apple airpods, a simple review

I finally broke down and purchased my very own pair of Apple AirPods. Up to that point I’d believed the Apple hater’s negative hype surrounding the devices, such as it wouldn’t stay in my ears, they would fall out and become an expensive loss, they didn’t work well, etc, etc. My local Costco had them for sale for $130, which was $30 less than the Apple Store across the way in the Big Mall. So on a Friday evening at my local Costco while shopping for groceries (I live such an exciting life) I finally said to myself, said I, “OK”. And thus I walked away with my very own AirPods nestled in with the bags of salad, corn-on-the-cob, and whole wheat baked bread.

When I got home I put away the groceries and then opened up the AirPod box and read the very simple instructions, which were:

  1. Open AirPod Charger
  2. Place near iPhone
  3. Let it pair automagically

And voilà, the AirPod earbuds were instantly paired with my iPhone 8 Plus. Over the rest of the evening and all the next day those pods hardly ever left my ears except to recharge them. I left the AirPod charging case plugged in all the time.

I discovered I could leave my iPhone on its wireless charger while I roamed all through my house (and even outside into the yard) and I never lost connectivity but once, and that was to determine the AirPod’s range limits. Turns out for all practical purposes to be pretty far.

I discovered that no mater if I was standing, sitting, or leaning back, my AirPods were never in danger of falling out of my ears. Not once.

I discovered that if I took one of the AirPods out of my ear to listen to my lovely wife, that the music or podcast or whatever would pause playing until I put it back. That, to me, was an incredibly simple, but incredibly useful feature. I sat there after the first time taking the pod in and out just to watch it work. Yes, I’m easily entertained.

I discovered I could easily pair my AirPods with my iPad Pro first generation just like with my iPhone. I’ve not yet tried it with my Macbook Pro.

Finally, I discovered that the sound coming out of the AirPods is quite good, matching or exceeding anything using the wired EarPods. And with the AirPods, there’s no damned collection of wires that need to be untangled before they’re ready to use.

I’ve not tried the other major feature, integration with Siri. I’m not into anything Siri (or Alexa or “Hey Google!” either).

Right now everybody who’s anybody in tech (or might think they are) are probably shacking their heads and thinking “he should have waited for the second generation.” The internet is currently rife with rumors about the AirPods Second Coming, and while it makes for entertaining reading, they all have one shocking limitation in common: an agreement of when they’ll actually arrive. Oh well.

As for buying trailing edge, trailing edge might as well be my middle name. I can’t afford leading edge anything for two reasons: one, it’s too expensive and two, it’s buggy and will wind up with at least one firmware update before it’s decent, let alone half-way decent. The AirPods were announced/released in 2016, so they’ve had plenty of time to settle down as far as radically new tech is concerned. And don’t kid yourself; in spite of how old they are now, they’re still leading tech and they Just Work.

As a former reviewer who’s name I can’t remember used to say at the end of his review, “Highly Recommended.”

more good flutter news (at least, for me)

Even more good news. I’ve gotten the tutorial to operate in an Android emulator on my Mac. After all the updates, including an update to the Android emulator, I was able to launch the emulator as a Pixel 2 XL running Android 7.1 (API 25). Interestingly enough I couldn’t configure an emulator using any of the Pixel 3 smartphone’s; there were none in the AVD manager. The Apple emulator, by contrast, has the latest iPhone XS and XR variants. But at least it works and validates Flutter’s claim that the same application developed in Flutter will run on both iOS and Android.

One quirk getting this to run. When I opened the tutorial back up, VS Code flagged the import of english_words.dart package. I had to re-run ‘flutter packages get’ in the tutorial folder and then restart VS Code. After that it was satisfied.