Received AirPods for Christmas? Here are some tips & tricks to get you started

AirPods were a super popular Christmas gift this holiday season. If you were lucky enough to receive them, here are a few tips and tricks to help make your listening experience even better.

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AirPods tips & tricks

Giving your AirPods a name

If not anything, you’ll probably want your AirPods a name. By default, AirPods will be named “(your name)’s AirPods”. This is fine until you lose one or both of your AirPods, or its case. Giving your AirPods a unique name will make them easier if you lose a set.

To do this, pair AirPods to an iOS device. From there, go to Settings > Bluetooth, tap on the “i” next to your AirPods and then tap Name and give it a name.

Customizing the double-tap gesture

By default double tapping either AirPod will bring up Siri. While this is how I have mine set up, you may want it to do more.

Head into Settings > Bluetooth, tap on the “i” next to your AirPods. You’ll now have an option you can set for each individual AirPod. One can get fairly creative here as you have the option between Siri, Play/Pause, Next Track, Previous Track, and Off.

Using a single AirPod to prolong battery life

AirPods are rated for up to 5 hours of listening. What Apple doesn’t tell you is that the same 5 hours applies whether or not you have both of them on or just a single bud. So, to essentially double your battery life, you can use one bud until it dies, put that bud in the case, and use the other bud.

Fortunately, a single AirPod charges fairly quickly with 15 minutes giving you roughly 3 hours of usage. Rinse and repeat until your AirPods case dies.

Automatic ear detection

This feature is on by default, but it might not be explicitly clear how it works. Essentially, if you have both AirPods in your ear, taking one out will automatically pause whatever audio you’re listening to. This is what gives AirPods some of its so-called “magic”.

If you’d prefer to not have this feature enabled, head to Settings > Bluetooth, tap on the “i” next to your AirPods. Simply toggle off Automatic Ear Detection.

Knowing your battery status

There are several ways to know your AirPods’ current battery status, and some solutions only work in some conditions.

With both AirPods in the case, simply open the case near a device that is signed in with your iCloud account. Make sure the screen is on and a card will show up at the bottom (iPhone) or in the middle of the screen (iPad).

With at least one AirPod in your ear, you can add the Batteries widget to your home screen. This will show you the current battery status of your AirPods. To do this, go to the Home screen, swipe to the left to get to your widgets, tap Edit at the bottom, and tap the + button next to Batteries to add the widget.

If both AirPods are at a different charge level, you’ll see individual indicators for the left and right AirPod. This method also works when AirPods are plugged in and charging.

You can get a quick glance at your AirPods charging status by looking at the LED indicator on the inside of the case as well. When both AirPods are in the case, this represents the AirPods battery status (green is fully charged, orange is charging). The only exception to this rule is when the AirPods case is plugged in and charging. However, if both are removed, the indicator represents the case’s charging.

Pairing to non-Apple devices

To pair with non-Apple devices, simply open the case, and tap and hold the button on the back for a few seconds. The LED indicator should now be slowly pulsing white, indicating that AirPods is in pairing mode. Go to your other device’s Bluetooth settings and pair AirPods as if it were any other Bluetooth device. The LED indicator will show solid green once pairing is successful.

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