Let us make something very clear: AirPods, when matched with an Apple device, are an incredible product.
Easy to use, super portable, classic Apple design, they absolutely hit the mark for an iPhone user. But why on Earth has my set become so problematic once they were connected to a Google Pixel 2 XL? They're just Bluetooth headphones all, there should not be any drastic changes.
Alas, here are the five reasons AirPods suck when connected to an Android phone.
1. One of the best features is gone
When you use AirPods on an Apple device, pulling one out instantly pauses whatever is playing. The same goes for putting the AirPod back in, the audio resumes. Unfortunately, Android users are not privy to such an amazing feature.
In fact, until both AirPods are back in the case with the lid closed, the music will just keep on playing. It is only after several seconds that it actually halts. Not to mention that changing the controls is no longer an option. With iOS 11, iPhone users can change how each AirPod responds to a double click – double-click on the left goes back a song and double-click on the right goes forward.
Double-click with an Android phone and you will pause the song. Wow, I'm almost overwhelmed by the sophistication of that tech...
2. The connection is awful in every way
I've lost count of every time my AirPods have randomly unsynced from my Google Pixel 2, each time for no apparent reason. The music keeps playing, yet no sound comes out of the headphones – or the phone itself. You then have to put them back in the case, pull them out again and sometimes even manually connect them in your phones settings. What a chore.
Beyond that, the AirPods don't seem to get along well with Android. There is no way for users to know how much battery is left, it's a guessing game. On the iPhone, you get a breakdown of each AirPod and the case. Nothing like that for Android.
One last note on connections, pairing up to begin with sends you back to the cavemen era of Bluetooth connections. Hold the button, go into settings, click the right one... blah blah blah.
3. They're very expensive for what they are
AirPods sell for £159 in the UK, a steep but arguably fair price given what they can do with an iPhone. It becomes a lot harder to justify the price on an Android device, where some of the best features of the AirPods (as mentioned above) disappear completely.
It is madness to pay that much money for a set of headphones just because they are independent of one another. Is it nice not being tethered? Absolutely. But it's nowhere near £159 nice.
One more note: if you lose one, get ready to shell out some cash. One replacement - being either of the AirPods or the case - will set you back £69. £69?! You could buy a half-decent new set for that!
4. You can't move seamlessly between devices
Another great feature of the AirPods is being able to switch from an iPhone to an iPad to a Macbook without going through another setup process. That is just so damn easy. But, as expected, no such ecosystem exists when you introduce a non-Apple product to the mix.
Even though I still use a MacBook, my AirPods are virtually invisible to it once I've connected to the Google Pixel. I can understand the Android phone not having an easy swap, but did Apple really have to then shun my MacBook as well?
5. A lightning cord charger
Charging AirPods is easy, just plug in the cable and go. And for those deep in the Apple ecosystem, a lightning adaptor makes sense as they've probably already got 200 of them. For those in the Android camp, it's likely nothing you own will charge them.
Despite being the era of USB-C - which Apple itself has embraced on the MacBook range - charging cords of the modern-day Android flagships will not work. Brace yourself, you're about to become one of the millions carrying a lightning cable in their bag - or worse, lining up to buy a new one after it breaks.