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How to Connect AirPods with iPhone and More, Explained in New User Guides

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This morning at 6AM PST/9AM EST, Apple surprised everyone by launching AirPod sales, priced at $219 CAD, with delivery times ready for Christmas. If you didn’t get your order in fast enough, you’re to be waiting as they now say delivery is at 4 weeks.

If you managed to get your order in as part of the first wave, then you are probably excited to get your AirPods next week. Apple has uploaded a few guides to prepare users on how to get started with AirPods, posted on their support page.

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  • The first guide teaches customers how to setup and use AirPods, such as listen to music, make a phone call, use Siri and more.
  • The second guide is all about how to charge and clean AirPods and its Charging Case, plus more info about battery life.
  • The third guide talks about how to adjust features of your new wireless headphones, such as renaming them, customizing double-tap actions and more.

The most important tip is getting your AirPods paired with your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch running iOS 10.2 or later; Apple Watch with watchOS 3 or later; and Mac with macOS Sierra or later.

To setup and connect AirPods to iPhone, first, press the Home button to unlock your smartphone. Second, open the AirPods case with the headphones still inside, and place them next to your iPhone.

From here, the magic of Apple’s new W1 chip does the heavy lifting, as you’ll see a pop-up animation asking you to pair AirPods to your iPhone. Just tap Connect and that’s it!

As long as you’re signed into iCloud, your paired AirPods will be automatically setup with your supported devices signed, as long as they are logged in to iCloud with the same Apple ID.

AirPods will start playing audio automatically once you pop them into your ears (you can turn this off), and stop music once you take them out. The headphones will be paired to iPhone and Apple Watch at the same time and sound will switch automatically between each device.

As for phone calls, by default AirPods have microphones set to automatic, so either bud can act as the mic, but of course this can be toggled in settings on your iPhone, under Bluetooth.

AirPods will be great for phone calls and being able to listen to audio discreetly and not have to deal with pesky wires, which can cause your headphones to fall out when you’re doing activities such as running.

What are you looking forward to the most with AirPods? Time to place bets on who’s going to lose an earbud first.

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  • Mario Gaucher

    one question not answered in those guides…
    if I’m wearing only one AirPod, will my iphone route both audio channels to this one AirPod (mono audio)?

  • warpdrive

    Good question.

  • Answer, from Jason Snell over at Six Colors:

    “Can you use them one at a time, with full functionality?

    I heard this question from several runners who are expecting to need to conserve battery power on long runs. (The battery life is five hours, how long are you people running?!) The answer is yes: If you use a single AirPod, it will work just fine, and your iPhone will switch over to a mono mixdown so that you hear both sides of any stereo audio. It also means, as my pal Adam Engst pointed out, that you can run with one AirPod in and your other ear uncovered—which is smart if you’re running on roads and need to listen for traffic.”

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