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Business News/ Tech-news / News/  Will Apple’s wireless bet be a commercial success?

Will Apple’s wireless bet be a commercial success?

While getting rid of the wires makes perfect sense for Apple, wireless technology is still not entirely affordable for a lot of users in India

The AirPods run the new W1 chip to deliver the audio processing capabilities. Photo: AFPPremium
The AirPods run the new W1 chip to deliver the audio processing capabilities.
Photo: AFP

San Francisco: The fact that the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus do away with the 3.5mm headphone jack is big news in itself. And worry not, because the converter that makes your existing headphones and earphones compatible with the Lightning connector will be shipped with every iPhone. However, what stands out is the push towards wireless, at least as far as music is concerned.

First up, Apple has announced the AirPods, the wireless earphones. How they work is that you get two earpieces, which connect to each other through an infrared wireless standard, and in turn connect with your iPhone also, wirelessly, for music playback.

Also Read: What Apple has announced, and when you can buy them in India

The AirPods run the new W1 chip to deliver the audio processing capabilities.

Each of these earpieces has multiple sensors (dual optic and accelerometer), which can monitor things such as whether you have removed one earpiece from your ear—in that case, the playback automatically pauses, and resumes when you put the earpiece back in your ear.

Incidentally, this isn’t new tech because some headphones over the past 12 months have included something similar to us, but it is the first time that we see this in a wireless earphone.

The AirPods are automatically detected by your iPhone and simply allowing them to connect once sets up the pairing and the link. There really is no step 2 needed to make these work, unlike a lot of Bluetooth headphones and earphones.

Since these earphones will also be used for voice calls, there are a bunch of features that focus on your sound and block out ambient noise. However, we will need to test these features in detail to see how much improvement they offer overall.

Also Read: Apple unveils iPhone 7; Pokemon Go coming to Apple Watch

Double tapping on any earpiece will activate Siri on your phone, from where on you can proceed to do multiple tasks that Siri allows as standard.

But, the AirPods do not come cheap. These are available for 15,400 and will hit stores in India in the second half of October. Each earpiece can run five hours on a single battery charge, and the charging case (also used to store these when you are not using the earphones) makes that a total of 24 hours before you need to reach for the charger again. Incidentally, the AirPods run only on iOS devices running iOS 10, which is scheduled for release next week, Watch OS 3 for the Apple Watch and MacOS Sierra if you are using them with an iMac or MacBook.

While it is all fair and good to look forward to the next big change that defines comfort and ease of use, it will still take some time for products similar to the completely wireless earphones such as the AirPods to become truly affordable, and only then will they really come on the consumers’ radar.

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Published: 08 Sep 2016, 08:38 AM IST
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