One of the main attractions of AirPods has always been their ability to be essentially invisible, both to the user and to the people around them. When they were first introduced they had two features, the ability to play music and the ability to talk to Siri with a tap. But over the past 5 years, Apple has been adding new features through both hardware revisions and software updates that have made us wonder if AirPods deserve their companion app on the iPhone. Here’s how we think it should be.
AirPods have become more and more important in people’s lives, so much so that I would say that they are now an indispensable accessory for the iPhone. As they get more advanced, it becomes more and more difficult for users to find features added by Apple. Not to mention, the company still treats AirPods like any other bluetooth device in the settings menu.
Settings and updates
An AirPods companion app would likely look like the Watch app. There would be a simple main tab with all the settings you’d like quick access to. Many of these are pulled from the Bluetooth menu and the About page. At the top, you can see your AirPods currently in use, search for settings, check the battery level, and switch to another pair of AirPods you may want to use.
There are three groups of cells which include relevant setting options. The first group includes hardware controls such as the ability to customize how buttons work, enable or disable head detection, and experience spatial audio.
Under that group you can see information about your AirPods, customize settings for the Find My network, and yes, download software updates. One of our biggest complaints with AirPods is the way Apple sows software updates for users. They are invisible and quite frankly, crap. There is technically no way to really invoke a software update. You just have to wait for it to happen to your AirPods, check the screen, and hope for the best. So, like all of Apple’s other major auxiliary devices, AirPods should have a software update tile that displays new features and notifies you when updates become available.
The central tab of the Watch app houses the gallery of watch faces, but there’s nothing quite like putting there for AirPods. So I turned to an idea I had to help alleviate anti-trust issues with the Apple App Store and services. They could add a new apps tab that shows apps and services for music, podcasts, sounds, and videos.
Discover new things
Like the Watch app and the Tips app, the Discover tab may teach users about features they may not be aware of. It could also act as a pseudo-editor for Apple to inform people about new features and software updates. When someone wants to fix a problem with their AirPods, they can come here. It would be a centralized place to get to know your AirPods regardless of model.
Apple may include Beats headphone and earphone support in this app if they so wish. But I think they would like to keep them separate. After all, they don’t have a dedicated card on Apple.com like AirPods do now.
What do you think of Apple’s idea of creating a dedicated AirPods app for managing settings and downloading software updates? Let us know in the comments below!
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