From the Mac to the iPod to the iPhone, Apple is a master of making iconic products. That tradition of technological trendsetting has continued with the AirPods, which went from ridiculous to status symbol in a matter of memes. Two years after the AirPods were introduced, Apple has released a new version with updated internals and a few pleasant creature comforts. Together, the tweaks make the AirPods easier to use without compromising their compact design and minimal aesthetics. In short, Apple's wireless earbuds are a bit better than they were before.
Apple's AirPods have been staggeringly successful. Although at first some found them strange-looking or were convinced they would fall out of their ears, they quickly became the in-ear wireless headphone to aspire to. Rarely in the two years and three months since launch has demand eased off. As a result, the look has gone from curious to acceptable to – dare I say it – iconic. Now, the second-generation AirPods have been announced, I talked to Greg Joswiak, Apple's Vice President of Product Marketing and Kate Bergeron, Vice President of Hardware Engineering about the new arrivals.
A curious thing has been happening with new Apple products the past couple years: They don't look new anymore. Apple seems to believe it has hit a design stride where the shapes and screens and curvature of things don't need a dramatic reinvention at this moment in time. AirPods are the latest example of this trend. The new second-generation AirPods look exactly the same as the pair of'pods released in late 2016, those long, white, bakelite-looking sex sticks dangling from the ears of the techno-elite. Over time, AirPods began popping up in (or hanging down from) more ears.
New AirPods are here at last. On Wednesday, Apple announced its second-generation AirPods. The new wireless earbuds look identical to the old model, but come with a new H1 chip to achieve up to 50 percent longer talk time on a given charge, and enable hands-free "Hey Siri" voice controls. With the H1 chip, the new AirPods get up to 5 hours of listening time and up to 3 hours of talk time (up from 2 hours on the first-gen AirPods). The new chip also enables 2x faster audio connection when switching between Apple devices (i.e.
We're starting to get a good picture of what Apple's second-generation AirPods might look like. A new rumor suggests the tentatively named AirPods 2 might come with a wireless charging case -- Apple promised the case along with AirPower way back at the iPhone X launch, but neither has shipped -- that might be able to quickly charge from 0 to 100 percent in about 15 minutes. SEE ALSO: 5G will be crazy fast, but it'll be worthless without unlimited data The rumor comes from leaker Max Weinbach (via 9to5Mac) who made an appearance on a recent EverythingApplePro video to talk about new AirPods features. Weinbach says "wireless charging will happen" and the 0 to 100 percent wireless charging speed is for both the AirPods and the case. The AirPods 2 wireless charging case will reportedly use Qi-based wireless charging just like the iPhone 8, X, XS, XS Max, and XR.