Not quite an iPod replacement, the AirPods with screen version could instead be a companion to your iPhone or even Apple Watch, which you turn to at times when you want to listen to your favorite music without taking any other gadget with you.
Available since 2016, Apple’s AirPods earbuds have received constant improvements, but most have been focused on audio performance and experience when used with your iPhone or other device connected via the Bluetooth interface.
According to the latest patent granted to the US company, Apple is considering turning the AirPods’ carrying and charging case into a standalone media player, complete with interactive screen and touch controls. But it will most likely not be an MP3 player in the classic sense, as the device with internal storage will “sync” the playlist accessed in the phone’s app with songs.
For example, the phone’s battery life could be improved by transferring the entire song selected for playback to the AirPods box, leaving the playback app and the phone’s Bluetooth connection almost completely suspended. But the big advantage would be that you’d be able to listen to your favourite tunes with just the AirPods case, much easier and more convenient to slip into your running outfit than a big, heavy and very expensive iPhone to repair.
According to the attached patent application description, the future iPhone earbuds will be able to communicate both with the iPhone directly, but also via the carrying case equipped with touch screen and media controls.