Apple has made it easier to locate your misplaced AirPods

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Photo: Adam Clark Estes/Gizmodo – In iOS 15, a new firmware update makes it simpler to locate your misplaced headphones. Apple announced improved FindMy integration for AirPods in iOS 15 at WWDC. Apple is now delivering on that promise with a firmware update that provides you extra alternatives if your AirPods Pro or AirPods Max go missing.

The FindMy network is based on Bluetooth, which is used by millions of Apple products. As a result, if an Apple device detects a lost device nearby, it notifies the FindMy app. The AirPods Pro and Max may now connect to that network thanks to a firmware upgrade. However, because they are missing the U1 chip, they will not be as accurate as AirTags.

Previously, FindMy just let you to view your AirPods’ last known position and play a sound. It’s useful, but as anybody who has misplaced an AirPod will attest, it’s not perfect. The updated software, which was first noticed by 9to5 Mac, enables a function that is similar to the Precision Finding feature that Apple debuted with the AirTags—but not quite. To begin with, there is no arrow guiding you in a certain direction. Instead, it works like a digital Marco Polo, allowing you to see how close or far you are to the AirPods. (You can see what that looks like in screenshots here.)

Owners may now use Lost Mode to mark their AirPods Pro and Max as lost. In the case that the smartphone is recovered by someone else, users can leave a contact number and a note. Another useful addition is that you may now receive notifications if you forget your AirPods.

To get these capabilities, you’ll need to upgrade the firmware on your AirPods. The bad news is that upgrading AirPods is a hassle because there isn’t a simple method to do so. When they’re linked to your phone and charging, it simply… sort of occurs. You can, however, see if your firmware is up to date. If you go to Settings, scroll down to Bluetooth devices, and then press the blue information icon next to the AirPods, you’ll be able to find out more information. Check the version number in the About section by scrolling down. 4A400 should appear if you have the latest firmware.

Regular AirPods aren’t compatible with these new functionalities. When the rumored AirPods 3 arrive, perhaps that will change.