Do you have a pair of AirPods you want to use on your Android and Windows devices? Learn how to pair your Apple AirPods with your non-Apple devices in these step-by-step tutorials for Android and Windows.
How to Pair AirPods with an Android Device
- Go to “Settings” on your Android device.
- Tap “Bluetooth.”
- Toggle “Bluetooth” on to set your device to pairing mode.
- Set your AirPods to pairing mode:
- AirPods 2, 3, and Pro: press and hold the circle button at the back or front of your AirPods case until the case’s status light flashes white.
- AirPods Max: press and hold the noise control button on the right ear cup until the status light flashes white.
- Connect to your AirPods from the list of Bluetooth devices on your Android device. If you can’t find your AirPods on the list, simply toggle Bluetooth off and back on to refresh the list.
- Agree to permission prompts that pop up.
Once successfully paired, you should see a “Paired,” “Connected,” or “Active” label beside your AirPods on the list.
You don’t need to change any setting to program your AirPods mic as the default input device while it’s connected to your Android device.
How to Connect AirPods to a Windows PC
Make sure your Windows computer has Bluetooth capabilities. If you’re using a Windows laptop, it should have Bluetooth by default. However, if you’re using a Windows desktop computer, you may need to plug in a Bluetooth receiver or check your motherboard’s product page for built-in Bluetooth capability.
If your Windows computer has Bluetooth, you should see the logo in the notification area.
If you can’t find the Bluetooth logo in the notification area, you’ll need to enable Bluetooth first. To do so, go to Windows “Settings,” click on “Bluetooth & devices,” and toggle “Bluetooth” on to make your computer discoverable to your AirPods. Once Bluetooth is enabled, its logo should appear in the notification area, and you can proceed to connect your AirPods.
- Set your AirPods to pairing mode.
- On your Windows computer, click on the Bluetooth logo in the notification area and select “Add a Bluetooth Device.”
- In the next window, click on the “Add device” button.
- Click on “Bluetooth.”
- Click on your AirPods in the list of devices to pair them. If your AirPods aren’t listed, repeat the previous step.
Once your AirPods are successfully paired, you should see “Your device is ready to go!” in the next window.
How to Use the AirPods Mic on Windows
- While your AirPods are connected to your Windows computer, go to Windows “Settings,” select the “System” tab, and click on “Sound.”
- Scroll to the “Input” section and select your AirPod’s mic as the input device.
AirPods Features You Can’t Use on Android and Windows
AirPods are optimized to work well with Apple devices and have features that can’t be used on non-Apple devices, even if you can use their basic output and input functionalities on other operating systems. The following AirPods features can’t be used when you’re connected to Android and Windows devices:
1. Customizable Double-Tap Command
When a pair of AirPods is connected to an iPhone, you can change what double-tapping on an AirPod does. It can pause, play, and skip audio or activate Siri. When you pair your AirPods to a non-Apple device, the double-tap command you set on your iPhone can’t be changed.
2. Automatic Ear Detection
A pair of AirPods connected to an Apple device can have automatic ear detection enabled. Your AirPods stop playing audio when they detect that an AirPod isn’t in your ear and automatically resume audio when they detect that the AirPod has been reinserted.
On a Windows or Android device, this feature isn’t accessible. As long as your AirPods are connected to your device, they will continuously play audio no matter where they actually are.
3. Battery Status
When paired with an Apple device, you can easily see the battery status of each AirPod and the charging case. However, the only way to check your AirPods battery status on Windows and Android devices is via third-party applications.
Third-Party Apps to Restore Missing Features
- MagicPods for Windows: MagicPods is a free app that restores automatic ear detection, battery information visibility, AirPods pop-up animation, and connection options. It supports AirPods 1, 2, 3, Pro, and Max.
- AndroPods for Android: AndroPods restores the battery level indicator, automatic ear detection, and voice assistant utilization features in AirPods connected to Android devices. The app is free to use and supports AirPods 1, 2, 3, and Pro.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are there playback sync issues with AirPods connected to Android and Windows devices?
It depends on the task you’re doing on your Android or Windows device. If you’re only playing music, the sync issue is barely noticeable. However, if you’re playing a game on your Android or Windows device, the playback sync issue become pronounced.
2. Is the output and input quality affected when using AirPods with a non-Apple device?
If your AirPods mic isn’t active on Windows, the output quality isn’t far from what you’ll get when your AirPods are connected to an Apple device. Once the mic is in use, the output quality decreases significantly. It goes back to normal after your AirPods mic becomes inactive on Windows. As for input quality, you’ll notice that the AirPods mic can’t catch everything you say without raising your voice.
3. Can I use Google Assistant or Cortana with AirPods?
If you want to use Google Assistant on an Android device that’s connected to your AirPods, you need to install AndroPods or another third-party Android app that enables voice assistant use.
On Windows, you can use Cortana, but voice activation isn’t ideal to use with a pair of AirPods. Since the input quality is affected, Cortana will have a hard time understanding your words.
Image credit: arrayheart on Pixabay
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