AirPods Find My Network Support Includes Tethering to Apple ID and New Manual Unpairing Process
Apple announced earlier this year that, with iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, the Find My Network will be able to locate AirPods Pro and AirPods Max. Now, it has emerged that this will be achieved by tethering the AirPods to a specific Apple ID, with an unusual system of covering the AirPods Pro's speaker holes to remove the linked account.
First spotted by 9to5Mac, iOS 15 developer beta five code has confirmed that, to work with Apple's Find My Network, AirPods Pro and AirPods Max will need to be tethered to an Apple ID. This means that even if a user connects someone else's AirPods to their device, they will remain tethered to the owner's Apple ID.
To remove the configured Apple ID and disable connection to the Find My Network, such as when passing the AirPods to a new user, owners will have to follow a number of manual steps similar to the process for untethering an AirTag.
For AirPods Max, users need to hold down the Active Noise Cancelation button at the same time as the Digital Crown for 12 seconds. For AirPods Pro, users have to cover the interior and exterior grilles with their fingers while pressing the button on the stem three times in sequence.
Support for the Find My Network will likely come via an AirPods Pro and AirPods Max firmware update alongside iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 later in the fall. First and second-generation AirPods will not support the Find My Network.
Previously, all AirPods devices appeared in the Find My app, but were not remotely locatable using the Find My Network like an AirTag, which uses low-energy Bluetooth to feed a device's location back to the owner via nearby iPhone or iPad.