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.

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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 2
Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Caution)

Top Rated Comments

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48 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)
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48 months ago
I guess if you don't have airpods, this feature is useless.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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48 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)
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48 months ago
How about "we're out of toilet paper" feature? Useful for everyone.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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48 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)
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48 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)

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