Are AirPods compatible with Android?

You can make the most of a pair of new AirPods while still having an Android device. Although it is recommended to pair this technology with the one of the parent company, i.e. an Apple iPhone, nothing excludes the possibility of combining two elements of different houses.

There are several elements that show how AirPods are designed in detail to offer 100% of their potential when paired with Apple devices. Just think of the chip with which they are equipped. This allows the headphones to be immediately recognized by iPhone and iPad when opening the case. This applies to the first generation, the second generation and the Pro generation. In this way, you can open the case, see your device react and have the headset ready to use as soon as you insert it in your ear, provided of course that Bluetooth is active on your device.

The discourse is different in the case of Macs, whether they are laptops or iMacs, or the fixed version of the computers of the house of Cupertino. For these types of devices there is no automatic recognition. It is necessary to access the list of Bluetooth devices and select AirPods manually. The same process is necessary for Android devices, as well as for any other product that boasts Bluetooth.

Connecting AirPods on Android

While it is possible to connect your AirPods on Android devices, it doesn't mean you can take full advantage of them. In this case, since you don't have an Apple product to connect, all you can have available are the basic functions. In order to have access to the advanced section, so to speak, of your headset, the use of third-party apps is required.

The first step to take is obviously to activate Bluetooth on your Android smartphone or tablet. Doing so is very simple and there are two paths to follow. You can go to Settings, clicking on Connections and finally on Bluetooth, making a switch from off to on. Alternatively, you can drop the curtain by staying in the home of your smartphone or tablet, clicking on the Bluetooth icon, located among various others.

If opening the case is enough to initiate a connection, this does not happen with non-Apple devices. You need to pull out your headset and press the setup button. This is located on the back. You need to hold it down for as long as it takes to start the lighted status indicator. This means that a white light will start flashing.

You can then select the name of the AirPods from the section dedicated to devices that can be connected via Bluetooth, with access from Setup-Connections-Bluetooth.

How to use AirPods on Android

The first thing to decide whether or not to do, after pairing the headset, is to enable audio calls and media playback, selecting both functions or giving up one of them. You can decide this at the time of pairing or later. To do it later you can click on the gear wheel icon located next to the AirPods headphones name in Settings-Connections-Bluetooth. You'll be able to select on or off next to the items pertaining to audio calling and multimedia audio.

Alternatively, you can access the notification center by bringing up the dropdown from the home, selecting the option for managing audio output. Generally, AirPods volume management is managed through the physical buttons of the smartphone or tablet, located on the body.

The headphones from Apple also allow instant audio playback, using the simple touch of the headset, if you have a model of the first or second generation. In the case of the AirPods Pro instead you have to press the outer end of the headphones. This will start the audio of the open media player or featured app. With the same gestures you can answer a phone call and close it. The same gestures are used to answer and end a phone call, and to contact the voice assistant on Android you need to say "Ok Google".

As for customizing the headset, the user can rename the headset. To do so, one needs to go to Settings, clicking on Connections and, finally, Bluetooth. Next to the device name there is a gear wheel (on Android devices). Cliccando, si può poi selezionare la voce Rinomina, digitando ciò che si desidera nella barra modificabile apparsa.

Nonostante l’apertura della custodia delle cuffie porti a un’associazione istantanea, non è obbligatorio tener collegate le cuffie al proprio dispositivo. Si può scegliere semplicemente di disattivare il Bluetooth o, se questo è necessario, procedere con la dissociazione, così da connettere le cuffie a un nuovo dispositivo Android ad esempio. La voce Dissocia, sulla quale cliccare, è presente nella sezione Bluetooth, di fianco al nome delle AirPods connesse.

AirPods su Android: quali app usare

L’uso di app è necessario nel caso in cui si intenda accedere a funzionalità più avanzate. Dal momento che gli auricolari sono stati studiati per dispositivi Apple, va da sé che diventi fondamentale l’ausilio, in alcuni casi, di elementi esterni al panorama della casa di Cupertino.

