New AirPods could have a touch screen – but would it even be useful?

Home » New AirPods could have a touch screen – but would it even be useful?
Apple Patent for touch screen on AirPods case


Apple is always looking to innovate with the AirPods line, and this new patent seems to indicate the next destination for the AirPods. In a move that seems both interesting and potentially useless, Apple has filed a patent that is going to put a touch screen on the outside of the AirPods case, amongst other things. It sounds cool, but just how useful could it be?

Why, though?

(Image credit: Apple)

The patent details some new control methods in the AirPods case. The main one is obviously the screen on the case, and it will be used for a couple of different things. It will act like a remote control for Apple Music, letting you skip, pause and change the volume from the case itself. It’s a cool feature, but ultimately a strange one. After all, if you can pull out your AirPods to change track, surely you can do the same thing with your best iPhone?

The screen also looks to display other information as well, including the source of the audio playing on the AirPods. That could be a movie, a message, or a phone call. But again – it’s all visible on your phone.

AirPods Patent with squeeze gesture

(Image credit: Apple)

The other key control method is squeezing, and this sounds more useful than a small touch screen. Users will be able to change certain parameters by giving their AirPods case a quick squeeze, something that could be done within a pocket without having to look at the case and its new small screen. This, if anything, is the key innovation.

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