Apple’s AirPods are effective, efficient… and expensive. Get tips and tricks on how to use AirPods (and what to do if you lose them) by reading this.
Mastering your AirPods, today on Dotto Tech. Steve Dotto here. How the heck are you doing this fine day? At Dotto Tech, we make technology easy so you can do more. More what? Well, one thing I wouldn't recommend you do more of is wandering around with your nose in the phone, texting away. You are a hazard to yourself and to others. Take your nose out of the phone, stop texting. Here's a suggestion, maybe you should consider and they said at earbuds and just listen to a podcast, listen to some music as you're walking, and keep your eyes on the environment around you.
Let's talk today about Apple's AirPods. All right. I've never really done a demo with with the earbuds before, so this is something unique to me. When I first got it, I was, first of all, the case is an industrial design marvel. It's something that you just kind of want to hold it in your hands. And your very first impression when you buy the AirPods, when you very first pair it with your phone, you will be delighted because watch what happens. I've got my phone fired up here. When you open the case, and you've got Bluetooth turned on your phone, when you open the case near a phone, it automatically identifies and connects between the AirPods and the phone. Now, when it hasn't been connected, as mine already has, when it hasn't been paired, this will actually say, "Do you want to pair with this device?" And you can go through the process of pairing at that point there. But just the action of opening the lid of your case enables that to happen. It's a really cool thing to happen.
Now, anytime after, once they are connected, when you open it up, it then gives you feedback of what your battery charge is on both your AirPods and your case itself. So you see my cases is at 52%, and my AirPods are at 100%. The case actually acts as a charging case as well, of course, when you're traveling about with it. it. Now, another way that you can check the battery level of your AirPods is just by swiping to the right, and then scrolling down, and you'll get battery feedback on all of your different Bluetooth connected devices. There's my watch at 25%, and my AirPods, et cetera, and my case itself.
Now, while I am speaking about the watch, I'm just gonna touch lightly on the watch. I'm not doing a big part of this on the watch because the watch in AirPod integration, Apple touts it, and it's pretty good, but it isn't my cup of tea, and here's the reason. It's pretty easy for you to download some songs onto your Apple Watch, and then control... And then you could say, go for a run with just your watch and your AirPods. That works okay, and people are doing that. I don't do that because I don't listen to music and I don't run. When I go for a walk, I listen to podcasts. It's really frustrating because I haven't found an easy way to load my podcasts onto my smartphone, and then just walk with my AirPods and my phone, and that was one of the things that I hoped. That's the biggest disappointment that I've had with the AirPods was the fact that I'm not able to load my podcasts. I'm hoping that's coming in an upcoming rev. I'm really looking forward to that capability.
Well, right now. I want to talk a little bit about controlling your AirPods. They don't have an awful lot of control. For example, one of the things that AirPods do not have is they don't have the ability to control the volume as you do say, on the tethered earbuds, which is a really nice feature. But you know the buttons that you have on the tethered earbud, we can replace some of those buttons on the AirPods, and we do that by double tapping on one ear or the other. It kind of looks like you're being a little bit self-abusive, because you actually have to tap the AirPod in your ear in order to invoke commands. There's a limited number of commands that you can invoke, but let me show you what they are exactly.
Let's jump in and you're going to your Bluetooth settings, and when the AirPods are connected, you can go in and you can configure what the double tap on each, to the left or the right ear does. And what? There's four commands that you can invoke, and you can do them on either ear. You can set it up to your own preference. You can invoke Siri, which is really useful. You can play or pause, whatever it is you're listening to, which is the thing that I use the most. As I'm walking along listening to a podcast, which is what I'm normally doing when I'm walking, if somebody talks to me or I want to stop listening for a moment, I double tap, and it pauses the podcast, and I double tap and it starts to play it again. You can also jump to the next track or previous track. You've gotten some basic navigation, but as I say, no volume settings, it's really quite limited as far as what you can do. But that's the nature of something that's such as simple and clean device.
Now it also, if we take a look here, has something called automatic ear detection, and what that does is if you take an ear bud out is it will pause whatever it is you're playing, and it knows when it's put in. It's location-aware, as far as location being, if it's in the place that it's supposed to be for you to listen, it knows when it's there, and then it will automatically transfer whatever the audio signal is from your phone to the AirPods. That tends to work probably about 95% of the time. Occasionally it doesn't, and you have to do things manually, but for the most part it works. It works really well.
