After releasing the first beta versions of iOS 16 and macOS 13 earlier this week, Apple has now released a new firmware for AirPods to developers. Although this isn’t the first time Apple has released a beta program for AirPods, it has only happened once in the past.
Apple provided instructions for installing the new firmware through Developer Portal. Basically, what the developers need to do is pair the AirPods to the iPhone and then use the Xcode 14 beta on the Mac to enable the “Beta Firmware before release” option under the “Test AirPods” section.
As per the instructions, it can take up to 24 hours for AirPods to update after enabling this option in Xcode. It’s worth noting that in order to install the beta firmware on AirPods, the iPhone, iPad, or Mac it’s paired with must be running iOS 16, iPadOS 16, or macOS 13.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the beta firmware is only available for AirPods 2nd generation, AirPods 3rd generation, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max. The first generation AirPods haven’t received the update, at least not yet. It’s also unclear what’s new in the update besides “improvements to auto switching”.
iOS 16 introduces a new feature called “custom spatial soundWhich uses the iPhone’s TrueDepth camera to create a ‘profile’ for Spatial Audio, so perhaps the new AirPods beta firmware is linked to this feature.
last year, Apple released a beta firmware for AirPods which enabled Spatial Audio for FaceTime and Ambient Noise Reduction for users using iOS 15 beta. However, as with the previous beta, there is no way to downgrade the firmware.
Once installed on your AirPods, the trial software cannot be removed. Your device will continue to run this software until an updated version of the non-trial software is released. In the meantime, you will automatically receive any additional beta software updates as long as you have enabled your AirPods to receive them using the installation steps below.
iOS 15 is currently available as a beta program for developers via Apple Developer website. The public beta will be launched next month, while the official release is expected this fall.
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