I wouldn’t say nobody noticed, but clearly the wave of publicity centers on the AirPods, rather than on the W1 chip. That quibble aside, Matt Weinberger, Business Insider, writes:
The magic happens when you’re using a W1 headset with an iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, or Mac.
First, you turn it on next to your unlocked iPhone or iPad. Second, you click “connect.” Now they’re automatically paired with any other Apple gadget that’s signed in to your iCloud account. Switching from iPhone to Mac and back takes a click.
Apple’s W1 confers other benefits, too. When you’re using it with an Apple gadget, the chip grants tremendous range — with the Beats Solo3, I was able to vacuum my entire small house with my phone charging in the bedroom without losing audio. Better yet, W1 uses some kind of magic optimization technique to greatly extend battery life.
It means Apple has something that no Android phone — or Windows laptop, for that matter — can match. It also opens the door for a world where people are always wearing their headphones, with Apple’s Siri only a tap away.
Apple’s competitor to the omnipresent Alexa is hiding in plain sight — in the iPhones and iPads that more than a billion people own and in the wireless headphones that Apple is so keen to push. In other words, the W1 brings together all the pieces of the Apple puzzle, from Siri to Beats to the iPhone, in a way that hasn’t been done before.
Interesting point. While Alexa is winning the early adopter battle, Apple is planting seeds with the W1 Bluetooth chip for a much longer play. If you buy a device with a W1 chip inside, you’ll see immediate and tangible benefits to switching over to a macOS or iOS device.