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How to connect Apple AirPods to an Android phone
Although Apple loves its walled garden, the Apple AirPods and AirPods Pro can connect to Android devices. Why: Bluetooth connection is a standard across millions of devices, including Android smartphones. While Apple has some tricks in its iPhones and other devices, standards like Bluetooth and many of its codecs work with Android and PCs, even PS5s with an adapter, not just Apple gear.
To connect your AirPods with an Android device, press and hold the white button on the AirPods case with the earbuds inside it. Then, open the Bluetooth settings on your phone and select the AirPods to pair devices.
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How do you connect the AirPods to Android?
AirPods may even be one of the better options for your Android device, whether a Samsung, LG, Nokia, Google Pixel, or any other. Whatever it is, if it has Bluetooth and still works, it’ll connect to AirPods. If you don’t want the AirPods, we have plenty of picks for the best AirPods alternatives under $100 and even under $50.
Open the AirPods case and make sure the AirPods are in the case, not outside. In, not out. Then, when you’re ready to get pairing:
- First, press the white button on the back of the AirPods case. The lone LED on the case will glow white. You need to continue to hold the button until the LED pulses white. Once it is, you’re ready to pair the AirPods with your Android phone.
- Open the Bluetooth menu on your Android phone. Swipe to raise the quick settings menu, press and hold the Bluetooth icon, or find Bluetooth connections via Settings. A sub-menu called Connections/Connected Devices/Device connectivity, and Bluetooth.
- Make sure Bluetooth is enabled, and look for available devices. The AirPods should show as an option as long as the AirPods case is still flashing white.
- Tap “pair” and allow the phone and the AirPods to connect to your phone.
That should be it. The AirPods should now be connected to your Android device and will always reconnect automatically when your phone’s Bluetooth is on.
Yes, you can connect your AirPods to an Android device using Bluetooth pairing.
How do you pair the AirPods to a Windows PC?
There’s a similar process to pairing the AirPods with a Windows PC, whether a desktop or a laptop.
- Press the white button on the back of the AirPods case. The lone LED on the case will glow white. You need to continue to hold the button until the LED pulses white. Once it is, you’re ready to pair the AirPods with your Android phone.
- Click the Windows icon on your desktop toolbar and select Settings.
- Select Bluetooth & devices and click “Add device.” The AirPods should show as an option as long as the AirPods case is still flashing white.
- Wait for your PC to discover the AirPods, which will appear on the list of available Bluetooth devices.
- Click “AirPods,” and the devices should establish a connection.
What features are lost when using Airpods on Android?
Perhaps it would be too good to be true if every feature from Apple’s AirPods seamlessly carried over to Android. However, while certain iOS features of the AirPods aren’t natively compatible with Android, you can still restore some of them by installing Android apps.
Here’s an updated list of AirPod features that won’t be available on Android and how to replace them if applicable.
Siri, Apple’s virtual voice assistant, is understandably exclusive to iOS. While Android has its own voice assistants, such as Google Assistant or Bixby, they are not supported by AirPods. This means that any commands or gestures typically used to activate Siri through the AirPods will not work on your Android device.
However, you can still use Google Assistant for your AirPods with the help of the Assistant Trigger app. You can summon a voice assistant with a double tap and check the battery levels of your AirPods, all for free.
Once connected to the iCloud, your AirPods can detect any other iOS devices tied to your Apple ID within range and pair with them automatically. Of course, this works only with Apple devices, so switching from one Android device to another will require you to do it manually via Bluetooth settings.
However, Google recently rolled out a switch function of its own, allowing Android users to switch paired devices seamlessly across Android and Google platforms. Learn more about how it works here.
The one-step setup is perhaps the most convenient feature of using AirPods with an iPhone. Thanks to the special W1 chip, connecting AirPods with your iPhone or iPad is as simple as opening the case and tapping Connect. On Android, the pairing process requires a few more steps, so we’ve written this handy guide for your convenience.
With an iPhone, you can change what double-tapping an AirPod does. Shortcuts include skipping songs, summoning Siri, and playing/pausing. On Android, however, tapping twice will only play and pause your music. Any other control over tunes will have to be done from your phone.
Battery life status
For iOS devices, Apple provides onscreen and tonal alerts for when your AirPods battery life is getting low, down to 20, 10, and 5%, respectively. While you can’t monitor how much juice is left in your AirPods’ on Android the way you can on an iPhone, you can use a third-party app. With AirBattery, you can check the battery life of your AirPods to plan your charging patterns better.
Automatic ear detection
When used with Apple devices, AirPods sense when you’ve removed them from your ear and pause your music until you put them back in. Luckily, you can retain this sought-after feature on Android using the previously mentioned Assistant Trigger app.
Ear Tip Fit Test
The latest AirPod models have an “ear tip fit” feature, which uses the built-in microphones in each AirPod to detect audio leaks, helping seal the sound for your ears. Because it’s an exclusive iOS feature, it’s not available on Android devices.
Designed for those who are hard of hearing, Apple’s conversation boost will amplify the voices of anyone you’re talking to with your AirPods. While the feature is only available on iOS devices, Android has its equivalent called Sound Amplifier.
“Find My” function
With Apple’s Find My app, your AirPods are automatically registered on iCloud, which helps you locate the earbuds if you misplace them. Unfortunately, this feature is not available on Android devices. You can try to connect via Bluetooth since, if detected, it means the AirPods are within ten meters of your phone. You can also download Wunderfind to hunt down any lost headphones.
Not every feature of the AirPods will work for Android as they do for iOS, but they are still a good option in terms of sound quality. If you want something similar that’s not Apple, check out the best AirPods alternatives.
What if the AirPods can’t pair to your Android phone?
The most common problem that listeners encounter when they try to pair true wireless earbuds to a smartphone, in this case, the AirPods, is that the smartphone can’t find the headset. There are a few reasons a phone may have difficulty locating a wireless headset, but the most common cause is that the AirPods are still connected to another device. Check all your other source devices, and ensure none are currently connected to the Apple AirPods.
Another reason may be that the AirPods and case batteries are depleted. In that instance, you need to top up the case and earbuds. To do so, place the AirPods in the case and connect it to a Lightning cable, or you can place it atop a wireless charging mat if you sprung for the wireless case variant. After the headset is charged, you can try the pairing process again.
Sometimes the issue has nothing to do with the earbuds but can be traced back to your smartphone. It may be that the smartphone is too far away from the AirPods. They should be within 10 meters of one another for optimal connection strength.
Toggle the Bluetooth function on the Android phone off and then back on as a troubleshooting measure. If that doesn’t work, try to restart your smartphone. If you can, try another phone to ensure it’s not your device causing the problem.
Make sure your AirPods are inside their case when in pairing mode and that they are not connected to any other device. Turn Bluetooth on and off again, and make sure your Android is close to your Airpods.
As a last-ditch effort, factory reset your AirPods
If the AirPods act up for some unknown reason, you can always rely on a hard reset to do the trick; it’s a handy solution to many other AirPods problems, too. When performing a factory reset, you’re decoupling the AirPods from your devices and iCloud account.
- Open the case and keep the earbuds inside.
- Go to the Bluetooth settings on your smartphone.
- Tap the cog icon next to the AirPods, and select “Forget this device.”
- Press and hold the button on the back of the AirPods case until it flashes red.
- Continue to hold the button until the case LED flashes white.
- You may now pair the factory reset AirPods with your Android smartphone.
And that’s it. As you can see, connecting Apple AirPods to an Android device isn’t difficult at all, even if it requires going through a few steps to get there.
Read more: Apple AirPods Pro vs. AirPods