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HomeGamingAirPods with a display? Apple reveals surprising plan for the headphones

AirPods with a display? Apple reveals surprising plan for the headphones


Apple is always looking for innovations. Sometimes this results in a non-starter, other times the manufacturer invents the iPhone. It remains to be seen where the latest AirPod rumors will go, provided they come true.

According to a recently surfaced patent that Apple according to MacRumors submitted in September 2021, the AirPods should get a special upgrade, or more precisely: the AirPods charging case.

What exactly is Apple planning to do?

Apple would like to give the charging case additional functions, since audio output devices are usually passive. That means they don’t offer any features that allow you to actively use them. In the patent itself, the manufacturer described it somewhat awkwardly as follows (and translated into German):

Audio output device enclosures are typically passive devices used to charge audio output devices. The utility of a headphone cradle can be increased and the user’s control over their wireless headphones can be enhanced by configuring a headphone cradle with an interactive user interface to allow the user to control operations associated with the wireless headphones.

Short and good: Apple gives the charging case a display.

MacRumors has already made a mockup.

MacRumors has already made a mockup.

What good does a screen on the charging case do?

In a paragraph, Apple describes how the case controls Apple Music. The user should be able to stop and start audio playback, control the volume and skip songs via a graphical user interface.

The charging case should give tactile feedback. The manufacturer guarantees that you don’t have to look at the display and can use it in your jacket pocket, for example.

Another paragraph ponders gestures like tapping or swiping to navigate the screen or activate Siri. Particularly interesting: By gently pressing you should be able to change the listening mode, i.e. noise canceling or transparency mode.

Apple thinks even further: Additional processors in the charging case could give the case smart functions and integrate iPhone apps such as calendar, weather, maps and more. So it could be significantly upgraded in the future.

You can read what we think of the second generation Apple AirPods Pro in our test:

When can we expect this iteration of the AirPods?

Not anytime soon – if ever. A filed patent does not mean that its content will also be implemented. You could also think of the idea as a mind game that Apple can protect itself from the competition with a patent.

The interesting thing: Even if the AirPods don’t get a display, it’s exciting to see how Apple continues to develop its devices. In Cupertino, they definitely want to do more with the charging case, which sounds interesting in principle – even if it means higher costs.

It wouldn’t be the first time Apple has had its fingers on the case, either. Since the launch of the AirPods in 2016, the housing has changed several times. Added over time:

  • Wireless charging via MagSafe
  • Tracking of the charging case via iPhone using the U1 chip
  • Built-in speakers
  • hand strap

With an upcoming, probably major update of the watchOS for the Apple Watch, they prove that Apple is constantly working on its hardware and software. Face ID will probably also get an update, but it will be a long time coming.

If you believe the patent, Apple is toying with the idea of ​​adding a screen to the AirPods charging case. Do you think that would be necessary at all? Does it need an additional screen to interact with the music? Or are iPhone and optionally Apple Watch sufficient? We look forward to your opinion in the comments!

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