KIND OF YUCKY? The Apple AirPods are a step in the direction of implanted technology

Estimated read time: 5 minutes


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You know those people that walk around with their bluetooth device in their ear at all times? That’s not my style, I thought, and it seemed weird to me. The look is not linear and I’m a linear person.

But I’m starting to change my opinion on that since I bought my first set of AirPods, Apple’s bluetooth headphones without cords. I was planning on getting them at some point and then got a good offer from American Airlines so took the plunge and I love them!

They just kind of fit in my ears and easily stay in there. Double tapping them activates Siri. I showed off to my 10-year-old:

“Watch, Sophie.”

Double tab AirPod

“Call Sophie Trappe.”

Sophie’s phone rings.

“Freaky.”

I also didn’t read the manual to figure that out. The use is mostly, somewhat intuitive.

I would go with awesome actually. When Apple first launched them, people like me were worried about losing them. That’s a concern, but they are part of my “Find my iPhone” GPS account and I should be able to ping them that way. And many things we own can be lost. The reason that was a concern was probably because they are new and don’t have cords like other headphones. Because the cords are the anti-loss device apparently.

They just kind of fit in my ears and feel like they are part of it. Really. It’s quiet amazing and I had to say that they are the next step to technology that is implanted or attached to our bodies. That sounds yucky, so however we  will get there, it needs to be tasteful and easy to use. We can’t feel yucky when we hear “implanted technology.” Maybe the easiest way is to not use that term and have some smart marketing whiz come up with something better.

Some other examples of new tech that was/is trying but is not quite there for me:

Remember Google Glass

The concept and idea was certainly there, but they were just too clunky. I tried them and never got into using them beyond the initial playing around with them phase. But they didn’t fit naturally at all and the functionality was somewhat limited.

Virtual reality headsets

I’ve tried them and even used them on a day to day basis, but again the use is just too limited. And they shut out the rest of the world, which I know is partially the point. It’s also a disadvantage.

The AirPods also tune out the rest of the world. But I’m still seeing what else is going on. For example, I’m writing this sitting in my yard and under my umbrella with AirPods in and Pandora on. My 3-year-old is playing nearby. If a phone call comes in, I can just answer them on the devices already in my ears. No need to take off a headset, for example.

I’ve worn the AirPods on runs in the 100-degree heat, at the gym and while doing regular office worker type of tasks. They are great. The biggest complaint that I have perhaps is that the battery doesn’t last forever and runs out after a few hours. #firstworldproblems

The easier technology becomes the better and these are a step in that direction.

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How to keep the AirPods from running out of battery during conference calls

I don’t even want to know how many hours in a day I wear those things but I wear them for hours while working. Throughout the day I talk to teammates in San Francisco, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, far northwest and Wisconsin.

For literally every conference call and when I’m working on tasks that are self contained to me I wear them to listen to Pandora or Apple Music.

But at some point they run out and the AirPods actually give you a warning beep that they’re about to run out and they give you another beep and there might even be a third beep. So there’s plenty of warning before a conversation actually drops.

But the beep warning always seems to happen at the worst time of the day. If the headphones were to run out when I’m listening to music it’s not a big deal. I can just not listen to music for 10 minutes-and charging the AirPods for 10 minutes actually gets them up to a really good percentage of battery.

But it really blows when they run out in the middle of a conference call. Because my options are to switch over to the phone and hold it to my ear-which hurts my arms after a period of time or I can talk on speakerphone which I’m not a fan of either.

By the way, when you run out of juice on the AirPods while on a phone call it will just automatically switch over to the phone.

So the only way to deal with the situation and the best way to deal with the situation in my opinion is to take one of the AirPods out of your ear and charge it individually and then when the other one beeps again you just switch them and put the one in your ear and the charging box and take out the other one.

I’m really not a fan of only having audio in one of my two ears at a time but this seems to be the best solution to the problem without having to stop listening through the AirPods.

I’m also a little worried about how the AirPods will work on a couple of flights to Europe later this year. They’ll probably run out of juice way before we get there so should I just stop listening to music and charge them, bring a pair of earbuds or bring a back up pair of the old iPhone headphones that have a cord attached to them?

The answer is probably somewhere in the middle and maybe I should just pack the extra pair of headsets as a back up and also packed some air buds-of course American Airlines also gives you a set of ear buds! (Upgrade to business cleared five months early! Woohoo!)

Anyway, for a guy like me who doesn’t use his office phone at all and has it forwarded to his cell phone 100 percent of the time the AirPods running out of juice is a real problem and this is the solution I found.

this post was first written May 2018 and updated in August 2018.