How to pair AirPods to your iPhone, iPad, MacBook and any other Apple device


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Congratulations on your new pair of AirPods! They will forever change the way you see wired earbuds. Since Apple first unveiled their AirPods in 2016, they’ve garnered quite a bit of popularity. We’ve also seen a few upgrades to Apple’s wireless earbuds over the years, and now we’re expecting a new iteration of AirPods this fall during the tech giant’s next event. The rumored AirPods 3 could share features with the AirPods Pro, including spatial audio support, interchangeable tips, a smaller charging case and more. 

a bunch of items that are sitting on a table: The AirPods Pro with third-party eartips. Lexy Savvides/CNET

© Provided by CNET
The AirPods Pro with third-party eartips. Lexy Savvides/CNET

a group of items on a table: The AirPods Pro with third-party eartips.

© Lexy Savvides/CNET

The AirPods Pro with third-party eartips.

Read more: 3 AirPods upgrades I want Apple to make in 2021

Pairing your AirPods with all your Apple devices takes, maybe, three seconds. Seriously. It doesn’t matter if you have the regular AirPods, AirPods Pro or the AirPods Max. They all use the same pairing process. Then you add in solid battery life, impressive range and features like audio sharing and it’s clear why so many people have AirPods. 

Here’s how to connect your AirPods to all of your Apple devices

Video: 5 cheaper alternatives to the AirPods Pro (CNET)

5 cheaper alternatives to the AirPods Pro



After unboxing the AirPods, unlock your iPhone then open the AirPods charging case next to your iPhone (you can also do this on your iPad). Don’t do anything else. After a second or two, there will be a pop-up on your iPhone asking if you want to connect the AirPods to it. Tap Connect. A few seconds later, the popup will display the current battery level of your AirPods and the charging case.

a hand holding a remote control: Yea, it's just that easy. Jason Cipriani/CNET

© Provided by CNET
Yea, it’s just that easy. Jason Cipriani/CNET

That’s it! Apple will automagically pair your AirPods with any Mac, Apple TV, Apple Watch or iPad linked to your Apple ID. 

If you have an iPad nearby, open Control Center by swiping down from the top-right corner of the screen and tap on the AirPlay button. You should see your AirPods listed as an option. On your Mac, you can open Control Center…


Update your iPhone, iPad, Mac right now, avoid the exploit

A set of updates were sent by Apple to their various machines out in the wild over the past week that you should be aware of. For the iPhone, we’re talking about iOS 14.7.1 and the security content therein. If you’ve already updated your iPhone to iOS 14.7.1 and do not own any other Apple products, you’re good! You can rest easy in the knowledge that you will not have your device’s previously vulnerable bits exploited.

On July 26, 2021, Apple released iOS 14.7.1 and iPadOS 14.7.1. Both of these bits of software fixed a variety of issues, one of which we’re taking a closer look at today. Per the Apple announcement about the security issue, iOS 14.7.1 and iPadOS 14.7.1 fix “a memory corruption issue” by delivering “improved memory handling.”

If you’re using an iPad, you’ll need to update to iOS 14.7.1, just as much as an iPhone user needs to update to the iOS software with the same version number. As is true with iOS, so too was iPadOS vulnerable to the issue.

Per Apple, “an application may be able to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges.” The company posted this announcement with code CVE-2021-30807, giving credit to “an anonymous researcher” in the process. Apple added that they are “aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited.”

This update delivers a fix with “IOMobileFrameBuffer” in the mix for iPhone 6s and later, iPod touch (7th gen), iPad mini 4 and later, iPad 5th gen and later, iPad Air 2 and later, and all models of iPad Pro.

If you have an Apple desktop computer running MacOS, you should also make certain you have the most updated version of your operating system. Apple released a very similar statement to the one for mobile devices, this time aimed at macOS Big Sur 11.5.1. This very similar issue was address “with improved memory handling.”


Massive iPhone Security Warnings, Apple Watch Problems, Doomed iPhone Mini


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Taking a look back at another week of news and headlines from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes a late arrival to the iPhone, the good and bad iOS security news, Apple Watches locking up, Wi-fi flaw fixed, iPhone Mini vs iPhone SE, new iPad Mini details, MacBook Pro launch dates, iCloud sizes, and sending an AirTag to Tim Cook.

Apple Loop is here to remind you of a few of the very many discussions that have happened around Apple over the last seven days (and you can read my weekly digest of Android news here on Forbes).

