【AirPods 的失约,或将等到明年】

【AirPods 的失约,或将等到明年】苹果无线耳机 AirPods 原定于今年十月下旬上市,售价159 美元,但直到今日仍无售卖消息。华尔街日报称,苹果需要为 AirPods 开发新模式,需要保证两个耳机的同时性,还要确保其中一个丢失或电池耗尽时另一个可以正常接收音频数据,避免失真,产品或将在明年才可上市。

The mystery of Apple's missing AirPods: Technical problems mean $159 wireless headphones might not go on sale until next year

By MARK PRIGG

Apple's $159 AirPods created a huge amount of interest when they were revealed alongside the iPhone 7 earlier this year.

However, Apple fans hoping to snag a pair of the headphones are still waiting - and the latest rumours claim they won't go on sale in time for Christmas.

The Wall Street Journal says technical problems with getting both earphones to play music at the same time are the problem.

Citing a 'person familiar with the development of the AirPod,' it claims Apple is struggling to ensure that both AirPods receive a Bluetooth signal simultaneously, something that would help them avoid sudden connection dropouts or out of sync audio.

'Apple must ensure that both earpieces receive audio at the same time to avoid distortion', the person familiar with their development said.

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'That person said Apple also must resolve what happens when a user loses one of the earpieces or the battery dies.'

Apple has not commented on the delay.

'The early response to AirPods has been incredible,' an Apple spokesperson said earlier in the year, when the first delay was announced in September.

'We don't believe in shipping a product before it's ready, and we need a little more time before AirPods are ready for our customers.'

Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, told the WSJ it was 'an absolute black eye that they missed the holidays.'

The AirPod delay is believed to be the firm's first launch postponement since its white iPhone 4 in 2010, when the firm blamed 'manufacturing challenges'

The wireless ear buds were scheduled to go on sale in late October and cost $159

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Although users feel it will only be a matter of time before they lose the AirPods, Apple CEO Tim Cook says he 'never personally had one fall out since using them' and has used them on treadmills.

In an exclusive interview with Good Morning America, earlier this year, Tim Cook said it is the weight of the wires that pull the headphones out of people's ears, and by cutting the wires, the earbuds should now stay in place.

With the introduction of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, Apple made one of the boldest moves smartphone design has seen in recent years - the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack.

The reason behind the decision, Apple executive Phil Schiller explained was 'the courage to move on and do something new that betters all of us.'

Cook spoke with Robin Roberts on ABC News' 'Good Morning America' about the concerns consumers might have about Apple's new AirPods.

'There's a little case that you put the Airpods in and magnetically they're sort of sucked down into the case,' he told Roberts.

'The wires tend to help the ear bud fall out right because it applies weight on the earbuds.'

'By snipping the wires, I have never personally had one fall out since I have been using them.'

Roberts joked with Cook that a colleague was convinced he was going to lose the new headphones, something many people around the world have been saying.

'I've been on treadmills, walking, doing all the things you normally do,' Cook said, adding, 'You know how you walk around with the earbuds and they're constantly getting caught on something? You never have that problem.'

A report on abc also reports that the tech guru reveals he dances wearing them too.

The interview will air on Wednesday morning from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. ET.

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The wireless ear buds are scheduled to go on sale in late October and cost $159, but Rhiannon Williams with MailOnline was given a sneak peek into the new world of Apple's wireless headphones.  

AirPods resemble Apple's older white EarPods minus an attached cable.

They connect to your iPhone using a form of Bluetooth technology.

They work to a distance of around 10 metres from the paired device, meaning if you wander away any further, the connection will drop.

To pair them with an iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch or Mac running the latest iOS 10, watchOS 3 or macOS Sierra software, open their small magnetic carry case close to the device and wait for a notification asking to connect.

Every time you remove the headphones from the case and pop them into your ear, they will connect automatically.

This is helpful if you're used to fiddling around with Bluetooth on other wireless headphones, ensuring they're forgotten by one device before you try to pair them with another in range.

If two compatible devices are near to the AirPods case, you can choose to connect to the earphones via the control centre on your iOS device and selecting 'AirPods'.

Slotting the headphones back into the case as music is playing will allow the track to keep going until you close the magnetic lid.

The AirPods charge through their case, which in turn is charged by a lightning connector, just as you would an iPhone.

Apple claims each AirPod has a battery life of roughly five hours, while we found an hour's worth of continual listening depletes the battery by about 16%.

The case itself carries around 19 hours worth of power on a single charge, equating to around 24 hours battery, the company claims.

When the AirPods are not in your ears, they're not using battery power and will automatically recharge once slotted back into the case.

The pair use optical sensors and infra-red technology to sense when they've been removed from the wearer's ear.

Pulling one earphone out of your ears pauses your music, which resumes when inserted back.

If you remove both earphones, you'll need to manually press play to resume playback.

One unexpected downside of this is it makes it hard to tell if the volume of your music, podcast or video is noisy enough to disturb others around you.

Instead of the remote control embedded on the EarPods' wire, you can skip songs or adjust the volume by gently double-tapping on one of the rounded buds, which triggers Apple's digital assistant, Siri.

Speaking phrases including 'Resume playback', 'Skip song', or asking Siri to play a certain artist will draw up a selection of their popular tracks, and it smoothly recognised each of our requests - even more complicated demands like 'play the last song'.

The only scenario when Siri got slightly confused was when we asked it to 'start playing music', as it prefers 'start playing'.

Siri does tend to err on the side of caution: asking it to turn down the volume from 50 per cent caused the music to become almost inaudible.

The AirPods fit comfortably into the ear, and don't tend to need much readjustment once they're in.

The audio quality is excellent, and is surprisingly bassy and well-rounded.

We were also impressed at the sheer volume they were capable of - a song played at maximum volume through the AirPods sounded much louder than the included lightning connector EarPod pair.

The EarPod headphones bundled in with the phones have been given a makeover, and are significantly better at noise retention than the predecessors.

One point worth bearing in mind is the price.

At £159 in the UK and $159 in the US, the AirPods are undoubtedly expensive, but not ludicrously so when compared to other wireless headphones currently available at a similar quality.

Our key concern is how easy it would be to lose them. 

Misplacing one or both of the little AirPods or their small case is not beyond the realms of possibility, especially as they aren't connected to each other with a wire the way that the majority of wireless headphones are.

However, this ultimately hinges on how careful you are with them.

One question on many people's minds following the Apple event was how likely the AirPods are to fall out of your ears whilst exercising.

We put this to the test by taking them on several runs on a variety of terrains, including flat pavement, grassy hills and steep cobbles.

We experienced no problems whatsoever in terms of the headphones working themselves loose or falling out, and found that they didn't skip or need to be twisted more deeply into the ear like others we've tried in the past.

The audio was clear and loud, but we found it very difficult to skip tracks or change the volume via Siri.

Breathing heavily while exercising doesn't lend itself well to speaking commands, and we found it easier to change songs and adjust sound levels using a paired Apple Watch than on the AirPods themselves.

So while Siri commands work well in general environments, you might struggle with them whilst running or playing sports.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4019056/The-mystery-Apple-s-missing-AirPods-Technical-problems-mean-159-wireless-headphones-not-sale-year.html


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