Apple AirPods Review – day 5

Thank Apple again! Many of us get our long-awaited AirPods this week! It is said that many receive early deliveries of their online orders too. Cheers!

General feedbacks about AirPods are very positive. Fortune says AirPods are Perfect!  Forbes believes AirPods is a bigger business than Apple Watch. They maybe the most physically resilient Apple product too!

After using it for five days, I observe a few things and have some comments:
1.AirPods does not support multi-point (connecting the headset to two devices simultaneously) which is a common feature of modern Bluetooth headphones. (One iPhone is better than many non-iPhones. Then why we need this? Because it is strange to speak to the Apple Watch when the digital crown is pressed while AirPods are in the ears.)

2.When remove the AirPods from the case, AirPods will by default try connecting to the last connected device. It requires manual connection on another device if your want to switch the AirPods to the that device.

3.If you switch on another Bluetooth headset/speaker then your iPhone will connect to it and switch the audio source to it.

4.By default double-tap triggers Siri. It can be changed to Play/Pause or Off at iOS Settings > Bluetooth. It is not configurable in Sierra and hence always Siri. Different iOS devices can have different configurations. Say double-tap to trigger Play/Pause when AirPods connect to iPhone, and to trigger Siri when AirPods connect to iPad.

5.AirPods works with non-Apple devices such as Android tablets and Nokia phones. Double-tap can trigger Play/Pause only. Take an AirPod out from ear will pause audio.

6.AirPods connectivity is very very good! They work even if the iPhone is a  different room ten of meter away!

7.AirPods stay firm and comfortable in ears. At least my ears. It is fine to wear it/them the whole day, no matter you are sitting, walking, running, typing, eating or sleeping! It is always on. It is private. We can expect more applications using audio communication and interaction. And yes, it changes behavior!

My wish list items for the next generation:

-Apple Watch complication for Now Playing, to allow one click control of sound volume via Apple Watch. This requires no hardware update and should be easy:)

customisable equaliser Update: from iPhone User Guide: Go to Settings > Music > EQ. EQ settings generally apply only to music played from the Music app, but they affect all sound output. Thank AppleInsider.

body temperature measurement

-optional noise cancellation or reduction

-a physical hole or something on the case. It will be convenient if the case can be connected to keychain. One drawback is will sketch the case surface…

Merry Christmas! Happy Holiday! And I want to share this song with you – Hallelujah by Killard House Special School choir:

Advertisements

Apple AirPods Review – first 12-hour

Available. Finally.

There were news last week about AirPods availability at Apple Retail Store this Monday. Maybe ture, maybe fake. Fortunately it turned out was true! Thank you 9to5Mac!

I got my AirPods in the morning of 19-Dec-2016 at Apple Retail Store, Causeway Bay.

AirPods from Apple Retail Store

It is a three-component device: Right AirPod, Letf AirPod, the Case. It is a wonderful product as I expect. I would like to share my first 12-hour experience with AirPods.

AirPods are very light. It is very comfortable to wear AirPods. It just feels natural. Sometimes I even wonder if they are in my years. They stay firm in my ears. I did a 5km run this evening and found it stayed firm and stable, better than Jaybird X2 and BackBeat Go 2. And there is no wire banging on your neck! Apple does not emphasis AirPods are desiged for sports. But I find it is great for track running! AirPods sound better, clearer, louder, for both streaming audio and phone conversation. I believe AirPods are better than most sport-focused wireless headphone products .

And I ran faster wearing AirPods:)

run faster wearing airpods

One AirPod is a better than Two AirPods!

The best feature to me is I can use a single AirPod for audio streaming! I don’t need stereo sound for podcasts/news. It is more “friendly” to wear a single earpiece when you’re walking or shopping with your family/friends and you are really want to listen to podcasts! You can also hear the ambient sound which is important in some occasions.

Longer battery life.

The best wireless earbuds are the ones always working! Battery is the Achilles’ hills of wireless headphones. AirPod last 5-hour and the case can charge it to work for 24-hour! If use a single AirPod only, a full charged AirPods set can stream podcasts for two days! The battery level is available at multiple interfaces, it is less likely to forget charging the device.

notification center

control center

AirPods are the best holiday gift for iPhone users!


