You may have received a pair of Apple AirPods over the holidays. They're one of the most convenient Bluetooth headphones available and easily work across your Apple devices, including the iPhone, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad. But they can do a lot more than just play music.
You can control them by tapping on the sides, ask Siri for information just by speaking and, on certain models like the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max, turn on a "Transparency mode" and a really cool "Spatial Audio" mode.
Here are some tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your new AirPods.
Your AirPods let you talk to Siri any time. All you have to do is say "Hey Siri." But you can also set them up to respond to touch so you don't have to speak "Hey Siri." It's useful if you're out on a run and just want bring up Siri real quick to request a song.
You can control the music playing through your AirPods without opening your iPhone or iPad. For example, you can can skip a song, return to the last song that played, or play or pause your music. Just do this:
You can check the battery of your AirPods case at a glance on your iPhone. To do this, we'll create a widget.
Now you'll be able to see your AirPods battery life right on your home screen. Bonus: the widget will also show the battery life for other connected Apple products, like the Apple Watch.
If you know your AirPods have battery left and are just somewhere in your house (maybe in a couch cushion) you can find them pretty easily by playing a noise through them. To do this:
AirPods can automatically read new text messages to you. I like this when I'm sitting at my computer and get a text, since it means I can just hear it without having to look at my phone. Here's how to set it up:
If you receive a phone call with AirPods in, you can answer the call by doing this:
This tip only applies to the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max, not the regular AirPods. These two models offer noise cancellation, which helps block outside noise, and a transparency mode that amplifies outside noises so you can still hear what's going on around you. That's useful if you need to hear train announcements in a subway, for example, or cars while you're running on the road. It's really easy on the AirPods Max: just tap the big button to switch between Transparency and Noise Cancellation. But with AirPods Pro, do this:
Spatial Audio is one of the coolest features offered by the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max. It makes movies played through apps like Apple TV sound like they're coming from your device. So, if your iPhone moves to the left or right, it'll sound like the audio is coming from that. And, it also creates an amazing surround-sound effect. To use it:
The AirPods Max have a Digital Crown, just like the Apple Watch, which you can twist to adjust the volume. You can change which direction you turn the crown to alter the volume, however. To do this: