The AirPod scandal is taking the world by storm. In a world where we have access to information and technologies that our ancestors could have only dreamed of, there are still some scandals in the tech world that make you want to shake your fist and scream out into the night. Even worse is a scandal that is happening underneath our noses, yet few (if any) of us know that it is actually occurring.
But let’s pause and take one step back.
Have you ever gotten the sense that it’s time to move on from a product that you know and love? It’s not like the product is deeply flawed or can’t provide even some semblance of value in your day-to-day life. It’s just the fact that the product is missing that one key feature.
It is the one that would make your life so much easier. Above it, all it is such an obvious feature that the company should have thought to include it, right?
Most often, the answer is no.
For whatever reason, large corporations—particularly the largest corporations—decide in their infinite wisdom to remove some features that could make their users’ lives so much easier.
Sometimes it is due to a misunderstanding of a customer need. A company doesn’t truly understand how their customers and users actually use their product. Their vision of customer behavior and actual behavior are extremely out of whack, and because of this, they don’t include or omit features that don’t appeal to their customer base.
Other times, it is simply due to money. The company knows that their customer wants a certain feature in a product or service, yet it refuses to add the feature due to costs. Yes, companies do need to mind their budgets and ensure that they can stay in business. Even if a feature would be revolutionary and would totally satisfy customers, they refuse to include it purely due to finances.
Whatever the case may be, it can sometimes be extremely frustrating as a consumer. It can be so annoying that it makes you question your relationship with a company—even one that you love.
It makes you want to say goodbye to that company. Even a company as large and as successful as Apple.
The AirPod Scandal: My Story
I recently encountered the Apple AirPod scandal when I was waiting to take off on a long flight. I sat down in my seat and was preparing to record a video on my iPhone. Before I clicked record, the first bad news arrived.
The plane ran out of champagne.
Okay, not a big deal. These things happen.
The worse news came when I actually started recording video on my iPhone. I had both of my AirPods in my ears. Like any normal person, I was assuming that they were going to record my voice as I spoke into my phone’s camera. It seemed to have worked before, so why wouldn’t it work this time?
It turns out that I had been wrong all along. AirPods, in fact, do not pick up the sound of your voice when you are recording video on your iPhone.
It is so easy to make this assumption. AirPods are one of the coolest innovations from Apple in many years. Not only do they generally make your life easier, but they are technologically advanced. You can access an artificial intelligence system simply by talking. They even look stylish and are less constraining than those traditional wired headphones. But for a creator like me, the inability to record audio with your AirPods is, to put it bluntly, shocking. With all of the technological horsepower within each AirPod, it is simply crazy that you cannot speak into your AirPods while recording a video and have that audio stored on your iPhone.
Yet, this is the reality. All this time I had been recording hundreds of videos on my iPhone thinking that audio was being recorded in my AirPods. Instead, I should have noticed that the audio for some of my videos was great when I was close to my phone and not so great when I was further away. This was my phone telling me that the phone microphone, rather than my AirPods was recording audio.