AirPods are great but… could be smarter

Apple / Design / iOS / User Experience

If you haven’t used AirPods yet, they are very nice compared to previous Bluetooth headphones.

You can pop them in your ear and you hear the “duh dunk” sound as they automatically connect to your phone and start playing whatever you had playing.

Photo of an iPad Pro and AirPods

However, if you then turn to your iPad and press Play on some music or video, your iPad blasts audio into the office while you continue to hear music from your phone.

This is clearly wrong behaviour. The times when you would want to listen to audio on headphones from one device and let another blast audio out of speakers in the the room are basically zero.

When you play audio on another device of yours, the AirPods should pause the audio on the previous device and switch to the new one. The same thing goes if you turn on the mic… start a video call on your MacBook and it should automatically connect to the AirPods.

Apple have done a great job with the W1 chip so far, and maybe this is actually a hardware limitation and not just a software problem. I hope they improve this soon, as I can’t be the only person to have thought it.

This is my first post created with MarsEdit 4 beta from Red Sweater

The Author

Marc Palmer (Twitter, Mastodon) is a consultant and software engineer specialising in Apple platforms. He currently works on the iOS team of Concepts sketching app, as well as his own apps like video subtitle app Captionista. He created the Flint open source framework. He can also do a pretty good job of designing app products. Don't ask him to draw anything, because that's really embarrassing. You can find out more here.