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I tried using Apple’s AirPods with an Android phone: Here’s what I missed


Written by Anuj Bhatia
| New Delhi |

Published: March 20, 2020 7:05:20 am


Apple, Apple AirPods, how to pair AirPods with an Android phone, AirPods and Android smartphone, best wireless earbuds in the market, Airpods price in India With this experiment, I wanted to see how well AirPods, the most popular wireless earphones in the world, work with a non-iOS device. (Image credit: Nandagopal Rajan/Indian Express)

No other tech brand even comes close to Apple when it comes to how seamlessly the company’s devices interact with each other. This is one of the reasons why the Apple ecosystem still has a lot of lure for many.

Last week, I did something unusual. For almost a day, I decided to use AirPods with an Android phone. It was a tough decision to unpair AirPods from the iPhone 11 and replace it with the Google Pixel 3XL. Read our review of AirPods here.

With this experiment, I wanted to see how well AirPods, the most popular wireless earphones in the world, work with a non-iOS device.

Here’s what I found out.

Lacks seamless pairing option

The first difference I noticed while connecting AirPods to the Pixel 3XL was the lack of the instant pairing option. Pairing AirPods with an iOS device only requires opening the case of the earbuds, followed by the usual setup process. The AirPods instantly get connected to the iPhone and you are good to use the wireless earbuds.

However, in the case of paring Apple’s AirPods with an Android phone, they work just like any regular pair of Bluetooth headphones. This means you won’t be able to connect AirPods with an Android automatically, as the special instant pairing option is limited to the iPhone.

Apple, Apple AirPods, how to pair AirPods with an Android phone, AirPods and Android smartphone, best wireless earbuds in the market, Airpods price in India

‘Hey Siri, where are you?’

One of the best things about AirPods is how the truly wireless earbuds work with Siri, Apple’s virtual voice assistant. With one tap on the buds, you can ask Siri to play the latest dance track or give a weather update. This is possible because AirPods and Siri work cohesively with each other. The point to remember is that Siri is exclusive to Apple devices and you don’t get the voice assistant on Android devices. And no AirPods don’t support Google Assistant at the moment.

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Apple, Apple AirPods, how to pair AirPods with an Android phone, AirPods and Android smartphone, best wireless earbuds in the market, Airpods price in India In the case of paring Apple’s AirPods with an Android phone, they work just like any regular pair of Bluetooth headphones. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

No automatic ear detection

One of my favourite features of AirPods is auto-pause. When you remove one AirPod from your ear, it automatically pauses whatever you were listening to. Once you put the AirPod back in your ear, it resumes. This feature works only on the iPhone and doesn’t work on Android.

Apple, Apple AirPods, how to pair AirPods with an Android phone, AirPods and Android smartphone, best wireless earbuds in the market, Airpods price in India And no AirPods don’t support Google Assistant at the moment. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

Checking AirPods battery

As the day passed by, I figured out one more annoying thing about using AirPods with an Android phone. I wanted to check how much the battery was left on the right AirPod, but I couldn’t. Android doesn’t give the option to check battery levels of your AirPods and the case. If I had paired my iPhone to AirPods, I would have simply opened the AirPods case and held it next to the phone to the battery percentage of the wireless buds. The method is both easy and natural.

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Do AirPods work well with an Android phone?

The answer is No, and I tell you why. Neither Apple nor I am stopping you from buying AirPods and pairing them with your Android smartphone. The problem comes when you miss out on so many useful features that are only reserved for the iPhone.

Features like Siri integration, auto-pause, the ability to customise double-tap or check the battery life of AirPods will work on the iPhone or any iOS device. This is one big reason why people buy Apple products. People don’t buy an iPhone or Apple Watch for the hardware. They buy Apple accessories because these work seamlessly with each other and are convenient.

So while you can use AirPods with an Android phone, you will have to live without some features. Otherwise, AirPods will work exactly the same as they do on the iPhone. The AirPods are comfortable to wear and promise excellent sound quality and excellent battery life.

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Updated: March 20, 2020 — 1:43 am

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