Apple Reveals just over two years its totally wireless headphones, the AirPods. In their second generation, these devices have become as ubiquitous as their iconic wired predecessors, the EarPods. How they work exactly, what can they do and how can you use them on different devices? Whether you have a pair or are thinking of buying one, check out a guide on how to use Apple AirPods.
If you already know how to use Apple AirPods, you may want to check our guide with the best tricks of these headphones so you can optimize its use or what you can do if you break or lose one.
What are airpods?
AirPods are totally wireless, which means that each headset is autonomous. You don't need any cables because the small speaker, the microphone, the battery, the sensors and the wireless chip are embedded in the white plastic housing of each earphone.
AirPods come with a charging case, which is also a safe and convenient way to store them when you're not using them. The case is available in wired and wireless versions, although this only has to do with recharging. The wireless model can be charged with an Apple Lightning cable or through a Qi-compatible wireless charger, while the wired version can only be charged through the Lightning cable.
Depending on the version you choose, the AirPods offer between 4 and 5 hours of battery life before needing to recharge in the case, although you can get much longer if you keep the volume low.
What can Airpods do?
Listen wirelessly to all types of audio, from the streaming From music to live TV broadcasting, it is obviously the main use of Airpods.
However, they also work for voice calls. Also, depending on whether you own the first or second generation and use it with an iOS device, you can call Siri by touching an AirPod or saying “Hey Siri".
The sensors allow each AirPod to detect if they are in your ear or not, so if you remove one it will stop automatically. If you are a user of an iOS device you can deactivate this function, but for other non-Apple devices always be operational.
If you are loyal to Apple devices, another useful feature of AirPod is its ability to automatically switch between an iPhone and an Apple Watch. When using iCloud, you can skip the pairing process with any other Apple device, such as Macs, Apple TV or iPod Touch.
How to use Apple AirPods?
Although they are generally easy to use, some features of the Airpods require a bit of explanation.
How to pair AirPods with an iPhone
This process could not be simpler:
- Make sure the AirPods are inside the charging case with the lid closed.
- Place the charging case next to the iPhone.
- Unlock your iPhone
- Open the lid of the cargo box. Vers an animated message on your iPhone with a button Connect. Touch it, then select the button Ready. That is all.
How to pair AirPods with a device other than Apple
This process is only a little more difficult:
- Go to the Bluetooth settings section for your device.
- Choose the option to pair a new device.
- With the AirPods in the charging case, open the case. Press the small setting button on the back of the case until you see the status light blinks.
- AirPods should appear in the list of available Bluetooth accessories on the screen of your device.
- Select them and follow the instructions that may appear.
How to use Apple AirPods to control your device
There are two ways to control what happens on your Apple device connected to your AirPods.
The first, and the simplest, is to use Siri. If you have the first generation AirPods, you can call Siri by double tapping the left or right AirPod, depending on your configuration. Second generation AirPods are preconfigured to handle Siri hands-free, as long as you have the phrase enabled Hey Siri, on your iPhone. Using Siri gives you access to a variety of commands, such as:
- “Play my playlist Favourite".
- "Turn up the volume."
- "How do I get home from here?"
- "Skip this song."
- "How is the battery in my AirPods?"
In fact, some things, such as adjusting the volume, can only be done with your hands free when using Siri.
The second way is to use the double tap function. Each AirPod can be assigned a different double-touch function (unfortunately there is no one-touch option), which in iOS you manage it is managed in the menu Bluetooth in Configuration. The options for double tap are:
- Talk to Siri.
- Play / pause audio.
- Skip to the next track.
- Return to the previous track.
- Turn off the audio.
Is there a difference between first and second generation Airpods?
Yes, there are differences between first and second generation AirPods, although they are subtle. The newest model offers slight improvements in battery life, Bluetooth connectivity and the ability to summon Siri without the need for a double tap. But there is also a compatibility difference:
First generation AirPods will work with:
- iPhone, iPad or iPod touch with iOS 10 or later.
- Apple Watch with watchOS 3 or later.
- Apple TV with tvOS 11 or later.
- Mac with macOS Sierra or later.
However, newer second-generation AirPods require newer software:
- iPhone, iPad or iPod touch with iOS 12.2 or later.
- Apple Watch with watchOS 5.2 or later.
- Apple TV with tvOS 12.2 or later.
- Mac with macOS 10.14.4 or later.