Since their release in late 2016, the AirPods have become some of the most popular earbuds around. Because they launched with the trend of phones losing the headphone jack, they’re a convenient way to listen to music, podcasts, and more on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac.
However, you may wonder whether AirPods work with Android or not. Maybe you’ve switched from iPhone to Android, or want to use your Apple AirPods on an Android tablet. We’ll show you how to connect AirPods to Android and what they offer on that platform.
Can AirPods Connect to Android?
In short: yes, you can use AirPods on Android. Because they’re still Bluetooth earbuds at their core, the AirPods work with Samsung and other Android devices. The buds are compatible with any device that supports Bluetooth, including most Windows laptops and some smart TVs. However, you can’t use all the useful features the AirPods offer when connected to an Apple device, as we’ll see below.
It’s not just for the standard AirPods either; The same is the case with other modern headphones from Apple. You will be happy to know that AirPods Pro and AirPods Max work fine on Android as well. However, given the price of these devices and the fact that you can’t enjoy all their features on Android, we’d recommend buying them if you don’t have an Apple device – more on this below See.
How to Connect AirPods to Android Phone
Pairing your AirPods with an Android device, or anything that supports Bluetooth, is easy. To do this, follow these steps, which may vary slightly depending on your Android device.
That’s all you need to do to get your AirPods working with Android. Now you can use them like any other Bluetooth earbud. If you have problems, check out our guide to fixing Bluetooth problems on Android.
Downsides of Using AirPods with Android
While the AirPods are certainly compatible with Android, they’re definitely primarily made for Apple devices. Because of this, you lose a lot of useful features when you use AirPods on Samsung devices or other non-Apple platforms.
You’ve already encountered one of the drawbacks: the pairing process. Thanks to a special chip in the case, connecting the AirPods to your iPhone or iPad is as simple as opening the case near them and tapping Connect. Plus, once you do, your AirPods are automatically ready to use with other devices linked to your Apple ID.
If you have an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, you can customize this functionality using one of those devices and then use custom controls with your Android phone. However, this is a major hurdle for those who don’t have Apple devices.
When you connect AirPods to Android, you can’t ask Siri about battery life or easily check it on your phone. Some versions of Android display the battery life of connected Bluetooth devices, but it won’t tell you whether the buds are on different levels or the battery life of the case.
Improve AirPod Compatibility on Android Using Apps
While some of the best AirPods features aren’t available by default on Android, clever developers have made for some of them. You can add more functionality to your AirPods using some Android apps.
Some apps for this purpose, like AirBattery, haven’t seen updates in years. For an all-in-one solution, we recommend the AndroPods. It lets you view the battery level and charging case of your AirPods. A popup displays when your AirPods are connected to your phone.
Upgrade to the Pro version for a few dollars and you’ll get access to Google Assistant shortcuts when you four-tap your AirPods. This purchase also unlocks the option to pause your music when you take off your AirPods and resume it when you put them on.
While it’s not perfect, this app greatly improves the experience of using AirPods with Android. If this isn’t what you were hoping for, check out a similar offering called Assistant Triggers. It also offers in-ear detection and double-tapping to access the Google Assistant, although some features require a paid version.
Superior AirPods Alternatives for Android
As we’ve discussed, using the AirPods with the iPhone is a smooth experience that ties the two devices together. However, when used with Android, the AirPods are reduced to a pretty standard pair of Bluetooth earbuds.
If you don’t already have a pair of AirPods and you plan to mostly use the earbuds with your Android devices, we’d recommend looking at the best wireless earbuds for Android that will work better with your phone.
Other wireless earbuds are available at different price points, meaning you can get a throwback set for pretty cheap.