I still can’t get over how much I like Apple’s new AirPods. I also can’t get over how ridiculous I look when I wear them. The off-putting look of Apple’s new truly wireless earbuds will theoretically become less offensive as they proliferate — but they can only proliferate if Apple manages to improve supply so that people can actually buy them.
Order your AirPods online on Apple’s website and they might not ship until sometime in February, according to Apple’s current delivery estimates. If you want them sooner than that, you’ll need to swoop in as soon as your local Apple store gets a new shipment. How can you be sure you make it in time? In this post, we’ll show you three free tools that till help you on your quest to procure Apple’s wonderful yet unsightly new earphones.
At this point, the biggest problem with Apple’s AirPods is that inventory is insanely constrained so they’re next to impossible to find in Apple stores. Lucky for you, developers are well aware of the issue and they’ve cooked up some tools that have been designed to help.
Last week, we told you about a free web app called Fruit Basket. This site was cooked up by a Redditor and it’s very easy to use. Enter your zip code and the farthest you’re willing to travel to buy AirPods, and the site will return a list of Apple stores in your area along with whether or not they have AirPods in stock. Then, you can leave the page open in a browser tab and it will recheck inventory every 30 seconds. Once it finds them in stock somewhere, the site will pop up and alert and play a chime.
If you’d prefer a more polished inventory checker, iStockNow has been updated to support AirPods. This well-known site features a nice big interactive map that shows every Apple store in the world. Choose the product you’re searching for — in this case, AirPods — and each green pin on the map represents a store that has AirPods in stock. As you can see on the site right now, AirPods aren’t available anywhere in the US, but there’s plenty of inventory available in Canada.
Finally, if you’re looking for a fully hands-off option, a simple site called isinstock is just what the doctor ordered. Input your email, choose the Apple store nearest you, and click “Notify Me.” You’ll then receive an email as soon as AirPods are in stock at your local Apple store.