Welcome to Product Support, a column devoted to helping you get the most out of the gadgets and software you already use.
Apple constantly rolls out firmware updates to its AirPod line — including AirPods, AirPods Pro and AirPods Max — so that they get better over time. In the past, these firmware updates have fixed bugs and improved things like charging and battery life, audio and call quality, and even brought over special features like automatic switching between devices and support for spatial audio.
The latest firmware update — named 4A400 — improves your chance of finding lost AirPods Pro or AirPods Max (not the regular AirPods, though) thanks to a superior integration with the Find My app. Previously, the Find My app would show the lost location that your lost AirPods Pro or AirPods Max were paired with your iPhone. While nice, it's also very limited.
The 4A400 firmware update will now you to activate a "Lost Mode" in the Find My app. it essentially works like if you had an AirTag attached to your AirPods Pro or AirPods Max, meaning any iPhones, iPads and Macs — owned or not owned by you — that comes into Bluetooth range will be able to detect your lost AirPods Pro or AirPods Max and then alert you to their location.
The regular AirPods be updated with this feature because they lack the necessary U1 chip.
It's very easy to make sure your your AirPods, AirPods Pro or AirPods Max are up to date. All you need to do is make sure your connected iPhone is running iOS 15 (or your iPad is running iPadOS 15). If it is, your AirPods, AirPods or AirPods Max are likely already updated. But to check to make sure, follow these steps:
- Make sure you have them paired to your iPhone or iPad.
- Open the Settings app > General > About.
- Scroll down and select the name of your AirPods Pro.
- Check the firmware version of your AirPods, AirPods or AirPods Max. If it's 4A400 — you're up to date.
If your AirPods or AirPods Pro are not update to date, you can try to initiate the firmware update manually. You need to make sure they're paired with your iPhone or iPad and inside their charging case. Then plug them in so they are being charged, either by a Lightning cord or a wireless charging pad, and the open the lid of the AirPods Pro. (If you have AirPods Max and they are not up to date, you need to make sure they're connected to your iPhone or iPad and charging. )
Unfortunately, there isn't a button to manually update AirPods, AirPods Pro or AirPods Max; you kind of have to just follow the above steps and wait. After waiting a few minutes they should update on their own.