It's true, you can use Apple's AirPods with Android phones. Here's how.
Jason CiprianiContributing Writer, ZDNet
Jason Cipriani is based out of beautiful Colorado and has been covering mobile technology news and reviewing the latest gadgets for the last six years. His work can also be found on sister site CNET in the How To section, as well as across several more online publications.
To be clear, you'll lose some of the magical features AirPods are known for. Features like quick pairing and active noise cancellation may work, but probably not, and of course, Siri will be MIA. Nonetheless, AirPods and Android are an unconventional match that's worth investing your time in. Here's what you need to know.
When pairing AirPods with an Android phone, you won't get the fancy iPhone method of opening the AirPods case and waiting for a prompt to appear and pair the devices. Instead, you'll have to use the tried-and-true method of diving into your device's
1. Swipe down from the top of your screen to open the quick settings panel, then long-press on the Bluetooth icon.
2. Depending on your phone, you may have to select Add new device or Pair new device.
3. With the AirPods or AirPods Pro in the charging case, open the lid.
4. On the back of the case is a small button. Press and hold it until the indicator light starts blinking white. If you have AirPods Max, you'll need to take them out of their smart case and then hold in the noise control button until the indicator light on the bottom of the right ear cup blinks white.
5. Your AirPods will then show up in the pairing menu on your Android phone. Select them and follow any prompts on your phone.
With the AirPods connected to your Android phone, you can use them just as you would any other Bluetooth headphones or earbuds. They'll autoconnect when taken out of the case, and disconnect when you put them back in the case.
If your Android phone supports reverse wireless charging, you can charge AirPods with a wireless charging case on the back of your phone. They'll also charge wirelessly through any other Qi-supported pad, or through Apple's Lightning cable.
You're going to miss out on a few features
Naturally, if you aren't using the AirPods with an iPhone or another Apple product, you won't be able to access every feature.
For example, I can still control my AirPods Pro's playback on an Android phone by squeezing the stem of either earbud. I can even turn noise cancellation on and off with a long squeeze on either stem. Controlling playback on standard AirPods (i.e., not Pro) is also possible with just a tap on either earbud.
There are even third-party applications that let you view battery levels just by opening the case next to your phone. I use an app called AirBattery and haven't had any issues with it. Plus, it's free.
One feature you might miss out on is auto-pause and resume when you take an AirPod out and put it back in your ear. It's easily one of my favorite features of AirPods, and one I sorely miss when using them on Android. The third-party app AirBattery supports autopausing as an experimental feature, but it's primarily designed to be used when playing music from Spotify. There's also the giant warning in the app about excessive battery drain when the feature is turned on.
Additionally, you won't be able to trigger Google Assistant with the AirPods, like iPhone users can do with
-- simply because Apple programmed its earbuds to work with its own voice assistant, not its competitor's. You'll need to start those queries the traditional way, by talking to your phone.