The first beta of iOS 12.2 contains strong indications that we are approaching the launch of new AirPods.
As explained by 9to5Mac, the beta includes a configuration interface for “Hey Siri” that mentions AirPods hands-free voice commands – a feature that is not available in the current AirPods, which were released more than two years ago.
It is not the first time we heard rumors about new AirPods. Bloomberg reported in June that Apple was preparing a renewal of AirPods with a new chip.
Apple already gave us a hint of this functionality in the video that was used during the start of September event, since one person said “Hey Siri” while putting on AirPods.
DigiTimes affirmed yesterday that Apple would launch a second-generation AirPods with health monitoring functions during the first half of this year.
On the other hand, Bloomberg also said that Apple was working on a “high-end” version of the AirPods with noise cancellation, water resistance and greater wireless range. The expected launch date was 2019.
We do not know when iOS 12.2 will reach consumers, so it’s hard to predict when the new AirPods will be launched. Each iOS update usually goes through several beta revisions before the public version, so it may take a month or two, if not more.
Apple has recently launched new battery cases for the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR. It is also rumored that the company plans to launch soon the AirPower wireless charging base for iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods.