At the minimum, Apple’s move was a stupid one. It also looks like a pure money grab, given that the only current alternative to a missing earbud is to spend $69 to replace it.
Known for its easy setup and 24-hour battery life, the $159 AirPods feature two earbuds measuring just 16.5mm by 18.0mm by 40.5 mm each. Yes, they are easy to lose.
I spend a lot of time each day using AirPods and have already lost an AirPods unit on two occasions. Once, this arose while I was sitting in my favorite leather chair at home. The other time occurred at Starbucks. In both instances, the earbud fell out of my ear.
I’m pretty sure AirPods can’t fly. Nonetheless, they were found both times further away that I had expected. In both cases, I used Finder for AirPods to get the job done. The app uses the iPhone to track the Bluetooth wireless signal emitted by the two AirPod units to help locate the missing piece. The app displays a line showing signal strength.
Given each situation, I probably would have found the missing units even without the app. However, I can think of instances where the app could mean the difference between finding the AirPods unit and having to buy a replacement. During a walk or run, for example.
According to Deucks Pty developer Raajit Sharm, Apple pulled Finder for AirPods after determining the app was “not appropriate for the App Store.” This explanation is nonsense, given the benefit the app provides.
With no suitable alternative, Apple would be wise to return the title to the App Store, at least until the company provides a native solution.
This solution would be appropriate to find missing AirPods, no?
Anyone who purchased the $3.99 app can still use the app on their iPhone, but there will be no further updated on the title unless Apple reverses the removal decision.
If interested, Deucks Pty recommends that users can ask for a refund via iTunes or the Web.