Apple has announced multiple new features for AirPods users with iOS 15, which includes Conversation Boost for AirPods Pro and true Find My support for the first time. While Apple mentioned that users will be able to locate lost AirPods with Precision Finding, iOS 15 will also link AirPods with your Apple ID to ensure that you can easily find them anywhere.
Similar to AirTags, iOS 15 will use Bluetooth technology to precisely locate AirPods when you’re near them but don’t know exactly where the earphones are located. This feature will be available for both AirPods Pro and AirPods Max and will also show the current AirPods location on the map even when they’re not connected to your iPhone or iPad.
To achieve this, the AirPods will finally be tied to your Apple ID. As spotted by 9to5Mac in the iOS 15 internal code, lost AirPods will continue to send their location to the owner through the Find My Network even if someone else connects them to another device.
It’s important to point out that, despite being tied to an Apple ID, AirPods will not have an activation lock like iOS devices. This system will be more like what Apple currently offers with AirTag, which is tied to an Apple account but can be reset with a few manual steps. 9to5Mac also found new animations included with iOS 15 beta 5 that show how to remove AirPods from Find My Network.
These AirPods are linked to your Apple ID. Removing them will allow another person to configure Find My Network. […] Removing these AirPods will allow another person to configure Find My Network and it will no longer be linked to your Apple ID.
For AirPods Max, holding the noise cancellation button along with the Digital Crown for about 12 seconds should unpair the headphones from the Find My app. As for AirPods Pro, the steps are a bit more complicated and require holding your fingers on the speaker holes while pressing the button on the stems multiple times.
These features are still under implementation and will likely require a firmware update for AirPods Pro and AirPods Max. First- and second-generation AirPods will not be compatible with the Find My network and Precision Finding.
Earlier this month, Apple released a new beta firmware for AirPods Pro that added the Conversation Boost feature for users running iOS 15 beta. However, the Find My features are not yet present in this firmware.