Apple releases beta firmware for AirPods

AirPods Pro

After finishing the keynote of the week’s presentation WWDC 22, Apple released the first betas of all its software this year. So far, nothing new. The novelty has arrived today when the company has released a beta version of the AirPods firmware. Now that’s strange, although it’s the second time he’s done it.

Strange because the firmware for an accessory like a pair of headphones shouldn’t be so complex that it needs a beta for developers to test. Perhaps it has something to do with the “Custom Spatial Audio”, a novelty that incorporates iOS 16 and that can already be tested in its first beta version.

Apple has today surprised the developer community by publishing some instructions to install the new beta firmware of the AirPods through its developer portal. Said instructions explain that developers have to pair their AirPods with iPhone and then use Xcode 14 beta on a Mac to enable the “pre-release beta firmware” option in the “AirPods Testing” section.

Those from Cupertino also explain that AirPods can take up to 24 hours to update after enabling this option in Xcode. To install such beta firmware on AirPods, the iPhone, iPad, or Mac it’s paired to must be running iOS 16, iPadOS 16, or macOS 13 in early beta versions.

It is also important to know that this beta firmware is only available for second generation airpodsthe 3rd generation AirPodsthe AirPods Pro and the AirPods Max. The first generation AirPods have not received the update, at least for now. It is also not known what news this test update brings.

Testing Custom Spatial Audio


Perhaps this new feature of iOS 16 is to blame for the new AirPods firmware beta.

What we do know is that iOS 16 introduces a new feature called “Custom Spatial Audioยป which uses the iPhone’s TrueDepth camera to create a “personal profile” for spatial audio, so perhaps the new AirPods beta firmware is related to this new feature.

Last year, Apple already first released beta firmware for AirPods that enabled spatial audio for FaceTime and ambient noise reduction for users running iOS 15 beta. However, as with the previous beta, there is no way to “force” AirPods to return to an official firmware.

So once installed on the AirPods, beta software cannot be removed. Such device will continue to run this software until an updated version of the software is released to all users. In the meantime, you will automatically receive any additional beta software updates. Curious, no doubt.

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