AirPods With a Screen: Breaking Down Apple's Patent
AirPods With a Screen: Breaking Down Apple's Patent
8:54

AirPods With a Screen: Breaking Down Apple's Patent

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Speaker 1: Congratulations, apple. You really did it. The circle of life is complete. AirPods are becoming iPods, or at least that's what we are seeing in various mockups posted online. Inspired by an Apple patent application that puts a screen on the AirPods charging case for controlling music and other things. Last year we mourned the death of the iPod product line after 20 years when Apple discontinued the last iPod touch model. So what is [00:00:30] dead? Just may live again. Okay? Don't hold your breath over a patent, but this is a great time to go over what we are expecting for the next batch of AirPods, how we could see something cheaper in the AirPod lineup and even some new buds may be coming out for the Beats brand. And we are gonna go over more of those patent details on what this potential AirPod case could do, because you know it goes a little bit deeper than Apple just dusting off the nanos from storage and slap in the Mont AirPods cases. [00:01:00] As we go over all of this, there is one more thing I want you to think about When it comes to the evolution of the AirPod or really the evolution of all of our accessories. At what point do accessories just hold more smarts and the phone becomes a hub managing it all? Then again, maybe putting a screen on something is no different than giving Malibu Stacy a new hat. Gotta give you something new to buy. I'm Bridget Carey, and this is one more thing. Speaker 1: [00:01:30] Patents are fun little nerdy clues to how a company is thinking about the future. And this patent application has a lot of clues. Apple filed it in September of 2022, but it was published recently by the US Patent and Trademark Office. And let's of course give credit to the site patently apple for putting the spotlight on it. This document indicates a few things that Apple is considering for the next stage of accessories. The case that charges the AirPods would have a screen to let you see information [00:02:00] and control audio. It'll have play, pause, skip, that sort of thing, but it also would convey information to the user with haptics. Essentially it turns the AirPods into a remote control that you can keep in your pocket. It also would have voice commands with Siri, or it says you could do a touch gesture, kind of mimicking the rotation of the wheel control of an iPod. Speaker 1: You would swirl your thumb in a circle to change the volume. Also, you could swipe to change a song. The patent goes through the ways of handing off a song that's playing [00:02:30] on the iPhone, have it switched to being played on the AirPods and also handing off something to the HomePod speaker. One useful trick highlighted would be that you could watch a video on your television, but then have the audio transferred to the headphones so you can watch without disturbing others. If you wanna keep the room quiet or it would be cool to do something like that on an airplane. There was also mention of squeezing the case to switch different types of audio modes and you could see notifications of incoming messages or the weather pretty much like what you would see [00:03:00] on an Apple Watch alert. So why do any of this if you already use an Apple Watch? Speaker 1: It's a good question that Apple will need to answer. I think of it as just another option for control, and it would be important to have the Apple Watch also be connected to all of whatever this is. Having hiccups where controls are on one screen but not the other, is gonna be an annoying user experience. And this all gets down to the concept of making your gadgets feel like an extension of you. Small swipes. Just make the music play [00:03:30] the way you want it to play without taking out a phone or fumbling to see if the song is being controlled on your watch or a phone or your case. That means the screen that is easiest is the one that needs to be available to work, and it means that the iPhone isn't the end all be all screen for everything. It could be treated more like a central hub to process all the information from the different accessories on your body. Speaker 1: Apple isn't the only one thinking in this matter. Take for example the JBL L Tour Pro two. [00:04:00] These are earbuds with an L E D display in the case. JBL L is owned by Samsung and these were shown off at the recent c e s. The 1.45 inch L e D touch display manages music, it receives calls and gives social media notifications. It's priced at 250 bucks and it's listed as coming soon. There's also the Poly Voyager Free 60 series. This has a touchscreen charge case and it cost $230, but patents don't always mean it's officially a product. [00:04:30] It could be another year or more before we see something like this from Apple. What consumers may find more pleasant to the ear is news that Apple could be focused on making a cheaper version of wireless earbuds. Back in January, tech analyst Jeff Pugh said Apple will likely come out with lower priced AirPods in 2024. Speaker 1: He referred to them as AirPods Light Analyst. Ming Chi Quo also made a similar prediction saying that we should get a cheaper AirPod product in the second half of 2024, maybe at a price point of get this [00:05:00] $99. But to be clear, the idea is that this is supposed to be a new product, not just a discounted older model. Maybe something that's like a stripped down version of AirPods Pro without noise canceling, which honestly I would be down for. I'm not a noise canceling fan. Kind of has a weird feeling to me when I try them out. The cheapest model of AirPods right now though are the $129 second gen AirPods. It makes you wonder if Apple would just lower those to $99 [00:05:30] and still come out with a new light model. The hard thing to predict here is that AirPods have been sold as a premium product. Speaker 1: And what Apple really give us a $99 version of something new or just drive us deal hunters to an older product. Either way, there are more clues that new AirPods could be really happening. Nine to five Mac found a developer version of Iowa's 16.4 with code that referenced unreleased versions of AirPods. So something could be up [00:06:00] and nine to five Mac. Also found references of Iowa 16.4 supporting the yet to be announced Beats Studio Buds plus the regular Beats Studio Buds were released in 2021. Now the Buds plus are said to have active noise cancellation and transparency mode and support audio sharing, automatic device switching, and the ability to say, Hey Siri, just like other beats wireless earbuds that use Apple chips, like My [00:06:30] Power Beats Pro, this is what I use. We don't know when Studio Buds Plus will be announced, but the current ones are priced at $149. Speaker 1: So maybe we are getting new Beats headphones soon, but does that mean no new AirPods in 2023? It's hard to say. There is no regular schedule of when AirPods products get released. Some have been to the spring, sometimes it's the fall. We have seen some sort of new AirPods product every year since 2019. [00:07:00] The AirPods Max came out in 2020. The third Gen AirPods were in 2021 AirPods Pro in 2022. So are the AirPods Max due for an updated version? Maybe. But Analyst Ming Chi quo is thinking that's not gonna be for another year. However, if you want your AirPods to feel like new, there was a firmware update just released this week. There's no notes from Apple. What the firmware includes, the update is for the second and third generation AirPods, [00:07:30] the AirPods Pro, and the AirPods Max. These firmware updates just kind of happen automatically. It installs over the air when the AirPods are connected via Bluetooth to an Apple device. And a fun fact, apple says that if you do not have an iPhone or iPad or Mac computer because maybe you are an Android owner that uses AirPods, then you're gonna need to go to an Apple store to get the update installed. Speaker 1: Well, that [00:08:00] is an earful from me. What do you want to see in the next generation of AirPods? Let me know. And you know what? It's gonna soon be Earth Day. Are there any sustainability issues you want Apple to address this year? Give it a think and tell me in the comments. You may get a shout out in the next video. Last week we got some comments from you about AirPods. We heard from Andrew Elec who says regarding future AirPods, they've always had a fatal flaw collecting earwax. The pictures I've seen online will [00:08:30] never be unseen. Purely outta fear. I stick to beets, wireless earbuds, the speaker grills and sensors sealed, making them easier to clean. Thank you, Andrew, for also getting that image in all of our heads. Y'all need to clean your ears. I'll catch you next time. Don't be gross.

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