iOS 16 Beta 5 changes hint at easier manual firmware updates for AirPods
While the firmware update process for AirPods true wireless headphones has been a mystery, with the release of iOS 16 Developer Beta 5 this week, users will finally be able to check out the details related to the firmware update. With iOS 16 Beta 5 installed, you'll be able to navigate to the Bluetooth menu, click on the corresponding AirPods in the Accessories list, and view the firmware version of your AirPods in System Settings.
As u/NoticeCrafty pointed out on Reddit's "r/iOSBeta" sub-section, you can now find out the current firmware for AirPods and charging cases by clicking on "Firmware Versions" version.
You can also find this information by clicking on the new top-level menu for AirPods in System Settings, instead of going to the Bluetooth device menu as you did before.
There is an additional line of explanation below this information -- firmware details are available on the official Apple support page (with a hyperlink to support.apple.com).
However, at this stage Apple has not enabled link hopping yet, as no specific article has been posted on the official support page.
Looking ahead, Apple could apparently easily include release notes for the new AirPods firmware here, and Reddit users are speculating that the experience could be similar to that of Apple's AirTag smart tracker.
Finally, it may also mean that Apple is preparing to bring a way for users to "manually update their AirPods to the new firmware version.
Currently, the system automatically chooses to perform firmware updates in the background when the user puts the AirPods back in the charging case and they are within range of the iPhone signal.
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