Now, there is one other convenience factor that Apple has incorporated. If you think about the nature of wanting to keep your phone in your purse or in your pocket, and not to have it, but have all the benefits of the phone by having the ear buds being completely wireless, the one thing that we lose is caller ID. I don't know about you, but I screen every call I get. I want to take a look and see if I want to talk to the person. Now if my phone's in my pocket, it defeats the purpose of caller ID, if I can't see who it is is calling, and I have to dig up the phone, which defeats the purpose of these wonderful wireless earbuds.
They've got that covered for us, though, and it's quite ingenious. If you go down into your phone settings, so you've got to scroll down in your settings to phone, there, you can choose a feature called announced calls. Do you see that? Yeah. You can choose to have the caller ID audibly announced, through your earbuds if you use this setting. You can choose to have it only in your headphones, headphones in car, which is another time you might want that, or never. If you set it up, there's one caveat, is that it will only work if the caller number is in your address book. If it's an unknown call, it'll just say, unknown call, so you won't know who it is, but that's the way it would be at any rate, if you're looking at your caller ID. Whatever would appear in your caller ID screen is going to be announced audibly into your ear, which is pretty cool.
Now, here's a unique or very valuable additional asset. If you lose the AirPods... If you'll lose them, they're easy to lose. But if you just misplaced them somewhere in your house, you can use the Find My iPhone feature that's built-in to IOS, to find your AirPods. First of all, it will tell you physically where they are close by, and then watch what you can do. If you click on them themselves, you can ask them to play a sound. Now, it's not super loud, but they'll start to beep here, in just a moment here. I'll let you hear it, but it's not really loud, but it's loud enough that if they're under a cushion, or in your purse, or in your pocket that you don't see them, you might be able to hear the sound emanating from these speakers to assist you in the finding of said AirPods. Because at the end of the day, you don't want to lose these things. They are very expensive.
Actually, I'm kind of proud of myself because one of the biggest things that I was concerned about when I purchased them was that I would lose them. So let's see, is it going to play? There it is. It's a little buggy. Come on, please. Oh, there it is. You hear it? It sounds like a little cricket chirping away, sadly. Oh, there it is, chirping away. Now, is that going to be loud enough for you to find it? It's actually getting a little bit louder. It's not too bad. Oh, when the lid's closed, it's pretty quiet, but when lid's open, it's pretty good. If you just drop one somewhere, that should help you find it, and you could actually choose to mute one side or the other, if you say, got one, but you want to mute one, then you can just play it on the other one. I can just turn off for now. Okay, stop playing, stop it. There we go. Stop it. So, good. There it is. We have the AirPods in Find My iPhone, just kind of a handy, little extra tidbit for you.
Now I have to admit, I do really like my AirPods. I find them to be a very convenient, a very elegant implementation, and the industrial design that's gone into the case and how it interfaces with the operating system of the mobile system, is a thing of beauty. As far as the geek in me, is more than impressed with the implementation that Apple has done with the AirPods. And because these are north of $200 in Canada, I have kept them safe. As a matter of fact, I'll drop a Lincoln, you can actually disguise your case to look like a Tic Tac case, or to look like a breath mint case, in order to discourage people from stealing it, I guess, if it's sitting on the seat in your car or something like that, because you want to protect these as well as you can. Of course, things like find my AirPods in Find My iPhone helps along that way there.
But as much as I like these, these are awesome headphones for home, for being around the house, for going for walks, for my normal everyday around the house, and around town life. These are not great traveling earbuds. They aren't great airplane earbuds. Why? Because they're too quiet. When I got on an airplane, and even when the plane is a quiet plane and you're cruising at altitude, the cabin noise is too loud to comfortably use these. I find these to be too quiet.
I have a favorite set of earbuds for that particular purpose, and they are also quite an expensive pair of earbuds, but they do so many other things. These are the Bose Noise-Canceling Earphones that I have. I'll put a link to these down below, as well. These are an entirely different animal. They are wired, they plug in, they've got a little battery, and they've got a power system here that actually cancels the noise out of whatever environment you're in. What it does is, it cancels out the low and persistent noise, like it's perfect for airplane use, or if you're in transit. It doesn't cutout individuals talking to you or staccato type noise, so you still hear somebody talking to you. But you can see, it's very molded.
