AirPods’ most-wanted monitoring characteristic is coming in iOS 15, however it’s a must to wait. Here is why

AirPods' most-wanted tracking feature is coming in iOS 15, but you have to wait. Here's why

The AirPods Professional are tiny and straightforward to lose. iOS 15 makes it simpler to trace them down. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

This story is a part of Apple Occasion, our full protection of the newest information from Apple.

Apple’s AirPods wi-fi earbuds are handy, but in addition actually small and intensely simple to lose. It seems, these pesky cords on wired earbuds had the one benefit of serving as a form of bodily tether. However now, Apple plans to increase the vary of its digital tether in your AirPods Professional and AirPods Max with iOS 15 for the iPhone, obtainable to obtain now

Earlier than iOS 15 arrived, you may use Apple’s Discover My app that will help you find a misplaced earbud, nevertheless it solely labored in case you had been inside Bluetooth vary of your AirPods — that is roughly 30 toes, or 10 meters. They usually wanted to be outdoors of the charging case. However with iOS 15, that is altering. 

Although iOS 15 is now obtainable to put in (discover out in case your iPhone is suitable with iOS 15), this enhanced Discover My help for AirPods will not arrive till later this fall, in accordance with Apple’s web site. As soon as it’s, you can discover your misplaced AirPods regardless of the place they’re, even outdoors Bluetooth vary. Here is what we all know and what you have to learn about how the characteristic works. 

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The Find My network is key for lost AirPods and more

Apple’s Find My network is what makes it possible to locate a lost or stolen Apple device like an iPhone, the recently released AirTags and third-party devices like an electric bike. 

You can read more about how the Find My network works here, but here’s the short version. Every Apple device scans and locates the Bluetooth signal of Find My-compatible devices. 

Once it’s located, the Find My network sends you an alert of your item’s location. Every step of the process is encrypted, and the only person who can see your item’s location is you. 


Use the Find My app to mark your AirPods as lost. 

Apple/Screenshot by Sarah Tew/CNET

How to turn on Lost Mode for AirPods Pro or AirPods Max

Since the new feature is not yet available in iOS 15, I haven’t been able to test it yet. But using Apple’s WWDC demonstration and my familiarity with the Find My app, I have a pretty good idea of how it will work. 

After realizing you’ve lost your AirPods Pro or AirPods Max (sorry, standard AirPods owners, it looks like you’re being left out for now), open the Find My app on your iPhone. Tap on the Devices tab, then select your AirPods. A map will show you the last location you had your AirPods, including the time. 

Using the card at the bottom of the screen, you can mark the AirPods as Lost. You may have to swipe up on the card at the bottom of the screen to see all available options.

When Lost Mode is enabled, the Find My network will begin searching for your AirPods. Once they’re found, you’ll receive an alert on your iPhone with their current location. 


Trigger your AirPods Pro or AirPods Max to play sounds, making it easier to find them. 

Apple/Screenshot by Sarah Tew/CNET

You know where your AirPods are, but now what?

After getting to the location where your lost AirPods are, you have two options. You can use the Find My app and trigger your AirPods to start playing a sound that gets louder as it plays. Apple said it doesn’t matter if your AirPods are inside the case or not. You can choose to play the sound on the left, right or both earbuds. 

The other option is to use the same proximity view that Apple’s AirTag trackers use. If you have an iPhone 11 or newer, the proximity view will tell you the direction and distance, down to the exact inches you need to go to retrieve your earbuds. 


Your iPhone will help you remember your AirPods when you leave them behind. 

Apple/Screenshot by Sarah Tew/CNET

Separation Alerts make it harder to lose your AirPods in the first place

Apple also announced another new Find My feature for the AirPods called Separation Alerts. As the name implies, the Find My app will alert you when you’ve left your AirPods behind, hopefully preventing you from having to go on a scavenger hunt. 

The integration of AirPods with Find My is just one of many new features available in iOS 15. Others include the ability to start a FaceTime call with someone using an Android device and add your driver’s license to Apple Wallet

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