Hands-On With iOS 10.3's New 'Find My AirPods' Feature

iOS 10.3 introduces a new "Find My AirPods" feature, giving AirPods owners a way to keep track of the tiny wire-free earphones Apple started selling back in December.

Because iOS 10.3 is limited to developers, we thought we'd take a hands-on look at the new Find My AirPods feature to give iOS users an idea of what to expect when iOS 10.3 officially launches. In the video below, you can see just how the feature helps you find a lost AirPod, and its limitations.


Find My AirPods relies on the AirPods connection to an iPhone or another iOS device because the AirPods themselves don't have any cellular connectivity built in. The feature keeps track of the last known location where the AirPods were connected to an iOS device over Bluetooth, so if one is misplaced, there's a general location of where it might have last been seen.

That location is displayed on a map in the "Find My iPhone" app, much like any other Mac or iOS device. There's also an option to cause the AirPods to play a sound, which is super handy for finding an AirPod that's fallen between the couch cushions or has been buried in a backpack.

Find My AirPods requires the AirPods to be connected to an iPhone, so the feature does not work while the AirPods are in the AirPods case, making it somewhat less useful. If you lose the AirPods while they're in the case, it appears you're out of luck.

Apple charges $69 to replace a lost or broken AirPod or to replace an AirPods charging case, so though limited, the Find My AirPods option is a welcome feature that does make it a bit easier to keep track of where your AirPods are at all times.

We expect to see several iOS 10.3 betas before the software is released to the public, so general users may need to wait awhile to get their hands on the Find My AirPods feature, but a public beta test is likely to be made available in the next few weeks.

Related Roundup: AirPods
Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Don't Buy)
Related Forums: iOS 10, AirPods

Top Rated Comments

coolbreeze Avatar
62 months ago
I guess if you don't have airpods, this feature is useless.
Very astute observation. How did you arrive at such logic? It's almost as if the Watch app is useless if you don't own an Apple Watch. Unbelievable!
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
thespacekid Avatar
62 months ago
I guess if you don't have airpods, this feature is useless.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ItsGavinC Avatar
62 months ago
Such a micro-focused burn of manpower. Apple needs to, so badly, take a step back and see a bigger picture. They're losing themselves with the blinders they seem to be wearing.
Yes, I'm sure it took a lot of manpower to develop this feature. In actuality, it probably took the lowest man on the totem poll about 45 minutes.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SeattleMoose Avatar
62 months ago
How about "we're out of toilet paper" feature? Useful for everyone.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Chupa Chupa Avatar
62 months ago
Such a micro-focused burn of manpower. Apple needs to, so badly, take a step back and see a bigger picture. They're losing themselves with the blinders they seem to be wearing.
You must not own a pair. It's a good feature -- needed, not a waste. The real question is what took Apple so long. This should have been a feature at launch and demoed at the product announcement last fall. "Find my...." should be a standard feature of all major Apple hardware. Apple Pencil 2.0 should be next on the list to get it.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
avanpelt Avatar
62 months ago
Wait, isn't this feature assuming that both AirPods are together? What if they're not? I don't see any indication that it can tell you the last place each AirPod was when it was connected to your device. Ideally, if someone were to lose the left AirPod, let's say, it would show you where that AirPod was last connected to your device.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
YouTube Picture in Picture Feature

YouTube Premium Subscribers Can Now Use iOS Picture-in-Picture: Here's How

Wednesday August 25, 2021 3:55 am PDT by
Google has rolled out picture-in-picture support as an "experimental" feature for YouTube premium subscribers, allowing them to watch video in a small window when the app is closed. If you're a premium YouTube subscriber looking to try out picture-in-picture, follow these steps: Launch a web browser and sign into your YouTube account at YouTube.com. Navigate to www.youtube.com/new. Scroll...
M1X MBP Feature

Leaker: Upcoming MacBook Pro to See Price Hike Over Current Model, Equal Performance Across 14 and 16-Inch Sizes

Tuesday August 24, 2021 5:28 am PDT by
The upcoming 14-inch MacBook Pro is set to be more expensive than the current 13-inch MacBook Pro and both the 14 and 16-inch models will offer the same performance, according to the leaker known as "Dylandkt." The leaker shared the information on Twitter, explaining that both of the upcoming MacBook Pro models, expected to come in 14 and 16-inch sizes, will feature the same performance due...
youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
ryanscoolios13thumbnail

Apple Releases iOS 13.1.3 With Bug Fixes for Phone, Mail, Health, and More

Tuesday October 15, 2019 10:09 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 13.1.3 and iPadOS 13.1.3, minor updates to the iOS 13.1.2 software that was released two weeks ago. This is the fourth update to the iOS 13 operating system that came out in September. The iOS and iPadOS 13.1.3 updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the updates, go to Settings > General > Software Update....
Top Stories 75 Thumbnail

Top Stories: Last-Minute iPhone 13 Rumors, Apple Announces App Store Changes, and More

Saturday September 4, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
The finish line is in sight! Apple's annual iPhone event is likely just a week or so away and all eyes will be on the company as it unveils the next version of its most popular product line. With any luck, we'll also see the next-generation Apple Watch and perhaps even some new AirPods. Other news this week saw Apple making some more changes to its App Store policies in response to a...
affinity designer contour tool

Serif Updates Affinity Photo, Designer, and Publisher With New Tools and Functions

Thursday February 4, 2021 1:58 am PST by
Serif today announced across-the-board updates for its popular suite of Affinity creative apps, including Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer, and the Apple award-winning Affinity Publisher for Mac, all of which were among the first professional creative suites to be optimized for Apple's new M1 chip. "After another year which saw record numbers of people switching to Affinity, it's exciting to...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Kuo: iPhone 13 to Feature LEO Satellite Communications to Make Calls and Texts Without Cellular Coverage

Sunday August 29, 2021 7:39 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 will feature low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communication connectivity to allow users to make calls and send messages in areas without 4G or 5G coverage, according to the reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Kuo explained that the iPhone 13 lineup will feature hardware that is able to connect to LEO satellites. If enabled with the relevant...
maxresdefault

Craig Federighi and Greg Joswiak Discuss iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, Privacy, Shortcuts on Mac, and More

Saturday June 12, 2021 6:12 am PDT by
As is tradition, Apple executives Craig Federighi and Greg Joswiak joined Daring Fireball's John Gruber in an episode of The Talk Show to discuss several announcements that Apple made over this weeks WWDC, including iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, and a large focus around privacy. Federighi kicks off the conversation discussing the common architecture, now thanks to Apple silicon, across all of...
iOS 14 on iPhone feature emergency

Apple Seeds Third Betas of iOS and iPadOS 14.6 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Monday May 10, 2021 10:13 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the third betas of new iOS and iPadOS 14.6 updates to developers for testing purposes, one week after seeding the second iOS and iPadOS 14.6 updates. iOS and iPadOS 14.6 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or iPad. iOS and iPadOS 14.6 appear to be more minor changes focusing on...