Apple Airpods Hot on the Market; Some Features Raise Concerns

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Apple Airpods Hot on the Market; Some Features Raise Concerns

Hope Friddell, Reporter

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They were the hottest item on everyone’s Christmas list; and even now, 3 weeks after Christmas, everyone is still desperate to get a pair.  Apple airpods have taken the headphone world by storm, gifting the tech company 5.5 billion dollars in revenue, and counting. But what is it that makes them so amazing?

The cordless earbuds connect to your iPhone and let you play music conveniently and discreetly. They retail on Apple’s website for $159, and are loaded with incredible features. The airpods are built with sensors that know when you’ve pulled them out of your ears, and will pause your music until they are placed back in your ears. They can also mute out other noises when you talk, so that there is crystal clear sound when you are making calls. They’re compact nature is easy for travel; no more untangling wires or getting your cord caught on something that rips your music from your ears.

While Airpods give Apple customers convenience, the discrete nature of the headphones are starting to raise some concerns.

In schools, students listening to music or making a call while a teacher gives a test or a lecture is incredibly disrespectful, and can be considered a form of cheating. When a school official has a clear view of the wires of their student’s headphones, it easier for them to ask to remove them. With airpods, students have the advantage of hiding them behind their hair, or strategically placing their hands over them to prevent their teacher from catching them. Because airpods connect to iPhones without the need of a cord, students can keep their phone hidden from sight while still getting the music they need.

The secrecy of airpods is also causing some privacy issues. In an attempt to assist customers who were hearing impaired, Apple created a feature that came with the ios12 update called “Live Listen.” When someone turns on this feature, the voice of whoever is speaking is raised in volume and transmitted to the airpods. While the technology is incredibly helpful, it is also incredibly dangerous.

Recently, individuals have discovered the magic of “airpod eavesdropping.” If someone has any suspicions about their friends, spouses, co workers or bosses, they now have the ability to eavesdrop on the private conversations of others by using the “Live Listen” feature and leaving their phone unattended in the room where the discussion is occurring. When they’re out of sight and connect their airpods to their phone, they can hear the conversation occurring in the same room as the phone.

This raises concerns for many individuals, as the potential for an invasion of privacy is very high, and very hard to catch.

Airpod users, however, seem unfazed. The new tech gadget that has become a popular item on the market continues to sell, and is quickly becoming the choice way to listen to music. 

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