An Exciting Late Arrival To The iPhone

Mark this one down as either ‘revolutionary’ or ‘doesn’t every top-end Android smartphone already have this?’ depending on your tribe. The iPhone might finally be getting an always on display:

“The OLED LTPO displays expected to be included in the high-end iPhone 13 models would also enable the inclusion of a 120Hz refresh rate. Apple has been long-rumored to bring its 120Hz ProMotion technology to its ‌iPhone‌, and despite widespread rumors of it happening on the ‌iPhone 12‌, Apple now seems set-in-stone to include it for the high-end models of the iPhone 13.”


Breaking The iPhone Security

Discussions around the ‘Pegasus’ software from Israel’s NSO Group; its capabilities to hack a third party’s phone; and use the camera, microphone, GPS, and other sensors to monitor you; were everywhere this week A study by the Washington Post And one of the more interesting facets of the story is the vulnerability of the iPhone:

“We have seen Pegasus deployed through iMessage against Apple’s latest version of iOS, so it’s pretty clear that NSO can beat BlastDoor,” said Bill Marczak, a fellow at Citizen Lab, a cybersecurity analysts’ unit based at the University of…


Apple releases iOS 14.7 with support for Apple Card combined accounts, MagSafe Battery Pack


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iOS 14.7

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

Apple on Monday released iOS 14.7, iPadOS 14.7, Apple Watch 7.6 and TVOS 14.7. The updates include several new features, security improvements and performance enhancements. 

You can download and install the update on an iPhone or iPad right now by going to Settings > General > Software Update

The most notable additions to the iPhone include support for the recently announced
MagSafe Battery Pack

ahead of orders arriving later this week. Apple also added the ability for Apple Card users in the same family to combine accounts and share one account. 

Combined accounts is something Apple Card users have been asking for since it launched two years ago, and was something Apple had said would launch in July after announcing Apple Card Family and the ability to share your card with others in your Family Sharing group. 

Here’s the full changelog captured on an iPhone 12 Pro: 

  • MagSafe Battery Pack support for iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max.
  • Apple Card Family adds the option to combine credit limits and share one co-owned account with an existing Apple Card user.
  • Home app adds the ability to manage timers on HomePod.
  • Air quality information is now available in Weather and Maps for Canada, France, Italy, Netherlands, South Korea, and Spain.
  • Podcasts library allows you to choose to see all shows or only followed shows.
  • Share playlist menu option missing in Apple Music.
  • Dolby Atmos and Apple Music lossless audio playback may unexpectedly stop.
  • Battery service message that may have disappeared after reboot on some iPhone 11 models is restored.
  • Braille displays could show invalid information while composing Mail messages.


Brydge Air Max+ review: The ultimate keyboard and trackpad for the iPad Air


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A large multi-touch trackpad has now made its way to the iPad Air thanks to the Brydge Air Max+. We put it to the test to see if it is worth adding to your setup.

Brydge’s Air Max+ is the latest from the keyboard maker. It includes a detachable slim-fit case for the iPad Air as well as a backlit keyboard and expansive trackpad. It comes on the heels of Byrgde’s other recent products for the iPad Pro line and its independent glass trackpad.

Who is the Brydge Air Max+ for?

There’s a stark difference in Brydge’s keyboard offerings, especially between the all-aluminum iPad Pro models and the plastic/rugged iPad and iPad Air options. So before we evaluate how this keyboard holds up, it is worth looking at who the iPad Air is targeted at.

In Apple’s lineup, iPad Air sits between the cheaper iPad and the powerful 11-inch iPad Pro. It is almost akin to a Goldilocks situation. The standard iPad loses many features, but the iPad Pro has a few that are very pro-focused. With iPad Air, Apple has the fun factor with several unique colors, USB-C for real productivity and expansion, an excellent edge-to-edge Liquid Retina display, and a beastly processor.

Multitasking with Brydge Air Max+

Multitasking with Brydge Air Max+

We’d categorize the typical iPad Air user as someone who wants a great tablet that can get stuff done but is still affordable.

We see Brydge target that use case explicitly with the Air Max+. It’s affordable to bundle the keyboard and case together, but still just as productive as the more expensive aluminum versions. It also allows users to protect their investment while on the go.

Brydge Air Max+ Build and quality

The device comes in two distinct pieces. There is a thin, protective shell case for iPad Air that covers all the edges, back, and adds a lip on the front. It even has a groove for Apple Pencil.

Brydge Air Max+ has a removable magnetic case

Brydge Air Max+ has a removable magnetic case

This case connects magnetically to a sizeable back panel attached to the keyboard. This is different than the original and well-known Brydge hinges. The magnets are excellent and make connecting and removing a breeze.

The buttons on the case are tactile, though they are slightly subdued versus pressing the physical buttons without a case. The case is also…