They've got a whole series of different earbuds that go in, and it fits really nicely in your ear. And when you turn on the noise-canceling, it does a wonderful job of canceling out all the noise around you. I love these, especially on long flights. I sleep with them in, I listened to music. I use them all the time, but they are earbuds that I tend to use when I'm traveling. When I'm at home, the convenience of Apple's AirPods carries the day. I'm well equipped earbud-wise. I'm a bit of a snob when it comes to my earbuds, I guess.
I hope you found today's video to be useful, and if you have, please subscribe to this channel and make sure you hit that notification bell. And any comments that you have, put them in the comments here on YouTube. I promise you, I read each and every comment, so suggestions for upcoming videos or your opinion on the best earbuds for you, I would certainly look forward to reading those. Until next time, I'm Steve Dotto. Have fun storming the castle.
Technology makes it possible for us to do a lot of things. Sadly, that also includes getting into embarrassing situations and accidents when we’re too busy with our mobile devices to pay attention to what’s happening around us. One example is when we’re walking outside while listening to songs or podcasts on our portable players via earphones or headphones.
I’ve lost count of all the videos I’ve seen of people doing this and subsequently becoming well-acquainted with gravity, face first. I’ve found that a good way to prevent this while still being able to focus your attention on your immediate environment is by using earbuds—and if you’re an Apple user like me, you’re well aware of what AirPods are and how useful they can be.
So, let’s check out the different features of these AirPods and see what they can do.
How to Use AirPods with Your Device
My first thought upon receiving my AirPods was “Wow, what an industrial design marvel.”
After opening the case and switching my iPhone’s Bluetooth on, my iPhone invited me to pair it with my AirPods. Since then, my device has been able to automatically identify and connect to my AirPods (“Steve’s AirPods”).
And what’s cool is that it happens after the simple action of opening the lid of the AirPods case—no need for manual prompting!
Anytime after they’re connected, when you open it up, your device gives you feedback on your AirPods’ battery level. Oh, and the case also acts as a charging case for when you’re traveling.
Another way to check the battery level of your AirPods is by swiping to the right and then scrolling down.
Controlling Your AirPods
When I made the video for this AirPods tutorial, one of the things that I couldn’t help but notice was the limited amount of control AirPods had.
One example is how, unlike many tethered earbuds with buttons, you can’t control volume directly from your AirPods (you’d have to invoke Siri with your AirPods for that).
However, you can double-tap on either one of your AirPods (which can make you look rather ridiculous if you do it outside) to invoke a number of commands:
- Invoke Siri
- Play or Pause
- Skip to the Next Track
- Return to the Previous Track
Note that you have to indicate in Settings what tapping on the left or right earbud does.
Automatic Ear Detection
Basically, what Automatic Ear Detection means is if you take an earbud out, it will pause whatever it is you're playing, and it knows when it's put in back.
It’s also location aware, meaning it knows when to connect and automatically transfer whatever the audio signal is from your phone to the AirPods. This tends to work about 95% of the time.
Keeping your phone in your purse or in your pocket maximizes the point of the earbuds being completely wireless. However, doing this makes screening calls a bit harder. If my phone is in my pocket, it defeats the purpose of caller ID, since I can't see who’s calling and I’d have to dig up the phone to check.
If you go to Settings and scroll down to Phone, you can choose a feature called announced calls to have the caller ID audibly announced through your earbuds.
There's one caveat, though: It will only work if the caller number is in your address book.
Locating Your AirPods Using Find My iPhone
AirPods are small and wireless. While that makes them extremely convenient to use, that also makes them extremely easy to lose. And as these things are extremely expensive, losing them is something you absolutely do not want to do.
Fortunately, in case you misplace them somewhere in your house, you can use the Find My iPhone feature that's built into iOS to find your AirPods. It'll tell you physically where they are close by.
If you click on your AirPods in the Find My iPhone app, you can ask them to play a sound—not super loud, but loud enough that if they're under a cushion, in your purse, or in your pocket, you might be able to hear the sound emanating from the speakers to assist you in finding them.
