First and foremost, Apple is planning to introduce new AirPods this year with at least few new key upgrades. Secondly, Apple to debut AirPods 2 with handsfree ‘Hey, Siri’ voice command feature, water-resistant models and on. Here are the details you really need to know about.
Apple is reportedly working on several upgrades to its wireless headphones, the hugely popular AirPods, are said to have an update on the way, set for release as soon as this year, according to a new report by Bloomberg.
The new 2018 AirPods are said to come with an upgraded wireless chip that will let users summon Siri using the “Hey, Siri” voice command without having to physically tap the headphones, similar to the way iPhone and HomePod users invoke the virtual assistant.
Currently, the story goes like, an update as soon as this year will see an update with improved wireless chips involved that will also allow for the invocation of voice-commands via the now familiar “Hey, Siri” call. The newly updated AirPods are said to be called B288 internally.
According to Bloomberg’s sources. Expanding on this information, we are told:
Like with its mobile devices — the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch — Apple intends to frequently update the AirPods with new hardware features. The Cupertino, California-based technology giant is working on a new version for release as soon as this year with an upgraded wireless chip, the people said. A subsequent model for as early as next year is planned to be water resistant, they added, asking not to be identified discussing private product plans.
Now, summoning Siri through AirPods requires users to double-tap the sides of the earbuds, although responsiveness to touch can occasionally be fuzzy. But the upcoming version of the similar headphones is known internally, as per today’s statement.
In fact, the reports also claim that Apple is working on a refreshed version of the AirPods which is plans to unveil later this year. The idea behind the third iteration of AirPods, said to be coming in 2019, is for the headphones to “survive splashes of water and rain”, though, they likely won’t be designed to be submerged in water. Even though, despite reports that current-gen AirPods survive being submerged in one foot of water for five minutes, and come out the other side of a washing and drying cycle functioning as normal. That planned, and said, Apple doesn’t actually advertise AirPods as water resistant. A patent was in fact filed last April for a waterproof AirPods case that can double as an iPhone or Apple Watch charger.
While this year’s AirPods will come with an upgraded W-series, and the highlight of the new variant will be the ability to invoke Siri by simply saying “Hey Siri”. That capability would remove the need to physically interface with the AirPods, giving them a similar capability profile to the recently released HomePod.
Designed by the same department that produced Apple’s HomePod speaker, AirPods were first introduced in 2016 alongside the iPhone 7 sans headphone jack, as a wireless solution for those wanting to listen to audio through a headset. Despite tight supply, AirPods were the overall top-selling electronic products during last November’s Cyber Monday, according to online shopping data provided by Adobe.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also predicted Apple would release an upgraded version of AirPods in the second half of 2018, has also said one internal change on the second-generation AirPods will include a “smaller quartz component,” but he doesn’t otherwise provide any further details about new outward-facing features or improvements to expect.
There is another model of AirPods coming next year which will feature a certain degree of water-resistance. Apple has updates planned beyond 2018, with one also said to already be in the pipeline for 2019, allowing Apple to offer a 12-month refresh cadence similar to the iPhone lineup.
It is unclear what benefits the upgraded W-series chip will bring to the new AirPods, although an improvement in sound quality and battery life should be on the cards. The function will work similarly to how a user activates Siri on an iPhone or a HomePod speaker hands-free. An annual refresh will most certainly aid Apple’s ability to sell AirPods to people who already own existing versions of the earphones.
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