The Apple Airpods recently had their own dedicated app and it was developed to help their owners track the iPhone accessory in case one or both are lost.
Locating Missing AirPods
Dubbed as Finder for AirPods, the app was created by iOS developer Deucks and sold at the App Store for $3.99. It worked by cleverly measuring the Bluetooth signal strength to direct the user to the location of the missing earpiece.
Unfortunately, Apple unceremoniously pulled the app from the App Store. The company has not yet provided any reason for the move, but some observers are already grumbling how such useful tool could be summarily prevented from being accessed by consumers.
Why Did Apple Ban The App?
What we now know so far was a vague statement that Apple purportedly told Deucks about the Finder for AirPods's imminent ban in a conversation over the phone.
"They didn't find anything wrong with the app itself, but rather they [sic] didn't like the 'concept' of people finding their Airpods and hence was deemed 'not appropriate for the App Store'," a member of Deucks developer team posted at Reddit.
Indeed, the app itself — for those fortunate enough to get a hands-on impression — seems harmless and even quite effective. According to Gizmodo, Deucks even waited two weeks before Apple finally approved the app's brief stint at the App Store.
To locate a lost earpiece, the app would walk you through a straightforward process. It will first ask the user which AirPod is missing. The app then uses the device that it is last paired with for tracking, treating it as an arc.
The app certainly had several limitations. For example, it will probably work only within the Bluetooth's range. It was also hampered by barriers such as walls, which block Bluetooth signal. All things considered, there appears to be no element or feature that would constitute an App Store infraction.
On Protecting The AirPods
Overall, buying the Finder for AirPods is unarguably more practical than paying an eye-watering $69 to replace a misplaced AirPod. What is also quite aggravating is that once a replacement has been purchased, the lost earpiece could suddenly turn up, rendering the entire transaction redundant and, therefore, futile.
Consumers' beef with the Apple's wireless in-ear headphone has also prompted several workarounds from enterprising vendors. Several days ago, for example, a funny sticker surfaced at Etsy, promising to prevent thieves from stealing the AirPods.
This product, which "hides" the AirPod case, costs $4.99 and you may be sure that Apple cannot take it down the way it immediately obliterated the Finders for AirPods on the face of the App Store.
Those in the market for a wireless headphone should also note that some AirPod cases, which doubles as a charging tool, has been reportedly causing errors.