So when you activate this, your AirBuds play a sound like a little cricket, chirping away sadly. So if you just drop one somewhere, that should help you find it. You can even choose to play on one side (the one you dropped) and keep the other (the one you’re presumably still wearing) mute.
Protecting Your AirPods
As I mentioned earlier, these things are quite pricey. So aside from losing them, you absolutely do not want them to be stolen from you.
Luckily, creative solutions exist in the form of disguises for your case! For instance, you can dress it up to look like a case of breath mints, like so:
How I Use My AirPods
Still, as much as I like these, I only use them when I’m at home or when I’m walking outside. Basically, short travels.
AirPods are great traveling earbuds, but they aren't great airplane earbuds. Why? Because they're too quiet. They’re not good at noise cancelling, so you’ll end up unhappy if you tried to use them inside a plane or on any sort of public transport.
Now, I have a favorite set of (equally expensive) earbuds for that particular purpose: my Bose noise cancelling earphones.
They’re wired, they plug in, and they've got a little battery, a power system of sorts.
This pair of earphones actually cancels the noise (the low and persistent kind, not when people are talking to you or staccato-type) out of whatever environment you're in. Plus, they’re molded to fit really nicely in your ear. And so, I love using these on long flights.
Still, for home use or short walks, AirPods are a great choice if you want to “get lost” in whatever you’re listening to without actually losing track of the environment around you.
Thanks, and have fun storming the castle!
If you use Apple products, you've thought about getting a set of AirPods– sleek and wireless, they are marketed as the perfect match for the iPhone 8 or iPhone X.
But are they worth it?
What do the AirPods really do? Let's take a look at them in action.
The AirPods are Apple's answer to Bluetooth, wireless headphones. They are designed for convenience.
Pairing them to your device is wonderfully simple– no need to hold down buttons and tap your heels three times. After the initial set up, just holding your AirPods near the device prompts the pairing.
Let's take a look at some of their best features.
1. The case acts as an on-the-go charger
If you need to charge your headphones, just pop them into the case for a few minutes and you are good to go.
2. Track battery level of your pods and case from your phone by swiping right
Not sure how much battery you've got left? Swipe right to check.
3. Apple watch/pods integration
You can download music to your watch and go on a run with just your watch and AirPods– no need to bring the phone along this time. However, there's no easy way to download podcasts to the watch which can be frustrating.
4. Automatic ear detection
When you put your AirPods in your ears, the sound from any other devices is instantly transferred to your headphones. And when you take them out of your ears, the music pauses so you don't miss a beat. You can toggle this feature on or off in settings.
5. Announce calls
Want to know who's calling you? Get the caller ID announced through your earphones by heading to Settings–>Phone–>Announcing Calls–>Headphones Only.
This will only work if the caller's number is in your contacts but ot saves you taking your phone out every time.
6. Use the “find my iPhone” feature to find your headphones
Misplaced your earbuds again? Ask your pods to play a sound so you can find them. You can mute either side if you're only searching for a specific pod.
7. Disguise your case with stickers
Ok. This isn't strictly a feature of the headphones themselves, but it's a pretty great way to disguise your case.
You can buy stickers that make your headphones case look like breath mints or gum to discourage theft.
Customizing your AirPods
Part of the AirPods appeal is their exceptionally clean design. However, this means there are no buttons to control the output.
Apple does give you one control option– the double tap. By double tapping on your earbud, you can invoke one of four commands:
- Next track
- Previous track
You can only have one command per earbud active at a time. To set it up, go to your Bluetooth settings and pick an option for each headphone. You can change these at any time.
But all's not perfect in AirPod land
While the AirPods are pretty handy, they aren't perfect. I've got two specific frustrations.
- The elegant design doesn't leave room for volume control. The only way to adjust your volume at the moment is through your phone.
- Too quiet. While the AirPods are perfect for listening to music while you workout or clean the house, they aren't great for traveling. They are too quiet for any mode of transport that has loud cabin noise– like a plane or the underground. For that, I use the Bose QuietComfort.
Yay or Nay?
Personally, I really like the AirPods. They sync seamlessly across all my devices and the charging case makes it easy to keep them ready-to-go.
However, I would like to see Apple improve some features– adding an easy way to listen to podcasts through the Apple Watch would be a great start.
What do you think? Are you tempted to invest in a pair? Let me know in the comments!
Until next time,
Have fun storming the castle!
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