Text-to-Speech apps for iPhone 7 Plus

I was lucky to get my iPhone 7 Plus two weeks ago. Thanks God.

How is it? Long story short, it is fast. Every time I unlock the device with its new Home Button, I feel fast!

I do believe we will have more audio interaction with iPhone, especially using iPhone to listen to news and to get information. Apple AirPods are not available yet. However, with the new Stereo Speaker System, iPhone 7 can speak louder and clearer than many other devices!

Overcast, HKEJ, Pocket and Audible are the apps I most frequently listen to. In the last few days a few more apps get more timeshare from me. They are iBooks, Workflow and SCMP.

iBooks has been working with Speak Screen since iOS 8. I find the Speak Screen feature in iOS 10 is more stable. It won’t stop unexpectedly. I can now use Speak Screen confidently to read out iBooks content. iBooks tracks the reading status of each book. It is very handy feature when reading several books. With 3D Touch, I can easily resume reading. (ISC)2’s InfoSecurity Professional Magazine now supports ePub format. It is more iPhone-friendly than PDF. I use iPhone more to read/listen to this magazine.

SCMP, the most popular English newspaper in HK, removed its paywall last April. Thanks to the Alibaba’s acquisition. SCMP is a great app but it does not support text-to-speech. However, Workflow does! There is Workflow action extension “Speak Body of Article”. With three clicks – Share Button, Run Workflow, Speak Body of Article – iPhone will read out the good SCMP content! Workflow’s “Speak Body of Article” works with Nuzzel and Medium too.

I customize the extension to speak Chinese (rather the English), and it works with the Apple Daily app (蘋果動新聞)!

I am listening to news spoken by iPhone when I am writing this blog post on my Mac.

PS:
Some iPhone 7 Plus Matte Black users encounter unresponsive Home button problem. Try Reset All Settings and set it up as a new iPhone!
https://discussions.apple.com/thread/7676523?start=0&tstart=0


One More Thing: AirPods will measure your Body Temperature and Respiratory Rate

Wireless. Effortless. Magical.

It is mid-Sep. It is Apple time. iPhone and Apple Watch get the spotlight. They are great products. But I am more interested in AirPods because it is something new, and magical.

Hearable? Yes
Audio Computing? Yes
Life saving???

In my previous posts (this and this) in 2014, I predicted “iWatch” would be health centric and could measure life vitals – pulse rate, body temperature and blood pressure. Only pulse (heart) rate came true. I think we will have in coming Oct two more vitals – body temperature and respiratory rate.

Vitals” width=”169″ height=”300″> iPhone Health app > Vitals

According to HowStuffWorks.com, eardrum is a good point to measure core body temperature from because it is recessed inside the head. We put a tympanic (ear) thermometer inside the external ear canal to measure the infrared radiation from the eardrum. Tympanic thermometer is fast and creates no discomfort. The key measurement component is infrared sensor.

Ear Thermometer (source: drugs.com)

Ear Thermometer (source: drugs.com)

There are recent researches to estimate respiratory rate using tri-axial accelerometer. Recode reported in mid-2014 that Spire developed breath monitoring device. One of the key component is accelerometer.

With W1s, infrared sensors and motion accelerometers, AirPods are capable to re-invent tympanic thermometers and respiratory rate measurement devices.

Simultaneous out-of-range readings of multiple life vitals possibly indicate unhealthy or even adverse condition. If this happens, Apple Watch will alert you (to use the Breath app to calm down). If this happens for a prolong period and alerts are unattended, then Apple Watch SOS will initiate a call with local emergency. It may save a life!

Apple Watch SOS

Apple Watch SOS

It is more than magical.

Apple One More Thing always brings good surprise. Thank you.

Reference:
How to take an ear temperature | Drugs.com
Respiratory Rate and Flow Waveform Estimation from Tri-axial Accelerometer Data | IEEE
The AirPods are Apple’s first ear computer | Slate
A New Wearables Platform | Above Avalon
Gadget Lab Podcast – The Thing That Gets You to The Thing | Wired