'Find My Airpods'

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by Ralfi, Dec 25, 2016.

  1. Ralfi macrumors 68000

    Ralfi

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    Australia
    #1
    Just watched another Airpod review, & got thinking about the issue/fear people have of misplacing one or both Airpods (&/or case) & wondered how hard it would be to implement a 'Find My iPhone' type feature/App, but for the Airpods?

    I'm thinking virtually impossible as the Airpods would need some kind of GPS chip built in, which would increase both their size + battery drain significantly?

    But what about for shorter distances, say within the Bluetooth range (where you may've left them in the gym after walking to your car, or in another room in the house/office)? Is Bluetooth capable of a 'Find My Airpods' feature, either now or in future updates?
     
  2. Phone Junky macrumors 65816

    Phone Junky

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    #2
    Keep in the case. Can't keep track of case? Don't buy AirPods...
     
  3. Ralfi thread starter macrumors 68000

    Ralfi

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    #3
    To clarify, I'm not worried about losing them as much as others. Question came about from seeing reviews by others who are concerned about it.

    But to respond to you, with an example of using Airpods at gym, the case doesnt come with me inside the gym, so some situations may not enable you to carry both the case + Airpods.

    Although misplacing an/both Airpods whilst working out is unlikely.

    Possibly higher chance of that happening whilst in an office/classroom etc.
     
  4. Mac 128, Dec 25, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2016

    Mac 128 macrumors 601

    Mac 128

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    #4
    I would think a BT LE solution would serve most people well enough. With BT 5's increased range, the most likely situation is that someone misplaces them at home, car, or office, or even in their pants packet at the gym. It's enough to know they're in your immediate vicinity, or several feet away. There's probably a way to even have them emit a high pitched tone to locate them. The Tile app does this really well.

    Likewise, to avoid leaving them behind in the first place, they could issue an out of range message to the phone (like the Apple Watch does), with a location and time stamp, so even if they miss the initial message, they will know where to go back and look. Tile even has a feature that allows the tracker to be located when in the presence of a Tile network node access, so potentially at a Starbucks for instance, or if someone found it where you lost it, and moved it somewhere else.

    GPS would be nice, but likely impractical at this point. However, if there were room for the chip, power is not an issue. The same BT LE power would turn on the GPS chip only if needed. But this also drives up the cost of the AirPods, for something that's not likely necessary for most. If Apple finds themselves plagued by customers who continually misplace the individual buds out of the range of their iPhones, then they might fast track such an update. But I suspect this won't be an issue as to require such a dramatic measure. Most people are going to know if they're no longer listening to their music pretty quickly. In fact I'm hard pressed to come up with a scenario where someone might be without their case, and wearing something they can't easily slip them into a pocket. Setting them down in a gym locker while someone showers maybe, then forgetting them after getting dressed? But then, why take them off in the shower if they fit well enough to stay in through hair washing? ;-) I suppose a swimmer wearing a speedo at a swim meet and sets them down on the warmup bench, then wins and forgets he had them? Seriously, for those who have trouble with is sort of thing, they will need to get into the habit of putting them in a pocket when they take them out, rather than putting them down someplace. That will dramatically cut down on misplacing them, and the need for tracking them.
     
  5. bambooshots macrumors 65816

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    #5
    Forgot: grow up a bit.
     
  6. rockyromero macrumors 6502

    rockyromero

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    #6
    This may be overthinking it.

    Simply get a strap, loop it around the back of a cap for outdoor use or active use. Works for me.

    A $3 solution that works now.

    A location finder will eventually happen, years from now, when prices and technology accommodates.

     
  7. Rorosbutt macrumors 6502

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    Mar 6, 2013
    #7
    Can you "ping" them? You can ping your iPhone from the Apple Watch. Very helpful. The iPhone will make a chiming noise.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 25, 2016 ---
    Life happens man. We've all misplaced our phones every now and then. Even the best of us.
     
  8. Mac 128, Dec 25, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2016

    Mac 128 macrumors 601

    Mac 128

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    #9
    And what happens when you take the cap off, and lay it down someplace and can't remember where you left it?

    This isn't just an AirPods issue. It applies to a whole manner of items, including the iPhone itself. That's why a company like Tile can exist. People are fallable. The smaller the item, the easier to misplace. BT and GPS have ushered us into a new era of being able to address this human frailty. A simple BT tracking function like Tile employs is theoretically possible based on the technology already embedded in the AirPods -- whether Apple taps into that now or later, it's certainly not years away. But Apple has more pressing issues to solve first, like how to control the volume if Siri is offline, or just during a phone call.

