Copyright © 2016
Tag - EarPods
Today's Pointers column is about a part of the iPhone we all take so much for granted that we almost don't remember its there: the earbuds (or, if you have a more recent iPhone, EarPods) and the little controller they come with. As with iOS and OS X generally, it should not surprise you that there may be hidden abilities in there: this is true of many aspects of Apple's hardware and software. Both in Apple's own supplied earphones and Apple-compatible third-party ones with the little controller, there are some less-obvious and downright-secret features you may not know.
Apple may release some updated EarPods in the future, potentially wireless versions, if a report about a recently-discovered trademark filing is to be believed. A trademark application for "AirPods" was filed on September 22, and though the company applying for the mark isn't labeled as Apple, it is suggested that some details about the application hint strongly that Apple is in fact behind the application, using another name in an attempt to keep the application quiet.
Apple is experimenting with ways to use bone conduction technology with its EarPods, in order to make calls through headsets clearer for both parties. The patent application, recently published but originally filed in February last year, explains a system where untethered earbuds include a multitude of sensors and microphones that can combat background noise and wind, allowing the wearer to be better heard by the other party of a call.
Speaking yesterday at the Code Conference, Apple's senior VP of Internet software and services, Eddy Cue -- joined by Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine -- offered an explanation of the company's $3 billion buyout of Beats, and also discussed Apple's upcoming product pipeline. He noted that a deal for Beats and/or the people behind it has been in development for a decade, and that together the two companies should be able to speed up products that are being kept secret.
The ink hasn't even dried on Apple's acquisition of Beats and Dr Dre (Andre Young) and Jimmy Iovine, both newly anointed executives at Apple have already made a public gaffe a piece. Firstly, we saw Dr Dre quaffing Heineken beer and bragging about the deal before it was made official. Then just late yesterday, in an interview with Walt Mossberg at the Code Conference, Jimmy Iovine publicly criticized Apple's pre-packaged headphones (its EarPods) as being for little more than "to see if the sound [on the device] works." While it might have been a casual off-handed quip, it wouldn't have amused the team responsible for developing Apple's EarPods. Nor is it something you would ever expect hear coming from an Apple executive, indicating that this union may take a little while to become fully settled.
Apple's senior VP of design, Jonathan Ive, has collaborated with U2's Bono and industrial designer Marc Newson on a special set of EarPods for a charity auction. The set is plated in 18-karat solid rose gold, and will offered as part of the (RED) Auction, meant to benefit the Global Fund to fight AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis.
Canadian company SPRNG has recently begun shipping its SPRNG clip for Apple EarPods. Although Apple says that the EarPods are designed to sit just outside the ear canal and stay there on their own, some users complain that they can move around or fall out when on the move or when jogging in particular. The SPRNG clip promises to end those issues if you're experiencing them by adding a stabilizing, flexible strut to the EarPods that sits in under the antihelix of a user's ear -- so do they work as promised and is the $10 asking price worth it?
A company that makes digital hearing aids with the trademark name "HearPod" is suing Apple over its "EarPods" trademark, claiming infringement. Filed in Hawaii, the "HearPod" trademark was originally issued in 2007, five years before Apple introduced its EarPods headphones. Oddly, Randolph Divisions is suing for infringement rather than claiming any harm from consumer confusion between the two similar-sounding brands. Apple owns the US trademarks for both "EarPods" and "Apple EarPods," but Randolph Divisions owns the "earpods.com" domain name.
A new iFixit teardown has exposed some of the inner workings of Apple's new EarPods. The product notably uses paper cones, a first for any set of Apple headphones. The earbuds Apple previously included with mobile devices relied on plastic cones, in theory hurting sound quality.
Two of the videos shown during the two-hour iPhone 5 and iPod rollout on Wednesday have found their way to YouTube through unofficial channels. In addition to a new ad for the iPod line -- the first in years -- there is also a mini-documentary around the making of the new EarPod headphones, narrated by Apple's SVP of Design, Sir Jonathan Ive. In it, Ive details the process that went into making what he calls the "impossible" task of creating a single set of headphones that would fit nearly anybody.