embraced plastic bodies.

Plastic (or polycarbonate, to be more exact) made a comeback with the iPhone 5C in 2013, but that was the last time it was used, and Apple chose not to reboot the ‘C’ variant of its phones.

Game Center app

  • First appeared: 2010, iOS 4.1.
  • First appeared: 2015, iOS 9.

The launch of iOS 4 brought a host of new features for Apple’s mobile operating system, and one of them was Game Center (which actually came with the 4.1 update).

The Game Center app was removed for the operating system with the iOS 10 update; however, the functionality is still alive. If you head to Settings on your iPhone and scroll down, you’ll notice that Game Center is still an option.

Aluminum bodies

  • First appeared: 2007, original iPhone
  • Last appeared: 2016, iPhone 7 and 7 Plus

The first iPhone featured a mostly aluminum back, but it wasn’t until the iPhone 5 in 2012 that Apple successfully embraced metal as your material of choice for iPhones.

It was tough and more importantly a premium look, helping to give iPhones the exclusive style that made them one of the most desirable consumer products. However, the mobile market changed and glass became the newest item.

Apple didn’t embrace the glass finish to begin with, but it finally appeared in 2017 with the introduction of the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and iPhone X.

Headphone jack

  • First Appeared: 2007, Original iPhone
  • Last appeared: 2016, iPhone 6S and 6S Plus

Potentially the most controversial feature removal by Apple (although the 30-pin switch to Lightning caused a lot of annoyance at the time) is the removal of the headphone jack from the iPhone range.

It was rumored for months in preparation for the launch of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, and a handful of Android phones had already taken the plunge without causing a stir.

Yet when Apple dropped the connector in 2017, the world sat up and took notice, and while for some the decision remains a cardinal sin even today, Apple and the majority of the Android market have now reached a consensus that it’s time to get away from the trusted 3.5mm connection.