5 redeeming qualities of the Apple AirPods
MANILA, Philippines – After their keynote last week, Apple has been taking a lot of flak for snipping the iconic white wires from their EarPods and removing the 3.5mm headphone jack from the latest iteration of the iPhone, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.
These were done to make room for the AirPods, Apple's first wireless earbuds, a device Apple would like to help pave the way for a wireless ecosystem. Many seem to dislike the look of the AirPods, with some referring to them as “earrings.” Wireless earbuds are also nothing new.
Removing the headphone jack exacerbates the matter because many feel coerced to purchase the AirPods at $159. Without these, iPhone 7 and 7 Plus buyers will have to settle for the wired EarPods that come packaged with the new iPhones. Using third-party alternatives will require the use of a Lightning adapter, which isn't the most elegant solution around.
So we ask: is there any good to come out from the AirPods, which will be coming out in late October? Although Apple's AirPods may seem like a bad deal to some right now, taking a step back – and maybe a deep breath – to look at the big picture will show that the AirPods indeed have redeeming qualities.
1) It promises to get rid of constantly having to pair your earphones to your device
The AirPods are designed to be always connected to your iPhone and Apple Watch – no pairing required. According to Apple, they're intelligent enough to know which device you’re using to play music, and will switch audio between devices depending on the priority of user actions and events.
With iCloud's help, the AirPods can also recognize every logged-in iOS or Mac OS device you own and connect to them when they're nearby.
2) They're supposed to work with non-Apple devices
Although some would question why anyone would use the AirPods with non-Apple devices, that the option is available stretches the device's value a little.
While the AirPods use a more a advanced W1 chip, the device is designed to automatically switch to an older Bluetooth configuration when pairing with a device that's not W1-compatible.
3) The earphones can cut the audio when you speak
AirPods know when you’re speaking through the use of a pair of detection technologies, a voice accelerometer and beamforming microphones. So in theory, when you speak ("Siri, find lyrics for 'Love Yourself' by Justin Bieber") the earphones cut the audio feed so you can talk to the virtual assistance without interference.
When you speak to another person, the audio is also supposed to cut off given these relatively new technologies.
4) They are designed to stop playing when they're removed from the ear
The device also features optical sensors which detects and identifies whether the device is in your ears. playing sound automatically and stopping when they're removed. This works on either AirPod, so you can use just one if you're so inclined.
5) You don't have to buy a pair if you lose just one AirPod
Apple has confirmed that they will sell individual AirPods, although pricing is still unclear. Still, it's almost certain that it won't cost as much as a whole pair.
To be fair to those who are balking at the device, the price tag is a little hard to swallow for what is a tiny device. When it comes out in late October, we'll see if these features above do offer a premium experience that justifies the price. – Rappler.com
Alexis has been a professional writer and editor since 2007 and has worked with website developers, online retailers, and medical and healthcare professionals. On the side, he dabbles in photography. His photography has been published on his Facebook page and on his blogs. You have to start somewhere, right?