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iOS 16 beta 5 hints that AirPods firmware updates could get easier – 9to5Mac

The process of updating AirPods firmware has always been a bit of a mystery. With this week’s release of iOS 16 beta 5, Apple has made a small change to the Settings app that could mean you’ll eventually be able to at least view details on what’s new with AirPods firmware updates…
You’ve always been able to view your AirPods firmware version in the Settings app by navigating to the Bluetooth menu and tapping on your AirPods in the list of accessories.
As first spotted by a user on Reddit, you can now go one step further by tapping on the firmware version itself. When you tap on the firmware version, you’ll see what software version your AirPods are running, as well as the current firmware version of your AirPods Case.
You can also find this information by tapping on the new top-level menu for AirPods in the Settings app, rather than diving directly into the Bluetooth menu.
Beneath this information, there’s also a new explanation saying: “Firmware details available at support.apple.com” with a hyperlink. As it stands right now, tapping on this link doesn’t actually take you anywhere because there’s no associated article actually published on the Apple Support website.
Ideally, this means that when Apple releases a new firmware update for AirPods in the future, you’ll be able to tap that link to view release notes. As it stands today, Apple has never published release notes for AirPods updates. Reddit users speculate that this could look similar to the release notes Apple publishes for AirTag.
Finally, this could also mean that Apple is preparing a way for users to update their AirPods to new firmware versions manually. Currently, AirPods automatically update in the background when your AirPods are in their case and near your iPhone.
Ultimately, this is a small change as of right now, but it could be an indication that Apple is improving the AirPods software update process and making it clear to users what’s new with each update.
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