If you’re having AirPods issues or if you want access to the latest features, you’ll want to update your AirPods. This guide will show you how to keep AirPods, AirPods 2, AirPods Pro, or AirPods Max up-to-date.
AirPods software updates typically include performance improvements and bug fixes though occasionally they’ll bring new features as well. That’s why it’s important to keep your AirPods updated with the latest firmware.
If you just bought a pair of AirPods and/or you’re unsure if you’re running the latest AirPods software, follow these steps.
How to Update AirPods, AirPods 2, or AirPods Pro
Before you update your AirPods it might be a good idea to dig into feedback from users running the latest software. You can search sites like Apple’s forums, YouTube and Twitter for information about features, bugs, and performance issues.
If a lot of the feedback is negative, you might want to hold off and wait for Apple to release a new update. The releases are fairly sporadic, but you can expect a few updates throughout the year.
If you want to proceed with the upgrade process, here’s what you need to do.
- Put your AirPods, AirPods 2, or AirPods Pro inside their case.
- Make sure the case is connected to a power source. You can use the Lightning to USB cable or you can use wireless charging if you’ve got AirPods Pro and a compatible charger.
- Grab your iPhone or iPad and make sure it has an internet connection.
- Make sure your AirPods are paired with your iPhone or iPad and then bring the device close to the charging case.
Now you just need to wait a bit. If a new update is available, it should automatically download and install. If you’re having issues with the installation, you can try resetting your AirPods.
How to Update AirPods Max
If you own a pair of AirPods Max, new firmware will download if your headphones are connected to Bluetooth via another device like an iPhone.
If you’re unsure if your AirPods are running Apple’s latest firmware, you can manually check. Here’s how to check your AirPods software version.
- Grab your iPhone or iPad.
- Open up the Settings app.
- Tap General.
- Tap About.
- Find your AirPods on the list and tap.
On this screen you can see information about your AirPods including their current firmware version.
You can also check the current firmware using these steps:
- Open the Settings app on your Apple device.
- Go to Bluetooth.
- Find your AirPods on your list of devices.
- Tap the “i”.
- Check the Firmware Version.
If you are using a pair of first-gen AirPods, the current version is 6.8.8. If you’re using a pair of AirPods 2 or a pair of AirPods Pro, the current version is 3E751. And if you’re using a pair of AirPods Max, the current version is 3E756.
AirPods Pro Beta
It’s also worth noting that AirPods Pro beta firmware is now accessible via Apple’s developer program. So if you want to try AirPods features before they become widely available, you can.
Note that you’ll need the AirPods Pro, an iPhone running iOS 15, and a Mac that’s running Xcode 13 beta software in order to do so.
Install iOS 14.8 for Better Security
If security is important to you, think about installing iOS 14.8 right away.
iOS 14.8 doesn't have a lot on board, but it does bring two new security patches with it. You can learn more about them right here.
If you want to better protect your iPhone and its data, you'll want to install the iOS 14.8 update in the near future.
If you missed iOS 14.7.1, you'll get its patch with your upgrade. If you want to learn more about iOS 14.7.1's security update, check out its support page.
If you missed iOS 14.7, you'll get its 31 security patches with your upgrade. You can learn more about those on Apple's website.
If you skipped iOS 14.6, you'll get the update's 38 security patches with your iOS 14.8 update. If you're curious about the particulars, you can read about them right here.
If you skipped iOS 14.5.1, you get the update's two security patches on board. You can read about them over on Apple's website. Both are related to WebKit.
If you missed iOS 14.5 you'll get its patches with your upgrade. You can read more about those changes over on Apple's website.
iOS 14.5 also brought Apple's new App Tracking Transparency which lets you control which apps are allowed to track your activity across other companies' apps and websites for ads or sharing with data brokers.
If you skipped iOS 14.4.2, you get its security patch with iOS 14.8. You can learn more about that patch over on Apple's website as well.
If you missed iOS 14.4.1, you get its patch with your upgrade to iOS 14.8. You can read about that patch right here.
If you skipped iOS 14.4, you get the update's patches with your upgrade. You can learn more about iOS 14.4's security patches right here.
If you skipped iOS 14.3 you'll get its nine security updates with your upgrade. You can read more about them on its security site.
iOS 14.3 also included a new privacy information section on App Store pages that includes a developer-reported summary of the app’s privacy practices.
If you skipped iOS 14.2, your iOS 14.8 update includes 24 additional security patches. You can learn more about the patches on Apple's security website.
If you're still running iOS 13, iOS 14.8 includes iOS 14.0's security updates.
iOS 14.0 brought 11 new security patches to the iPhone. If you're interested in the exact nature of these improvements, you can read about them over on Apple's website.
In addition to those patches, iOS 14 comes with some security and privacy upgrades including improvements to Home/HomeKit and Safari.
For instance in Safari, you can now tap the Privacy Report button to better understand how websites handle your privacy.
With iOS 14 on board you can now get information on the App Store that will help you understand the privacy practices of apps before you download them.
There is also a new recording indicator that will appear at the top of your screen whenever an app is using your microphone or camera. You can see if an app has used them recently in Control Center.
Researchers also discovered that Apple brought a new "BlastDoor" sandbox security system to iOS 14. The system is meant to prevent attacks from occurring via the Messages app.
You can read more about "BlastDoor" right here.
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