Si tratta di app di terze parti disponibili, gratuitamente, sul Play Store. È possibile scegliere tra varie opzioni, a seconda delle proprie necessità:

  • AirBattery: questa app consente all’utente di visualizzare il livello di carica delle proprie AirPods. È inoltre possibile impostare alcune preferenze, come ad esempio la pausa automatica nel momento in cui gli auricolari vengono rimossi dalle orecchie. Dopo aver effettuato la connessione tra dispositivo e cuffie, l’app si aprirà in maniera automatica. Totalmente gratuita, anche se propone acquisti in-app, alla modica cifra di 1,19 euro, al fine di sbloccare ulteriori funzionalità.
  • MaterialPods: sfruttando quest’app è possibile visualizzare il livello di carica residua nelle proprie AirPods. L’utente si dovrà far largo tra widget di vario genere, notifiche e una finestra a scomparsa apposita. Il design dell’app incuriosisce e stuzzica l’utente, che avrà modo di personalizzare svariate impostazioni, al fine di rendere il tutto più aderente alle sue esigenze. Se il download è gratuito, nel corso dell’utilizzo si potrà decidere se procedere con un acquisto in-app o meno, pagando 1,49 euro, così da poter sfruttare ulteriori funzionalità non previste nel pacchetto base.
  • Assistant Trigger: scaricando e aprendo quest’applicazione si potrà visualizzare un riquadro a scomparsa, sempre disponibile, così da poter avere accesso rapidamente alle informazioni base delle proprie AirPods, come ad esempio il livello di carica, sia degli auricolari che del case. Il download non prevede alcun costo. È totalmente gratuito. È però possibile decidere di sbloccare ulteriori funzionalità al costo di 2,19 euro.
  • AirDroid: un’app che consente, come le altre disponibili sul Play Store, di controllare il livello di carica delle AirPods, così come del relativo case. Sul display del proprio smartphone e tablet si vedrà un popup apposito per controllare i dati delle cuffie. Vi sarà dunque un widget apposito o, in alternativa, le informazioni saranno riportare nel Centro notifiche. In this case there is no additional cost or in-app payment.

It should be noted that it is always possible to refuse the in-app payment, although it is always very low. This refusal will not limit the basic functionality. It is only a possibility to be taken or not, depending on your needs. Each app, however, offers, in its basic form, control of the charge level of earbuds and cases, which is in fact the main goal of the average user.

AirPods and AirPods Pro: differences

We've highlighted some slight setup differences between AirPods and AirPods Pro, whether used on Android or Apple devices. If we leave the topic of settings and land on that of features, the two models (second generation and Pro) seem far apart from each other. It's inevitable that product evolution will take its toll.

The AirPods Pro boast active noise cancellation. The level of cancellation can be adjusted, even allowing you to choose "transparency mode". Transparency mode provides the user with an outward-facing perception of audio, so they can connect with their surroundings when needed.

No active noise cancellation provided for the previous generation AirPods. These rely solely on the tightness of their silicone inserts to reduce external annoyances. The AirPods Pro are also water resistant. It's obviously not recommended to use them underwater or in the shower. But they're a great workout companion, as they won't be damaged by sweat or the small amount of water contact you get when you're trying to regenerate after strenuous exercise.

The silicone inserts on the Pro version are customizable. That means they're far more adaptable than the previous model, so they fit the user's earcup in the best way possible. The first and second generation earplugs, on the other hand, are made of plastic and cannot be replaced in any way, if necessary.

The Pro version boasts a pressure valve. In some cases it is possible to feel an uncomfortable sensation while wearing the earbuds. The problem is probably a small amount of pressure built up in your ear. This happens at the time of insertion and, as the hours go by, may cause discomfort. The new version of the Apple earphones boasts a tiny valve to reduce this pressure, for greater comfort. Adding to the many improvements is a parametric equalizer, a wider soundstage, and a cleaner sound, if only slightly.