Earlier today, we reported that new firmware versions are gradually rolling out for Apple’s wireless headphone products. This new software enables Find My support for AirPods Pro and AirPods Max, which Apple first teased back in June at WWDC.
This means that the compatible AirPods models gain new functionality inside of the Find My app, including precise location, a new Nearby Finding UI, Lost Mode, and the ability to get notifications when your earbuds are left behind.
In order to take advantage of these new features, you’ll first need to update your AirPods to the just-released firmware. Getting AirPods to update immediately is a somewhat mercurial process that involves placing your charged AirPods in their case near a connected phone, and then hoping that the software update is transferred. Most AirPods customers simply receive new firmware updates passively over time, in the course of use.
Thanks to reader Ste Moseley who first sent in these screenshots. Apple has also updated its Find My support article acknowledging the rollout of the new features.
The new integration now means that AirPods Pro and AirPods Max participate in the Find My network, and send out a continuous Bluetooth beacon message. When other Apple devices are in the area, they can detect this signal and report it to the Find My network, placing its location on the owner’s map. This is just like how AirTags work at long range.
When in close range of AirPods, users are now able to get a visual indicator of their proximate location. Unfortunately, the directional arrows feature of AirTags is not present here, because current AirPods do not include a U1 chip inside them. The AirTags Nearby Finding interface uses a green theme, but the AirPods version is blue — probably to indicate that it is not precise as the AirTag’s ultra-wide band precision location capability.
With Lost Mode, iPhone customers who misplace their AirPods will now be able to leave a message and contact phone number. If the AirPods are then picked up by someone else and paired with an iOS device, the Lost Mode message will be shown to help return the lost item back to its original owner.
The new features are only compatible with AirPods Pro and AirPods Max. Standard AirPods do not support these features; it is believed that the upcoming third-generation AirPods will however. 3rd-gen AirPods are widely rumored to ship before the end of the year.
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