Will AirPods work with Samsung

Connect and use Airpods with Android smartphones

Halyna Kubiv

The Airpods headphones from Apple are great to use on an Android smartphone. Instead of Siri, you can retrofit Google Assistant.

If you tell the friends of Android smartphones that the wireless headphones from Apple can also be used on one of these devices, they look at you in disbelief and immediately look for confirmation on the Internet. The fairy tale of Apple's golden cage, from which there is no exit, is far too anchored. It is not for nothing that different generations of Airpods (2nd generation and the newer Pro) choose the list of the most popular Christmas gifts. The latest Airpods Max will probably be canceled this year, as long as the delivery times for the Apple headphones are. Nevertheless, it can quickly happen that they end up under a Christmas tree, the lighting of which is controlled by an Android mobile phone. But that's not a problem at all, even on the case there is no Apple logo. By the way, very unusual for Apple ...

And yet the Airpods are nothing more than normal Bluetooth headphones, every smartphone that supports Bluetooth 4.2 or Bluetooth 5 should be able to recognize the Airpods and connect to them without any problems. We tried this with the Pixel 4. In the meantime, Apple has brought the third generation of wireless headphones onto the market: The Airpods Pro cost 279 euros in the Apple Store, and far less from third-party providers. The shape has changed a bit, but also the functionality, the new Airpods bring the noise reduction mode and a so-called transparency mode for on the go. The Airpods Max will also be able to connect to an Android phone. The headphones support the fifth generation of the Bluetooth standard, which is backwards compatible. However, some functions such as surround sound are only reserved for the newer iPhones and iPads as a sound source, so if you want a cinema experience for your ears, the Android smartphones are left out.

1. Connect Airpods to the Android smartphone

To do this, go to "Settings - Bluetooth devices" on the smartphone. At the same time, hold down the reset button (on the back) on the Airpods charging box. After a while, the "Airpods" entry will appear in the list of recognized Bluetooth devices.

Here you can change the name of the device and select the file types for which the headphones are approved. For example, you can only take calls on your mobile phone, while music can be played on the Airpods. This allows the control center on the device when it is connected.

EnlargeAirpods are now connected to Pixel 3 XL.

2. Control music playback with the tapping gestures

Similar to iOS, music playback can be controlled with the Airpods. If the user inserts the two earbuds, a tone sounds, similar to the Mac startup, which reports that the Airpods are ready for use. You can start music playback directly in the app, be it YouTube, Spotify or Play Music. The Airpods also understand the double tap gesture, which means you have to double-tap one of the headphones to stop and restart playback. This gesture is standard on Android, on iOS, for example, Siri can be set or control to the next or previous track. With the Airpods Pro, you don't tap on the receiver itself, but on the handle.

3. Lightning cable included

If you run an Apple-free household, you will find out at the latest with the new Airpods that they have an extra port - Lightning. Although Apple is rather stingy with its own adapters and cables, a Lightning-to-USB-A cable is included in the Airpod packaging. This information is completely missing on the Apple Store page for the Airpods and on the packaging itself, only "Airpods with charging case" are given. Incidentally, the new Airpods Pro come with a Lightning to USB-C cable. The same goes for the Airpods Max.

4. Use only one airpod

The trick is simple: insert the earphone you want into the ear, leave the other one in the charging case and close it, the smartphone will still find the active earphone via Bluetooth and play music on it.

5. Track battery charge

Unlike iOS, Android lacks a battery widget for the connected Airpods. This function can be retrofitted with an app: Airbattery is almost mandatory for Airpod owners. When setting up for the first time, you have to give the app its own location, after which it shows the charging status of either earbuds or the charging case if it is open.

The battery life of the case and the Airpods themselves are still very good after almost a year of use: One charge of the case is enough for almost five charges of the Airpods. A single charge of the earphones is enough for several hours of music playback. The following rule of thumb applies: If the light in the charging case lights up orange after a charging process, the case must be connected to the mains soon, it could not charge the Airpods to 100 percent because it is slowly running out of juice. The charging lamp in orange or green provides a good orientation aid, even without an additional app, when it is best to charge the case - if the lamp also lights up orange after the individual Airpods have been charged.

The Airpods themselves give a sound notification when they are charged ten and five percent. This sounds a few tones lower than the connecting tone. These cannot be confused even in the middle of playback. But even after the first warning tone, there are still twenty minutes until the music or the podcast is still playing.

6. Activate the Google Assistant with Airpods

If necessary, you can also activate the Google Assistant via Airpods, but an "Assistant Trigger" app is required for this. However, you can only get the full functionality of the app after purchasing the Pro package for € 1.99.

7. Find lost Airpods with Android smartphone

When you lose an Airpod at the latest, many Android users regret not having an iOS. Because with Apple ID on the Mac, iPhone or on the web, the lost Airpods can be tracked and hopefully found more quickly. You have to take a little bit of precaution with Android. It is worth trying out the "Light Blue Explorer" app. This finds all accessory devices that support Bluetooth LE, as long as they are nearby and the battery is not at zero. Thanks to the W1 chip, the standard Bluetooth range has improved a little, it easily extends over 30 meters.

8. Charge Airpods with wireless charging case

If you have treated yourself to the newer generation of Airpods with the wireless charging case, you can now charge the headphones without a cable. According to some test reports, the case charges with five watts of power, so it is fully charged after just under three hours. Horizontal charging mats are best for this, the vertical stands can cause problems because the induction coils in the wireless cover are oriented slightly differently.

9. Enable noise cancellation on Airpods Pro

Apple provides a graphical interface for Airpods control in the iOS settings, which is obviously missing on Android. How do I activate the noise suppression and the new transparency mode? This works with the gestures that Apple has implemented in the Pro headphones: Pressure sensors are built into the stem of the two headphones, if you hold down one of the stems, the Airpods change the playback modes. The headphones report with a clear tone as soon as the mode changes. The usual double-tap gesture remains, however, so you can pause and restart playback.