The missing headphone jack on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus means your current headphones are likely useless (without using an annoying adapter), but closing up that hole helps to make the new iPhones water- and dust-resistant.
For the first time, Apple has certified an iPhone as "splash, water and dust resistant." The new iPhones received an official IP67 rating. Let's break down what that means for you, your next iPhone and your next bathroom break. (After all, Super Mario is coming to the iPhone.)
Decoding IP codes
The "IP" in "IP code" stands for Ingress Protection. IP codes are standards set by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) to measure the "degrees of protection provided by enclosures for electrical equipment."
The first number in the two-digit IP code represents how well the enclosure protects against the ingress of solid objects, from hands and fingers to tiny dust particles. The solid-protection scale runs from 0 (No protection; you could lose a hand) to 6 (Protection from contact with harmful dust; I take all my calls in the attic).
The second number represents the degree to which the enclosure protects against the ingress of water, from dripping water to full immersion. The water-protection scale runs from 0 (No protection; do not use if it looks like it might rain) to 8 (Protected from immersion in water with a depth of more than 1 meter; let's go swimming!).
IP67: What the numbers mean
The IP67 rating for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus means Apple's new phones achieved the highest rating for dust protection and the second-highest rating for water protection.
The dust rating of a 6 means the phones offer "protection from contact with harmful dust." That's one step up from a 5 rating's "partial protection from contact with harmful dust."
The water rating of a 7 means the phones are "protected from immersion in water with a depth of up to 1 meter (3.2 feet) for up to 30 minutes." That's one step up from a 6 rating's "Protection from water projected in powerful jets." The highest 8 rating means the device is "protected from immersion in water with a depth of more than 1 meter."
For more, my colleague Dan Graziano explains water and dust ratings for your gadgets.
So, can I swim or poop with an iPhone 7?
Given that most, if not all, toilets feature a water depth less than 1 meter, the iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus can, in theory, survive an accidental drop in the toilet. You might even get away with dropping it in the shallow end of a pool. And you can put aside your fears of talking, texting or playing Pokemon Go in the rain.
The added water resistance is the big draw here, but the phones' protection from dust should appeal to beach goers and those who live or work in desert climates.
Despite trumpeting the new iPhones' splash- and water-resistant qualities, Apple still makes an important footnote to these claims. Read the fine print and you'll discover that Apple states, "Liquid damage not covered under warranty."
reading•The iPhone 7 offers IP67 dust and water protection. What does that mean?
Jan 19•Tim Cook: I keep my tween nephew away from social networks
Jan 19•What you need to know about free trials in the iOS App Store
Jan 19•How to recycle your old phone or electronics
Jan 19•Samsung Galaxy S9: Everything we know about the launch date, specs and price