AirPods firmware update enables Find My tracking

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Locating AirPods with Find My
But only if you have AirPods Max or AirPods Pro.
Photo: Apple

Apple upgraded AirPods Pro and AirPods Max on Tuesday to enable Find My tracking. It allows users to locate missing AirPods even when they’re not connected to another Apple device.

Getting the new functionality just requires a firmware upgrade for the wireless earbuds and iOS 15.

AirPods now work like AirTag… sort of

Once upgraded, AirPods use Bluetooth to report their location, and they communicate with the closest iOS/iPadOS device. It’s a bit like Apple’s AirTag item trackers but more limited.

An AirPods Pro/Max owner can open the Find My app to see visual proximity alerts on their missing headphones, if not the pointer arrow available for AirTags. Even better, if AirPods are left behind, the owner’s iPhone can be notified.

Apple promised this feature at the WWDC Developers Conference in June, but it had wait until the full release of iOS 15. It’s been out for weeks and now so is the necessary firmware update.

The Find My support page was updated on Tuesday to indicate that AirPods Pro and AirPods Max now support:

  • View Location
  • Find Nearby
  • Play a Sound
  • Lost Mode (Mark as Lost)
  • Notify When Found
  • Notify When Left Behind

And at least one AirPods Pro user report that it works.

All the new features are not available on AirPods 1 or AirPods 2. However, users can use Find My to view the general location of lost earbuds and have them play a sound.