Apple has begun rolling out new firmware updates for the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max that includes a new “Find My” functionality. The feature, which was initially supposed to launch with iOS 15 but was delayed, makes it easier to find your headphones when they go missing.
The update lets the AirPods take advantage of the vast Find My network to locate them if they go missing. Prior to the update, the Find My function could only show you the earphone’s last known location, albeit being limited to the AirPods’ Bluetooth connection.
The update takes it a step further by finding out of range AirPods through the network of other nearby Apple devices. When Lost Mode is turned on, the headphones will send out a continuous Bluetooth beacon and when other people’s Apple devices detect the signal, they will report the location on the network for the owner to see.
The method is similar to how lost AirTags work but the lack of Apple’s U1 chip means that the AirPods won’t have that precise arrow-pointing location feature. It will, however, notify users when the earbuds are left behind or if their location is getting further away. Reported lost items can be attached with a message and contact details and can also be marked as found by the people who stumble upon them.
— Ste Moseley (@Ste_Moseley) October 5, 2021
The new Find My tools are only available with the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max, so standard AirPods owners are out of luck. AirPods firmware updates are a bit tricky, as there’s no direct way to download the update.
Users will have to keep their charged AirPods in their case near a connected iPhone and hope that it will randomly transfer the update. You can check your AirPods’ firmware version in your iPhone settings to see if you already have it, the latest update with the new locating tools being version 4A400.