Apple’s Airbuds App Has People Tuning In


AP Newsroom

An Apple logo adorns the facade of the downtown Brooklyn Apple store on March 14, 2020, in New York. Apple is getting into the Buy Now, Pay Later space with a few tweaks to the existing model — including no option to pay with a credit card. The company will roll out the product to some consumers spring 2023, and will begin reporting the loans to credit bureaus in the fall.

Maddox Karnes, Arts and Entertainment editor

Do you listen to music? Do your friends listen to music? Are you a judgemental person? If you said yes to those three questions, one of Apple’s latest apps has just the thing for you.

Airbuds launched in late 2022 as a “widget app,” apps on iPhones that can be seen with a larger icon and moving screen on someone’s home page, under Apple. The free app allows users to sync up their music streaming services and show your followers what you’re listening to as well as see what the people you follow are listening to.

But that’s not where the capabilities end. You can also send messages or emojis to people for a song they listened to, indicating what you thought of the song. 

“I think it’s pretty good,” sophomore Charlie Kurzym said. “I like to see what my friends listen to… and the interface is pretty simple too.”

Kurzym has had the app for about a month. While he’s still new to the Airbuds sphere, he’s picked up on cool differences with this social media, particularly with the ability of being able to put it down.

“I’ll get bored and then remember Airbuds exists so then I’ll go on it. It’s a nice way to kill a couple minutes,” Kurzym said. “[I probably spend] three to five minutes on there at a time.”

The app has a 4.8 out of 5 stars on the official Apple app store. However, that isn’t to say the new form of social media doesn’t get pitchy at times.

Many users have encountered issues with the app putting down songs they skip as ones they listen to in their entirety, a problem many have vocalized in the app’s review section.

“If you skip a song it still shows you listened to it? Like of all music to display and the one it chooses I didn’t even listen to? Are you joking?” commenter Kiikoman said in a review on the app store.

A similar opinion can be heard from EHS students.

“I’m not listening to [the songs I skip] so I’m sure my friends wouldn’t want to see what I don’t listen to,” senior Desi Snyder said.

While some users found the inclusion of skipped songs on the app to be misleading, some are willing to look past it to get a gauge on the music consumption of their peers.

“I really like how it gives you a weekly recap of the music you and your friends listened to and their top artists,” junior Avery Allaria said. “It’s a cool way to see a closer view of your friends listening activity compared to a broader view like Spotify Wrapped or something.”

In addition to seeing what others are listening to, senior Dallas Jenkins has been able to use the app to broaden her own listening habits.

“It really is a good way to find new songs because the two friends I have on there have a slightly different taste in music from me so I get a good variety,” Jenkins said. “I’ve already added a few songs.”

Despite the pros and cons of the app, Airbuds has changed the way many of its users consume music – whether it’s adding to a playlist or paying close attention to what song you just skipped.

“To be honest I did not know that it showed songs I skipped,” Allaria said. “So now I’m a little worried for what has shown.”