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The AirPods: Brilliant or Blunder (+ How to Track Them)

If you’ve been watching Apple for a good while, you probably know why this post is a big deal. The AirPods are one of Apple’s defining innovations to their line of accessories, and is the first-ever wireless headphones created by the company.

And yet, reaction to the AirPods were, at best, mixed when it first came out. It’s not so much that the AirPods were bad; it’s a beautiful piece of tech that demonstrates how far Apple’s engineering has come. For a pair of headphones, the AirPods give you crisp sounds and great soundstage, and it also lets you issue simple voice commands like taking calls or talk to Siri. It’s amazing—that is, if you can afford it.

The AirPods come with a rather hefty $159 price tag (that’s AUD 210.00). While there are certainly more expensive headphones out there, you will quickly find that not many are keen to buy a pair for that value, regardless of what features it may offer. After all, headphones are accessories that typically come bundled with your new phone.

And that’s exactly what vexed a lot of iPhone 7 users. Many felt that they were forced into buying AirPods because their new phone had no headphone jack, arguably a staple feature of any modern phone. Instead of the usual bundled headphones that connected to the (now-missing) jack, iPhone 7 users were treated to ones that connected to the phone’s Lightning Port. This meant that when you’re charging, you can’t listen to your music—well, at least not with those headphones.

You can imagine the response that got from many irate customers, especially those who only found out after pre-ordering their iPhone 7. But that’s not even the biggest issue users have had with their AirPods (and Apple’s shanghai tactics). What ticked many off is how easily and frequently the AirPods are lost precisely because they’re wireless and compact. And when you tick off the internet-savvy, be prepared to be flooded with memes like this:

 

 

Apple hasn’t said much about the AirPods since they came out, but they most likely didn’t get the reception they were hoping for. That, or they’re still waiting for it to catch on. In any case, Apple has recently offered a temporary solution to users losing their AirPods. Users who try the iOS 10.3 beta can use their Find My iPhone app to locate their missing AirPods. The app will play a sound when one or both of your AirPods are within Bluetooth range. Alternatively, users can use iCloud to track their missing AirPods.

Catch is, it has to be within Bluetooth range. That means the app doesn't offer much help when your AirPods run out of battery, or if you lose them somewhere at work or along the road. But it can still tell you where to look by giving you the time, date and location details of your AirPods' last connection. 

What I'm saying is if you have them, don't lose them. It will save you a lot of grief if you always take care to store them in one place. Here's a pro-tip: if you're constantly losing your AirPods, maybe going wireless isn't for you. ;)


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  • Jan 28, 2017
  • Category: Articles
  • Comments: 0
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