Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

The one notification AirPods and the iPhone sorely need

AirPods are a technical marvel. But they’re also a fickle beast that at times seem to have a life of their own. That’s perhaps true for most wireless earbuds, but maybe more so for Apple’s given their close relationship to Apple’s hardware and software.

In other words, mine have been driving me nuts this week. The problem isn’t necessarily a new one. It’s definitely not unheard of for my AirPods Pro to go a little wonky from time to time, to the point where I’ve made a habit of making sure they actually, ya know, work, before leaving my case in the car and heading into the gym in the morning.

An iPhone showing one nearly dead AirPod Pro.
Phil Nickinson/Digital Trends

I’m willing to chalk up the occasional connection problem — or even a relatively consistent problem — to the fact that these are tiny, low-powered devices in a world of tiny, low-powered devices. Things happen. If I pop in my buds and discover that Righty isn’t working, I’ll just pop it back in the case to try to get things going. I might have to do it twice. It’s annoying, but at least it’s obvious when one of the buds simply hasn’t turned on. (Did I hold it funny? Did I cram it in my ear wrong?)

But that’s not the one that really gets me.

It’s when you’re halfway through a workout, drenched with sweat, and you hear the little descending bloop-bloop-bloop sound that indicates one of your AirPods is soon going to die. That should be impossible, right? They’d been in the case all night. And the case was on the charger. And I’d had plenty of time in which to properly charge said dead bud on the 15-minute drive downtown to the gym.

If only I’d known something was wrong. And to be clear, my iPhone knows darn well the charge state of my AirPods — it says so right in the widget. It just couldn’t be bothered to tell me.

It’s not like iOS has a dearth of notifications. It’s quick to tell me when there’s something new on Apple TV+. Or when an MLS match is close. (Someone really needs to tell Apple that most soccer games are close.) But when it comes to something actually important — like an AirPod being precariously close to perishing — there’s nary a word.

It’s not like this sort of warning is unprecedented, either. My Apple Watch tells me to charge it each evening after around 12 hours of wear. The iPhone, of course, will tell you when it’s close to the end and offer up its low-power mode. Or, if the total battery capacity is down to an unfun level, and it might be time to consider a replacement.

That’s all table stakes, though. That’s exactly what you’d expect from devices that cost this much when they run into a completely predictable problem. Why, then, does Apple’s iPhone not tell you when Apple’s AirPods are in some sort of sub-optimal state?

Who knows. Maybe I’m charging it wrong.

Editors' Recommendations

Phil Nickinson
Section Editor, Audio/Video
Phil spent the 2000s making newspapers with the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, the 2010s with Android Central and then the…
Second-generation AirPods Pro have USB-C now, too
Apple AirPods Pro with USB-C.

In one of the least-kept surprises of today's iPhone 15 event, Apple announced that the second-generation AirPods Pro are switching to USB-C for their charging case.

That's a big deal because they'll now use the same charger as the iPad and MacBook — and also because they can use any other USB-C cable that you've got laying around. And because we're not talking about a device with a huge battery capacity, you don't need to worry so much about whether you have the right USB-C cable. Things should charge just fine, and fast enough, given that the battery case only sports a 523 mAh battery.

Read more
This accessory turned my AirPods into a giant mech head
CASETiFY Evangelion Type-01 AirPods Pro 2 case front side view.

You’ve probably heard of a tech accessory brand called Casetify by now. It’s one of the higher-quality brands of tech accessories out there, and it’s particularly known for having a ton of customizable products, as well as many unique collaborations with artists and well-established brands — including Disney, Star Wars, Peanuts, and more.

The Evangelion x Casetify is one of the latest collaborations that the company has launched, and it should appeal to anyone who is a fan of the Neon Genesis Evangelion anime and manga series. There was even an “Impact!” launch event in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district, where a 4-meter tall, 7-meter wide EVA–01 bust was put on display, with the mecha holding a Casetify Impact case that features an iconic NERV design.

Read more
A new USB-C case may be in AirPods Pro’s future
The Lightning connection on the AirPods Pro case.

The Lightning connection on AirPods Pro may be a thing of the past if Apple finally makes the switch to USB-C. Phil Nickinson/Digital Trends

One of the worst-kept secrets in Cupertino, California (if anyone's actually trying to keep it, anyway) is that the iPhone 15 is going to switch to USB-C from Apple's proprietary Lightning connection when it's announced later this year. That's likely due in no small part due to the European Union, and generally speaking, it's a good thing because proprietary cables are bad for you, even if they're great for Apple. (And arguably better for the product.)

Read more