For the love of pod: the 12 best Apple Airpods tips and tricks

Customise, accessorise and revolutionise your little wireless friends...

So you finally gave in and succumbed to the gadgety gravitational pull of Apple's little wireless earphones?

We approve. Fun aren't they? The satisfying click of the case snapping shut, the instant connection to all of your Apple gadgets, spinning the case around in your fingers as you deliver a killer line in the sci-fi film you're starring in. Just us then? Oh.

Still, for all their charm, the Airpods' lack of buttons or an iOS app means they can be an inscrutable little companion too.

So whether you're looking to customise their controls, connect them to an Android phone, or paint them black, we've got the Airpod tips and tweaks for you...

1) Get a battery bulletin

Without a battery indicator on the Airpods’ case, it can be easy to drain them down to commute-ruining levels. Luckily, there a few ways to get a quick health check.

Open your Airpods’ case and you’ll get a pop-up battery update on your iPhone. If you have Siri enabled (see tip 3), you can double-tap an Airpod and say ‘battery percentage’ for an update. And if you've installed the battery widget on your iPhone's Today View (swipe left oh the homescreen, then down to edit), you can see its juice levels with one flick of your finger.

Apple Watch owners can do an easy mid-podcast check too: just open Control Center by flicking up from the bottom of the screen, then tap the battery icon to see how close your Airpods are to death.

2) Find out who's calling

Receiving calls on your Airpods is all very easy – just double-tap above the stem to answer, and do the same to hang up. Still, it’d be nice to know that it’s crazy Colin from university calling before you tap your way into a hour-long ‘catch up’, wouldn’t it?

Go to Settings > Phone > Announce Calls, and choose ‘Headphones Only’. Siri will now announce who’s calling in your ear, before giving you a ‘terminate friendship?’ option. Okay, we may have got that last bit from Black Mirror.

3) Tweak your taps

Apple’s Earpods may have annoying wires, but on those wires are handy buttons for controlling your music. Not so smug now, are we Airpods?

Actually, Apple’s wireless buds do similar controls hidden in their ‘double tap’ settings. Go to Settings > Bluetooth, then tap the ‘i’ next to your Airpods.

You’ll now see a ‘double-tap on Airpod’ menu, where you can give your left or right Airpod ‘play/pause’, ‘next track’ or ‘previous track’ controls.

4) Find their hiding place

Have you checked in the keys tray or down the side of the sofa? Oh dear, maybe you did leave your Airpods at the gym after all.

Luckily, there is a way to check. If you’ve set up Find My iPhone (in Settings > iCloud), you can go into the Find iPhone app and see your Airpods’ current or last known location on a map.

If it turns out they are actually hiding in your house, tap ‘Actions’ to hear an SOS beeping sound. For poor souls who have lost just one of their Airpods, there's even an option make this sound come from just one of the earphones. 'I'm in the washing machine, you idiot!'

5) Introduce them to the Apple family

The Airpods are naturally keener to chat to fellow Apple devices over other gadgets. This means there are some little shortcust for connecting them to your Watch, Apple TV or Mac.

Connecting them to an Apple Watch is just a case of swiping up from the bottom of the screen, then tapping on the Airplay icon to bring up the Airpods option. On Apple TV, just press the play/pause button on the Siri remote while the case is open to bring up the Airpods as an audio source.

And to hook them up to your Mac, click the volume icon in the Menu bar and choosing Airpods in ‘Output Device’.

6) Swap Siri for Google Assistant

Looking to use your Airpods with an Android phone? Make sure the Airpods are in their case, open the lid, then hold down the button on the back of the case until the white light starts flashing. Now they’re in pairing mode, you should now see the Airpods in the Bluetooth menu.

Thanks to the AirpodsforGA app (£free, Android), you can also summon Google Assistant rather than Siri with a double tap.

Now add these...

Finishing touches: customise your Airpods