When Apple launched the iPhone 7, it created and solved its own unique problem in one swoop, removing the headphone jack and offering iPhone owners the Airpods in its place. The switch over to wireless earbuds was criticized at the time, but the Airpods actually ended up selling very well and were reviewed well by critics. So what’s the next step? Well Apple appears to be preparing an upgraded set of AirPods for launch this year.
Demand for the current generation AirPods remains high, but a second generation is on the way. The next-gen AirPods will feature a new wireless chip, better Siri interaction and a new case. Specifically, Apple reportedly wants to add a ‘Hey Siri’ function to the AirPods, replacing the need to tap on one of the AirPods to activate the digital assistant.
Currently, the AirPod case quick-charges the earbuds with its own battery pack, which is in turn charged via a Lightning cable. With the second generation, Apple will be adding Qi wireless charging, a standard that the company began supporting last year with the iPhone 8 and iPhone X.
There is no word on other improvements to other areas currently, but we should learn more in the coming months, perhaps in the lead up to WWDC in June, or the next iPhone event in September.
KitGuru Says: I was very against the idea of ditching traditional earphones for wireless versions back when the iPhone 7 leaks first started coming out. However, after switching to an iPhone 8 and a pair of AirPods, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how well it all works. I can certainly see why they ended up selling so well. It will be interesting to see what Apple has planned next when the time comes, the current improvements sound good, but I would like to see water resistance added to the mix.