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Use Apple’s AirPods with any Android phone



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Use your AirPods with your Android phone and don’t feel guilty about it.

Jason Cipriani / CNET

Android Owners have many options when it comes to wireless earbuds. Google Pixel Buds 2 and The latest Galaxy Buds from Samsung (currently Buds Live) are just a few examples of fully capable wireless earbuds with deep Android integration. However, Apple’s AirPods – albeit the standard AirPods, AirPods Pro or the new AirPods Max – are tempting even if you’re using an Android phone.

So whether you have switched from iPhone to Android, receive AirPods as a holiday gift from a family member who didn’t know any better or you just want to use Apple’s wireless earbuds – there’s good news: it’s absolutely possible.

To be clear, you will lose some of the magical features that AirPods are known for. Features like quick pairing and active noise cancellation may work, but probably not, and Siri will of course be MIA. Nonetheless, AirPods and Android are an unconventional match worth investing time in. Here’s What You Should Know.

Read more: The best true wireless earbuds of 2020

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Pairing your AirPods is just like any other Bluetooth device.

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Pair AirPods with your Android phone

When you pair AirPods with Android phone, you don’t get the fancy iPhone method of opening the AirPods case and waiting for a prompt to pop up and pair the devices. Instead, you should use the tried and true method to dive into your device’s Bluetooth settings.

1. Swipe down from the top of your screen to open the quick settings panel, then long press the Bluetooth icon.

2. Depending on your phone, you may need to select Add a new device or Pair a new device.

3. Open the lid with the AirPods or AirPods Pro in the charging case.

4. There is a small button on the back of the case. Keep the button pressed until the indicator light starts flashing white. If you have AirPods Max, take them out of their smart case and then press and hold the noise control button until the indicator light on the bottom of the right earcup flashes white.

5. Your AirPods will then appear in the pairing menu on your Android phone. Select them and follow any instructions on your phone.

When the AirPods are connected to your Android phone, you can use them in the same way as other Bluetooth headphones or earbuds. They connect automatically when removed from the case and disconnect when you put them back in the case.

If your Android phone supports reverse wireless charging, you can charge AirPods with a wireless charging case on the back of your phone. They can also be charged wirelessly via another Qi-supported pad or via Apple’s Lightning cable.

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There are several third-party apps that add functionality to your AirPods.

Jason Cipriani / CNET

You will miss a few features

Of course, if you don’t use the AirPods with an iPhone or any other Apple product, you won’t have access to all the features.

For example, I can still control playback of my AirPods Pro on an Android phone by squeezing the stem of both earbuds. I can even toggle noise cancellation on and off with a long press on either stalk. Controlling playback on standard AirPods (not Pro) is also possible with just a tap on either earbud.

There are even third-party applications that allow you to check the battery level by opening the cover next to your phone. I am using an app called AirBattery and have had no problems with it. Plus, it’s free.

One feature you may miss is automatic pause and resume when you take an AirPod out and put it back in your ear. It’s easily one of my favorite features of AirPods, and one that I miss very much when using them on Android. AirBattery third-party app supports auto-pause as an experimental feature, but it is primarily designed to be used when playing music from Spotify. There is also the gigantic warning in the app about excessive battery drain when the feature is on.

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You don’t get all of the AirPods features with Android, but you do get the most.

Óscar Gutiérrez / CNET

Plus, you can’t activate Google Assistant with the AirPods, as iPhone users can with Siri – simply because Apple has programmed its earbuds to work with its own voice assistant, not the competitor’s. You have to start these questions the traditional way by talking to your phone.

The AirPods Pro are by far my favorite wireless earbuds. But there are plenty of worthy competitors out there. We have a collection of AirPods Pro alternatives that cost less, together with some of the best wireless earbuds that cost less than $ 100. We also have a running list of the best wireless earbuds you can buy today.


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