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Apple’s surprise AirPods Pro and Max update makes it much easier to find lost headphones

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Apple has quietly rolled out a new feature to iOS 15 making it easier for users to find their AirPods Pro and AirPods Max headphones.

The new update to the Find My app, and to the headphones via a firmware update, will allow the devices to send out a continuous Bluetooth beacon. Other Apple devices around the headphones will be able to detect this signal and report it to the Find My network – in the same way that Apple’s AirTags can.

When the user is in close range, users will get a visual indicator on their iPhone or iPad telling them if they are “far” or “near”.

Unfortunately, they will not feature the directional arrows that are found in AirTags as the headphones lack a U1 chip, but Apple will automatically send a notification if to users that accidentally leave their AirPods behind.

Updating the AirPods Max and Pro to the new firmware is a difficult procedure because Apple has no way of pushing that process. Users will have to place their charged AirPods in the case next to the connected phone and, at some point, the update will happen.

To check whether they are on the latest update, users can go into the Settings menu of their iPhone or iPad, then General, then About, and finally hitting the AirPods button and seeing the “firmware version”. The latest software issue is “4A400”.

If their AirPods are picked up by someone else, users can leave a message and a contact number that will show up when they are paired with a new device.

While the original AirPods do not support these features, the long-awaited third-generation of the AirPods Pro are expected to support them too. The headphones were absent at the company’s recent iPhone event where it launched the iPhone 13 and 13 Pro, but are rumoured to come before the end of the year.

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