Do Apple's AirPods work only on the iPhone?
Apple is known for its innovations. Apple as a company stands for both simplicities as well as innovation. Their products have always been cutting edge in technology, design, and usefulness. When Apple launches its iPhone 7 series, it eliminated the traditional jack for headphones from the iPhone. This was replaced by the introduction of AirPods – wireless, exclusive, high-end earphones.
This launch received mix reactions. While hard-core Apple loyalists were delighted by the launch of the AirPods, critics were not too happy as they felt that Apple had bitten more than what it could chew by replacing a universal technology that they do not essentially control.
Let us look at the features of the AirPods in detail:
The good news first – the AirPods are not restricted only to the iPhone. Yes, when paired with iPhone 7 and up, the AirPods do have specific and special features, but they will work with any device that shows compatibility with traditional Bluetooth headphones. This gives Android and Windows users a reason to celebrate.
The Apple AirPods make use only of Bluetooth. While Apple as a company may not publicize this fact openly, it is important to understand that there is no proprietary Apple-owned technology which is being used here. Neither is there any technology at play which blocks the AirPods from connecting to other phones and devices.
The AirPods use a standard Bluetooth connection. Thus any device which will support Bluetooth headphones can work with the AirPods. Phones using Windows, Android; Macs, Laptops, Gaming Consoles, etc.- if they can connect with a Bluetooth headphone, they can use the AirPods without any hassle.
The misconception that AirPods can pair only with iPhone partly comes from the fact that there is a chip called the W1 chip which is embedded in all models of iPhone starting Series 7 and up. This is a wireless chip that has been specially made by Apple and is available only in the iPhone.
The introduction of this chip combined with the removal of the headphone jack led people to believe that the AirPods will not be compatible with other devices. However, the AirPods use Bluetooth and not the W1 chip to communicate with the iPhone. The W1 chip assists the AirPods to work better regarding battery consumption as well as a pairing.
When you want to pair the AirPods with your device, you have to open their case when you are within the range of a compatible iPhone. They will automatically connect. For the first time pairing, you will have to set it up with a single button push, but after that, the connection happens instantly. This is courtesy of the W1 chip as it speeds up the process and eliminates the annoying elements of connecting with Bluetooth – a typical Apple case of making lives easy.
As we have already discussed above, AirPods do work with all devices that are compatible with Bluetooth. However, we must note that they do not work in the same fashion for all devices. But of course, they will work best when they are used with the iPhone. Pairing the AirPods with the iPhone will give you the following additional features which you will not get when you use them with other compatible devices.
- The one-tap pairing process is accessible only with iPhone. For the other devices, you have to go through the same old few steps for pairing.
- Double-tap the AirPods and activate Siri
- AirPods are embedded with smart touches. They know when they are placed in your ears and when they are removed, and hence they will switch off audio playback when removed from ears. They are so smart that they will play music in only one AirPod if only one of them is in your ears.