Well, well, well ... after searching high and low for a pair of AirPods in Las Vegas and then in a few malls in PJ, I finally got my hands on one from MacStudio, Paradigm Mall. It seems that MacStudio and some of the retailers in PJ do get very small number of stocks per week.You just have to be there at the right time to grab it.
Setting up is pretty easy. Pop the pods off the casing and the iPhone immediately recognize it and asked to connect. The connection was immediate, no waiting for seconds typical of other Bluetooth device.
This is a great feature actually - when you need to use the AirPod, just pop it into your ear and it immediately give an audible ding. No waiting for seconds. You wouldn't want to wait when you have a need to connect and speak to someone. I guess that's the difference the Apple W1chip is making vs other Bluetooth device which does not have W1 chipset.
The iPhone immediately gave the AirPod a name.
Interestingly iPhone assign the name that Siri used to call me. For instance, if Siri always call me Ringgit, the AirPods will be named Ringgit's AirPods. That's how tight the connectivity to Siri is.
If I have just one AirPod out of the case, the iPhone will show as such in the Notification Center. There is a icon of the AirPod and a little "R" indicating that I have the right side AirPod in my ear.
I also love how it uses iCloud and because of that, when I pop open the iPad and run a YouTube video, the AirPods in my ear immediately know I'm using the iPad and play the sound from it, not from the iPhone it was paired. And when I am using my Mac and playing a song from iTunes, it connects to the Mac. That's an amazing piece of engineering there.
So far, the AirPods stayed in the ear. I didn't go for running, just usual walking and moving about in the house and it's staying put. The pods are not as slippery as some claims - ok, I can see why people complain it's slippery but I'm guessing in Malaysia, where it's humid and our hands are not dry, I think that's probably attributed to it being not as slippery as some have reported.
I'm also loving the sound quality and how Siri just works (so far) and I love how Music stop when I take out one piece. And I'm also living how music turn to mono when I just have one pod in my ear (useful when driving when you can't put both into the ear and still able to enjoy music).
One thing, which I think is game changer, which I don't see it emphasized enough elsewhere, is how you can use the right piece and left piece as a hands free independently. Say, you are a heavy hands free user who make a lot of phone calls as you drive. That means you will be using the right pod. When the right pod runs out of juice, you can then just pop in the left pod and continue on, while charging the right one in the case. In fact, what I did was that I always keep the left pod in the car, to be used when driving. The right pod is in my pocket following me whenever I stepped out of the car. That way, I maximized both ear piece when I'm on the go. The experience is just so seamless. I'm surprise no one market this feature more. It's truly game changer to me.
The point above is particularly useful for me because I take a lot of teleconference throughout the day. Sometimes I am on the move. Yes, the charger does serve to keep the Airpod charged to last 24 hours but the OCD in me prefers to maximize both pod before I charge them. It was a pleasure to see how easy it is to change the pod while on a teleconference without it interrupting the flow of the conversation.
I believe the AirPods has a huge potential to be a hit. Now, if only Apple is able to get enough supply to meet the demand.