Apple’s new AirPods might have been accidentally confirmed – but its own iPhone update.
The latest beta version of the iOS software appears to not only suggest that new versions of the wireless earphones are coming soon, but also what one of their main features might be.
The leak comes from a hidden part of the iOS 12.2 update which is currently available for developers. Inside a pop-up that is not visible without digging around is a suggestion about how those earphones might work.
While a user is setting up the option to speak to the phone’s digital assistant just by saying “Hey, Siri”, the message suggests that people will be able to do so just by speaking into their AirPods, rather than into their phone.
“Talk to Siri with your AirPods or iPhone by saying ‘Hey, Siri’,” reads the message, which was found by 9to5mac. That appears to begin a training process that ensures only the user can talk to Siri through the AirPods by recognising their voice, and ensuring that it won’t be triggered by other people in the vicinity.
That means that it will be possible to use the new AirPods to speak to Siri without touching them. That has long been a rumoured feature of the new wireless earphones, which have been rumoured to be due an update since shortly after they were first revealed, in 2016.
The feature even appeared to be included in the introduction video for the release of the iPhone XS and XR, in September. That video led many to speculate that an update to the AirPods was imminent, and even that it might have been intended to have been part of the introduction of the new phones.
Currently, the AirPods can be used to talk to Siri but it must be started by double tapping the earphones.
Numerous reports have suggested new versions of the AirPods are coming in the first half of 2019. Other rumoured features include health-tracking features, as well as wireless charging.
iOS 12.2 is expected to be released within the coming weeks, meaning that the new wireless earphones could be slated for release on a similar schedule.