The AirPods are nice little things as it saves us from the tyranny of the messy wires once and for all. Unfortunately, that can also be the biggest bane of the AirPods as it also makes them prone to be misplaced easily, more so if you are of the forgetful types.
Apple though has a solution, and it is baked into the latest iOS 10.3 iteration, the beta form of which has just been made available to the public. It works on the same principle as the ‘Find My iPhone’ feature that we have grown used to by now; except that it relies on Bluetooth technology to achieve its objective that in turn also limits its range. So the next time you can’t seem to have your AirPods in sight, you can use your iPhone, iPad device or even a Mac signed into the same iCloud account to make the earbuds make a sound so you can locate them.
That’s pretty neat though apart from the range restrictions, the AirPods also need to have the minimum charge needed for it make the sound. If the AirPods batteries have drained, those will remain silent of course.
Further, the diminutive size of the AirPods is also another reason those can’t be located beyond the Bluetooth zone as it lacks a GPS of its own.
Instead, it is the GPS located inside the iPhone or the iPad that is used. That also means if the AirPods aren’t located within the Bluetooth zone, the app will only be able to provide you with the last location where it was used. That would be general location at best with nothing specific. So if you have dropped them mistakenly at the airport lounge or while shopping, you can consider yourself lucky if you are able to lay your hands on them ever again.
Meanwhile, another interesting development worth noting is the sudden disappearance of the ‘Finder for AirPods’ app from the iTunes App Store. The app served the same purpose as locating a misplaced AirPod, and since the feature is now made integral to iOS, it should also explain why the app isn’t there anymore.