    Also, I'm not exactly sure how the strap is supposed to work with the AirPods. I guess you could buy one of those things I've been seeing that loops around each AirPod stem to link them together. But that seems tedious. I guess it's better than nothing if one is out and about wearing nothing but a bikini, and a hat -- as long as one doesn't misplace the hat. ;-)
     
  9. Ralfi thread starter macrumors 68000

    Ralfi

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    #10
  10. Mac 128 macrumors 601

    Mac 128

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    #11
    Yup. Just as I thought. The hardware to do it is built in.

    Since it is, and Apple surely knows this is possible, not to mention likely has their own solution waiting in the wings, it'll be interesting to see if they approve this.
     
  11. rockyromero macrumors 6502

    rockyromero

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    #12
    Yes, one could Tile everything. That's a solution.

    So is the software locator, which I will get when available.

    Losing the AirPods is a concern and even Apple acknowledges that with its replacement policy.

    I've gotten used to my cap and AirPods and it's always with me outdoors when active. Even a gust of wind dares not take it from me.

    For now.

     
  12. The Game 161 macrumors P6

    The Game 161

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    #13
    Can't you just put the case in your gym bag?
     
  13. Ralfi thread starter macrumors 68000

    Ralfi

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    Australia
    #14
    I'm a minimalist - just take my towel, gym swipe card, phone & now Airpods (plugged in ears ready to go) with me into gym. No bag etc. See, the lockers we have are open & not the largest in storage area - think the square wall units like http://tinyurl.com/gm9yuyo

    If I had a bag, then the phone would have to go in there, making Bluetooth reception weaker.
     
  14. rockyromero macrumors 6502

    rockyromero

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    #15
    Case is not needed with you.

    Unless your workouts are longer than 5 hours.

    Then maybe.

     
  15. ibookg409 Suspended

    ibookg409

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    #16
    They could easily implement a warning or notification for when your AirPods disconnect. That way you can stop and retrace your steps until they reconnect.
     
  16. teidon macrumors 6502

    teidon

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    #17
    I believe that kind of "hot/cold" game can be used to locate any Bluetooth device. The application just measures the delay in communication with the device and if the delay gets shorter you are walking towards said device.
     
  17. The Doctor11 macrumors 603

    The Doctor11

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    #18
  18. TurboPGT! Suspended

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    #19
    This is just a non-question, non-issue.

    What are we supposed to do? Not even bother making small light products because irresponsible people will lose them? That's just noise from people that can't find anything else to complain about.

    It's not going to get approved because it will be rightly viewed as abusive and damaging to the AirPods. Very amateur idea, to be honest with you.
     
  19. The Doctor11 macrumors 603

    The Doctor11

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    #20
    I never claimed to be a professional so I guess amateur is on par.

    I thought of that as well but I figured it's worth a shot, worst case I'll just have the app for myself. I've been testing it on my normal headphones for extended periods of time and they seem fine so I'm not worried about damage.
     
  20. TurboPGT! Suspended

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    Sep 25, 2015
    #21
    LOL!
    Good grief.

    I called the idea "amateur" because anyone even remotely familiar with audio engineering or headphone electronics would laugh at it, as I have.
     
  21. Mac 128 macrumors 601

    Mac 128

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    #22
    This is the exact solution Apple employs on their devices. As long as the transducers aren't being fed a voltage they can't handle, there's no problem here. In fact I wondered when I first read this whether you'd be able to set the volume high enough to be audible from any distance, much less from between a seat cushion. But, speakers are called upon routinely to produce exceptionally loud sounds over extended periods of time without any damage to them. Good job. However, I still wonder if Apple will approve them for many reasons.

    I would ask if the AirPod's power handling specs are published anywhere, or if you are guessing at the safe volume limits? Also, are there any safeguards here to prevent a user from accidentally activating the tone while wearing them?
     
  22. BorderingOn macrumors 6502

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    #23
    Yep. Just need a small chain to hang a tile from each bud. Fashionable and functional.
     
  23. The Doctor11 macrumors 603

    The Doctor11

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    #24
    I'm pretty much guessing what would be a safe volume but I have included a volume slider that will remember how loud you would like to sound to play each time you open the app. To prevent people from accidentally deafening themselves there is a prompt that comes up to get confirmation that you want the sound to play. I added that right after I accidentally deafened myself o_O. As far as getting approved, it'll be interesting to see how it plays out, I think it could go either way.
     
  24. Mac 128 macrumors 601

    Mac 128

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    #25
    So are you basically constrained by the sound API? Or are you able to manipulate the hardware directly? If abiding by Apple's API's I'd think Apple wouldn't have a problem with equipment damage at all since you can't drive the transducers harder than any other app that sends sound to them. While the confirmation button is helpful, Apple likely wants you to use the sensors to determine proximity to a persons ears ... Then again, if your AirPods have fallen between the couch cushions, that would prevent them from working.

    If constrained by the API, how effective is the sound? Can you clearly hear it from another room?
     

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