Update, October 24, 2018 (2:00 p.m. ET): Mobvoi has announced that its Apple AirPods rival, the TicPods Free, are now on general sale.
The successfully crowdfunded earbuds had previously only been available via Indiegogo, but you can now grab a pair from Mobvoi’s official store for $129 (119 pounds in the U.K., 135 euros in Europe). Hit the button below to head there now, and be sure to check out the full SoundGuys review!
Original Article: You may be surprised to know that Apple AirPods — the totally wireless in-ear headphones Apple launched in late 2016 — work with Android devices. AirPods are simply Bluetooth earbuds and will pair with any Android smartphone without issue.
However, you won’t get the other features iPhone users enjoy, like seeing the battery level of the AirPods, having quick access to a virtual assistant, etc. Luckily, Google-backed startup Mobvoi just announced TicPods Free, which will work on Android phones in all the same ways AirPods do on the iPhone.
TicPods Free even look remarkably like AirPods, with a slender stem jutting downward from the earpieces. However, they do come in more colors than AirPods, including this striking red with a matching case:
Despite their small size, you can use swipe and tap gestures on TicPods Free to control your phone. For example, a double-tap on one of the pods will answer or end a call. If you’re not on a call, double-tapping skips to the next song on your current playlist.
Swiping up and down on one of the pod stems will alter the volume, and long-pressing will either reject a call or launch your phone’s virtual assistant, whether that’s Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.
Another cool feature lifted from the AirPods is automatic in-ear detection. Let’s say you’re listening to music and someone comes up to you and asks a question. If you remove one of the TicPods from your ear, the music will automatically pause. When you’re done with your conversation and put the pod back in your ear, the music will resume from where you left off.
According to Mobvoi, a single charge of TicPods Free lasts four hours. That may seem short, but to charge the devices to full capacity only takes 40 minutes. What’s more, the case that comes with the pods doubles as a portable charger, which gives you up to 18 hours of battery life without ever having to be near a wall outlet.
TicPods Free come in three colors: white, blue, and red. You can buy them right now for only $59 by pre-ordering them at Mobvoi’s Indiegogo campaign. If you decide to wait until they hit stores, the price jumps up significantly to the MSRP of $129. Shipping for campaign pre-orders begins in July this year.
What do you think? Are you in the market for some AirPods for your Android phone? Let us know in the comments!