AirPlus case adds wireless charging to your AirPods

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AirPlus. If you can live with the thick rubber, they're a great idea.
AirPlus. If you can live with the thick rubber, they're a great idea.
Photo: HiQ

AirPlus is a silicone case for your AirPods’ case, which adds one great feature, as well as several not-so-great ones. With your AirPods inside the case, you can drop it onto any Qi-compatible charging mat and have the AirPods and their battery case charge wirelessly. That’s pretty sweet, but there are downsides too.

AirPlus wireless charging

Drop the AirPlus-wrapped AirPods onto any charging mat.
Drop the AirPlus-wrapped AirPods onto any charging mat.
Photo: HiQ

AirPods are the perfect candidate for wireless charging, and when Apple finally releases its AirPower charging pads, it will almost certainly make a Qi-enabled version of the AirPods case available. After all, who wants to plug in such a tiny box? It makes much more sense to just pull them out of your pocket and drop them onto a mat, on your desk, say, or on a side table in the hallway.

And AirPlus brings this convenience to your AirPods today. It’s a three-part design: an outer silicone cover, an inner plastic case, and a PCB containing the electronics sandwiched between the two. You just slip your AirPods inside, and that’s it. they will be charged whenever you drop the whole thing onto a charger mat.

Problems

The case, say the makers, solves the following problems with your existing AirPods case:

  • Too delicate: scratches, dirty marks from daily usage.
  • Too fragile: A single drop surely puts dents and cracks on the case.
  • Charming, but dull: only white color.
  • Lack of wireless charging.

Of these, the last is the only genuine complaint, in my experience. And the AirPlus brings its own problems. First, the colors are worse, not better, than white. Second, silicone is not slippery. One of the best things about the little AirPod case is that it slides in and out of your pocket so easily. AirPlus is likely to hinder this. The extra 1.2mm thickness of the skin makes the whole thing 2.4 mm, or 0.1-inches, fatter too.

Available… Everywhere?

Still, the best part of the AirPlus is the price. It’s just $30, which isn’t a bad price considering that it adds psych a useful charging feature. Or it will be $30. Currently, the device is seeking funding on Indiegogo, with a promised shipping date of July 2018. Oddly, the same people have recently concluded a Kickstarter for the exact same product, which promised the AirPlus this month, June 2018.

I’ll wait for the official Apple version. It’s only been a year since AirPower was released, after all, so it can’t be long now.